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Friday, July 17, 2015
My Mom - Today
Every day I learn something new about loving an Alzheimer's patient.
Mostly, it's that, for me, this person who looks like my mom and sometimes acts like my mom, isn't the woman I've known so well and loved so much for 66 years.
My mom is in there, but so is someone else.
It's that person that sometimes gets really angry with me that I'm heartbroken about.
Donald and I have learned not to get upset or be hurt by things that are said one minute, because they've been forgotten the next.
We've learned not to try to remind her to take her pills because that's a ridiculous assumption on our part.
We've learned not to tell her what day her next doctor's appointment is.
So, today we knew we were scheduled to move into the care facility we found and are impressed with. We knew but we didn't mention it to her.
Mother had been excited about it too.
Until the next day, when she wasn't.
So. Frankly, we had no idea how today would go.
We didn't know if she would remember that she had been excited about it.
Or that she would remember getting mad at us for interfering in her life and making decisions for her.
As it happened, everything just magically unfolded.
She had to have a TB test before the facility would accept her, so we went by her doctor's office on the way to the facility.
But before we did that, I was helping her get dressed and she had a weepy spell because she needed someone to help her.
And she looked at me and said, "will you take me to the nursing home today, please?" I've stopped saying "no, it's not a nursing home - it's so much better!" Because, with her generation, that what it was. Nursing homes.
I did not know she had just had this same conversation with Donald in the living room because I was busy running around on the sly throwing clothes, nighties, robes, undies, medications, etc. into a bag so we could just take her to the care facility after leaving the doctor's office and hope for the best.
She relieved us of the guilt of feeling as though we were kidnapping her and forcing her someplace she didn't want to go.
After finishing up at the doctor's office and on the drive to the facility, she was fine. SO much finer than I had anticipated and hoped for! It was a pleasant drive.
She and Harley sat in the backseat and conversed and took care of one another.
Mother was ready to make this transition today and the timing could not have been better. We were blessed with serendipity.
Because, as I've come to realize, what she remembers now may not be the case even 15 minutes from now, so I think all the good thoughts and prayers everyone has been sending helped more than any of us can really know.
The only really hard part was when we got ready to leave her this afternoon - hard for her, hard for us.
But we're going back tomorrow to take some more of her clothes, some books and some framed photos for her dresser.
Still lots to do to make her space "hers," but we're getting there. Baby steps.
At least now I know she's in a safe place with some of the kindest people imaginable.
The facility is really nice, lots of little rooms with comfy furniture scattered about for folks who want a little quiet time, and some larger activity rooms. Tonight was movie night and they were watching Annie.
I don't know what they were serving for dinner, but lunch was baked chicken, half a baked potato, creamed corn and chocolate pie for dessert.
When we got Mother to her room today, the staff had put some orchids on her bedside table for her, and a sign in the window welcoming her.
And there's a hummingbird feeder and regular bird feeder right outside her window.
We have all already fallen in love with some of the staff who have been taking really good care of my mom - some very special folks.
And they all fell in love with Harley today!
Today was one of the good days.
And to make even better, we arrived home to find flowers on our doorstep from our friend (who we haven't even met in person yet!), Lesa Holstine.
Aren't they scrumptious?!
Irreplaceable, treasured friends.
They make our hearts sing at the most unexpected moments, don't they?
And make a gray day a whole lot sunnier.