Monday, March 26, 2007

Walk A Mile

I originally published this post about my Mom, Annie, last Summer. Then, in December I sadly lost all of my blog and archives. ( Ugh ) This is one of the posts I was most sad to lose. Luckily while cleaning up some old files recently, I found a copy of it and I'm happy to republish it now, the fifth anniversary of her dying.

Her feet hurt for years. At the time it didn't seem so alarming to me. She'd go long periods when she wouldn't even mention it, and I thought that her feet weren't an issue anymore.
She'd gotten a few different diagnosis over the years. Planter fascistis was one of them. Then bone spurs. She followed each treatment plan until it was obvious that they weren't helping. At the beginning of each treatment, she'd feel hopeful and seem to get some relief, then she would fall back into pain that was almost debilitating. I only know that the pain was that severe from reading her journals after she died.
For years, she looked at her feet from different medical perspectives. A chiropractic angle, an acupuncture angle, with her M.D., and even from the psychological angle with a therapist. I remember her talking about her exploration. "I'm looking at my feet pain symbolically as it relates to my literal path in life" kinda stuff. She wore special prescription orthotic inserts in her shoes and that helped. Kinda. Then she thought that maybe the perfect orthotic/shoe combo would be the ticket, and she tried many brands of well-made shoes. Since we wore the same size, she kept me in almost-new European shoes for years. Somehow though, each pair and each combo was "not quite right." I worried. In well-made shoes. Once we worked a trade show together in New Orleans in '96 and she could barely touch them after a day on the showroom floor. Actually, it might go back as far as a trade show we did in Minnesota. I remember that she stayed in the hotel room one day because her feet hurt so bad. Hmm.

Looking back, I think I lumped her search for a cure for her feet in with her search for the perfect purse to replace her beloved purse Martha. Kinda quirky I thought. I also judged her relationship with her hair (cut, color, plucking and fussing) to be slightly obsessive too.

Now that I look back, she must have kept her suffering pretty private, talking about it when she was either on the mend, or had a new plan of attack. I wonder if her feet were telling her something was wrong.? I keep thinking about what her Oncologist said not long after her diagnosis in 2000. He said that colon cancer is one of the slowest growing cancers, and that it was very possible that it had been growing for ten years or more. Could her feet pain have been alerting her to the growing cancer in her colon? I still don't know.

GeorgeAnne "Annie" Sieler


The photo above was taken in 1972.
Is it just me or isn't she absolutely beautiful?


Project Pink Suitcase said...

That is a great photo of your mom!
Thank you for sharing this.
We all have moms and each mom has their own set of challenges. Now that I'm a mom, I wonder what my challenges will be and what memories will I leave behind for my son?

Anonymous said...

She was beuatiful but I always saw that side of her. It is hard to look at it and remember that wonderful, happy day that that series of photos were taken. We laughed until the tears came streaming down and then laughed more.

nina said...

The photo is lovely and she is so beautiful. You are very lucky to have loved and respected your mother. I am glad you were able to retrieve this post.

Did you ever find a connection between the foot pain and the cancer?

sara said...

i am so glad you found it! i remember it clearly from before. it's not just you she is lovely as is her daughter!

Moriah said...

Patrice ..I am a little slow in reading your blogs...but never slow in remembering Annie....I had a special prayer day for the anniversary of her leaving...and I apologize for not being in touch with you is a beautiful picture you have chosen... I can see the Annie I knew in her.....I met Annie in 1984...Rayah introduced us...and it was love for both of us at first sight....we tried hard to be the "three muskateers", but Annie and I were always planning secret times together without Rayah...that thought brings such laughter to my heart.....she was a special woman...and you are her special daughter...and that love from Annie that was so generously given will live on forever in our hearts...