Living with Mom

Today is Wednesday January 24th

Today is Mom’s 73rd Birthday.

Mom
Here is Mom at her 60th B-day party. I sure do miss that smile.

Brevity, Lucidity and Death!

It’s morning, my favorite part of the day. Not because Mom is not awake yet, but because this is the time of the day she is most lucid and able to hold short conversations. It’s the time of day when she is able to communicate to me, how she feels, what she needs, and the things she wants the most. As the day progresses, she gets more distant and is only able to answer the most basic questions and her thoughts become more scattered it seems. Sadly, lately all she says is, she wants to die. She just don’t want to be like this, she is scared and feels alone even with the people around her. She has asked on several days in the last 2 weeks if I could help her die. All I can do is tell her I love her and we are not ready for her to go yet, as my eyes well with tears. I am so heartbroken when I look into her eyes and I can feel her loneliness, and isolation.

Mom and I were not always close, but she did always have my back when I needed it the most. I feel it is my place to have hers as she progresses through this nightmare. I try to reassure her as often as possible, but it doesn’t always help. She doesn’t trust anyone much any longer, she thinks everyone is trying to hurt her or take her money. Last night while helping her to the bathroom, she suddenly had this look of terror in her eyes. She was terrified, and said she thought I was trying to kill her. I think I may have died a little inside right at that moment.I gave mom the tightest hug I could without hurting her to assure her I loved her and would never hurt her. I find myself having to reassure her everyday that she is loved and wanted.

Today was especially tough as we navigated the day. She was convinced no-one loved her, because everyone wasn’t waiting here when she awoke. “It’s my Birthday everyone should be here to see me.” Trying to explain to her why her entire family wasn’t here at the crack of dawn was not an easy task. There was no comforting her for a good portion of the day. We went to Marie’s for dinner and cake, and she seemed to be a little more happy than she had been. Oddly we were able to get her laughing and smiling by singing “if you’re happy and you know it”. We had 2 cakes, a plain yellow for us and a Strawberry shortcake all for mom as it is her favorite. She ate most of the cake, and was definitely in a good place at this point. I wish she knew how much it really means to us all that she is still here, and that the reason I keep her at home is because we love her and care so much.

I don’t sleep much anymore, as I need to be on the alert for her calling in the night. Even with the bed rails there are nights when she tries to climb over them to get out of bed. Most times its just because she needs to go to the bathroom, but there are times when she is in a half sleep state and can become quite the handful. It’s a strange state of mind, as most times she seems to be stuck in an event from her past. It never seems to be a happy event, and bringing her back is a challenge. It is so hard as this is not Mom. She was always a sweet, caring and relatively reserved woman. Her personality is now the complete polar opposite, and when she is in this half sleep state,it is magnified significantly and her strength is truly unbelievable. I find that just wrapping my arms around her and trying to hold her and tell her it is going to be alright works most times. Then there are the times when it just doesn’t and she yells and becomes violent.

I share our story in hopes, that maybe it will help someone else in this same situation. I hope that others will follow and learn some of the methods we develop to deal with the various situations, and challenges we encounter and maybe share some of their experiences with us.Everyday is an adventure, and a challenge and makes me a better person. Tonight I am happy, she made it to another birthday and through the Holidays with enough of her self to understand what is going on around her. This disease seems to be progressing faster than I expected and I fear that by next Christmas she will be too far along for her to even understand. It scares the hell out of me, wondering what it must be like for her in her head like that. I pray every nigh that there will be something to reverse some of the effects before she is too far along for that, but it certainly does not look promising. I pray every night for God to give me the strength and patience to care for Mom, and thank him every morning that she wakes for giving me another day with her.

I want to thank everyone for following, and sharing our story.