Sunday, February 3, 2013

WHY I DON'T MAKE RESOLUTIONS

Once again I find myself wondering why it's been so long since I added something to my blog. It's not that I haven't anything to express. Those who know me would attest that I'm rarely at a loss for words. 
 
Possibly the problem lies in the various turns my life has recently taken. I've often "resolved" to do better, think more positively, and add to my blog posts daily, then life takes over and I allow the things I love to be last on my "to-do" list.
 
When I don't allow time to do something I enjoy, I feel as if I've failed. When I take time for myself, I often feel guilty. The guilt is due, in part, to my angst over doing what I want to do, or visiting my mother at her assisted living facility. She'd like me  to be there with her every day, but recently I've begun to make excuses to not go, and I don't stay long when I visit. After the first three weeks of her stay, I stopped going every single day. When I visit, it's not very pleasant.  I spend most of my time straightening her room, closet, and drawers so she can find things again. I constantly have to search for lost items - her door key, the TV remote, combs and brushes, clean socks, etc. Last week I walked into her room and found her bed piled high with all the clothes from her dresser drawers - again. That day I left them as they were and decided to let the staff find a way for Mom to get into bed that night. I listen to her outrageous stories, told in great detail, and wonder why she can't remember her grandchildrens' names, but can tell and re-tell stories of things that never happened. I'm not supposed to correct her but just "re-direct" her thoughts - not an easy task.      
 
Our Alzheimer's Support Group counselor reminds us to not allow our lives to revolve around the disease or the family member who has it, but she doesn't tell us how we're supposed to do that! Among visits to Mom, frequent calls from the Lamplight staff, monthly care conferences, trips to her doctors and the emergency room (two trips in the last few weeks), keeping up with her bills, and affirming she's receiving good care, I ofen feel I've lost myself. 
 
 MOM'S "APARTMENT" AT LAMPLIGHT INN - HER NEW BED
 BIGGER TIGGER AND RUSTY ON ONE OF THE CAT CONDOS
 SWEET LITTLE BETSY - ONE OF MY OLDER GALS
 BAILEY-THE-BRAVE USUALLY RUNS WHEN HE SEES A CAMERA   
 FOSTER CAT, JOEY, WHO WILL SOON RE-JOIN HIS MAMA  
 BLOOPER DOESN'T SEEM TO BE A HAPPY CAMPER TODAY
BAXTER THINKS HE'S KING OF THE CAT ROOM
 
Perhaps the "remedy" would be to simply choose one or two things I like to do, and just DO them without allowing guilt to overcome me. Taking care of the cats does provide welcome relief at times, but visits to Mom's facility might be less stressful if I wasn't always wondering when I was going to find time to get everything done here at MY home, let alone have time  for myself. I know Mom is receiving good care, and five minutes after I've left, she doesn't remember what I said or did while there and might not even remember I'd been there at all. The staff tells me to let go of the guilt, but it's easier said than done. They say I'm there more often than most of the other family members of Alzheimer residents, They insist I have nothing about which to feel guilty. I truly appreciate those encouraging words, and I do  RESOLVE to let go of the guilt. There's that word again.            

7 comments:

primlin56 said...

ok kady....my heart goes out to you....i will pray for your mom and for your guilt.....you have to let go.....from now on...when you wake up i want you to do three things that you want to do....dont even think about your mom until you have completed that task for the day...three things...for you...got it....ok...then it will be ok if you choose to go see your mom three times a week...like you said...she does not remember....i am dealing with my mom too...she is 87 this year...she does not have your mom's problems...but she does have her own....and please keep blooging...i miss you when you are gone...linda

Merilyn said...

I really feel for what you are going through, but the staff are giving you the best advice, let go a little and try and enjoy your life and things that bring you joy! There is no doubt about your love and commitment to your Mum, the staff have already confirmed that for you.....
Lovely photos of your feline family, good to know their company is always there and that you can spend some time with them. I wish you well Kady, I read the previous comment, and I think there is something in what she says...
Take care and lovely to hear from you!!

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

Hi Kady--it's funny I was thinking about you this afternoon wondering how you were doing and how the fur babies are--and surprise there is a new post on your blog--thank you for the post and the pictures!
I think 'guilt' can be in everyones lives when we let it--I can even feel 'guilty' when I know that I should of probably cleaned the kitty litter box today--or I should of cleaned the kitchen to day from top to bottom--or maybe I should of called my sister and asked how her cat was doing????
and now on top of it all--I have had to spend a week trying whether to decide on adopting another kitty--one minute it is yes==the next it is no--
but today when the lady called the 'yes' came out of my mouth--so here's praying that the 4 month old male kitty and Miss gracie like each other??????
I am praying for you --
hugs, di and miss gracie and soon to come home--master odie!!!

Whimsey Creations said...

Kady, I know exactly where you are coming from girlfriend. My step-father is 3 hours away (on a good day when it isn't snowing LOL) and I feel guilty for only going up every other week. Yesterday when I went in he wasn't dressed because he wasn't feeling particularly well, but asked "Are we ready to go?" when I walked in. When I asked him where we were going he said "I thought we were going to Florida." Now I don't know what kind of mother your mother was, but if she was a good one, all I can tell you is take it all with a grain of salt - many grains of salt - and try to remember that somewhere inside she is the same person. And she can't help what her mind is doing to her. Even though I didn't meet Frank until I was 34, I know what kind of man he is deep inside whether or not he acts that way now or makes any sense when he talks. Please listen to what the staff is telling you - it's true - they just don't remember time spans so it isn't critical that you be there every day, nor do you need to feel guilty about that. In fact doing something that brings joy to your soul is very necessary. All we can do is take it one day at a time and be glad we still have relatively clear minds. Big hugs to you and remember, you aren't alone out there!

coke said...

Kady, Missed you... Guilt must be the bane of most people we pass on the streets each day. We are taught so many things in our life times but I have not heard of guilt training taught anywhere. I think I would be the first person signed up.. Please try to give yourself some slack.The staff members at that home are giving you good advise and I bet they are giving it to a lot more people than just you.Keep that RESOLVE strong.. Hugs Sandi.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Dear Kady, I have not experienced exactly what you are going through, but I do know alot about guilt and worry. Others have given you good advice, I think.
I copied a saying "Worry is a waste of time, it doesn't change anything. It messes with your mind and steals your happiness". When things are too bad, I read that and say to myself : ok, you've worried/felt guilty about that enough for today - what can you do now that will feel good. You are doing the best you can, let yourself recharge, too! Hugs.

Kady said...

THANK YOU ladies...for all the heartfelt comments and support. You have all given me good things to think about and implement and I'm so grateful for your caring words.