Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Seems like a lifetime ago

Was it October that I last wrote? Could it really be almost five months? Seems like a lifetime ago.

I shot into the world of blogging with excited expectation, a potential outlet for my life embroiled in Alzheimer’s. I needed a place to work out my feelings, make sense of the ridiculous, vocalize the horror, document the black journey.

What I didn’t realize is that it would make things worse and plant me deeper into the dark garden of sadness. I was barely making it through the actual true life moments; writing about them increased their color and flavor, almost like creating post-war flashbacks.

Yet, writing has always been a love of mine and I appreciated the following of such caring and understanding people. And so I wrote until I couldn’t anymore. And I brought myself so close to the edge that I couldn’t even read or comment on other blogs. I ran away. And I’m sorry.

Mom has been living at a Rest Home for a month now. It was among the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. It cost me nights of agonizing rumination, many consecutive days of all out sobbing, and 10 lbs that just vanished somewhere.

But it was the right decision. Of that, I have no doubt. I could not provide the level of care she needed. And so, I leave that now to professionals. When the guilt giant starts to grumble, I remember that it is Alzheimer’s that moved my mother out of my home. Not me.

Yet, my caretaking of her continues and in some ways is more intense. I visit everyday and if I can’t, my husband does. I scrutinize her care at the Rest Home, every single facet of it. I make no recriminations but many suggestions. She is well cared for there or she wouldn’t be where she is. Still, no one can do it like I can. Blood and history make a perfectionist out of a caregiver.

So, it is done. She is there and I am here. A piece of me feels lost but I don’t know which piece. I just know that I feel all wrong.

I have missed writing and perhaps I will start another blog someday that won’t be seeded in sadness. And perhaps I will find you all again, those who took this journey with me and paved it with advice, acceptance and love. Thank you, truly, for your wisdom and kindness.

I wish you all the very best,
Lisa

17 comments:

  1. Thank you, Lisa, for giving us this update. Hard as it was for you, a service was done for others who are walking the same path you have been on. Never doubt that. You wrote with honesty and love for your mom. No one could ask for more. You should have no regrets--you did more than many children might have in the same situation. And you're right, she needs professional care now. May God bring comfort to you and your mother.
    Love,
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am glad your back . I only just started blogging when you left I think. I know it is hard putting your mom in the home. I will have to do the same soon I think. But for now sticking it out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lisa, the only thing I can tell you is that entrusting professionals with the responsibility to care for your mother is the best thing you ever did. It may have been a traumatic decision for you, but it was the right one.
    Take care, and you will be in my thoughts forever.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hugs! Logically, you know it's for the best. Just remember that when your emotions start to waver.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just want to add words of support. I feel like I am the only person I know who does not feel guilty about putting my mother in a nursing home. She is happier now than she has been since she got sick. They have carefully reduced her meds, they provide a very active atmosphere all day every day, and I see the loving attention staff members give the residents. I have no regrets. The guilt I feel is related to my reduced frequency in visiting - but I kept up the good visit schedule for her two years in assisted living so I try to give myself a break. I wish you peace.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you everyone for your comments. "momsbrain" I hear you. I've had guilt for many things in my life due mostly to my upbringing. It was a core belief established quickly in my family...all the cousins, etc. But I'm getting better! a LOT better.

    Thanks again everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lisa, It is a brave thing you did, entrusting your mother to the care of others. You are brave and courageous! Even though my mother isn't in a nursing home, I understand you when you wrote "Still, no one can do it like I can. Blood and history make a perfectionist out of a caregiver." When I lived w/ Mom I took on the responsibility of her and the house. She is so happy on her own, but still I find it hard to believe anyone else can take care of her the way I did/can. Love and many prayers are being sent your way. mim

    ReplyDelete
  8. Moving our loved one is always so hard. I tried to look at it as a privilege or even a right of passage. Who better to do it than family?

    After the fact, we were kicking ourselves for not doing it sooner. At her care facility, there were "friends", activities, better care and mostly relief that someone was managing her care that had access to resources and solutions we had never considered.

    Sadly, my mom was there only 4 months before she passed on.

    Thinking of you and hoping for some peace with your decision.

    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lisa, you have to know that you can't do everything even though you think you can and want too. Taking care of your very sick parent is one of the hardest things you will every do and you can only do your best. Do beat yourself up about how your doing things, just do them with the best intensions and be at peace with what you must do in order for you to keep some sanity in your life. Good luck and I will say a prayer for you and your mother.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.............................................

    ReplyDelete
  11. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.............................................

    ReplyDelete
  12. 我們不是因為快樂而歌唱,而是唱歌使我們快樂 ..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  13. 人必須心懷希望,才會活的快樂,日子才過得充實,有意義,有朝氣,有信心。........................................

    ReplyDelete