I have SO MUCH to tell you and can’t believe how much time has elapsed since I updated everyone concerning my journey in caring for my mom. I started writing this post the last week of March. Let me do a little back-tracking and a bit of catch-up writing here.
I already told you the story of her dolly here, but SO much has transpired in the past three weeks surrounding that story.
March 18, 2019
Lord willing, one week from today my dear, sweet Momma will be moving out of our home and into her new place at BeeHive Home in Oregon, WI.
If I think about it too long, it brings tears to my eyes. While I had hoped to care for mom here in my home until God chose to call her to her eternal home in heaven, I know in my heart that it is time to place her in a memory care environment where her needs will be better met.
The first year we cared for Momma in our home, she would often tell people that our home was HER home and that we were living here with her. She’d point out which side of the house was hers and which side was ours. She’d express concern to anyone who’d listen, saying, “They sure do have a lot of stuff.” To her way of thinking, the gardens that I’ve toiled in for the past 20 years were planted by her many years ago. It blessed us to know that she felt “at home” here and was taking ownership, so we just joined her in her version of the story.
As we approach the two year anniversary of her living in our home, Momma looks lost and confused whenever she walks into the bedroom that has been hers all this time. Confusion clouds her fading brown eyes as she sits in her chair at the kitchen table surveying the gardens and wonders where she is and “how the heck” she got here. Her most often asked question is, “When do I get to go home?” Many times we find her sitting near her bedroom window, expectantly watching for her parents to come and pick her up in their car.
Nights are long and many of them are being spent without sleep – for her, or for me. During those late nights of making and remaking her bed because she has repeatedly removed and folded up her bedding (in preparation for the move she thinks she is making), I find it disturbing to find my compassion is beginning to be replaced by exasperation. I can hear it in my voice and actually feel my blood pressure rising. Sleeping in our comfy bed next to my husband has been replaced by dozing in the chair next to her bed. Even if that were comfortable (and it’s NOT), it’s not particularly restful sleep and definitely not the coveted “restorative sleep” when it’s interrupted a dozen times or more with toileting needs, painful cries, bad dreams, and her shaking me awake to ask me if I’m okay. “You look so sick. I thought I better check on you.”
One year ago, Momma still knew I was her daughter. She knew my name and she knew Wayne’s as well. Now, she can sometimes come up with my name, but usually thinks I’m her mom or sister. Sadly, Momma no longer remembers Wayne’s name. She calls him “that guy” most of the time and thinks he is just a guy on the staff here.
Today Momma beckoned me into her room with a look of desperation and a ‘come-here’ wave of her hand. As I drew near she said in a whispered hiss, “Pssst! Can you get me out of this place?!”
Little does she know that she IS moving into a new home next week. I’m still not sure how (or if) I will tell her. I do know this. I’ve said it before and will say it again. God will give us the wisdom we need when we need it.
3 thoughts on ““Pssst! Can you help me get out of this place?””
It’s sad to see parents on whom we have depended and who have been our protectors come to this stage. Your mother is indeed lucky to have a daughter and son in law like you both. Best wishes to you all.
I’m an RN who works with dementia patients and I always thought it was a harder disease on the family than the patient. I think it’s brave of you to express your exasperation. Most people wouldn’t want to admit it, we all try to be perfect. I’ve spent many nights convincing people to stay “Just until morning.” I tell them the roads are bad, or the security officer has to unlock the doors, or we’re having bacon for breakfast and don’t you want to have bacon. It’s not as heartbreaking for us because we don’t have the history. If they don’t remember my name I understand. I’m not a family member. God bless you and your journey. I’m so happy she has you to love her even if she doesn’t remember the reasons you feel that way.
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I agree wholeheartedly. And I also believe the world of memory care needs more nurses like you. I am so very grateful that the nurses and aides at my mother’s AL “get it” and that they work hard at entering the world of our loved ones who reside there. They are SO good at redirecting.
Thank you for the encouraging comment…and for following my blog.
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