Saturday, November 22, 2014

I am thankful...

The girls and I left the hospital earlier than usual tonight.  I try to stay until Mom is settling down for the night.  But, I think the long week was taking its toll on me.  I was just simply out of patience.

We had dinner and came home.  I encouraged the girls to go out and just relax for the evening.  They decided to go bowling and just have a little fun.  As they were leaving, Kylie looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, Mom.  I should have asked you if you wanted to come with us."  It's was strange to realize that going with my girls was a choice that I could make.  We have left someone behind for so long that it never occurred to any of us that my joining them was an option.  It has been a very long time since we've had the luxury of doing things with just us.

Now, as I sit here in the quiet of the house, I find myself with one ear towards Mom's bedroom, listening for movement, preparing myself for the turmoil that Alzheimer's brings to our home.  When it remains quiet, I remember, she's not here.  She's a few miles away, safely tucked into a bed with people better equipped to care for her. 

For this small period of time, my mother is safe, my children are happy, and there is peace in this house. 

And I am thankful.

Praying for peace...

As I just pulled up my blog for the first time in 8 days, I am surprised at how much can happen in such a short amount of time.  My last entry was such a silly reflection of a light moment in this disease.  So, much has changed.

Mom is currently in the hospital fighting pneumonia.  She has been there for the last 6 days.  She's receiving 2 intravenous antibiotics, is hooked up to oxygen, has an alarm on her bed to notify the nursing staff if she attempts to get up, and has restraints on her wrists.  While seeing her being restrained is uncomfortable for me, watching her trying to rip IVs out and pull off the oxygen that she desperately needs is worse. 

Each day she looks weaker and more fragile to me.   I am feeding her as if she is my child.  I hold her hand, but it isn't to bring her comfort.  It's almost as if we are arm wrestling.  If I win, the tubes stay in place for just a little while longer.  She regularly calls my name now, something she hasn't done in years. Somehow in her fight, she knows that I'm the one who is there with her.  She begs me to help her. Yet, the help that I give is not what she's asking me for is not what she wants.

That leads me to wonder if, somewhere in the depths in her ravaged brain, she understands what is happening and just wants to be done. 

So, for now, I am simply praying for peace and leaving it to Him to decide what that peace will be.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We all need a friend...

Mom has started a new behavior that, for the most part, is kind of fun.  She talks to herself.  I don't mean that she just mumbles things or says what she's thinking.  She actually thinks that she is talking to another person.  Here's one of her conversations today at the closed bathroom door.

Knocks on door.

Mom #1:  Is anyone there?
Mom #2:  Yes, it's me, Andrea, I need to go.
#1:  My name is Andrea, too.
#2:  It's a good name.
#1:  Are you going to be much longer?
#2:  I just got here. 
#1:  Me, too.
#2:  Do you need to go, too?
#1:  It's okay.  I can wait.
#2:  Okay.
#1:  Aren't you going to say goodbye?
#2:  ...
#1:  Well, how rude!

She often sits on the couch across from me and does the same thing.  She'll look at me and ask some random question like, "Are you hungry?"  Before I can even decide if I want to answer (again) she'll say, "Oh, I am, too." 

I'm glad that she found someone who listens and understands. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

No apologies...

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've had much to say.  Things have been going along fairly smoothly (I laughed to myself as I wrote that.).  Smoothly is, obviously, a relative word.  But, no major meltdowns or public scenes to report. 

The one noteworthy piece of news is that the doctor did prescribe a medicine that seems to have helped.  It's not a cure all for Mom's erratically agitated behavior, but it has helped. .

Her negativity doesn't have me pulling my hair in frustration.  The litany of complaints hasn't left me dependent on earphones and Pandora for my sanity.   The irrational accusations and delusions haven't frustrated me to the point of anger. 

Overall, I'd say the prescription has been a qualified success. Some of you have probably figured out that the medicine was not for my mother.  Yep, my doctor gave me an anti-depressant.  Unfortunately, I'm finding there is still a huge stigma attached to this type of drug.  I have already had to defend myself for choosing to use it.  And that is just ridiculous.  But, that's another story for another time.

The point is, it has helped.  I haven't cried in more that 2 weeks.  That might not seem like a big deal.  But, I was crying several times a day.  And I don't mean that I would just tear up.  I cried hard and often.  I am more patient with Mom.  She still drives me crazy, but not to the point of intolerance... well, for the most part.  My girls have even seen an improvement. One daughter said that I am more mellow.  The other said that I'm calmer and in a better mood.  So, yeah, a success.