Monday, October 8, 2007

Sept. 13, 2007: It's so hard to watch someone forget

September 13, 2007 - Thursday

It's so hard to watch someone forget

Yesterday afternoon I had so many errands planned while both of my kids were in school. While I was sitting in carpool line to drop Wade off at preschool, around 12:15 I called Mom to check in to make sure she was able to make herself lunch. We talked for a few minutes, I told her I had several errands I had to run and that I would call back to check in with her a little later.

Back up to earlier yesterday morning, my dad called telling me that mom's nurse wasn't going to be able to take care of mom (yesterday). Mom's nurse was admitted to the hospital for some swelling in her arm. Dad said he was playing golf and that Mom was going to be okay by herself for a few hours. My sister had a full day of work, she had a Fleet Feet "bigwig" coming in for the day and would be unavailable.

Now... back to me talking with her on the phone while in carpool line. After I hung up with her I decided to forget about running my errands, I would go over and spend the afternoon with her. I dropped by the folks house unannounced. To my surprise this made her day, she was so happy to see me. In short we talked, we laughed about a lot of things, and we cried about a lot of things... mainly about her dementia, and we hugged each other a lot.

One of the things Mom said to me that really made me tear up was that being diagnosed with vascular dementia was worse than being told she was going to die. I didn't know what to say so I just gave her a big tight hug and told her I loved her so much. What could I say to make it better? Anything good I could tell her would be a lie because there is no way she will ever recover. All I could do was hug her and tell her that we are all here for her. Not much of a consolation when you know you are losing yourself, so to speak.

I went to my monthly Alzheimer's support group meeting last night. I always feel so enlightend when I leave the meetings. It's comforting to know that we are not the only family dealing with Alzheimer's disease. Everyone in this group is able to understand what the other is going through. The meetings always make me feel like we can get through this.

At the meeting last night my dad made a breakthrough realization (FINALLY)! He talked to our group leader who also happens to be the chaplin at the Episcopal Church Home (this is where the meetings are held). He told her that he has finally realized that he needs to get mom's name on a waiting list for the memory wing at the "home", that if she ever needs to be put in a "home" that ECH is where he wants her to be. I couldn't believe I heard those words come out of his mouth! I have been begging him to do this for months!

About putting mom into a "home" is such a sad and scary thought. None of us, including Mom, wants this to happen. But this is a double edge sword. If she never has to be put in the "home" then it means, well that she has passed on. I can't bear the thought of losing my mom. But I'm losing her either way, right? As hard as it is to think this, to say this, to type this, I don't want my mother to lose herself, I don't want her to lose her mind, I don't ever want to experience the day when she doesn't know who I am. I don't want her to die either.

I love my mom so much and I'm so sad.


1 comment:

Chelsia said...

Keep up the good work.