Thursday, September 10, 2009

Can't do this anymore!

I cannot stand to watch my mother suffer at the nursing home any longer. In my mind I know it is probably the safest place for her to be but my heart cannot bear to watch her suffer any longer. She is constantly sobbing wanting to go home. She feels as if we have imprisoned her. Please Dad, let her go home.
Hang in there Mom! We are doing our best to get you there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So frustrating!!!

I miss my mother, terribly!!!
Why did this monster have to come and take her over???

Mom, I miss you so much. Why is this happening to you? There is so little of you left. I'm afraid to answer the phone anymore because most of the time it is the monster at the other end instead of you. If you knew how this monster talked to me you would be shocked and upset. If you knew the accusations this monster was making you would tell me to hang in there and keep doing what I know is right. But the monster looks like you and it is killing me inside. I'm desperate to find you Mom! I wish you could come back to me, to our family. I am so sad that I will never get to see you again. This just isn't fair.

I love you Mom.

Friday, September 4, 2009

49th Wedding Anniversary - a day I'd like to forget

Yesterday was Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009 - my parents 49th wedding anniversary. How wonderful that two people have been so devoted, so dedicated to one another for more than half of their lives. Two people could not love each other more.

However, this day is one I would like to forget... it was the day that I moved my mother into the memory care unit of a nursing home. This day ended up being a terrible day for mom, for me, for my dad. Mom feels that we tricked her. She says that we told her we were just going for a visit. She has no recollection of having toured the memory care unit, no recollection of ever agreeing to move. She feels trapped, betrayed, angry, hurt, and embarrassed. She cannot believe that we have "done this to her".

Reality tells me... my head tells me that we have done the right thing for her. She will be able to have her meds given to her correctly, she will have daily activities, she will have social interaction. My heart is breaking though, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that my mom is so sick that she has ended up in a nursing home. Dad, for years has said the he would take care of mom at home until the day she died. Now he is not able to meet all of her needs. Part of him is still trying to believe that maybe she isn't as sick as he thought. I am having to keep convincing my dad that he has done the best, most loving thing he could do for mom (which is so difficult when I am struggling with it myself).

Mom called me sobbing last night telling me that dad hates her, that he is so angry with her (when it was really the other way around). She was begging me to come pick her up. I am sick over all of this. I have been assured by the nursing home staff that all of this is typical with new patients. The nursing home has a highly trained staff to take care of dementia patients.

I can only hope she will she will become calm and begin to enjoy her new life. Until I know that she is happy my heart will be breaking.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A quick email to a couple of close friends - me venting

I just talked to my dad (he's still in the nursing home for rehab). Camille had just brought him back from his doctor appointment to have his leg looked at (his knee really). He has not been able to straighten his leg since he had his knee replacement a year or so ago. His rehab therapists have tried and tried to loosen the muscles behind his knee without success and it has caused dad a great deal of pain. Well, while at his doctor today they put his leg back in a full leg cast... ankle to hip. Every week for the next few weeks he will be going back for new casts, each cast will be straighter than the last in hopes to get his leg to straighten. He is in extreme pain because of this. He also has to stay in the nursing home for the duration of this 'treatment'. He has not been home, not even once, since July 16 or 17.

And just so you know, he is filling out the admitting paper work for mom to get her name on the list for the memory wing of the same nursing home. The trauma that she is experiencing from dad not being at home has really made her dementia advance her memory loss and confusion. It is nearly impossible for her to remember that dad has even had surgery and she gets so mad at him all the time for not telling her that he had surgery. She is in tears a lot of the time and feels so lost, confused, and afraid because she is still (somewhat) aware that she is losing her mind. My poor parents... I could have never imagined that it would come to this. I always believed that dad would take care of mom at home (before she developed dementia) until the day she died. And now I fear that my dad may end up never leaving the nursing home - so many set-backs.

I try not to talk much about all of this with you or anyone else because I don't want any of you or anyone else to dread hearing from me... but this time I really needed to vent. So thanks for reading.

Love, Anne

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Long night

Phone call last night at 12:30 am from Dad (in the hospital). Mom furious with him and with me especially.

Mom confused... told Dad that I told her I hated their house and I was going to get rid of it. Mom wonders why no one told her of Dad's knee surgery. She is furious with me, furious with Dad, furious with her sister Margaret. Mom thinks she is alone in their house (care giver is there 24 hours with her). Mom knows of dad's surgery, has visited him in the hospital, she is very confused.

Last night Dad was extremely distraught, afraid that mom wouldtry to hurt herself. He was not convinced that her caregiver was with her. Mom's other sister Beverly went over there at 2:00 am, stayed the rest of the night with mom and her care giver. Mom did not sleep. Mom was up all night... so was I, so was Beverly. I hope Dad slept.

I'm nervous, sleepy, too afraid to call mom today... not sure how she will react. I feel numb and don't know what to do. I really need some sleep... not feeling well and filled with worry. I wonder what kind of surprises today will bring?

Monday, July 20, 2009

I need to sleep...

It's possible that none of what I am getting ready to type will make any sense but I just need to type what I can just so I will be able to sleep. These thoughts need to find their way out of my head otherwise they will just slosh and swirl around in there... shouting at me... wanting to get out and keep me awake. So here goes... right from my brain, in no particular order other than how they come out of my head...

Dad had his knee surgery last Friday (7/17). Today is Monday (7/20). Emma, Wade, and I went to visit dad in the hospital this morning. He was sound asleep, we didn't want to wake him. Later found out that he had been moved to a new room. My parents friends, our family members, dad's doctors and caregivers all agree that dad needs to recover at a rehab facility. Dad is prone to falling at the moment with his bad knees... too heavy for mom to lift, too heavy for moms caregiver to lift (at home), and no medical care at home. In a rehab facility all of that help will be available to him.

Dad asked for me to come to visit him this evening to discuss options for said facility. Upon arrival mom was there visiting with her caregiver. I didn't mention the above because I was not sure dad had discussed with her. After mom left we talked a little about it but dad kept falling asleep. He told me that mom was in agreement that the rehab facility was a good idea and she was 'on board'.

I knew better than to talk to mom about it but I did anyway (sometimes mom is very aware, cognisant, so I took a chance. just wish I hadn't) . She didn't remember any of the conversation with dad and my discussion with her just went in circles. I tried to explain that it would be a necessary inconvenience but that he needed to recover so he could be able to take care of her. At home he has NO help, at the rehab facility he would have the help and medical care he would need. She got pissed off at me and hung up the phone.

Now... here comes my anger, frustration, and guilt again (as I've mentioned in previous posts). I was angry with her for getting angry with me. I was frustrated because I had to explain to her over and over again why he needed the rehab. I was really angry with her for being selfish for not wanting him to go to rehab. I wanted to scream at her in the phone. I felt guilty because I wanted to call her an idiot (but I didn't). I was so incredibly frustrated and angry with dad for telling me to discuss this with her. I'm so pissed that my parents are so stubborn. I'm so pissed that they won't take advise from me. Well... at least dad has finally realized that he needs the rehab facility. But he could still change his mind which wouldn't surprise me. But I am going to put my foot down. He CANNOT heal at home. He CANNOT be any good to mom at home is this condition. He MUST go!

I'm so frustrated that I am having to deal with this. I am so frustrated that my parents didn't plan for any kind of long term disability. I am so frustrated that mom doesn't remember things, important things. I am so tired of having to repeat things to my mother over and over and every time make it sound like it's the first time I'm telling her.

I'm tired of feeling guilty. I'm tired of crying about the things I cannot change. I'm tired of having to repeat things. I'm tired of having to hear the same things time and time again and act like it's the first time I've heard what ever it is mom is telling me the hundredth time. I'm tired of hearing things that aren't true that my mother makes up (she doesn't know she's making up things). I'm just tired of it all. Why has this disease taken my mother away? She is still alive but she's not my mother any more. She looks like mom but she's not mom. I resent this person who is impersonating my mom.

My children will never know my mom. They will never know how much she loves them. They will never see how creative, loving, and sweet she was. They will never know the taste of her delicious cooking. All they know is this decrepid, sick, old woman who yells at them periodically, curses in front of them, they are frightened of her. I explain to my children what has plagued their grandmother, why she is the way she is but they don't fully understand. I do all I can to let them know what a neat person she was... but they will never fully know.

This dementia is extremely difficult for all of my family, my moms sisters, my cousins, my children, my husband, my dad, even my parents friends... it is affecting EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!

I hate that I was about 12 years old when my mother first got sick with heart disease. I have since had to live with the fear of losing my mom at any given moment (30+ years). I finally came to the realization about 4 or 5 months ago that I have already lost my mom, not physically though... I have lost her to dementia. I am not sure which is worse.

Hmmm...I must be honest... I believe the dementia is worse.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My sister and I cannot do it all

My thoughts are all over the place. I cannot put into words on 'paper'... too much to type.

I am angry, I am sad, I feel lonely, I feel selfish and guilty, I feel completely defeated... all because of my parents.

Dad's knee is a mess... knee cap is shattered beyond repair and in desperate need of surgery. Mom is stressed and is falling deeper, each day, into the world of dementia. Days go by where she calls my father (her husband) "Paul" or "Dado"... both are the names of HER father. She's angry and unable to control her temper.

Dad cannot take care of her because he is laid-up... no longer able to walk falling weekly. His knee is the size of a large canteloupe melon and his leg is black and blue from top to bottom. Surgery isn't for another week, then 6 months for recovery (probably).

There is not a week that goes by that I don't receive a phone call about one of my parents falling, about one of them being sick or taken to the hospital. Camille (my sister) and I worry so about them. We cannot be there with them all of the time... we have our own family's to tend to and nurture. This is where, for me, the guilt comes in. Mom and Dad raised me, took care of me, looked after me. Shouldn't I be able to do the same for them in return? I don't have it in me, there isn't enough of me. My family needs me... my husband and kids. I'm no good to any of them now... my head is throbbing, my stomach is aching, I am crying... I don't know what to do. I want to go away and because of that I feel I'm being selfish.