Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's War! (The stroke, part seven)

Here's the nutshell. Last month my mom had a stroke but had recovered remarkably well. Her attention span needed work, otherwise she was fine. Then a few days ago she had what we thought was another stroke but turned out to be a seizure from the first one. The good news, the doctor said, was that he expected a full recovery. The problem was that said recovery would take days, and my dad and I had to deal with her in the meantime.
Her strength hand coordination were fine, but her thinking and speech were a disaster. She'd think she was talking to us when in fact she was babbling nonsense. When we told her we didn't understand she got incensed and repeated the same nonsense more slowly.
Typical conversation:
Namowal's Mom: Freshious, freshious, freshious, in the freshious freshious?
Namowal: I'm sorry, I don't understand
Namowal's Mom:
Freshious, freshious, freshious, in the freshious freshious!?
Namowal: Can you show me what you mean?
Namowal's Mom: (glaring at me and gesturing angrily)
Freshious, freshious, freshious, in the freshious freshious!!?

War was declared when more words came back. We'd thought her anger was frustration at not being able to talk. As she regained more speech, we found that she viewed me and my dad as the problem. We'd committed some heinous deeds including:
  • taking a paper towel away from her (she was eating it)
  • not letting her take some cold medicine (she didn't have a cold)
  • wiping cream of mushroom soup off her hand after she plunged her fist into the bowl
  • taking away the jar of pistachios because she was eating them with the shells and wouldn't let us unshell them for her
  • generally keeping an eye one her so she wouldn't burn down the house
Well! Did she have some things to say. She couldn't say much, but she made it clear that
  • She wanted me to leave her house and never come back
  • She wanted to spank me for being so horrid
  • My dad and I were "rude" and made her "mad"
  • This was all our fault
  • I was a terrible daughter and he was a terrible husband
  • We were both "stupid"
  • We could go fuck ourselves
I couldn't believe it. All the trouble we'd gone through, the sleepless nights, the worries, helping her stay clean and safe and my only feedback was what a shit I was. Normally she's very sweet and loving, so it was trippy as well as hurtful. So out of place. Like Santa Claus cooking and eating little kids or something.
D-day of the war occurred this morning. She was in the middle of a temper tantrum and we had to get her to her physical thereby appointment. She wouldn't budge and told us to scram. We insisted. I took her by the hand. She started hitting me.
My dad lost his temper.
"You knock that crap off and get in the car, now!" he told her.
She eyed him as if he'd slapped her- a mix of fear and disbelief that he'd dare raise his voice to her.
It worked. She cooperated, sort of, grumbling insults under her breath and giving us dirty looks as we took her to her appointment.

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