Monday, May 23, 2011

Pain is a Poor Companion

2D structure of opioid analgesic tramadolImage via Wikipedia
My mother died with cancer when I was ten years old.  She was ill for several months and finally went to the hospital to finish her final days where pain medication was available.  I was not considered to be of much importance during this time, so I did not get the chance to see her much.  The last time I went to the hospital, I wore a blue taffeta dress and my hair had been rolled in curls, but it had not had time to dry so the curls didn't hold.

She was glad I came, but the morphine had caused difficulty with her vision.  She hugged me and felt that my hair was damp.  I think she thought the family was not being attentive to me.  I felt really sad that my hair was not perfect and that she could not see me, but I hoped she knew how much I wanted to be there.

Before she went to the hospital her pain had been severe, but she tried to carry on.  One day her sister came to visit, and she insisted on fixing her hair and face.  Mama said, "I hope you know this doesn't make me feel better."

Her sister Gertrude replied, "Well, it makes me feel better."  I understand how Gertrude felt.  Now I take care of my daughter Carol.  She has Rheumatoid Arthritis.  She has lost one arm due to an infection, and all her major joints have been replaced by artificial ones.  Sometimes she has a flare that causes extreme pain and her disability is total.  I feel helpless in the face of her suffering.  Like Gertrude and Mama's hair and makeup, I just want Carol to look like she is doing better.  I feel better if she can laugh and participate in life.  

I hope it's not selfish to want her to be happy so I don't feel bad.  She loves the Mavericks, and they pulled out a come-from-behind win tonight.  I was thrilled, not because I am an avid fan, but because it gave her joy.  I hope I can find something to give her joy tomorrow.  
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: