Archive for February 26th, 2009|Daily archive page

Always adjusting

I have become quite sleepy this afternoon. And I have a headache. I can’t attribute this to Mom. She hasn’t called and I just tried to call her and got no answer. It’s time for the ladies to sit in the lobby before dinner, I suspect.

But I have been just feeling a lot more stuff related to Mom lately. It is very hard to pinpoint what is going on. But I am guessing it could contribute to feeling tired. When this kind of thing happens – I start feeling a lot, or thinking a lot, or crying a lot, or can’t concentrate, or whatever – I tend to want to define the source and suppress it. Pronto! But this thing with Mom, it’s not so easy. Nothing dramatic has happened lately to signal a big change in her status. And maybe that’s the key – at this point, there is just this steady, bit-and-pieces decline. Every visit might bring a surprise. And what it forces me to do, of all things, is learn. I learn a new behavior to expect, a new obsession Mom might have, a new task she can’t complete anymore. And adjust. Until the next time.

I feel a little like a crybaby. Just think of what it must be like for Mom to be going through constant change in the anti-development direction. What an adjustment that must be. How tiring it must be to see something lying there and wonder, how did that get there? And what should I do with it? Or to be in a social setting and not have a chance to get a word in because the words just keep drifting away. If they’re there at all. From time to time since the diagnosis, I have found myself wishing for Mom’s rapid decline. Especially when we moved her to assisted living, and now with the nursing home in her future, I am concerned that the more aware she is, the more painful the transition will be. Wishing such a thing sounds so dreadful, so wrong, bordering on cruelty. But honest, it’s in the name of sparing her that frustration, or anxiety, or fear that I worry is at the heart of every move she makes. One can only hope that with decline comes something resembling peace in the mind of the Alzheimer’s patient, rather than an internal struggle.

Meanwhile, I am working on my own internal struggle – and part of that is making it more public, I guess. One thing that is not a struggle is this online journaling I have begun. It is setting something in me free.

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