PT. 10 CAREGIVER SERIES: HOW WE GOT HERE
Today is September 1st and I want to start this month out right. Yesterday I joined in the #plungeforalzheimers by jumping in a lake by my home. I decided to participate fully clothed in my purple pj’s because that’s what I usually write in and we jokingly call them my Alzheimer fighting pj’s but it is all in attempt to bring awareness to the WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S coming up. Here is that video…enjoy!
We are walking in the WALK TO END ALZHEIMERS on Oct. 18th in Greenville, SC and I would love for you to donate to our team The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver the link to our team page is here
If you would like to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association their link is here
Part 10 of our caregiver series “How We Got Here”
This month mom and I celebrate our first anniversary in our new roles and as I look back I can see we have come a long way. The beginning was all about denial, grieving, anger and darkness. I don’t ever want to return to those days they were hard and I have alot of sad memories from those first few months.
Here we are 12 months later and I can say I wouldn’t change things for the world…unless I could make my mom better. I have realized over this year that it is never going to happen. I must deal with her today as she is. She is still my mother and I love her and respect her more than anyone else in the world. We’ve just added the caregiving title as another nuance of our relationship.
When we started down this road she was scared and in denial. She hid her symptoms well and would get angry with you when you brought it up. She still has those days, but they are so infrequent now. The look in her eyes when she is searching me out, looking to me to help in any given situation has replaced that look of hatred and I am so glad it’s gone.Things are calmer now, for the most part. I have a direction in which to head. We bob and weave like a boxer in a prize fight trying to avoid all the many pitfalls that could knock us down.
Stress is number one. This can take a beautiful day and turn it into a nightmare instantly. It’s like a one of those dark, rushing summer-time thunderstorms that you think will never end, but then they do and the sun comes back and you can almost forget it even rained. Back and forth, it doesn’t make for good digestion and probably explains the ulcer I now carry as a battle scar.
We have our established routine and things are good unless “real life” gets in the way and with family it always does. I sometimes feel as if I have a split personality because I have to go from mom/wife/mother/sister/grandmother/RApatient to caregiver and back with the snap of a finger. Sometimes it makes me dizzy, sometimes just really tired. Then I will take a break like my wonderful weekend in Charleston with my husband.
Just the two of us for a limited time only and we worry constantly about her while we are gone. Does she think we abandoned her, is she scared. She was well taken care of, but in the two days we were gone she called me 9 times. It’s funny…sort of. I really didn’t mind hearing her voice and knowing she was okay it would ease my own worries. That’s how it is now. I worry like a new mother leaving her only child. Remember those days, when you would go out for the evening and spend the whole time calling the sitter and checking on them. That’s where I am, but for now, it’s an okay place to be. It could be worse, it will be worse one day.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest!
I love you momma!