Monday, August 3, 2009

More of the same

Things with mom aren't improving at all. She's still in County, still being tied to the bed at times, still being drugged senseless medicated, still delusional and confused and confrontational and violent. Let's not forget pitiful, which she is in large measure. Many of you have had the bad fortune to have to walk through a nursing home, hearing the old folks babbling incoherently, seeing them tied to wheelchairs or left in bed. You might have been lucky that your reason for being there didn't involve one of those sad elders, or maybe you just weren't emotionally vested in their well-being. Let me tell you, it's a whole lot of different when it's someone you love. Someone you know very well, someone who depends upon you to see that they're ok, to make sure they're treated right, to soothe them and console them if they're frightened or confused. You have to tell your loved one that no, you can't take them home. No, they have to stay there. It hurts, and their violent reaction can hurt worse.

Anyway, her doctor is trying a(nother) new medication. Hopefully this will be the one that calms her down. The doctor has said that it's ok if she's hallucinating and delusional, as long as she isn't violent. Great.

I was able to take a break this weekend. Since my mom currently hates me and the sight of me just agitates her worse, I stayed away from the hospital. Instead, I went for a run.

Saturday morning I met up with Anita and Bree for a planned 14-15 miler. I wanted to run at least 14 miles and since we haven't met our mileage goals yet, we decided to set the goal higher and then when we wanted to stop early, we'd still have our miles complete. Circuitous thinking, but if it works then who cares. We met in Danville with the plan of running the old street route of 8 miles and finishing on the Iron Horse. We took off on time (since all of us have this being-on-time thing and tend to arrive early). The air was cool, the sun was rising, the wind was light and fresh.

We ran the route with mostly a 4:1 run:walk pattern. There were two hills that we each took at our own pace; Bree and I walked a goodly portion and Anita blasted away. We did a little detour at the end because I didn't want to get back to start without a full 8 miles. We refueled, watered up (and down) and were on our way. We headed south along the trail, meaning to get the sunnier part done first. Bree decided to let us go on ahead and so we did.

I don't even remember what the plan was for the mileage there, but we kept on running. The wind was in our face on the way out and I knew it would be better going the other way. There was a lot of walking involved, probably more along the lines of 3:2. It helped with breathing and energy. When we got back we discovered that we had completed about another 6 miles, leaving only a short out and back to finish.

We met up with Bree, ran:walked a bit with her and then without her. The trail was crowded at that point, lots of runners, cyclists, families, dogs. We ended up with a lot of dodging and excuse me's and hi's and coming throughs and on your lefts and good mornings and cute dog! And we went slower and slower. At about the 1 mile mark we turned around and staggered back. It was literally "let's run to the next street. No, let's run to that tree. Ok, we can make it to the bench. Keep going until the garbage can. Well, let's run until the dogs. Oh, we might as well run to the corner." Walk walk run run. We ran in the last couple of tenths, I looked at Mr. Garmin and realized that to get a nice round number we'd have to keep going. I knew that we had been in a couple of places without reception and we had more than likely already run the full amount but we ran on, me staring at my wrist until the numbers changed to 16 miles.

Holy schmoley, we were tired. We had done more walking than makes me happy but if it had been a race we would have been well within the cut-off times. My legs had that strange tingley blood-moving feeling from my bruised toes to my hips, but they didn't hurt. I was a little overheated, a little dehydrated and a lot nauseous. We hung out for a while to cool down and chat, congratulated ourselves on getting it done and scattered on our ways.

Sunday I had another break when I met with Claudia for mani/pedi's and dinner. I hadn't cut my nails since the pedi in Vegas and I was way overdue. It was restful and soothing and my toes are nice and pretty (even the one where the nail will probably fall off within the next week - ew). Afterward we had a little champagne tasting with appetizers and then Mexican food (a huge chicken burrito), the best meal I've had for weeks. We caught up on everything in our lives and then Claudia let me babble on (and on) (and on) about my mom and it helped enormously to get it out of my system. I drove away feeling relaxed and, dare I say it, happy. Thank you Ms. C!

Then it was time to get back into the real world with doctors and nurses and banks and bills and no checks yet and assisted living places and -- oh yeah -- my job. The break was much needed, much appreciated and will allow me to retain a bit of hope for normalcy for a while longer.

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