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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2 comments so far

  1. Lesley Austin on

    Hello again,
    I just had to write….to thank you for writing here…for being so honest about it all. In my spare moments today, I have started reading your archives. I am only in Feb. ’09, but in post after post I find myself thinking “I have thought that very thought, felt that very feeling, feared that very fear, had to figure out that same problem…”
    over and over.

    I wish for your sake that you didn’t have to go through it all, but by sharing it, you are helping many beyond yourself.
    So thank you for it all-the humor, the worries, the thoughtful observations.

    My mom has finished her snack and her magazine and is waiting for me to think of something to fill her evening…my greatest challenge these days. I am content by the fire with your blog to read…if only I could find something to last more than a few minutes for my mom!

    Wishing you a good week,

    Lesley

  2. momsbrain on

    Lesley, I can’t imagine taking care of my mom in my own home. I never took that on. I commend anyone who can do that – it is such a loving act. It’s interesting to re-read this. Now that Mom’s decline has become so apparent, it seems so weird to have wished for it. But at the same time, she is at peace. I went in to visit her Thursday, and the nurse specifically stopped me to say, “Your mom has been really happy lately.” There is no better news to hear about her.


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