People who love my Mom and see her infrequently do not see the changes. They are not here 24/7 to see what it is like- what she is like. A friend of my mother’s wrote this to me in December:
Thanks for your email. I am glad to hear from you. “Your Mom” and I had a wonderful time.!! She was completely normal, heard almost everything I said,and we had fun !! The food was great,too. Your Dad seemed fine when I visited with him...... ?? That place sounds great, but I don't think they are ready...they like being with you sooo much.. they both brag about you, and are delighted with their living arrangements, and think it's perfect. It reminds me of the Amish, who never stuff their parents in a nursing home. They build a "Dawdi House", connected to their house. The youngest son gets the main house and the parents live in the "Dawdi House". I am so proud of you for doing what you are doing..I know it must be very difficult and energy consuming...But, it is the right thing to do,it is what Jesus would do..you are brave, i am proud, they are not ready to move away.I am sorry that this is not the answer you wanted or expected...Keep up the good work ! I know it is hard, but they are worth it !!Jesus loves you and so do I....
Recently- she wrote to me on Facebook and said:
How is your Mom? She never emails me,, has she forgotten me? She just sends me forwards.. not the same as email.. How are you holding up???? You have a BIG JOB !! Jesus knows what you can handle... yeah..keep up the good work !!
I love this woman- she has been a good friend of Mom and Dad’s for a long time. But it is frustrating to get these kinds of messages. (If you read this sweetie- please know I love you and have left your name out of this.)
This is what I wrote back to her…
Mom has Alzheimer's. She can and does "hold it together" for awhile when she is with others. She loves the adult day care she goes to 3 days a week. She can socialize. She can shine. She is high functioning in her ALZ. But- she has Alzheimer's.
She is not a nice person any more. Not to me- a lot of times not to Dad. It is not Mom- it is the Alzheimer's. We are the enemy. And I am the General of the enemy army. She hates me.
Mom does not hate me. Mom loves me. But ALZ-Mom hates me. She spews venom at me. She can say the words "thank -you" as if they were dripping with poison. And each barb hits home and hurts a bit more. The poison in those barbs is slowly killing me.
ALZ-Mom does not believe that she can lose something. She believes people are hiding things from her. On purpose. To hurt her. ALZ-Mom makes excuses. She hasn't fallen because of lack of balance- she has fallen because she has moved to this house. ALZ-Mom thinks when she says she will do something she will do it. But ALZ-Mom doesn't remember whether or not she has done something, and cannot be relied on.
ALZ-Mom is crafty and angry. And paranoid. ALZ-Mom doesn't believe she can make a mistake. ALZ-Mom thinks (her daughter) shouldn't tell her how to take her medicine and doesn't believe her when she tells her ANYTHING about the meds she takes.
ALZ-Mom uses every chance she has to complain to her daughter about anything and everything.
My mom- my real mom- gave me a hug the other day. It was a real hug- full of love. It was wonderful. But ALZ-Mom took over again. Her hugs are not giving--they are demanding. Her hugs are not to comfort or to show love. They are to demand something from someone else.
What's wrong with me? I do not sleep well and am tired all the time. I'm exhausted. Mentally and physically.
I do not like my ALZ-Mom. She is too much for me. I hate the arguing. I hate the bickering. I hate being told how little I know and how awful her life is because of me. My ALZ-Mom thinks I GAVE her ALZ. She thinks I WANT her to be sick.
My ALZ-MOM is killing ME. And I cannot do this much longer.
Yes- God strengthens me. Yes- God is with me. And it is only through God and the prayers of the people who loves us that I have gone this far. But there is a limit. And it has been reached. We are looking for placement for ALZ-Mom.
I'm sorry to disappoint you.