It's been a long time since I posted an update about my mother, The Irish Knuckle. At 92, she's still with us but, as I heard today, probably not for much longer.
When David died, we wondered what the effect would be on her, but she seemed to manage quite well. But at 90 (then) it's really just a matter of time and placing bets on which habit, good or bad, is going to get you. Her independence and excellent health allowed her to stay in her house until Christmas of 2007 when a half fall/half slide to the floor put the X on her head. She's always had a weakness in one knee and a tendency to self medicate with over-the-counter drugs. Two not working? Take four. That fall, which put her on the floor for two days, sent her to the hospital and rehab. (documented here)
Placing your parent in a safe retirement home makes everyone feel much better but I have to admit that without the house and yard to sweep and the pretense of independence to maintain, the Knuckle reverted to an understandable laziness. She refused to use the gym at The Oaks or push herself and suffered a steady diminishment in muscle tone and mental wherewithal. Though she was still pretty feisty, ungrateful to my sister-in-law and firmly attached to the notion that her strength and her handwriting would magically return with no effort on her part.
About two weeks ago, the knee let her down. Probably as she was dressing for bed and she wasn't discovered until the morning. That's a vast improvement on two days but there's no coming back from a night on the floor. Possibly, she suffered a mini-stroke. In the rehab, she fell again, trying to use the bathroom without an attendant's help.
My sister and brother-in-law drove down, bullied her into eating and participating in physical therapy, but she's tired and apparently down for the count. J. told me this today as she and S. drove home, certain they have seen her alive for the last time.
I'll be driving down this weekend if I can wait that long. J. thinks she'll time herself to June 6, the day our father died. But there's no telling with the Irish. The Knuckle has always wanted others to make her decisions for her. But I don't think I can tell her what to do this time.