It’s been a rough couple of months. Some of you may know that my dad was killed in a car accident two weeks before Christmas. Not a good holiday season. I was once told by a dear friend that grief sends ADHD into overdrive; now I have proof of that. I walked around in a daze, forgetting my own name, bumping into furniture and feeling that someone had transported me to San Francisco on a foggy morning. I’ll write more about that in another post. For now, I’ll report the rest of the story…
A month later, I made one of my regular visits to my mom in central Illinois (I actually rented an apartment there since I was spending so much money on hotels – my dad was in failing health even before the fatal accident). I was determined to get her caught up on doctor’s appointments, etc.
It was a sorrowful time. The eye doctor gave her a clipboard to update her information and she couldn’t remember her address. I was puzzled, then realized that for the very first time she had to circle the word “widow” on the sheet. Awful.
I knew she needed to be seen by her regular doc but on the eve of that appointment, the nastiest stomach flu struck. Although the doctor prescribed meds for her (other) infection, she never quite recovered from the stomach ache. Wasn’t hungry, kinda lethargic, but she was still experiencing acute grief, right? Yes. And that wasn’t all.
Two weeks ago, she began bleeding internally and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She had a serious duodenal ulcer. Four units of blood restored her color but two days later the nightmare continued in the ICU. Docs did an emergency procedure to stop the bleeding internally, and it seems to have worked. Two more units of blood. It was dicey; many sleepless nights in the ICU and much worry.
Mom is out of the hospital after 11 days and is spending a brief time in rehab but I am flat out exhausted. After a week or so, I just gave into the situation and let myself float along without trying to make sense of anything. Just worry, sleep, food and more worry.
Ironically, my ADD kicked in during this emergency – we ADDivas do, after all, come to full alertness when there is a crisis. But this crisis lasted so long that my ADD eroded the edges of my life to the point that I was clueless about time or space or obligations (apologies and thanks to my patient clients who waited for me to regain some sanity).
Honestly, I feel like a truck ran over me (but my dad was killed by a semi, so that’s not a good analogy). I can’t quite grab ahold of reality yet. I can’t find my underwear drawer on the first try. I don’t know when to eat and when to stop. My brother and I are making so many crucial decisions about my mom’s future and medical treatment that I am in the middle of that childhood merry-go-round watching the horses whiz by. I wonder if I should try to get on while it’s whirling. But I’m immobile, watching in amazement that once-upon-a-time I actually rode those angry stallions with the wild eyes and frozen expressions.
I know I’ll come back to life again. Heck, simply writing this blog post is part of that road to reality. But let me tell you, ADD has been part of this entire horrible experience. Not sure whether that’s a good thing or not. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, I’ll bet some of you have your own horror stories to tell. Drop me a note or leave a comment here. I’ll be back to you, I promise.