Grief has widened my perspective. I feel like a funnel, taking in more than I have the capacity to contain. I move forward with open arms, vulnerable but receptive.A few hours later, around 4pm, I got a voice mail from Dad, saying he was taking Mom to the emergency room. They had gone grocery shopping and he left Mom in the car for 10 minutes. When he came back, he thought Mom was having a seizure. She was crying and complaining of back pain. He asked if she wanted to see a doctor and she said yes.
They were stuck in the ER waiting room for two hours (my husband and I met them there to pick up the groceries from Dad's car...he was worried the meat would go bad). I kept saying prayers asking for strength, patience for Dad, and comfort for Mom. So grateful I'd had a reflective moment earlier in the day. I know it kept me from being completely sideswiped by panic. I wanted to help, and a cold fridge was all that was needed from me.
A CT scan, X-ray, blood work, and urine test later, it turns out Mom has another bladder infection. What Dad thought was a seizure was just squirming in pain (and the totally disorienting feeling of not understanding the pain or being able to describe it to him).
I can't imagine how hard it must have been for Mom to describe her symptoms, or for Dad to bring the doctor up to speed on Mom's medical history (doesn't dementia trump all? How can anyone tell the difference between physical pain and emotional bewilderment?). Dad said the staff was great and took really good care of Mom.
It was 11pm when Mom and Dad got to our house to pick up the groceries on their way home. Mom had been given pain killers and Dad was eager to get some dinner and go to bed.
Just another day in the life of Alzheimer's: total upheaval.