More on Dementia, Your Parents, And the Extremely Tough Decisions to Make, When YOU ARE ALSO CHRONICALLY ILL and in CHRONIC PAIN...

(My firend Denise that I went to high school with is struggling also with a 2nd round of cancer of her ovaries I believe, and it has spread down into her thigh and presses on the nerves in her legs so she is also dealing with lots of drama in life )   -  I appreciate you so much Denise Tekell...(I am speaking of Lisa that I had lunch with yesterday, another friend from high school)  We both spoke about your struggles, and just how brave and strong you are. It is so difficult to watch someone who deserves happiness to have to struggle through despair that they don't deserve. And (this lady is a FB friend, but she is like a dear "physical friend who is right here with me at times)  Lourdes Villegas-Anaya even though we are not close "physically" you remain a dear friend also. You have also helped me through some difficult times, and I hope someday we can meet in person! I am still struggling with getting things settled for Mom, before I have the neck surgery. I have decided to postpone it until the end of April or first part of May. 
 
I thought by now I would have the Home Health Care and more of the things I need for Mom done by now. But it all takes time, and I am still working on some aspects of getting her people in there to help her, and to get this new phone that has an emergency button on it set up, and pray she can understand how to use it. When I had lunch yesterday my friend was explaining some things she went through with her Mother In Law and her having Alzheimer's... and now some of the things Mom does or does not do, begin to make sense. So, I now have more information that helps me to understand her reactions or actions at times. I went over there yesterday afternoon kind of later, around 3:40 or so. After lunch I had stopped at "Wally World" to pick up a couple of things, a couple of which I needed to take to her, and when I got to Mom's house, and opened the door... it was so odd, she was standing there by her chair, in a blouse that I have not seen her in gosh, in months. 
 
She always remains so COLD, and usually she had some "house dress" or gown on, and I've not seen her in actual "clothes" in a while. But, she did not have on any bottoms... And I asked her what she was doing, and in fact I had bought her a pair of Capri pants while I was out, because all of her clothes are much too big for her, so I got them and told her they were an "early" Mother's Day gift... but I don't know if she was "dressing" thinking that "we" were supposed to go somewhere and I just caught her in the middle of getting dressed or what. She never really "told" me why she had that blouse on, and I made light of it, and said "Mom you must have known I was bringing you a pair of Capri's that will fit"... anyway, I did not stay, it was getting later in the afternoon, and I had a few things to do at home, so I told her I would be back today, but I have SO MUCH to do for myself, and I need to wash her car, it is so covered in thick dust that it would be like mud if it got wet, and I have a new curtain rod she needs hung, and a new mini blind I bought, and all of those things take time, even with my cordless screw drivers... 
 
so if I go there it will be a full day plus in order to replace her Social Security Card she lost, I have to drive over to the next town about 15 miles away, to the nearest SS office in order to get the replacement. So, that is another couple of hours depending on how busy they are... but my lawn needs mowing, and I have clothes to wash, and my own house to clean, and need to get busy on painting a bedroom, the spare room... along with trying to get the outside of my own house painted... that is what I mean, and my friend said it herself, even her and her husband with her Mother in Law living with them, it was over a full time job for BOTH of them, and there is no way I can do it ALL myself, even with home health care... if she continues to go down as quickly as she is mentally, I may need much more help than I have now... and the decisions that have to be made are not easy ones at all. That is also what makes it so difficult, it is the tough decisions through all of this... 
 
I NEVER, and I said it a billion times would EVER put my parents in any type of "home" but if Mom continues to go down as quickly as she is, even building onto my home and having her here may not even be enough... that may not be the answer as much as I want it to be... so all of the decisions to make and the "footwork" I need to do, those are difficult issues to deal with.... so keep me in your thoughts and prayers... I need a "break" but I just don't know how to get one, and I need the surgery, but it just seems like now is not the time.... 
 
I recall when my Mom had to come to make the decision to my put Granny (her mother) in the nursing home. Even though Mother had a sister and brother (who have both now passed away) their health, and the size of their homes were not conducive with bringing my Granny to any of their homes after she fell, broke a hip, and the doctors said she could no longer live alone. But, my Granny was 92 years old and had lived alone from the time my Grandfather passed away of Alzheimer's and Lung cancer at the age of 77, so she took care of herself for many, many years, and if she had not taken that fall and broken her hip she may have been able to stay by herself a bit longer.  She had osteoporosis, like myself, the severe range which frightens me, so they feel her hip "broke" and then she fell... that the osteoporosis caused the fracture which led to my Granny falling. 
 
So, these truly tough decisions in our lives about parents or loved ones, are often times something we never "see coming" until they are upon us. I know that my Mom had been showing "signs" of Dementia/Alzheimer's for a long while, but it was not until the past 4 to 5 months that things went South extremely fast. That is why through my own research, and what I have been told, I feel this is not a "regular" type of Dementia, but one that comes on much more quickly, and takes its toll very soon. It is not like some types of Dementia and Alzheimer's that seem to come on slowly, and sometimes the patients may live for years and be able to function in a good deal of capacity before it really gets bad, but this is so very, very different than even my Grandfather, who had full blown Alzheimer's... this has taken my Mom from being able to do many things herself, just 5 to 6 months ago, to not even being able to turn on her oven, her washer, her dryer, know the month, date, time, and not understand MAnY things, and I feel she does not even recognize some items. Like she was telling me on the phone that the "phone" light was blinking, and I tried to tell her Mom because you are talking on it, the "base" light will blink in use... but when I got to her house, it was the alarm clock blinking because of a storm we had the night before had caused the power to go off for a few minutes, so it was not the "phone" at all. And she cannot recall the names of things, or of people, and now she tells me "YOU know it was "different' when I lived "over there"? And Mom has lived in the same home since I was about 3 years old! There is no other "over there".... So, unless she is talking about when she was still living  home with her parents, I had no clue where "over there" meant....


It is very difficult to watch a parent, or any loved one lose their capacity to manage things on their own, and especially difficult when it happens so fast... 

All I can do, is try to do my best to help her and support her, but I also have to take care of myself.

I should have that neck surgery next week, that I am having to put off again. I am not getting things in order quickly enough for her before I go and have cervical neck surgery that will incapacitate me for several weeks. And now, a few months ago, she would have "been able to understand and even maybe help me", but now, I don't think she even realizes what it means for me to go through this complicated surgery, or that I won't be able to life things, drive for a little while, that I will have a neck brace on for six weeks, and that many of my daily activities that I do at my own house will not be able to be done by me.... 


So, if you are in a situation such as this, and I know many of you are, please try and not feel guilty, or selfish, or like you are disappointing a parent or loved one if you must make hard decisions that you never felt you would have to, such as putting them in some type of assisted living center, or nursing home... it could be the best for you and them also... they need 24/7/365 care, and lots of it... 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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