Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I've mentioned before that I am a fan of denial.  Actually, I'm not a fan of it.  Denial just seems to be my M.O.  It's the place where I lived for about the first year of my mom's illness.  Close to two years ago my mom started having episodes of vertigo.  She would be dizzy for a few days and then get better.  Eventually the episodes lasted for longer periods of time with shorter recovery between.  She went to ENT's and neurologists and vestibular balance center.  Doctors performed the epley maneuver (useless in her case), prescribed vestibular rehabilitation therapy (helpful at times but never a fix), she had CT scans and MRI's (no cause for the dizziness found) and various medications (again, no fix).  She would have good days and bad days.  I assumed, and I think we all assumed, that the episodes would just stop.  Eventually, though, the bad days overtook the good days.  Now, there are bad days and not so bad days... and even the not so bad days kinda suck.

My parents had been living the retirement dream since they moved to Virginia from Ohio.  My mom joined my dad on the golf course when she got clubs for her 60th birthday.  They had a boat to take out on the lake and a busier social schedule than me.  Of course living so close to their grandkids was an extra perk!  Now, though, so much of that has been taken away.  She hasn't played golf or driven a car in close to a year.  My parents tried to take the boat out this past summer and it made my mom's vertigo unbearable.  It takes all of her energy and stamina to stay upright.  Even having my girls around can feel overwhelming very quickly for her.

Just as my mom is off balance, our life feels off balance.  She can't come with us if there is too much walking.  She isn't able get up and play with the girls when they visit.  She is not enjoying life the way she used to or how she wants to.  We cannot do the things with her that we want us all to do together.  I know that a lot of people my age are going through this "phase of our life", but it feels off balance to hold Cadence in one arm and have my mom holding herself steady on my other arm.

Yet, to add to the frustration of this debilitating illness, we have no answers.  No reason as to why this is happening and no ways to fix it.  I can no longer deny the effects this has on my mom and dad.  I can no longer deny the fragility of my parents.  My mom has been so strong through all of this.  If I were in her shoes I think it would have brought me to my knees long ago.  My dad, too, has been supportive in a way I've never witnessed before.  But I know that they are worn down.  They (we) are holding on to one more hope, one more possibility for answers.  We are headed to John Hopkins Hospital this Friday.  The neurologists are the "best of the best" we are told.  Please, please say a prayer for my mom.  Pray for some answers, something to make this better, something to bring back her old life. 

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