A few days ago, while staying with me, my 88 year-old mother had a stroke and has been in the hospital for the past 3 days. It is surprising the scenarios that go through your head and the decisions you start making way before it is necessary.
Can she live alone? Should I insist she move closer to me? Can she drive? Is she a target of exploitation? Will a caregiver who lives-in take advantage of her? Should we spend all her savings on home care if that is her wish? Will she regain her ability to speak clearly?
My brothers have opinions different than mine at times and I know they love her, but I have questions about why they think any different than me. I am the Geriatric professional, but am I being selfish wanting her closer to me than in the city she was born in and has lived the past almost 89 years?
Mom is actually in good spirits and when the results of the MRI came back confirming the stroke and at least 4 prior strokes (we suspected but had not been given confirmation) she just smiled with half of her face and shrugged her shoulders saying, “Does this mean I can’t drive?” Then we said, ”Let’s take this one-day at a time.” What a wonderful spirit despite facing uncertainty. I hope I can be like her if life throws me a curve ball.
She moves on to acute rehab today…