Friday, November 28, 2008
Living in Carol of the Bells!... and Reality Check With Mom
The Claymation Carol of the Bells is GREAT! If you didn't already...just turn my music off(In sidebar) by hitting the pause button. I really wish I could just find Christmas music that is mostly bells but have yet to find it.
I feel like I am living in Carol of the Bells! ( I love that song and wish I could find something with just bells) That is the pace of my life right now. There isn't enough time and I am not even working! I have important things to do in any one direction!! I am neglecting things in my personal life because other things take priority. Yes I am blogging at the moment... but that is therapy and it really helps to vent.
I go into the blogasphere and all the stress melts away. It is an ahhhhh.... moment to blog or read them. I am missing reading/commenting on my favorite blogs and will asap.
We are going to try taking in the older cat and are hoping that Bob will not be aggressive with him and that our cat will eventually accept him. he is a very sweet cat.
It is breaking my heart but we are probably going to have to have her other cat brought to the pound tomorrow morning knowing it is probably a death sentence. I have called all around and every no kill shelter is full. No friends or relatives can take her and it is just not doable to have 3 cats and a dog. I don't know how I am going to look at my mother again after this. :( We don't even want 2 cats but are trying to help. A 17 year old cat is certain to be put to sleep.
We need a miracle.
It did not go well bringing Mom out of the rehab yesterday. It was very difficult for her and us.
I realized a lot of things yesterday. I had a reality check. I thought I could saunter in there, whisk her out of there and the joy and excitement would inspire her to try harder in PT and she'd have a grand day too.
It seemed she was barely able to travel and while she sat at the table for the meal...she buried herself under a blanket because she was so cold and was ready to go back to the facility. It is so HOT in her room and the facility is warm that normal temperatures must seem frigid to her.
It was time consuming and difficult to get her to be weight bearing and I realized I could never do this alone. That saddened me greatly because I had high hopes of at least taking her out for lunch or bringing her home a couple of times a week. Instead...it will have to be planned out and I will need assistance.
She also had to get changed again before even leaving the rehab yesterday. It was a production at best. Then younger son and I wheeled her out and brought the walker.
It is a scary thing when you look at a loved one's face...and see that same look you've seen on countless patients who are NOT doing well and are trying to just get by in a situation and to see them so weakened. When you realize that all the things that would've evoked a smile or a response didn't do any of that... that for them...it really was just about collapsing into a chair and maybe dealing with their own realization that they can't do any of the things they thought or hoped they could.
It's scary, it hurts and it's frustrating as hell!
I confess that I may have been harsh at one point and I was intentionally. But I just want to say...there are two dynamics operating here. The first was the denial...which was shattered for good yesterday... I really was the last to see this. And the fear. The fear... causes me to be angry about it... because quite frankly...it all SUCKS big time! I am sorry for being rude with that statement. You are reading raw emotion...for better or worse. I am coming to terms with it all. And let me tell you... I am ashamed to admit... that there were little signs I missed. But now that I look back over this past year... Oh my gosh..how could I? It's not like I wasn't familiar with the elderly population and things that happen. But I really wasn't aware of certain things. The memory things should have been a red flag. But she was having good check ups and when I mentioned things... the doc didn't seem alarmed...until the ED doc this summer first suggested she be in a facility... which I adamantly disagreed with and her doc initially agreed with me. But unbeknownst to either of us...she was spiraling downward. Her labs were good!
Oh... I was harsh when I brought her back. We eventually got her out of the van. But then she stayed frozen in position and wasn't moving her feet back like she needed to to back into the wheelchair.
I did snap ( I should NOT have) "Mom! Your NOT an invalid! I KNOW you can DO this! Physical therapy said they have you walking 150 feet! Now try!" She did and got into the wheel chair!
I am wrestling with the idea that if you don't use it you WILL lose it! BUT... she IS weak! BUT... I know she is in that wheel chair most of the time and is having help with everything. I know she needs help... but that diesn't negate the fact that she isn't moving around enough. She gets stubborn and refuses... which then you can call her mental status into question.
So when we got her into her room...she needed to make the wheel chair switch into her own which is a better one. We got her standing up. I encouraged her and said mom...it's just a few steps and I know you can do this.
I'll be darned! She walked those few steps and got into her chair in no time! We both praised her for that.
And dinner was served.
We had to leave but when I turned back to say bye one more time...she wasn't even looking at us but was looking at the TV, eating her meal and looked as content as a clam on a shell. Well not that I would know a content clam if I saw one but you know what I mean.
So... I know she is where she needs to be. I hope we can still bring her out... especially for Christmas.
I am no longer concerned about her not being able to live independently... I am hoping I still have my mother around for a while.
I can't help wondering if she is losing her will...or does the body just get tired? Or both?
She did comment when she got back to her room, "Well..I don't think I should be leaving here for a while!" is that what she really wants or did she say it for our benefit, seeing how difficult it was. She probably hated the cold.
And was I wrong to be forceful about her not being an invalid? I would NEVER talk to a patient that way!
Now we need to finish the apartment by Sunday night!
I guess I am learning a lot of life lessons in this season of my life. We all are. And it's not like there haven't been other sickly relatives. When it is someone close... it is entirely different. You really do have to walk in the family's shoes to fully understand all the emotions and practicalities that have to be dealt with. Sure you can be empathetic. You intellectually know it is difficult. But I am telling you...when you go through it...I don't even know how to finish the sentence. It is what it is.
We got a lot done today. I came home to get a power nap but then I am going back.
This isn't a news flash or anything...but it hurts so much to go through someone's things and then to throw them out. There are things that could be given away or sold but there just isn't time. To think that someon'e life collections are just tossed... it doesn't seem right. It's like they say... you come into this world with nothing and you leave with nothing.
We can only hope that we will live on in a good way in the hearts of those we loved. That maybe they will have imparted wisdom, love and joy into our spirits and that they are all the better for having known us.
And hopefully we were the same for them. It doesn't always work out that way... but when it does...it is a beautiful thing.
THAT is what is most important in the end.