As I mentioned in the Thursday blog, it was a busy week as I retired and tried out new things at the adventure park. Now I am staying with my dad. It was a hard morning seeing my mom and the doctor decided today was the day to give my dad a reality check. My parent's doctor is very plain spoken and to the point which I truly appreciate even if I did not like the discussion. If I have not told you before my mom was diagnosed about two weeks ago with Alzheimer's disease. The doctor advised that my mom will not be coming home and will be moved from the short term rehabilitation part of the hospital to the memory care facility. It seems my mom went downhill very quickly some of it because of the infections she was fighting and some just because it progresses differently in every person impacted. The doctor very plainly told my dad that he can not take care of her.
I can tell you that although I was prepared mentally for the possibility of her not recognizing me today it was still hard on the heart. She knew my name which I thought was terrific, but did not associate me as her daughter. She did like the picture I gave her from 1983 with the red hair and said she liked that picture. Somewhere deep inside she knows I'm family because she was a little cranky when I tried to get her to eat breakfast. But she would perk up and be nice when the nurses came in the room. It was funny because as I left the hospital earlier she made a statement about me having a head of white hair.
I have been telling my sister for the past few weeks that I have to deal with everything logically in my head before I can handle it with my heart. I think being HR for many years has helped me prepare for some of what is needed logically, but that does not make it any easier on the heart. To see the woman who raised me, wrestled with me and danced around the kitchen with me; so helpless in many ways just bring tears to my eyes. My love of music and dance came from my mom as she always said she put me in the playpen when I was a baby to watch American Bandstand. Plus her mom played piano and loved Elvis (if you don't know who that is you are too young).
My parents have been married for 57 years and known each other for at least 59 if not 60 years. So this is devastating for my dad. It is hard for all of us, but he is at his wit's end so to speak. He has taken care of her in many ways for several years. It is hard to understand that it is the disease that is causing her to act out or be spooked at the slightest noise/movement. He was talking today about the house and it being their home. I am glad I was here with him when he talked to the doctor.
For those of you that have loved ones that have gone through this I know you understand the emotion that is behind every word I am writing. I am trying not to be maudlin or feel sorry for myself. I am trying to talk to my mom at whatever level she is at. We have not told many people because my parents are very private people. I am sure neither would be happy with me for writing about this in the blog. I just feel it is something I need to do - perhaps in some ways it is a bit selfish - I am not sure at this point.
I am glad I retired last week though so I can be here to help my family in whatever way I can. I am grateful for the care my mom is receiving as they seem to be taking good care of her as best they can. I am grateful to my support system as they are always nearby.
I am going to end here for today. I hope I did not depress you too much by writing the above. Have a good week. Chat soon. Marie
"Once you choose hope, anything's possible." - Christopher Reeve
"Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination." - Roy Goodman
"The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs." - Vance Havner
Referrals are always appreciated!