Monday, January 17, 2011

Are We Having Fun Yet?

So today, I ended up taking my Dad to the eye doctor, out to lunch at Arby’s, to pick out a walker for Mom, picked out new glasses for Dad, and then went for an iced Mocha for Dad. (Iced tea for me please) Then to the grocery store, and then to the post office, because I forgot it was a holiday. It was supposed to rain/sleet and snow. But it didn’t. Thank You Yahweh!

My dear sweet daughter came over with two of my grandchildren to stay with Mom. I had already called the dentist office and they couldn’t see her until Tuesday. So- we lied. On the  Alzheimer’s boards they call this “therapeutic fibbing.”  Lies/fibs told to make things easier on all. I told Mom we were waiting yet to see if the dentist could see her today and told her she had to stay home with my daughter. It worked out well because she had fun with the grandkids and she got to play cards (Spite & Malice) and make origami seed pots with my daughter.

When we got to the eye doctor, I called my Dear Daughter (whose name really means ‘dear one”) and pretended I was the dentist to let her know to tell Mom her appointment would be tomorrow. Mom wasn’t upset at all- except for the fact she wanted to pick out her own walker. As it turned out- there was no choosing, it had to fit her height and with her short legs, there was only one she could actually use.

When we brought it home- she was disappointed. She thought it would have a motor…? Then we figured out she thought we were getting her a scooter. Why I have no idea. But we got her to use it a bit. Hopefully she will use it and be steadier on her feet.

I came in to my home office to do some work- I left the house at 11AM and didn’t get home until 4PM.  Mom came in to my office and asked me to remove her Medic Alert Bracelet. She said she needed a rest from it. She said it hurts and is too tight. She said it hurts her bones. She said she would put it back on at bedtime, but she really needed a break from it.

 Pickles!* (*Enter your own personal swear words here) I was so conflicted! The voices in my head were saying:

“No! You can’t take it off! It doesn’t really bother her! This is an excuse. She doesn’t want to wear it. She needs it. You can’t take it off and put it on and take it off and put it on…”

“But I don’t know if it hurts or not.  It’s possible it does hurt. Her skin looks fine and I know it’s not too tight, but maybe it would be more comfortable looser? But not too loose- I don’t want it to get caught on something. How can I possibly know if it is really bothering her? And if I take it off- will she let me put it back on?”

“You can’t play this game! She will get used to it. And its for her own safety. And you don’t need one more thing to do every day--- on-off-on-off-on-off…”

“But how do I know? What if it does hurt? How annoying is it? If I can’t believe anything she says, how will I know when things are wrong and when they are not?

“Aggh! Do I have to deal with this now?? I need to work!”

“Okay- I’ll take it off. I don’t really think this is necessary. I think you just need to get used to it. But I’ll take it off.”

“Thank you- it really does hurt and I really don’t need it and I really would never go outside on my own…”

“We don’t know that.”

“But I won’t…”

“Okay there. it’s off. I need to get back to work.”

“You seem angry.”

“Mom I just need to be alone so I can work!”

She leaves. Instead of working- I look up adult day care. The county we used to live in has Adult Day Care and and Alzheimer's unit. It is one of the places Dr. P has recommended. I will call tomorrow.

While Dad and I were gone, I tried to talk to him about pre-arranging and pre-paying funerals. He doesn’t believe that’s necessary. (Bless my in-laws! They have ALL of that taken care off!) I tried to explain what could happen if one of them was in a nursing home and one of them died. How the state might get all of the money and that would leave little or nothing for funeral arrangements, but if they were paid a head of time we would be one step ahead. He thinks his $60,000 life insurance policy (which is really $20,000) and is made out to pay to Mom will cover his funeral. (But what about Mom?) And I don’t even know if that’s true- if Mom is left the money and she is  in a nursing home under Medicaid I would think it would go to Medicaid. Another thing to ask the attorney.

He also told me if Mom goes into a nursing home, he wants to stay with us. And of course- Mom isn’t “bad enough” to be placed.

Maybe not. But I don’t know how much longer I can do this. And here comes Mr. Guilt again… Are we having fun yet???

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Aw, geez. :( You know, of course, that in time she won't care about the bracelet.

In the meantime, can you get her doctor to write a "prescription" for the bracelet? That way, you aren't the bad guy - and she gets to feel like a good patient because she already has the bracelet!

BTW - don't let her keep it when she isn't wearing it - it will get thrown away, or flushed down the toilet, or hidden so well that you will never find it again.

Ask me how I know... ;)

You are doing an AMAZING job of caring for your Mom and Dad. Remember that guilt is a bully. It will do all it can to beat you down. You can defeat it by doing exactly what you have been! Whenever ol' Mr. Guilt pays a visit, march him over to the closest mirror. Stand there with him, and have a little Come To Jesus meeting! Tell him everything you did that day, that week, that hour for Mom and Dad. Look in the mirror, and see the wonderful person who is doing all of those wonderful things for her parents!

And then tell Mr. Guilt to take a hike - a long one!

(((hugs))) You are truly a blessing to your parents.