To say I’m a little more frazzled then usual would be an understatement. It’s not the holiday rush. My holiday isn’t going anywhere this year. It’s everyday life.
I get up in the morning, go through a routine, and head out the door. Doesn’t sound all that bad and it’s not. Mornings, between 4:00 and 6:00 are the most relaxed part of my day. My frazzlement, making up words, comes from knowing I have added onto my daily chores by bringing my mother here. Partially here, as we still have not gotten to the apartment to finish cleaning out years and years of hoarding. Add that to the list of must get done in the next 13 days.
That brings the anxiety meter up. Where am I going to put all this crap? Most of which is crap. Papers, she saved papers. Boxes and boxes of bills, and obituaries, and medical stuff. All mixed together with old photos and crammed into boxes now. Everything must be gone through sometime in my lifetime. It’s going to take me a lifetime to do it. Meaning my life as I knew it has come to a crashing end.
This all brings me to the reason I started writing this morning. Dementia. Did you know hoarding can be associated with dementia? A newsletter I receive couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. The article was about seniors and hoarding but provided a link to signs and symptoms of dementia.
I already knew my mother was suffering from a form of dementia. She has never been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, just dementia. Not as scary a word I guess, but still life altering.
Simple every day tasks become impossible. Not because they are too difficult, but because she just can’t remember how. Not day-to-day can’t remember, minute to minute can’t remember.
Change the channel on the tv? She got it this morning, this afternoon nope (At least she has stopped reprogramming the dish) Heat up coffee or tea in the microwave? Can’t remember what buttons to push even though I put little color stickies on the only 3 buttons she needs. Yellow then green. Red to stop. She just can’t remember what the colors stand for.
She doesn’t always remember who the kids are though thankfully she remembers them when she sees them. She doesn’t have any concept of time. Days, months, and years have lost all meaning.
I don’t know how long it will take the disease to progress. There is no way to predict when more of her memory will fail. Some days I think I should have left her where she was and others I think I need to start looking into long-term care. It is mentally draining.
What I do know is she will stay here until we can no longer care for her. Whether that be due to her mental state or a physical ailment. As I learned all too well from my in-laws and my own father, one physical problem can snowball and the result is a quick slide downhill.
What I am trying to learn from this whole thing is slow down and be patient. Not my best traits by any means. Rereading my Reiki training manual, learning new ideas for sending and receiving positive energy, and taking a good long look inside.
My mother needs me to be patient, love her, and take care of her. I need me to be patient and take care of me. It won’t be good for anyone if I melt down.