Life Transitions, Part 2

Posted by Shelley Baur, Author Integrity-Based Communications in Life Transitions tagged with , , , , ,

Life Transitions Stress

Life Transitions: Marion and friends

Sweet Life Transitions: Marion, Betty, Caroletta

Adding to the stress of my mother’s health crisis, life transitions, and other issues, she was in the hospital when I had to leave town for an important business presentation. Assured by the doctor that Mom would not be discharged until I returned, I was stunned to receive three phone calls pressuring me to read 52 faxed pages, sign 25 and fax them back.  They were pushing to get her discharged and admitted into a skilled nursing facility by 5:00 the same day.

 Who’s in Charge of Life Transitions?

Returning home, the issues of Mom’s life transitions seemed almost overwhelming. I drove straight to the nursing facility, expecting the worst. Instead, it was bright and cheery, exceedingly well run, with an amazing track record for helping patients get back on their feet and functioning. Though I didn’t have a say in the selection, I quickly learned that this was a God wink. He was in charge, wasn’t that clear?

Life Transitions Jargon, Clarity

Translating the jargon of “eldercare” was just one aspect of various life transitions issues. Hubby John and I had visited a lovely facility that had three primary levels of care: skilled nursing, assisted living, and dementia. “Please don’t let it be that,” I prayed.  Every time some aspect of Mom’s life transitions seemed scary, I remembered Who was in charge.  I knew by then that I was not in control.  Others — with far more understanding in health and life transitions issues — would make that decision.  That was one of the most dreadful parts of facing these life issues, these life transitions. Not just for Mom, but for John and me as well.

Learning About Life Transitions Through Mom

Mom was getting great care, from people who cared about her personally – that was clear. Just as importantly, they had infinitely more experience, skill and knowledge than I did. This had been a rough but appreciated time to learn about life transitions for everyone in the family. Within a month, Mom was healthy, getting stronger, medications and sugar levels managed. When the pre-discharge meeting was held, I was there with Mom. She was resistant when told that she would not be moving back into independent living. Kindly but firmly, she was told that she needed to be moved in assisted living “for her own safety.” Frankly, I was relieved at that news. She wasn’t happy, telling me the decision was “totally arbitrary.” She couldn’t understand why she couldn’t live alone. Kindly but firmly, I repeated concerns about her personal safety. Life Transitions “Truth-Telling” The next day, when Mom started in on the “totally arbitrary” track, I repeated what we had both heard. Then gently added, “Mom, you have to get out of denial. You cannot go back to the place of unchecked blood sugar. Or any medicine mismanagement.” Despite my own difficulty in dealing with Mom’s life transitions, when she admitted her fear of dying while in the hospital, I said, “That’s exactly why we can’t to go back there.” Mom’s Life Transitions: Denial to Acceptance to Many Blessings After visiting Carriage Court in East Memphis, it was Mom’s decision to move there, where she is happily settled. She wishes it were different, but today says she’s “counting her many, many blessings.” She’s strong, smiling, and far more reflective about the positive aspects of her life transitions over the past 60 days. Though life transitions force us to move in ways we wouldn’t choose, Mom has seen that this is a good move, that her friends still love her, miss her and come to see her. Every day, there are new people to meet, more activities to discover, and a very fun exercise class led by Tony, whom she adores. She enjoys wonderfully prepared, healthy meals.  Life is good, indeed.  Actually, looking at life transitions has been good for all of us. For me, there is a sweetness and understanding in our relationship that never manifested until now.  Mom is more relaxed, accepting the gifts and the blessings of her own life transitions.   Moreover, she inspires us.  She’s a great role model, and we hope to do as well with our own life transitions now, and in the future. Learn more about communicating with your loved ones about life transitions.

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