Mom Update

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about my mom. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a number of posts recently about long nights in the ER with her. I appreciate the kind concerns and prayers from friends and family. But while I know they’re well intended, the “hope she gets well soon” sentiments cut like a finely honed blade.

Mom isn’t going to get well. She has good days and bad. More and more of the latter. Today’s “good days” are about the same as the bad ones a couple months ago. She has vascular dementia.

In addition to her mental slippage, her legs have grown weak and uncooperative, adding to her pre-existing balance issues. We plead with her to call for assistance to get out of bed. Unfortunately, she can’t remember that she’s had numerable falls lately, so she continues to try to get up and around on her own, resulting in more falls.

And in more trips to the ER.

She has dislocated her right hip twice now. She’s hit her head more times than I can count. But she takes it in stride for the most part. And, except for the hip dislocations, she doesn’t complain of any pain. A blessing to be sure.

She knows family members. Most of the time, at least. There are days when she gets a blank look in her eyes, and I have doubts, but most of the time she clearly knows us.

What she never knows is what time of the day it is, what day of the week it is, that Tuesday follows Monday. She sometimes sees things that aren’t there or misinterprets what she does see.

The staff at her nursing home is wonderful. They do their utmost to keep her safe, but she’s a fast little old woman…in bed asleep one moment then you blink and she’s out of bed, in the bathroom, and on the floor. So please don’t tell me I should move her to someplace else because of her falls. Short of hiring someone who doesn’t sleep or need bathroom breaks to sit and watch her 24/7, there is no way to completely avoid the mishaps. We’re in the process of getting an alarm for her bed, which I hope will at least help them catch her before she gets too far.

Anyhow, this is my life for now. Yes, I’m doing my best to take care of myself during this stressful time. No, I’m not always successful. Yes, I am deeply grateful for your thoughts, your prayers, and your kind words.

But no, Mom isn’t going to get well soon. However, I do appreciate the sentiment.



Mom, December 2013

Comments

Celia Fowler said…
Bless your heart. This blog must have been very difficult to write, and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your sweet Mother ~
Annette said…
Thanks, Celia. Yes, it was. That's why I've been putting it off so long. :-(
Karen D. said…
So sorry you are going through this. I had similar issues with my mother a couple of years ago. Her nursing home suggested a Hospice group - yes I panicked because to me hospice was something you did within weeks of an expected death. It is not! They arranged for her to have a hospital bed (which stopped most of the falls), a special wheelchair when she couldn't walk, and provided the most wonderful doctors, nurses, therapists, and volunteers. In addition to medical care and some therapy, they have folks who come out and do aroma therapy, put lotion on that oh so delicate skin, and just visit. They even had a chaplain who visits and when she didn't want to talk, he'd sing old time hymns and she would join in. I can't recommend them enough. Not only are they true angels for your mother, they will give you so much peace of mind knowing they are there and watching out for things the nursing home staff doesn't.
Take care, Karen
miki said…
i know too well how you feel so*hugs*
Annette said…
Thanks, Karen. I hadn't considered Hospice for the reason you mention. I'll definitely look into it.
Annette said…
Thanks, Miki.
Joyce Tremel said…
Hugs, my friend.
David Magayna said…
Strength and peace to you, Annette. I'm sure it feels like you're short of both. You're doing an amazing job taking good care of your mom. Just make sure you take care of yourself too. MANY hugs and positive thoughts to you.
Karen D. said…
I hope I didn't misinform you, I started thinking about my Mother's hospice care and realized she was at the stage where they could reasonably expect her to only live six more months. If your mother is in fairly good health, then it will be awhile before she needs their care. But when the time does come, Hospice will be invaluable to you.
Annette said…
Thanks so much, Dave.

Karen, honestly, she's not in great health. She's a stroke waiting to happen and she has no real quality of life any more. But she's tough and a fighter, so who knows.
Pam said…
I'm so very sorry. So hard to watch I'm sure. You're doing what needs to be done. Best to you during this time.

Pam McClure
Annette said…
Thanks, Pam.
cgarwriter said…
Annette.
It's like you were describing my mother, except for the falling out of bed part. I was waiting to comment until I read your entire post about getting an alarm. That will help a lot. Your stress level will ease. I remember how it felt. It will get better. (((Hugs)))
MaryAnn Forbes said…
It's so difficult to watch our parents fail--I felt so helpless. I began to pray God's will be done and just did the best I could for them day by day. I wish you strength and courage as you navigate this journey.
Annette said…
Thanks, Colette and MaryAnn.
Kaye George said…
my mom had dementia from TIAs. a bed alarm was a great help. i hope it helps for your dear mom. this is a hard, hard time.
Dawn R said…
Prayers for you all! We are going through a similar scenario with my mother in law. Love and hugs to you!
The Lough Down said…
Your courage and strength are admirable, Annette. It takes a very special kind of grace to see an elderly parent through this difficult passage...and do it with gentle love, as you are...it's what makes you capable of developing the multi-facited characters so loved by your fans. And what makes you lovable to friends, too. My prayers are with you; I'll leave it to God's wisdom to apply when and where needed. ❤️
Annette said…
Thanks, Kaye. I hope so too.
Annette said…
Thanks, Dawn, and hugs back at ya.

Loree, thank you so much. Love and prayers coming your way too.
RM Griffith said…
You know how deeply I can identify with your anxiety and your love for your mom. Thinking of you and saying prayers.
Annette said…
I do know. Thank you, Rose.
Edith Maxwell said…
Just hugs, Annette. She's lucky to have you nearby.
Annette said…
Thanks, Edith.

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