The Saga Continues December 4, 2017

Wow! It’s been forever since I have written. I mean to all the time, but I am exhausted these days. Life has gotten very hard. We are at a really sad place. Mom is still around, she still loves really big, and has really big feelings, but she definitely has a tougher time expressing herself these days. The last time I wrote, mom had just celebrated her 72nd birthday. She was bright and shiny. If you love someone with dementia/Alzheimers disease, you know what I mean. When you look in your loved one’s eyes and still see the light. We still get glimmers of light, but it is getting tougher to see. The differences between now and June are huge. On mom’s birthday, we had a dance party for her. She, and all the guests broke open a piñata, there was lots of dancing and friends, and big laughs. Here we are 6 months later, and my momma gratefully is still here, but is now using adult diapers 24 hours a day, needs someone to bathe her, dress her, guide her to brush her teeth, on occasion feed her, and to put her to bed. She just last week, fell down 6 times in one weekend, which ended her in the emergency room. She is healing to look at her, but I believe her to be overmedicated currently, and so she is mostly just asleep. I would say that she hasn’t been up for more than 1 hour today. We are trying to find that balance in meds to where she sleeps at night (she isn’t sleeping at night), and yet isn’t a zombie in the day. She currently can’t keep her eyes open while eating. Of course we all need sleep at night, so it is difficult not sleeping. I miss her.
Otherwise, life is good. I really can’t complain. Life is just really hard. Dad and I are solely taking care of her. My immediate family helps out a ton. It is tough watching the deterioration occur, and watching my littles (not so little anymore) have to take a front row seat. I know this forms them, and enriches their sense of compassion and caring, but it also breaks their hearts. My brother is still MIA – I can’t believe he hasn’t reached out to her. She goes back and forth calling me Tash or Sis (my father’s sister). She generally thinks my father is one of my brothers (I only have one). She always knows my youngest – although recently she thinks she is me, she always remembers my husband, and generally she remembers my son. She sometimes confuses my middle child.
We have been watching her experience sudden grief. Its as though people who have passed years ago, just passed today. The grief is so big, full, and gut wrenching. She is experiencing sundowners syndrome pretty significantly each night around 8. Anger, confusion, paranoia, needing to leave. Packs a bag, and is ready to go home. Home is Mexico, or Merida, or Ft. Myers, or across the street. She packs things like one slipper, a baby doll, a blanket, one shoe, a handful of marbles, and whatever other random items that are in her path.
I gratefully have an amazing husband who is my rock. He and I have had to share so many huge and significant things like this. We seem to be really good at this type of crisis. Any crisis really. He just holds me, at times, he lets me sleep in a bit, while he deals with my wandering momma (this weekend). He talks me through the tears, sadness, and the disappointments of this horrible disease. I also have amazing friends, who jump into action when I called, to help with whatever, to console, advise, snuggle with, or just sit silently next to. I am grateful.
I am not going to regret not being here for my momma, or my dad (as tough as this all is). I won’t have to wonder if I did enough, or if I loved enough. And I will definitely know that I was loved by her, enough.

5 thoughts on “The Saga Continues December 4, 2017”

  1. Wonderfully said Natasha. People wonder what has happened to Rob and I the past year as we are never out and about anymore. Well you just summed it up! We are also taking care of dementia parents. BOTH of his at the same time. He was living with them for the last 6 months as they needed 24 hr care and we could not afford that nighttime person. We finally had to do the hard task of placing them in a facility. But they are safe now. It took a toll on Rob’s health. He can now try to focus a bit on healing himself. Dementia effects everyone in the family.
    In the meantime my 98 year old, very independent father took a fall in August and suddenly became bedridden. I moved him up here and it is SO sad to watch his demise. He doesnt want to be here anymore.
    You are a WONDERFUL daughter. Your mother is very lucky to have you and Mark. Such an inspiring story.
    Know that you are in our hearts and prayers. We do know what you are going through. We do know how tired you are. Something bigger than us keeps us going. Dementia is an awful awful disease. My own mother died of it 1 year ago Sept.

  2. *tears*
    You are brave and strong, Lady! I admire you for your heart. God will continue to carry you and hold you during this oh so difficult time! ❤️

  3. Tasha, Sometimes life is so heavy, but I so totally agree with you that you will never have any regrets. You are so kind and loving and you and Mark make such a good team. You are always on my prayer list!
    I love your kind spirit and generosity!
    Paula

  4. You are such a blessing. Not only to your sweet Mama, but to each life you touch.
    Thank you for blessing me.

    Life is so complex, isn’t it? You can cry from anguish and frustration one moment. Then laugh the next when you drop a glass of sweet tea in the kitchen floor, which of course gets everything stickey, before coming to rest in front of the refrigerator! IF it’s a good day, it’s not in a glass, if it’s the other… nobody’s barefoot for a week!

    There are so many people who love you, please feel that. And wrap it around you like a wonderful blanket, right out of the dryer!
    Love to all!

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