Thursday, July 19, 2012

AND THE WEEK'S NOT OVER YET . . .

What a busy week this has been, My baby bird, Twigs, decided he was ready to fly the coop and though he's still flying about in the trees on our property, his wild side has emerged and he no longer lands on my hand or requires me to feed him. He has survived two nights and three days outside with the other wild birds so I'm pretty sure he's going to be ok. 

If I hadn't been so busy tending to my mother's needs and worrying about Twigs this week, I would have made time to celebrate the 2nd birthdays of my three cat brothers - Bailey, Elliot, and Rusty. I hugged them as I wished them each a Happy Birthday and promised some there would be some treats in their near future. It seems a lifetime ago I found their six-month-old very pregnant mama on my front porch. It was  July 4th, 2010. On July 17th, Kelly delivered the five furry baby boys. I posted photos and videos of them here on my blog as they grew and I cherish the memories of my little furry gang. All five kittens were adopted at some point, but three came back to me....two came back twice. After eight months of taking them to the adoption agency every weekend, I decided to not put them (or myself) through that any longer and added them to my tribe. To this day I don't understand why all of them didn't find "forever homes" (with someone other than me), but perhaps I was meant to keep them. They were darling kittens and grew into beautiful adults cats. Now I can't imagine not having them in my life.
This was not a good week for my mother. She fell in her room at Lamplight and though she broke no bones, she badly bruised two fingers on her left hand and could not understand why they were black and blue since she had no recollection of falling. I've taken her to the wound specialist every week this month and had been taking her every other week for the last five months - along with visits to the dentist and the cardiologist. The doctor wraps her left leg every week, but she won't leave the bandages in place. Of course she claims she never removes them and has no idea who does it. I suppose the culprit is the same person who takes all of her clothes from her closet and drawers and piles them on the bed.....the same person who takes family photos off  her walls and dresser and wraps them in blankets and sheets.... and most likely it's the same person who gives away her possesions and the snacks we take her, then scatters her papers, books, and magazines all over the table and chairs. Yesterday, I posted reminders for my mother to not remove her bandages and today all the posters were gone - no doubt the work of that same elusive person who does all the other deeds. To say my mother is a handful would be a supreme understatement. A trip to her doctor is often  a full day's effort and I return home exhausted. She never recognizes having been at the Lamplight Inn so when we return it's a huge challenge to get her back inside the facility. Yesterday I was accused of plotting aganst her and trying to trick her. As always, she was shocked to see her  name on the door of a room and said she wasn't going to spend the night there. She fretted about how she was going to get to work tomorrow with that cast on her leg and asked if I'd call her workplace and make excuses for her. (Mom hasn't held a job for over 30 years.) She stated she didn't know how she was going to travel back home to live with her mother (who passed over 20 years ago) or how she'd be able to carry all her belongings onto the bus. (What bus?) This afternoon she called me and was sobbing and demanding to know what happened to her husband, my dad. We go through this over and over, about once a week, so again, I calmly but matter-of-factly, told her the truth, that he had suffered a heart attack at work one night 40 years ago and died. She exclaimed and sobbed even more, saying it couldn't possibly have happened 40 years ago, but she seemed relieved that I told her. Naturally she didn't remember I'd told her about him dozens of times since she'd been at Lamplight. A few weeks ago she was convinced my dad had taken her car and abandoned her to go to Florida with an old Army buddy, so I let her think that until she began calling my sisters and me all through the nights and roaming the halls at Lamplight, setting off alarms and trying to leave the facility. I suppose she intended to search for Dad. That's when I knew she needed to hear the truth, even if she'd never remember it.  

Today she asked, "If he died, then why didn't he just tell me?", and she had no idea how utterly strange that sounded. My biggest challenge (besides my mom) in dealing with her Alzheimer's, is that I'm often trying to find some logic in the situation even though I know it's impossible to understand things that makes no sense. I don't know what to tell her and what to ignore. I don't know when to be totally honest and when to evade the truth. I was taught to not tell lies, but there are times it has to be done to ensure her peace of mind. It depresses me to think this is going to become worse as time goes by. It's pretty bad right now, so what will I be dealing with in the future? I suppose it's actually a blessing my mother doesn't realize how much her strokes and Alzheimer's have taken from her. It's bad enough that I know it and have to find ways to deal with the situation.       

10 comments:

Cathy said...

Wow Kady, You have really expressed what a sad state your dear mother is in, and how sad it is for you to deal with this disease. My girlfriend is dealing with this with her mother, and it is a terrible situation. Her mother believes and accuses her of things that she would never do or be. Her mother lived with her until recently when she tried to burn down their house with a candle. Luckily it only burned a little bit of the bathroom. God bless you and your mother, and those that care for her!

I love your cats. Seems they are yours. My cousin inherited 3 cats like this. They moved into her back yard, and adopted HER! LOL Two have passed away now, and the last one is loved very much. They were getting up in years. ♥♥♥ Now I need to get to bed! LOL

Whimsey Creations said...

Oh honey there is no logic in it so don't waste your time trying to find the logic. I'm now "that girl who pays the bills" (at least over the phone) with my step-father. I just answer the continuous same questions and try hard not to say "Don't you remember Frank...." because I know he doesn't. And he's still at home living alone because it's virtually impossible in NC to get him in anywhere involuntarily. And I'm in GA. One blessing is that he's lost the keys to his truck (and trust me they aren't anywhere in his house - I've looked) so he can't drive. I'm just praying he doesn't get enough moxie to call a locksmith and go to the dealership to have new ones made.

Loretta said...

Hi Kady, I am soo sorry about your dear Mom. You really expressed what a trying time this is for you...You are in our thoughts and prayers! What a devastating disease this is!
Love love your cats! I live in the rural and folks' in the city evidently have dubbed me the cat lady, because they dump them all over my fence. What a cruel world we live in! Thanks for sharing with us today!

Merilyn said...

My goodness Kady! What a trying time you and your Mum are having, I can't imagine what life must be like for someone with Alzheimers, but it must be confusing and frightening at times, it's difficult to watch a loved one who is the same but not the same - I watched that with my Father - until he died just over a year ago a week before his 90th, he just sat quietly for hours at a time, I would see confusion and curiosity at times in his eyes as his family sat around him when we visited in the Private Aged Care facility he lived in for the last 2-3 years of his life. I often wondered who he thought we all were, but he was always congenial and friendly towards us, but that 'familiarity' was not there, that 'connection' lost.
So sad......
Happy belated birthday to your beloved little feline boys, such dear and sweet creatures, I'm sure they are very grateful to be together and living with your love and care! I hope you find some small pockets of time for yourself Kady, take care!!!!!

Kady said...

Cathy....I also know others who are dealing with this type of situation and the stories are so similar - the accusations, the words and phrases uttered which are not at all what our loved ones would say if they had all their faculties, and the actions that could bring harm but the person is unaware of the danger. I try to be calm and remain compassionate but there are days that I feel anything but that. My sweet cats do allow me some down time and I love them all dearly. God bless your cousin for taking in those three and giving them love.

Kady said...

Jill...I remember you telling me about your step father. You're so right, there really is no logic to it. How true that it's hard to not ask those questions. For some time I'd ask Mom why she packed up everything. It tumbled from my mouth before I thought. The answer was always the same - she didn't do it. I don't ask anymore. Let's hope Frank does not find his keys. It's good they are lost and you didn't have to find a way to take them from him. Bless you for looking after his needs. It must be very difficult doing that from such a distance.

Kady said...

Loretta....thank you so much. Yes, it is a very trying time and a devastating disease. Mom has fewer and fewer moments of clarity. I've embraced the fact it will not get better, but it's still difficult when she can't even leave her bandages alone. I sometimes wish I knew what she was thinking.

So you're a cat lady too! We don't choose that for ourselves do we? But someone has to look after the ones who have been cast off and I guess we have been elected. They deserve a chance at life and we're trying to help them have it. You're an angel.

Kady said...

Merilyn...Sadly, you know firsthand how this disease robs our loved ones of their personalities. So far, my mother still remembers us, but she can't identity photos of her grandkids, which solves the mystery of why their pictures were always turned facedown when I'd go to visit. She didn't know them. You expressed it well...how the connection just wasn't there. I feel my connection with Mom slipping away. Her caregivers tell me to just spend time with her and not to worry about her room or clothes. They tell me to just be the daughter but it's difficult to let it all go. I'm so sorry you lost your father to such a terrible disease. May God help heal your heart.

Anonymous said...

Kady,my heart goes out to you and to your Mom. My dear friend just went through two years of what you are experiencing .. Her Mom passed this last May and although we all cried with her, each of us knew that it was the best thing for her and her Mom.. Her Mom had no life just breath and she had really lost her Mom two years ago.. Do you belong to a support group?? My friend joined one just a few weeks before her Mom passed and said it was like having a burden lifted from her back... People who completely understood her situation and could just relate was so comforting and helpful.. I know things won't get better but I hope you will find the strength to deal with it all. What beautiful cats you have.. SANDI.

Kady said...

Sandi....I truly appreciate your kind words. I'm so sorry your friend and her mom had to go through that. What you say is very true. Losing a loved one is sad but when that loved one isn't having a quality life, it's often a blessing when she passes. Yes, I belong to an Alzheimer's support group. The people who attend are all going through similar things and it's comforting to know I'm not alone. I think I'd like to find a group that meets more frequently than once a month though. I could use a meeting every week! Thank you for the kind words about the cats. Those are only three boys....I have more. LOL