Posted by: Joan Spiller | April 23, 2010

My Mum died just before Xmas, part II

Mum had maori-betes, as I call it.  Type II diabetes bought on by a poor diet and genetics. Dangerous combination..

This pic is taken in Mar 2007, she was half dead then – but still had both her legs..
Not for long. The wound would not heal on her foot and eventually it made her so sick, they said cut it off or die.
I guess for her it was an easy decision at that point?
I know it wasn’t easy for those of us watching!
Dad and I drank a lot of rum the day they wheeled her into the operating theatre, that’s for sure.

The original sentiment behind moving back to HB was to be “around my family” .. but man I didn’t expect it to be so crucial or timely. I guess at least I will never go thru’ that horrible experience of thinking “if only I’d been there”.

In the months leading up to her death, Mum had been seemingly healthy except for what she thought was a touch of asthma. Mum was always self diagnosing her ailments. Often with poor to middling results – asthma is not something that one can cure with tea made from a leaf of a plant that grows wild in the paddocks at home. If it was, the world would know about it by now!

I know Dad was worried about her, as she seemed to need to sleep a lot. As in, several hours every day as well as all night. In hindsight – I’d guess she was having heart problems for months but no one knew. The pain she may have been in could well have been similar to the pain one gets in the chest area when you have asthma. I know there have been times in my life when I’ve had asthma flare up and thought “phew, this hurts so bad” – and a Dr will say it is just normal and isn’t heart problems. Mum was not one to complain, so probably didn’t even tell a Dr how she felt!

So there we are, sitting in the dark, on a gravel driveway in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

Mum’s dead.
We’re waiting for the coroner to arrive.
Dad’s talking to the police.
People are milling around, not sure what to say or do.
CJ’s kind of staring at nothing in particular.
I was busy trying to get hold of my brother on the phone.

I recall thinking to myself, this isn’t really happening. I’ll wake up soon ..
And I also recall thinking how weird it was to suddenly be busy organising things one just doesn’t ever THINK about doing.

Hmm, not sure I’ve made much progress on this sorry little tale but oh well..


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