This post and the one before it are in reverse order…
When I write on this blog, it’s usually easier to post news or information I find on the web because it’s not coming from within, a place of pain. I know the effects firsthand of what’s reported about Caregivers, yet it’s not “my” story.
I called this post, Just Breathe, because often that’s all I can do to get me through the rough patches. I manage day-to-day, but no one knows how tough it can be to hold it together when being called a bitch, or how on the “SAME” day my mother can find her closet, and the bathroom only to not find that same closet or room a minute later. Or when the moods change from fine to whining to moodiness, and the questions become constant. Any new Caregiver will fall into that place of wanting to explain, wanting to vent to the person with Alzheimer’s, knowing they don’t understand, but sometimes you have to release.
I miss having conversations. If I lived alone, then I know I have to call or meet up with someone to do that, but when you live with someone who’s lost understanding, and that person is my mom, I no longer have the mom to get advice from, to bounce ideas off of, or to discuss a program or movie you just watched. Regular conversation. Thankfully I am blessed with good people who I can talk to, get advice from if needed, who keep me lifted and out of my bubble. They help connect me of sorts, with the outside world.
What is the hardest part of Alzheimer’s? The person forgetting who you are? Trying to clean up accidents? Being called names? Or for some thank goodness not my issue, the violence? Yes some people with Alzheimer’s do get violent. Some days one thing may bother me more than another. When I see people’s pictures with their kids, parents and grandparents, it’s hard because my grandparents are gone, my dad is gone and though not physically, the person I grew up with up, who taught me how to bake, cook, etc. is gone too.
My friends say it must be hard that my mom is forgetting me. Again it depends on the day, but most times with all of the changes, it was one that was expected and I guess used to. I think it’s how fast she is forgetting things is the hardest.
I finally got a home attendant for 1 day a week as a start to help as I say with my peace of mind. The attendant asked if I could provide her with photos to look at with my mom. They did this the other day and how surprising it was she couldn’t recognize at first, her mom, mother-in-law and my dad! When she started forgetting anything that pertained to my dad I knew things were going bad, now to not recognize him…that’s a wow. After she looked at the pictures again she was able to pick him and her mom out, but this shows how much Alzheimer’s takes away from a person.
Most days now, I’m a person without a name. To get my attention she says, “hello”, my name has become a lost word in an Alzheimer’s world. And like most Caregivers all I can do on a daily basis is “care” and “give” the best that I can until I can’t anymore. Oh yeah, and breathe!