Sunday night was a weird, emotional night for me. I tossed and turned in bed for what seemed an eternity crying while thinking of my mom. I spent all day Saturday with her helping her get her taxes done, taking her to Half Price Books, Wal-Mart, lunch, dinner. It was a long day for both of us, but especially for her.
Most days my mom is in a great deal of pain. She’s recovering from her 4th back surgery (that didn’t really do much) and contending with arthritis in what seems to be every joint in her back and hips. I watched her limp along, barely able to lift her legs high enough to step up on curbs; unable to bend over to look at books on lower shelves; giving me the list of ones she really wants so that I could do the bending and searching.
Her Dr. has her on a potent pain med that’s suppose to last 12 hours; five hours later she’s needing more but unwilling to take it for fear that she will become addicted. Even when she’s not doubled over in pain, I can see it etched on her face. She looks like pain. I want to force her to take another pill and say the hell with addiction.
She’ll be 59 next month and has spent the past 28 working for the Post Office as a Rural Letter Carrier. This job that she has loved all these years is the reason for her pain; is the reason she can no longer work and has been forced to medically retire. I wish I could reassure her that there is a difference between taking meds consistently as pain management and outright addiction.
I don’t know why it hit me so hard after seeing her this past weekend. I’m sitting here crying as I type this. It’s hard to watch my mom descend into old age when she’s not really all that old; at least in my eyes.