Tuesday, October 07, 2014

No band aids this time

When do we become the parents of our parents? It's a thin and impossible line to see. You see all this time I have been returning to my parents home and letting down my own health guard, letting them nurse me to good health and recover from colds coughs and the obligatory fever every time I visit. It seems the tables have turned, over the years imperceptibly but then this year with a Big Bang.

In the last 6 or so months it would seem like all the slightly older and sometimes still fairly young people in our lives are undergoing medical travails. From breathing issues to heart stents, from broken bones to multiple Myelomas, from heart panics to detached retinas, from high blood pressure to cataracts, from miscarriages to low spirits and memory loss - it's all going on in this family.

And through it all we are trying to do our research about treatment options, helping with logistics, planning trips to visit, sending messages of strength, waiting for updates, including them in our prayers, crossing our fingers, making silent bargains for an exchange of good health and bad and trying to keep spirits up long distance. How many sighs of relief I have breathed each morning, waking up to news of a procedure gone well; wishing my uncle all the strength he can muster, hoping my mum-in-law stays positive through a prolonged treatment, keeping up the spirits of beloveds in the face of loss, and then being the brave face for my mum's painful retina re-attachment done under local anaesthetic.

Upcoming school Fall Break was to be spent between Delhi and Mumbai, celebrating diwali with families. A turn of events yesterday has seen my mum admitted to a Cardiac Unit for chest pain. She's had a slew of tests, an angiogram and now a stent put in to her arteries. I've sat here chewing my nails for 36 hours now, all the while using my calm voice for her (and my own benefit). I refuse to panic. She will be just fine and I have changed my tickets to go to them earlier. 

I'm acutely aware, like never before, that age is catching up with us. And that this is the case with most families, a time when we turn older and the decisions of our youth finally appear in the sheet of our health. There is very little dignity in old age - and all these people I love dearly are holding on with all their might. I don't have a time machine or any band aids quicken the healing process. I do however have ears to listen with, a shoulder to cry on and hands to hold on to. Hold my hand won't you, while I hold my mums hand? Virtual good health vibes and prayers - they all help - and I'm accepting it all. 


  1. Anonymous1:28 PM

    All my prayers and love coming your mum's way 30in2005. She needs all the goodwill we can send her so she gets well very very jaldi se. I've read over the years stories of how gracefully and joyfully she raised you and your brother and now my heart goes out to her.

    Yup, the health, 'em is failing for sure. Cancer on my end, still fighting, still giving myself a chance every day. Fingers crossed for both your mum and I:-)


  2. Virtual hugs and all my prayers and best wishes to your family, especially your mother. Hope she is back home and to her normal self very soon.
    Watching parents age has got to be one of the toughest and most painful things in life.

    Deepa - fingers crossed for you too for a speedy recovery.

  3. Thank you both. Deepa, do you blog or only comment. You have mentioned being unwell on other posts in other blogs - how are you doing? All good health to you.

    Radha, you said it - watching them age is tough. I totally expected them to be invincible - turns out we are all mere mortals.

  4. Good luck to your Mom and all the loved relatives. They will all be just fine.

  5. Such a tough stage of life, thiis. All good wishes and prayers for all the ailing elders in your life. May you have the resources you need to help them through these tough times. God bless.

  6. Anonymous11:30 PM

    Hugs and good wishes. I am starting to see this change and it is almost impossible to think of parents as mortal humans who age. Good luck to you and yours and hope your mum recovers well and quickly - Kirthika