Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday was a bad day...

I cried while I was at Target today.  You know, I'm really focused on making sure the things I share in this diary are not all sad.  I do NOT want to be a constant Debbie Downer...but...there will be times when there's sad news.  Sunday was one of those days...a bad day.

Oh the day started out fine...a normal Sunday morning...cleaning up around the house, some laundry, coffee while watching morning television in my pajamas.  I decided I would go into my office to try to "ease" myself back into work mode after being on vacation for 2 weeks.  I went in with promise of one little guilty pleasure as a reward...I stopped in Target to just walk around and treat myself to one little useless item...no idea what it would be but it was something to look forward to.

While I was in Target, my dad called me.  From the tone of his voice, I could tell that something was wrong.   He had gone to visit my mom in the nursing home.  As he walked by the nurse's station, one of my mother's nurses stopped him.  She shared that my mother was having a very bad day...she was having severe hallucinations.  Now, the interesting thing here is that we've been telling the nursing staff and my mother's doctor that she is having severe hallucinations for months.  They all deny that she is...I cannot tell you how frustrating this is...we see it, we experience it with her, we see the fear and absolute confused state that she is in EVERY DAY...but we cannot get the nursing home to agree that she is hallucinating.  She tells us she sees scary monsters and people coming into her room to yell at her...people telling her bad things about our family...things like my dad is cheating on her.  But...the staff and the doctor just do not see it and refuse to even evaluate her for this next phase of dementia.  So much for US healthcare.  My guess...and keep in mind this is just a guess...is that she is probably at Stage 6 of the 7 stages of dementia.

Today apparently was a day filled with non-stop hallucinations that were intense and frightening.  My dad couldn't really reach her.  Always before, my dad could calm her down...but she has advanced to a place where she simply cannot be reached.  When I think about what my mother is experiencing, it simply tears me up...to think of her being afraid and no way to calm her down is torture.  What must it be like?  You're laying there and see strange people, scary men threatening her if she opens her eyes or even talks to us.  Seeing things, hearing voices yelling at her...I can barely stand the thought of how she is suffering.  And, on top of it, to hear the overwhelming sadness and grief in my dad's voice scares me.  My dad has always had everything under control...always calm and methodical in his approach to fixing things.  But he can't fix this...neither can I...there's nothing we can do accept be there for her and pray that the demons she is battling will somehow let us comfort her.

This is all evolving so rapidly...I just want to roll back the hands of time and have one more Christmas with us all together...the laughter...seeing my mom gush over every single gift regardless of what it was.  But I can't.   I think today, standing in the Housewares section of Target, I realized that we are heading into a terrifying phase with my mother...one that will not have a happy ending.  We are grieving the loss of my mother even though she is physically here.

I simply feel lost.




2 comments:

Charlotte said...

Thank you for sharing your mom's story. I stumbled upon it this morning and couldn't stop reading. I wish I had done this for my mom. There are so many details about her and what she went through I wish now that I could remember. I am sure it must be difficult for you to do this but, this will be a beautiful memoir that you will treasure years from now. I wish you well in your journey. I hope that you will find peace and comfort as you go through this difficult season of your life.

Bob and Jo Ann said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Charlotte! And, thanks for visiting my blog.

All the best,
BJ