Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mom's progression over the last 6 months has been gradual. As much as I want to call it a platue; I realize that a lot has changed. While being with mom day to day you don't always see the amount of change, but it's pretty dramatic.

Her mobility or lack thereof has become quite the challenge. At times even Shawn has a hard time moving her. You have to physically lift her from any sitting position. You always have to brace her for balance when she is on her feet. She will literally will fall backwards if you don't. In order to "walk" her from room to room; I have to brace her back against my chest, wrap my arms around her chest and push her movement forward. While I realize sometimes that being in a wheelchair might be easier for us to move her..... It is not what is best for mom. Any form of movement, even if it is being forced is better than no movement. We use a chair if we go places with any distance of walking. But going to dinner or food outings we try to avoid the wheelchair.
When she sits she leans to the side. Which side depends on the days ..... Some days it's to the left; others it's to the right. Not sure what that is about.... But it keeps us on her toes. The other day I left her sitting on the couch and went to change my clothes from work. I came back out and she had leaded so far to the left that she was face down into the couch cushion. But her butt was still forward where I had left it. Which also gives you a perspective of her mindset that she would have stayed there forever face first if I did not move her.

I spend a lot of time stuck in the house now since I can no longer lift her to get her in my car. Shawn has to be with us if we go anywhere. Otherwise we are stuck at the house. Shawn is do a lot of training right now for mountain bike racing so... He is not around a whole lot.
Of course we are grateful for the time he is home and the help he lends. His mom has also been helping step in taking care of mom. She comes and sits with her if we need a sitter or if Teri is off for the day. She even stayed over night last weekend so I could go with Shawn to one of his races.
Did I mention.... I have the best mother in-law.
She also goes Monday - Friday mornings to Pops place to get his day started. She wakes him up, gets him dressed in new clothes and gives him his medicine for the day. Then she takes him down to breakfast and sits with him and his buddies for a hr or so and has coffee with them. The drops Pop off at Exercise class. All Pops friends think he is so lucky. And so do I.... Arminda is an amazing person and is so good to him.

Teri is still a blessing in this journey. She is not just a caregiver for mom, she is a shoulder for me to lean on and FAMILY. We could not be where we are today without her! Mom loves spending time with her and treats her just like a daughter. She even tells her to Shut the Hell Up!

It amazes me, that she can not form words to talk/communicate with us anymore....but can still tell us off and knows when to roll her eyes! She is also still a nail bitter! OMG is she...... She can not keep her hands out of her mouth..... Gosh that is one thing I WISH she would forget :) that freaking sound is like nails on a chalk board!

We remodeled the bathroom this year to help with ease in showering for mom. While that was the best thing we have done..... Good lord shower time still stresses me the hell out! On weekends when I get mom out of bed and into the bathroom to have a shower, I can feel my anxiety go up. I am always scared to death that she is going to fall. We have a built in bench now, which helps a lot but she still has to stand in order to get her fully cleaned. Also we removed the tub and replaced with a walk in shower. Which still requires getting her to step up or lifting her onto the short slab of quartz to enter the shower. When we are done in the shower.... I myself need a shower to wash off all to sweat from stress. Mom is always so worn out each morning from the shower that she usually goes right back to sleep on the couch at least for an hr.

As much as I am aware of the sacrifice this journey has been for Shawn and I.... I would not change a thing. The decision to bring mom home and bring T into the house to care for her.... Is 100% the reason she is still alive. I truly believe that. I also feel strongly that I better get a pass to heaven :)

Mom took care of me for 36 years of my life..... The least I can do is take care of her during the time she has left. Don't get me wrong I am not always this positive or emotionally strong. I have days of where I reach my breaking point and just sit on the floor and cry. Many conversations have been had with dad, asking for help or guidance to get through the tough times. He always comes through.... Because the next day.... I always find it in me to do it all over again.

ALZHEIMER's SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!! It's sucks the life out of your loved ones. Mom knew this was going to happen. She knew. She also knew when it started to happen. She hid it for at least a year, before she sat me down and told me what was happening. I remember this conversation,like it was

yesterday. As much as I tried to convince her she was just over reacting and there was a reason that she was forgetting things. I knew that something was not right. She said to me when I can't take care of myself anymore, put me in a home and don't come back. While I said back then that won't ever happen.... I knew that she would eventually end up with me. When dad went into the hospital in the end.... I didn't think twice or ask Shawn's opinion. I moved her into my home. I am grateful for each and every second that I have with her. She may not know who I am anymore..... But I know who she is!

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