Archive for July 27th, 2008

Well, I thought I’d go ahead and get this posted now, because I don’t know what tomorrow will be like.

The Labor Day Challenge is officially on.  I have WVSooner, Bex, Cammy, and my walking-partner B. signed up with me.

For Week One, the change I plan to make is to build in yoga no less than three times a week.  This is going to be enough of a challenge for me as my house is going to be chaotic.  Originally, I was planning four 35-45 minute cardio sessions but that may be problematic for reasons which will become clear in a bit.

So that’s my first change.  Leave me a comment below and let me know what yours is!

Now…the reason for chaos.  Friday night, my mother called and told me she was having trouble breathing.  To make a very long story short, after spending all night at the ER, we were told she has pulmonary edema due to severe aortic stenosis.  In other words, her lungs were filling with fluid because her heart isn’t functioning well enough to pump it off.

Today we were told that in order to give her any life expectancy at all, she will have to have an aortic valve replacement via open heart surgery.  My mother is 70 years old and non-ambulatory due to severe rheumatoid arthritis.  She has a host of other health issues.  There’s an excellent chance that she is not even a candidate for this type of surgery.  So it doesn’t look good.

I can’t go into details at the moment about what I’m feeling because it’s just too much.  I will just say that my mother is my idol, the person who has always been the standard to which I try to measure up, and quite literally the wind beneath my wings.  She is the one person in the world who has always loved, adored, and admired me, no matter what I did or said or didn’t do or say.  And I haven’t handled very well the fact that she’s been disabled and steadily deteriorating for the past ten years.  I’ve basically been in denial and avoidance – just like I was when my dad was diagnosed with cancer.  It seems I haven’t learned a lot in 20 years.  I’m not proud of that, especially right now.

When I was about 17, after my dad had passed away, and after a particularly nasty war of words between my mother and I, I wrote her a letter apologizing and telling her how much it scared me to think that some day she wouldn’t be there anymore.  I still have the letter she wrote me in return…but I also have it engraved on my heart.  One of the things she said was, “As long as your mother is alive, you are always still a little girl, at least a little bit.  It isn’t until you lose your mother that you really, truly grow up.”  I will never forget those words, never.

It’s possible that the surgeon will tell us that everything is great and they will do the surgery and we’ll have ten more years with Mother.  Dear God, I hope so.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hope so.  But tonight…I am facing the idea that the time may have come for me to really grow up.  And I am so frightened.

So please, if you pray, please pray for her.  If you don’t, please, think positive thoughts.  I truly believe it makes a difference.

I may not be posting much this week.  I will be at the hospital all day tomorrow, and my sisters and nieces will be here tomorrow evening.  At the very least, it’s going to be a rough week.


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