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