Monday, October 4, 2010

As Expected, with a Little Twist

I have a hard time writing this post because of its predictability. Ma reacted as expected – primarily confusion and fear, with a secondary happiness upon seeing people she knew. Dementia stripped her of any memory of the edifice but not the souls who live there. It was like a high school reunion – old faces in a strange but lively hall. I can’t figure it out and should really just stop trying.

Yesterday she was more confused than Saturday. The last time I visited, around 5p, she said, “Lisa! Thank God you are here. I was getting so nervous wondering where you were and how I was going to get home.” I had to explain that she had to sleep there tonight but that I would see her again in the morning. She meekly said, “Alright.” And snap went the strings of my heart.

Yet aside from the confusion, she seemed fairly happy at suppertime. She was interacting with her table mates – two Navy men just like my father was, one Italian who speaks the language in dialect, and Mary - Mean Mary - who calls my mother Roly Poly behind her back (I heard her once and respectfully called her on it).

So we plug along and move forward. I expect to be there at least twice a day and hope to take her out, even for short rides or visits to the house, a few times a week. The anxiety is ever present but I am trying to give it all up to God and leave the work and the future to Him. So difficult when I’m here on earth and He is up there in Heaven.


  1. He's a lot closer than you think, Lisa. Thinking of you.

  2. Thank you Nancy. I am trying to let go and give to Him. Trying trying trying...

  3. Lisa I have been thinking of you often. We put my father in an assisted living and we are ridden with guilt on a daily basis. He thinks it is temporary and calls to come home when ever he can convince someone to give him a phone. My mom is a mess as well as my two sisters and I. Like you, everyone tells us we are doing the right thing, then why does it feel so awful. We just don't even know what to pray for anymore.

  4. Andrea, I am so sorry you have to go through this. It is tremendously hard and I wish I could say it gets better. It just hasn't for me yet. Maybe it will...I am still praying it will.

    My mother told me last night, "I hate this place," and I was sick all night over it. Something is just WRONG with this whole picture. I can't get it he picture to look RIGHT in my mind.

    Yet, if they had another disease that put them in the hospital long term would we feel the same way???

    Ugh...I wish I could be upbeat and positive but those feelings have not surfaced yet.

    Please let me know how you are doing and how your father is doing. I'll be thinking of you.

  5. Holy cow Lisa. Your last 2 months so reminds me of my mothers decline 6 years ago. Good for you to stay so on top of the medication. Transitions are always difficult but you did such amazing work with your mom to pull through this crisis.

    Tip of the hat to you

    Bob Page

  6. Thank you Bob. Makes me fear for those who don't have caretakers or advocates to watch things closely. Wish I could help them all!