Friday, July 9, 2010

Over 6 months have passed...

It has taken me this long to be able to look at this blog...Mom is still at the nursing home and we are still adjusting. This is an awful disease. There were some challenging times with the nursing home and mom was not the best behaved resident but for now things have settled down and she seems comfortable and not too anxious. The staff is amazing and I especially like the sitting rooms they have for the residents. Mom is never alone in her room.

I still feel shock when I think about the day my sister and I took mom to Spooner N.H. I am so glad that the past months are over. Having a parent with Alzheimers is difficult but having the other parent stay in the home and go on with life adds to the challenges. Dad misses mom terribly and he misses his cows and his dog. Dad has lost a lot in the past year and although I want to help him, I also have to go on with my life. It's a constant battle to balance everything. I want to visit mom. I try to check on dad or go with him to the nursing home. He calls every morning to check in with me. I miss my old carefree life with just my sweet husband and me. Days hiking, fishing and going places. Next month, I go back to teaching after having over a year off. It will be another adjustment.

I know that mom is not going to get better. As I write about this experience, I want to focus on the good times we can still have together and the positive aspects of our visits.

Mom usually does not remember anything from moment to moment, or day to day. But today when Dad and I were visiting her one of the staff mentioned that yesterday a miniature pony visited and mom really enjoyed the experience. When I asked mom about it she said, "It was so cute and only about so high." She indicted it's height with her hand. It was a pleasure hearing mom recall a positive activity!

A couple weeks ago, when I visited mom she was looking at photo albums. She pointed to a picture of Dad and his brother Irvin and said, "They had coffee with me yesterday." She was right!! Uncle Irvin had not seen mom since December and when she saw him she recognized him right away! That was a sweet moment.

I am very grateful for the care that mom is getting and I am grateful for all the wonderful memories we have of trips together and working at home. We would tease each other and say, "I'm tired of picking...picking in eggs, picking in clothes, picking weeds, picking berries...pick, pick, that all we do. And then we would laugh. Mom and I went on trips to Iowa to meet my sisters and trips to Oklahoma, Missouri and Ohio. We have had a lot of memorable times together and we enjoy the pictures now when we have coffee and treats together.

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