Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Mom looks very serene here, and one staff member even called her cute - yeah boy.
Tuesday was an interesting day, to say the least. For me it was very stressful and extremely tiring. I traveled two hours (one way) to visit my mom who had been admitted to a rehabilitation facilty for therapy after experiencing a stroke last week. To say that Mom went to the center kicking and screaming would be an understatement, I'm sorry to admit. I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and attribute her actions and unkind words to the dementia which is slowly robbing her of the ability to reason and understand. She is not a happy put it mildly. To put it strongly, my sisters and I have our hands completely full with her.
I'd intended to leave home around 9am, but didn't get on the road until about 10:30. We had received a call from Spouse's dad at 7:15am and he didn't wait until we could wake and get to the phone before he terminated the call. Spouse tried to reach him for the better part of an hour and finally called an operator to have the line checked (beware of using that option - there is now a $4.00+ fee for it) to see if it was in use or not. It was not. Spouse said he'd go over to his dad's house to see what was wrong, but the phone rang again before he was out the door. It was his dad saying he thought he might be having a stroke. Spouse was off to tend to his dad and I was left to take care of the animals' needs since he would probably be sitting in a hospital emergency room for most of the day - which he was. I took time to make a soft barricade for the kittens so they wouldn't wander far from Kelly and not realize how to get back to her. I know, I'm obsessively hovering again. I also needed to finish loading the van with new clothes I'd bought for Mom, a sewing machine for any needed alterations, and a foot soaking machine Mom had requested. I later learned she'd never used one before and didn't remember asking for it. There were various other things I packed, thinking she might like having them in her room. I'd thought of everything, except the key to Mom's house. Thank goodness one of her neighbors had a spare.
I had volunteered to stop by her house to pack up clothes, personal care items, address books, magazines, etc. While there, I sorted mail, cleaned out her fridge, and answered numerous phone calls from people reminding me of the things I was supposed to be gathering. The calls included one from Mom, who asked, "Where are you?". I replied, "Uh, I'm here at your house, Mom. I just answered your phone".
She soundly scolded me for not being at the rehab center sooner and went over her list with me again. She made some rude remarks about the rehabilitation facility, after having been there all of 14 hours. "Well, when are you coming?", she asked, and I replied, "As soon as I can get off this phone, finish packing your bags, check your tomatoes and peppers, clean out your refrigerator, take your clothes off the downstairs line, and find those papers you need". She complained loudly that she'd been waiting for me all morning. Well, ok wasn't as if I'd been doing nothing. For starters, I'd just driven 100 miles on a busy expressway with some long-haul truckers who seemed determined to either rear-end me or blow off my doors.
Demanding wasn't even the word for my mother yesterday. My sisters and I realize it's a huge adjustment for her. We know our mother wants to be independent. We understand why she's angry and upset. We also know she cannot live by herself right now and she needs this therapy if she is to be able to stay alone in her home again. We're doing our best to help her and we continue to ask ourselves why our mother cannot understand any of this.
But....we're not sorry her doctor insisted she needed this help. We don't regret finding such a comfortable place in which Mom can reside while she receives therapy. As hard as it was for all involved, we don't for one minute regret taking her to the facility, even though she is livid and thinks we're traitors who plan to leave her in there for the rest of her life. Despite all that, we're very thankful Mom is exactly where she needs to be right now.
The facility is fairly new, very clean, and brightly decorated. Mom has a private room with a spacious bathroom, plenty of storage space, a bedside stand, a comfortable overstuffed chair, and a wonderful view of the fields and trees across the road. She even has a plazma TV. Mom also has three daughters who are jumping through hoops to do everything possible in order to make the stay tolerable for her. Recently, she accused us of some terrible things, but we hope her anger will eventually subside and the trust she used to have in us will return. I'll be honest and say I don't expect those things will happen very soon....


The Olde Country Cupboard said...

I can really understand what you are going through. My mom passed away in April, then my dad who is 82 basically collapsed. He had a stroke, a couple of silent heart attacks was in teh hospital for over 6 weeks. Now he is home, and at times he can be a little unpleasant. He doesn't like his doctors, was in a rehab center for a little bit, cried and was kind of grumpy while he was there. So now we are trying to keep him at his home where is living alone, but it sure can be demanding, I onlly live 5 minutes away. So I can understand that drive , the time it takes, then visiting. Going to the hospital got to be too much everyday, when it was 4-5 hours out of your day each day. So good luck and hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. We have had a similar journey with our family. It is hard, but I'm sure your mom will eventually see you only want the best for her.