This turned out to be a story about a form of finding balance, and being resilient amidst adversity.
In the scorching heat of Palma, amidst the beauty and the challenges, I found myself navigating the complexities of caring for a vulnerable adult—my elegant Mum. The journey had its moments of triumph and moments of frustration, but through it all, the resilience of both Mum and the Palma’s residence shone brightly.
This is our first extended family holiday away from home-turf, be it in UK or Germany. Last week, we went to Palma for the day. Despite best efforts in health and safety awareness, Mum took a tumble during our excursions. Throughout, the citizens of Palma proved to be a beacon of kindness and support. From the chap who called the ambulance, the shopkeeper who gave a stool for Mum to sit on, and the passer-by who gave us a fresh bottle of cold water, and another lady who gave us some packets of sugar for added energy.
Palma’s residents’ willingness to lend a helping hand to a bunch of strangers, and their warm-heartedness left a lasting impression on my heart. With their assistance, Mum began her recovery journey, and for that, I am sincerely grateful.
However, as we faced the unexpected hurdles thrown our way, I was reminded again that control was an illusion, and that being in continuous control was a luxury I could not afford. The moment of truth arrived when we are required to travel back to the hospital, undertaking a 1.5-hour public bus journey to the other side of the island. Reliving the challenges met that day. The reason? Manuel Ferrera, the translator, failed to return Mum’s essential ID, creating unnecessary complications.
Shaken, I remained composed as Manuel tried to shift the blame onto Mum, alleging that she had not picked up her ID card. Yet, I vividly recalled watching him carefully package all the paid and necessary hospital documents into an envelope and handing it to her. On three separate occasions, amidst the chaos of my mind combined with the excellent emergency room, I had requested him to return her ID. Still, Manuel kept Mum’s ID hostage, seemingly to ensure we paid for the Emergency services. Thankfully, Mum could fund the expenses herself, but I couldn’t help but feel deeply disappointed by Manuel’s disingenuous actions of placing the blame on to Mum; a patient who was at the time vulnerable. As mentioned, I had requested to return the ID card at three separate occassions during our emergency.
In moments like these, the challenge of keeping it together while caring for Mum felt overwhelming. Yet, amidst the adversities, the Palma Juaneda Miramar Emergency team emerged as true saviours. Their professionalism, care, and dedication to Mum’s well-being were unwavering, providing us with the much-needed support during trying times. To them, my deepest thanks. Special mention here for head-nurse Laura with the flaming hair – you’re a super star carer!
The city of Palma, through the compassion of its citizens, proved to be a source of solace and assistance when we needed it the most. Their genuine concern and helpfulness touched my heart, reminding me of the goodness that exists in humanity.
Palma, like any place, has its highs and lows. It is a city of contrasts, where moments of struggle and disappointment can be juxtaposed with acts of kindness and compassion. Through this journey, I learned the significance of resilience and the power of community support. In the face of adversity, Palma’s citizens and emergency team stood as pillars of strength, guiding us through the challenging moments and rekindling my hope in the goodness of humanity.
In the midst of navigating the challenges in Palma, I realised the importance of maintaining my integrity, regardless of the circumstances. In the ambulance and hospital, I was a caregiver for my vulnerable Mum; and found myself mentally grappling with unexpected hurdles and the actions of others. Throughout, I made a conscious commitment to stay true to myself and not resort to blaming others, no matter how vulnerable or frustrating the situation became. It is my belief that in any given circumstance, I must hold myself accountable and handle challenges with grace and (at least some) composure. Through this experience, I learned that integrity is not just a virtue; it is perhaps a guiding principle that keeps me grounded and true to myself, no matter what life throws my way.
As I navigate the complexities of caregiving and face unforeseen challenges, I’ve come to see that maintaining integrity is akin to being a light bearer in the dark—a beacon of strength (I most certainly hope I showed myself I had the strength) that shines through even the most trying moments, guiding the way with (hopefully) unwavering grace and compassion.
In hindsight, I recognise that my ability to maintain composure amidst the challenges in Palma has been deeply influenced by my journey of recovering from anxiety and depression during the pandemic of 2020. It was during that time when I made the difficult decision to step away from work, realising that my misguided loyalty to it had contributed to my internal struggles. Through this metamorphosis, I learned the importance of prioritising my well-being and finding inner strength—a newfound resilience that has shaped how I navigate life’s trials, including caring for my Mum throughout the emergency hospital visit.
One item which I had tried to process and understand from the deeper side of attempting to understand this human nature: in the role of being a translator, is of Utterance. It is of words which is to translate meaning from one person to the relevant person to make clear understanding, to open the path of clarity of perception. I perceive this as a sacred bond of trust between the translatee and the translator. By his placing blame on to my Mum when the mistake was not hers, I perceive that this sacred bond has been broken. If a translator can deliberately choose to be disingenuous and place blame onto the vulnerable patient – who is likely less compos mentis as an emergency patient – to consider everything happening to them in the emergency hospital – perhaps they have no business being a translator. Perhaps consider other career path which requires less representative of trust; Or perhaps, rather: learn. Perhaps from here on out, do better.
Whatever is necessary to bring balance,