Trying to enjoy fall while dealing with Mom’s anxiety
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Fall is my favorite time of the year – leaves changing colors, cooler temps and no mosquitoes. I can sit on the deck in the morning, enjoying a cup of coffee or in the evening with a glass of wine or water and my favorite guys. The air smells amazing, the Northern Lights put on a show some evenings and a huge harvest moon is always a welcome sight.
I had planned to accomplish so much outside this past weekend – emptying flower pots, cutting back perennials, and putting up my fall décor. An 8:15 a.m. phone call put an end to my plans before they even began. It was a paramedic calling to tell me they would be transporting my mom to the local emergency room. She was having another anxiety attack (the previous one had been Thursday evening). These calls have become commonplace, and have brought my sister and I to our wits-end. Mom is 77-years old and in great physical health for her age; and should be embracing all that life is offering her but the anxiety/panic attacks make her afraid to leave the house.
This ER visit turned out different than the others when the doctor (who has seen her in the ER three times this month) called in “Crisis Management.” A man, who looked to be in his early 30s, visited with us and gave us some options – including adult foster care, an two-to-three week stay at a facility for observation and therapy or staying with one of us until a program between a therapist and her general practitioner could be worked out. After a visit to a private home adult foster care, we ended up bringing her back to my sister’s house. A friend, who has dealt with anxiety issues in her family, came over and gave the three of us some good advice and hints for mom to use in order to decompress herself.
My sister had to work Sunday, and after a little while by herself, mom called me to go sit with her. By evening, her meds seemed to be helping (doctor upped her high blood pressure dosage). She was a bit nervous at the thought of being by herself while my sister and I were at work, but made it through by talking to friends and family on the phone. We talked with the crisis management man again and he will be setting up appointments with a therapist and behavior modifying specialist. They will work closely with her doctor in an effort to get her going in the right direction. We also discussed having my ex-husband’s girlfriend (yes, we all get along) spend a couple hours in the morning with Mom and driving her to appointments once she is back home. She isn’t working right now, Mom can afford to pay her for her time, and she is someone Mom gets along well with and trusts. She would also be able to help with heavy cleaning, painting and odd jobs Mom can’t do anymore. It may be a long road, but I am hopeful. The call to crisis management just may have been the answer we were praying for.
Below are a few fall-color pictures I took last Friday.