Monday, October 29, 2012

Guess what? I'm still hot...

As you can probably tell by my lack of posts, we are status quo right now.  We're still going crazy on a daily basis but there is nothing new in that.

The only thing that has changed is the weather.  We have transitioned from Mom being comfortable while the rest of us swelter (without air conditioners being turned on)  to Mom freezing while the rest of us swelter (with the heat being cranked up).  Add my hot flashes into the mix and we are all having a lovely time. Care to join us? 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Regularly scheduled insanity...

I know you all are missing my regular updates of the hit daytime drama Just a Moment in Time.  So, while I negotiate my way through a whacky medical system trying to get Mom into the Adult Day Care... I give you your choice of Saturday Night Live skits that represent the latest episodes of this journey.

The Whiners                                           OR                 Debbie Downer                                            

We will soon return to regularly scheduled insanity.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

No, but thanks...

I like helping people as much as the next person.  But, when my mother sticks her head into my shower and asks, "Is there anything I can help with?" I say that is over the line of normal helptitudism.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Answered prayers...

We received some news today that brings me hope.  I was told of an Adult Day Care in the area that might be able to take Mom for a few hours a week.  So, today Kylie and I stopped by to get some information to see if Mom could be put on the waiting list.  Long story, short... there is no waiting list!  It is a just a matter of getting a referral, going through the evaluation and we are there. 

This place was so kind and accommodating.  They immediately took us on a tour and answered questions.  They have meals, activities, medical personnel on staff, exercise classes, therapy, counseling... They even have pick up and delivery!  They do everything I do and more. I am excited to think of what this means for my family, but I am equally excited for what this can mean for Mom.  I think she will be so happy there.  I literally walked out of there with tears in my eyes.  I am so thankful for this opportunity.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A little peace...

Mom has always enjoyed music.  So, I have been playing different types to see if it calms her.     A CD of Elvis did not, and to be honest I was a little relieved.  John Denver fared a little better. But, tonight Katie asked if she could bring a TV into the living room so that she could play a movie for her Grandma.  Mom was very agitated at the time so I held out little hope that it would make a difference.  Katie picked Snow White because she thought that Mom might find it more familiar than more recent movies.  I was more than a little surprised when Mom settled down and watched it.  She didn't remember seeing it before, but she seemed to enjoy it.  The most surprising  part was that she commented on the quality of the drawings.

I am left wondering whether she was able to follow the story or whether, like the child that she is resembling, the colors and movement were comforting. Nothing was asked of her involvement. Following the story line was not a requirement for enjoyment.  Whatever the reason, I am thankful that she found peace for even an hour.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Welcome to the drama zone...

You know the depth of the love that someone has for you when they ask you to taste their bread to make sure there is no poison in it.  I find that so absurd that it is funny.  Mom then went into her room, laid down on top of her bed and said that after 3 days of no food she ate something and is waiting for it to "take her".  No drama in this

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Four letter word...

I hate that I have to watch what I say but I' need to say it anyway.
I hate that I have to protect other people's feelings by swallowing my own.
I hate that my way of expressing myself hurts people.
I hate that I am the source of anyone's worry when they have enough in their own lives.
I hate that people think I am doing something amazing when I am only doing what I have to do.
I hate that this blog has become so negative while I search for something positive.
I hate that I make this about me while my mother is dying.
I hate that this nasty, four letter word is now familiar to me.
I hate this damn disease for everything that it has taken from us.

I miss me...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lullaby... evening but I'm currently listening to Mom singing herself to sleep.  What song do you think would give her comfort and relax her?  Why, yes, a rousing rendition of that Tony Orlando and Dawn classic lullaby Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree would do just that.

Monday, October 8, 2012

ATM syndrome...

Mom was once told that she had ATM syndrome... Addicted To Misery.  Meaning that she wasn't happy unless she was unhappy.  In my opinion, that was probably the most accurate diagnosis that she ever received.  But I've always called it her "Woe Is Me" mood.  It is her WIM mood that most reminds me of how she was before she got sick. It was always her way to manipulate us and it is still the fastest way to push my buttons.

Long story short is that  today I have responded to her demands to eat 5 times in 4 hours.  She has chosen to eat all or part of her food on all of those occasions.  She is now in her room wailing to God about how mean I am.  And that she hasn't even seen food in 3 days. 

Yep, I need patience.  It turns out that I have a more common form of ATM syndrome.. there's nothing left at the bank after feeding her all day.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The great escape...

Last night my oldest daughter and I were up at 2 am preparing for her early morning trip to the airport.  We kept the house dark so that we didn't disturb Mom.  As we were sitting in the darkened living room, there's Mom's head poking around the corner to see if anyone was up.  She didn't see us so she scurried to the kitchen.  Kylie followed and watched to see what she was doing.  By the glow of a small night light, she watched Mom go to the cupboard and begin rummaging.  Her first acquisition was a restaurant sized bottle of garlic powder... but wait!!!  She spies the tea bags... not just any tea bags but Lipton tea bags!  It is obvious that she has just hit pay dirt!  She returns the garlic powder and shoves about 8 tea bags into the pocket of her housecoat.  She moves on to another cupboard where she finds our hidden supply of Milk Bone dog biscuits.  Dang, I was saving those for a special occasion. But, Mom is thrilled.  Could this night get any sweeter?  In they go into the housecoat.  She scurries back to her room where we hear dresser drawers being opened and closed.  I couldn't help but think MacGyver and wondering when she is planning her escape.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Final score...

I am beside myself with some frustrated mirth.  As you know, a few days ago I kid-proofed all the doors leading outside.  As my first line of defense, I put hook and eyes on the top and bottom of both doors leading outside.  Everything I read said to put latches out of Mom's line of vision.  So, once they were installed and I knew that she couldn't get out, I walked into the kitchen to get a drink of water.  Yes, I was that bold.  I immediately heard some rattling, so, I scurry back to the living room in time watch her reach up to undo the top latch while simultaneously unhooking the bottom latch with her foot.  Dang, but she is good.

For those of you keeping score...  Mom 1, Nancy 0.

I was then forced to add those irritating, spinning covers to the knobs on the doors.  Lucky me, when she is agitated and wanting to get away?  The knobs that I can't maneuver without a great deal of trouble turn easily in her 78 year old hands.

And Mom pulls ahead with another point... Mom 2, Nancy 0.

 But , the truly funny part is that when she is calm and just wants to get some fresh air?  Then the blasted things don't work for her and I literally hear hours of griping and requests to be shown how to open the door.

Final score... Mom 3, Nancy 0.  Well played, Mom, well played.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To my family and friends...

To my family and friends:

I just want to say thank you for your support.  I read all of your messages but I just can't respond right now.  I know many of you are praying for me and my family, I am grateful and I love you for it.  At this point, I think prayer will probably be the only thing that gets us through this.   I just want you to know that I am taking a break for a day or two.  I won't be on Facebook (I say that  I just need to regroup and search for guidance.  And, please, just remember that it truly is a moment in time and we will be ok.   Nancy

Monday, October 1, 2012

Absence of faith...

How do I do this?  I am flipping going crazy.  I don't know how to be  pushed while being pulled, praised while being cursed, threatened by a hand raised in anger at me while the same hand extends to me for help.  All of these things occur, what seemingly feels like, non-stop.  But my failing faith is what is killing me.  I thought I had a solid relationship with God and a strong faith.  But each day I am drifting further and further away.  After each nasty and vile word that she spews at me she says, "God Bless You" in a calm and soothing way. And each day and most of the night I hear her prayers.  I am being bombarded with her never ending litanies of begging Him for mercy,  begging Him for mercy and the answer is always no. 

This is all a bad dream.  And I can't wake up.  In the dream  I am showing up for class and taking notes.  I am trying to hear what the Professor is saying to me.  But, each day I am failing the test.  And it's as if the test never ends.

My friends tell me to pray.  To read the Bible.  But I can't  talk to Him.  I feel He has turned His back on me. I know He hasn't and that I am just not listening.  But I am being bombarded to the point that I cannot hear anything but HER.  And each time that she has said these hateful and vile things, and I am at the end of all that I have, she turns to me and says, "God Bless You!"  As if it is a curse and a blessing all rolled into one sentence.  But the worst, the absolute worst for me, is in that moment when I hear her say those words, my immediate reaction is, "Maybe someday." 

In my calm moments when the house is quiet, I recognize that I have many, many blessings.  And I still find moments in my day when I offer up thanks for the small blessings that present themselves.  And I still ask for his guidance and His forgiveness.  But, when I am dealing with Mom, I doubt Him and I am angry with Him. I am finding that the doubt is spilling over more and more into my quiet time. 

I hate Alzheimer's for taking my mother, my girls' childhoods, my family, my financial security and my way of life.  But I despise it for taking my faith.