My mom is sadly getting a taste of what Dad went through over the last year or so of his life. Mom is dreading the colonoscopy, saying that reading the prep directions gives her the “heebie-jeebies.” She says it reminds of her of the various tests Dad went through and how he was “poked and prodded” so much. Dad somehow was fortunate enough to avoid the dreaded colonoscopy, but we did beg him to go through the prostate exams that his doctor recommended after Dad started having prostate issues. He flat-out refused.
Mom seems to be leaning that way herself. Dad had many hospital visits and tests over the last year of his life, and since he lived in a nursing home that final year, he became used to (or at least didn’t fight) being handled by strangers. Mom still has most of her mind, though as she grows physically weaker, I see some of the same mental signs that I saw in my Dad.
But for Mom, it’s an unnerving situation. And because the symptoms seemed to come on so suddenly, she had no time to prepare for a loss of independence, as she was just dumped with a jarring thud into this world of being sick.
Because there are so many elderly that are ill, there’s not a lot of time for hand-holding or encouragement. She received a brief visit from the doctor, who ordered the colonoscopy, handed her a bunch of paperwork and sent her on her way. This is where we really need community health services to grow and fill in the gap. My mom is going to call a local group tomorrow to see if they can assist her.
It’s yet another reason to never take a moment for granted, because none of us know when illness will strike.