Issue 2.16 – All Alone

“Hello Deanna,” Hazel’s voice was shaky on the phone. She wasn’t sure what to expect. “This is Hazel, I’m returning your call. How is Millie?” Deanna took a deep sigh. “I wanted to call because I know how close you and mom are at the Manor.” Hazel could hear Deanna tearing up over the phone. “Mom had a stroke late last night. She was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital and they are trying to stabilize her.”

There was an awkward pause as Deanna tried to collect herself. Hazel was processing the information with a great deal of worry. “It’s not looking very good Hazel. Even if she stabilizes, the doctors are unsure how much function she’ll retain…both physically and cognitively.” Hazel felt herself starting to cry. “Mom’s never going to be the same, Hazel.”

Charlie had come to sit beside Hazel. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and let her gently lean into him. The support was enough to get Hazel refocused on the conversation. “Deanna, are you there by yourself?” Hazel remembered that Millie only had one daughter. She wasn’t sure, but she seemed to remember Millie mentioning that she didn’t have any grandkids. She knew Deanna was likely alone.

“I’m ok,” Deanna sniffled. Hazel took a deep breath. “Honey, you don’t have to be there on your own. I’d be more than happy to head down there to keep you company. Have you had anything to eat yet today?” She could hear Deanna hesitating but the exhaustion in her voice was telling. “If it’s ok with you, I would like to come. I baked some scones yesterday afternoon…they’re really good. And I’ll pick you up a coffee…how do you take it?”

“Right now, with a shot of Baileys,” Deanna chuckled with an exasperated sigh. Hazel smiled. “Well, I wouldn’t recommend that on an empty stomach, but I’ll make sure to pick up a stronger brew for you. Ok dear…I’m on my way.”

The benefit of being connected to your loved ones’ neighbours is that you never know when you’ll need to rely on those relationships for support.

Situations like the one mentioned above are difficult on caregivers, especially when they have to deal with emergency situations on their own. It’s important to accept offers of help and to take moments for self care.

What are your thoughts on this week’s issue? Have you had similar experiences? We encourage you to share your stories with us!


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