A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

No Thing is a Little Thing

My week is… Messed. It’s Thursday, and I’m still thankful, but lemme offload for a few minutes, ok?

On Tuesday, I got a phone call from my sister letting me know that Mum was being taken to the hospital. She didn’t have many details. Actually, I think she sort of trivialized it. Mum has MS and often has headaches and general bad feelings, so I figured she’d go to emergency, and be in and out. No such luck. It wasn’t until later that I got the full story. The situation is MS-induced and is known as a “crisis” where the MS is basically attacking her body. This whole MS thing is still new to all of us since she was diagnosed just last year. There are so many types and subtypes that I still don’t know which one she has. I guess it doesn’t really matter. She has mutliple sclerosis. It sucks. It’s a progressive thing. It will only get worse. We just wish it wouldn’t. There is no cure. We just wish there was.

This is not my own work.

She wasn’t feeling well on Tuesday morning, but she never feels well in the mornings. She didn’t take it to mean anything, but opted to have her friend drive her to work. She worked for 20 minutes before she had a break. On her way back to her section, walking up the stairs, her legs felt week. She said, at that point, she decided that she’d stay upstairs for the rest of her breaks because she didn’t think she could walk up the stairs again. By the time she got the top of the stairs, she knew something was wrong. She felt her body changing. She sat in the nearest chair, and had a passerby call her supervisor. When the supervisor got there, she was in tears as she told her, “I can’t walk.” Supervisor called my uncle to pick her up because Mum refused an ambulance. They brought a wheelchair which she had to be lifted into.

Up to yesterday, she had no use of her legs or feet. A therapist came and tried to get her to move her feet. One of the instructions was to “Move your foot like you’re tip-toeing.” If you weren’t watching extremely closely, you would not have seen any movement at all. I’ve been telling people her movements of her feet was at about 10%. That’s a lie. 10% is putting it nicely. Anyway, today, the therapist got her to walk. From one end of the bed to the next (not length-ways). By the time she got to the other end, they had to stop. It was far too painful. Since then, they’ve given her pain medication in who-knows-what-amounts. She has been sleeping pretty much all day. In her waking moments, she has not been coherent. I’ve been translating and making decisions for her all day.

That’s enough of that talk. Yesterday was Mum’s birthday. I wasn’t here, but I heard her tell a million people that all of the nurses and PCTs on this floor came in with a lit cupcake and sang Happy Birthday to her. Isn’t that nice?! I know it made her feel good, despite the circumstances. She still hasn’t eaten it. It’s on the nightstand because she likes looking at it. In the evening, my sisters came with a big birthday cake and flowers. She’s said she wanted Edy’s vanilla ice cream, so I message my dad, and he brought it. Leave it to us to have a mini birthday party in the hospital. We put candles in the cake, lit them, and sang Happy Birthday (complete with 3 rounds of “For she’s a jolly good fellow” and 1 hip-hip-hooraaayyy!). (There was actually a big party with catered food, tents, chairs, etc. scheduled for last night. It was a double party for Mum and her twin brother. We postponed it after Tuesday’s events. I hope it still happens, whenever the hell she gets out of this place. 

If nothing else, this whole thing has made me think about the “little things” that really are pretty major things. We just think they’re little because we haven’t had to do without them. Today, I’m thankful for the less acknowledged blessings like the ability to:

  • Walk
  • Pick things up
  • Hold things
  • Feed myself
  • Speak
  • Understand
  • Stand up
  • Sit down
  • Go to the bathroom
  • Drive

It would be wrong for me not to note that the people I work with/for are GREAT. I called Co-founder 1 on Tuesday to ask if I could leave early, and he sent me off and told me to take as much time as I need. The next day, I was dressed and ready to go to work when Co-founder 2 BBMed and told me to go to the hospital and be with my mother. Today, same story. Isn’t that fantastic?! I haven’t had to be worried about skipping lunch to leave work an hour early to see my mother, or sit at work all day, wondering how she’s doing. They are really fantastic people, and I’m really blessed or lucky or whatever you want to call it. I’m thankful for that.

Whatever you believe in and whatever you do (for good), please do it. Hope, pray, think positively, make wishes on stars, rub your lucky charm, speak to the universe… Whatever. Mum needs to be able to stand on her own. And walk. And have full use of her hands. And it would be nice if she could be pain free.

Join the Thankful Thursday blog hop.

What “little things” have you never really thought about before, but can’t imagine not being able to do?

Comments on: "No Thing is a Little Thing" (20)

  1. I love your post, and it’s title. It’s so true. We take everyday abilities for granted, everyday.

    Your bosses are so cool/considerate and flexible.

    I’m sure the little bit of consideration it took for the hospital staff to help acknowledge your mom’s birthday in the way they did might not have been much for them, but it probably meant the world to her.

    I know you being there with your mom is a real comfort and support for her.


    • Thanks. 🙂
      Yeah, we should really be more mindful of (and thankful for) the little things that are BIG things if they cease to exist.

      The staff is great. That makes things a lot easier and more pleasant.


  2. I’m sorry to hear about your mother, prayers to you, your mom, and your entire family. I spoke with my best friend yesterday and she shared a similar heartbreaking story: her mom has been diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s. I’m so blessed and thankful and grateful for my health and my family and all of our good fortunate. The fact that I’m sitting inside a warm home, have clean water to drink, food in the fridge, and clothes on my back is a blessing most people around the globe do not have.


    • Thanks, Nicole.
      I wouldn’t know how to deal with Alzheimer’s. That has to be devastating. My prayers to your friend, her mom, and their family. I hope they find a way to cope.

      Those are all really good reasons to be thankful. 🙂 I often think about water (for drinking, showers, cleaning things), and how it’s such a basic thing that just exists for us. If we had to go without water, what would life be like?

  3. So very sorry about your precious mom. Will say prayers for her, and for you. I pray that God will bless her with many more birthdays.

  4. So sorry to hear about your mum!

  5. Just Rambling said:

    Wow, I’m sorry to hear this. I really do hope she’ll feel better soon. I love the way you wrote it, so honest and true. I can understand your week was a mess. It’s beautiful to read how supportive people are and how you and your family are there for your mom. Here’s a hug!

  6. janieblim said:

    Your post just reminded me of the many many things I take for granted. I’m always frustrated about work and my future. I think it’s also important to take some time to think about the little but significant things I have and can do right now and be grateful.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your mom. She is lucky to have very supportive family and friends.

    • You’re right. It’s far easier and more likely to get upset about things, stress, worry, and complain. It takes real EFFORT to look at the bright side, and be thankful for what we DO have.

  7. firstly: I’m sorry you and your family, especially your ma have to deal with this.

    I grew up raising money for MS. It was personal, as loved ones had it. I grew up with Bert(a) sitting in a wheelchair (lifted in and out to get in the house, carried to the toilet). She had very little mobility, even with her arms. One of my tribe-sisters had her first episode while we were on vacation a few years ago.

    She thought she was having a stroke. I gave her the stroke test and wondered about MS but didn’t know as much then. It took about a year to get a full diagnosis. She was a prime candidate: 34 yo (at the time), female and had major surgery 6 months earlier (on her spine). I could go on but you either know this stuff already or it’s not that important–cos your ma has it.

    She does quite well, really–she was lucky. One of her cousins had been in a wheelchair for years. It happens and I don’t want to be negative but M will probably end up in one — although she’s VERY mobile now (sometimes you regain a lot after an episode; other times you don’t)!

    Growing up with that, mental retardation, strokes, CP and so many other things (I was “raised” a care-giver, most kids aren’t given 100% responsibility of people with these issues). I have to say: it’s easier when you grow up around it. When it’s completely new, it’s a shock.

    I have lupus (and some other things). I usually hide it well. Sometimes people think I’m lazy or just a homebody cos I simply cannot work FT and then go out doing things. Sometime working FT is MORE than I can do. People don’t understand chronic illness and I prefer to live as if it’s not a part of my life–which is easy compared to those in my family who had a lot less to work with. It’s a rough row to hoe. Supporting others is rough, too. I hope she has a lot of people to step up and it won’t all be on one or two cos it won’t go away. I’m not saying that to be depressive — it’s the truth. One day I will not be able to do as much (talking work FT). I hope that day doesn’t come, though.

    One other thing that may or may not be helpful: M used SHEDLOADS of fish oil supplements, the best you can buy. You’ll google and see it. It helps with the myelin (coating over nerves which is stripped by MS). I’m not talking “fish oil” from the local pharmacy. It may help–it’s not a cure but she feels it may alleviate symptoms and prolong time between episodes.

    • Hell. You dealt with a LOT as a child.

      Last year, we thought Mum had a stroke too. It was Bell’s Palsy. Tests around the time revealed the MS.

      Yeah, I know MS just gets worse. It’s a progressive disease. And HOLY HANNA, the medication is EXPENSIVE. Talkin’ thousands of dollars per month.

      The doctor completely expects her to come out of this with the ability to walk. It’s just hard to get there because she’s in bed and in pain. Laying down sort of makes it worse, and stiffness is BAD. The therapy seems like torture. I’m hoping that it doesn’t take a long time, but the evidence is not pointing in that direction.

      I’ll have to ask her about fish oil. She takes a bunch of vitamins, but that one, I’m not sure of.

      I get what you’re saying about work. I have measly iron-deficiency anemia. It sucks. I get sooo tired. I have to snack all day. Every 2 hours or so, I have to eat something. Otherwise, I get a horrible headache, or I completely crash. I haven’t had a blackout in over a year, so YAY me! Wanna know what sucks? Mum’s job requires standing up. The entire time. -_-

      • Yikes! Maybe she can find something better…M has a job that’s sometimes VERY demanding, physically, but only at times. She sort of does a bunnnnch of stuff (from accounting to physical inventory for a steel company).

  8. MS runs in my family love, I feel your pain, stay strong, it is taxing and painful for everyone, but be there and continue with your strong self.

  9. […] past week and a half have been crazy. If you don’t know how/why, read this, this, and […]

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