On May 1, my mom had a stroke. As sudden illnesses typically do, it took us totally by surprise, especially since this 93 year old woman was driving, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning her own apartment just a few hours earlier. As one of her three progeny, I was helping to gather information, make decisions, be an advocate for her care, and participating in the cheerleading squad working towards her recovery. The picture was bleak, and my sister and I were stretched thin.
I am not writing to tell you about the amazing recovery of a determined woman, but to confide in all of you that I was scared. I was scared, not only for my mom, but for me. I was afraid that the intensity of this medical situation would weigh heavily on me, and I would end up in the depths of another anxiety event. That scared me more than the prospect of dealing with all the details of a hospital stay and the accompanying decisions.
Although I did have some anxiety issues, I was able to easily work my way through these reminders of my illness. This recent episode is also a reminder that this illness is a lifetime commitment that can be managed with the appropriate tools.
Below are a few organizations that can help you find the appropriate tools.