Thursday, January 28, 2016

Breaking News: Ma

'Commuted from Morocco to Munich this morning, and all my computer menus and news articles changed from Arabic to German. I can read it, but I did not need to come here for that. I could find German readings at DLI. Just some of the interesting variations in life that occur when you travel.

Ma's condition has gone from life-impairing to life-threatening, and the doctors are going to let her choose the way forward, whether or not to battle on. Uncontrolled blood pressure, which likely caused the stroke in the first place, continues to be a problem, and she failed her swallow test, so she can choose to have a feeding tube or not. I am betting that although she has a living will, she will choose the tube. She has the temperament to fight the effects of the stroke -- and somehow someway she will certainly get her voice back because talking is what she does. One listens; she talks. 

Her kids are streaming back to Maine, most of them, anyway. I won't be able to leave Germany until Saturday. By then, muddy waters should be clear and the urgency of a travel identified.

Gratitude sent for all the prayers. It is a grace to have a choice. 

Thanks to Echo for posting the picture. All mine are in albums at home in Cali.'I am breaking with the Memory Lane reveries to bring some breaking news in the family about Ma, family matriarch. Since Donnie's mother died in 1999, my mother, shown here with Lizzie, has become the family matriarch. One sort of expects matriarchs to go on forever, and those who have read my book, Blest Atheist, certainly know that Ma was not a model mother but very abusive. Nonetheless, a mother is a mother, and a matriarch is a matriarch. One does not think about the death of matriarchs. Nonetheless, that is the situation we are facing -- maybe -- right now.

Two days ago Ma, who has always been strong as a horse (comes from living on a farm), had a massive stroke that has paralyzed her right side and voice (extremely frustrating for her because she is a talker -- one listens, she talks). Today, the doctors determined that she cannot swallow and will need a feeding tube to live, but they are giving her the choice whether to have the feeding tube or not since she is coherent and can communicate by nods. There is also the complication that the surgery to put in the tube could be deadly because her high blood pressure is still not contained.

She was, at first, leaning against the tube but is now leaning toward it. The cboice is to battle on or rest in peace. It is rare that one really has a choice in which both versions are so different but can be right and natural.

While her 8 children would like to weigh in on the decision, of course, we are all giving her the space to make the decision without influence.

Prayers, please, for the grace to make the choice a spiritual one.

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