Wednesday, March 31, 2010


CAn anyone explain to me how to link to the many other bloggers who have information about Alzheimer's? Thanks

a phone call

My dear friends mother is near the end. She has been in a nursing home for years. Two years ago Sammie's mother no longer recognized her. Last night she called , her mother was being rushed to the ER. Sammie was in tears when she called me because the truth of the matter is it would be so much easier if her Mother went to the Lord. MY sweet friend feels so guilty about feeling that way but she has been walking with her mother and Alzheimer's for 10 years. She tells me she is now numb their is no more hurt or even sadness. IT is truly a horrible disease!
Today 2 of my sons will take my mother out to lunch or dinner. It is hardest on the oldest, Joe was always close to his grandparents. For me it is just sad, she and I used to love to go out to lunch.
My oldest daughter is getting married in 5 months, I am having surgery next is continuing and she no longer can be a part of any of it. That feels so heavy on my heart. Her anger is more than I can deal with and the words are not a big deal on their own it is just so out of character for her. My heart aches.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I went to the ortho surgeon today and need surgery on my rotator cuff. The healing takes awhile and because of the the size of the tear I will be out of commission for 3 months.
The part that is the hardest is for all my life when there was any kind of medical thing. having babies, losing babies, surgery of any kind I would pick up the phone talk to Daddy first then my Mother, who had been nursing since the beginning of time.I can't talk to either and I miss them so much. I am an orphan....

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Brad decided to start going through the garage full of my parents stuff there are tons and tons of boxes. The first to go through was a box of photos that hung all over my parents house in AZ. Funny how when you look at what others save it seems like just maybe there was a time when all was well with everyone. Also I realize there are a lot more photos of Joe who is my oldest than any other person around, Stewart and Heather the middle and last not so much and Rachel the first girl a few more.
There were photo of mothers father, mother and her sister too, those are all sepia tone and very faded. There is one of my mother's mother, Nina, ( who also had Alzheimer's) that was "painted" over to be color, it is very pale now but the color is still there.
I guess I''l have one of the boys take a few of them down to her in the nursing home they might give her some comfort. Knowing that I can't just drop by and give her these is hard. These are little things but they make me so sad.
The boys (41 and 33) are having are hard time too. This is not the grandma that they knew but at least she is sweet to them. Joe says the "loop" of her conversations drives him crazy but he still sees her once or twice a week. She enjoys his visits the best he stays more than an hour each time. I think it is because Joe was little during her happiest time. It is sweet for her.
She apparently dismisses Carolyn and Stewart after about 20 minutes. They would go to see my parents in Az. about every 9 months because Carolyn's family is in the west. They saw Daddy and Mother 2 weeks before Daddy died. I think somewhere in her mind Mother knows that and doesn't want to remember.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the hope

My sweetie and I watched "The Time Travelers Wife" last night. Dreams are amazing the movie and yesterdays events with my mother all melted together. I woke up crying. What if you could really go back and forth in time? What if you could find the sweet moments and relive them ? What if Alzheimer's had never invaded Beverly's mind? I won't allow Heather to go see her again... my sweet little girl was so hurt by Beverly swearing and saying mean things about me. So now at 9 Heather has no grandmothers. Such a loss for both of them....

Friday, March 26, 2010

the visit and the tears

So I gathered 2 friends and my sweet 9 year old Heather and off we went to see Beverly. Calling her Mommy which to me implies a loving person or Mother which to me implies at least someone who cares no longer fits this woman who gave birth to me. Beverly is all that is left. Anyway. I sent the troops to the second floor loaded with all kinds of thought out gifts. Then I headed to the lovely lobby.
I half hoped there would be a page for me to rush up and see this woman who gave birth to me. Instead and sat and thought and spoke with the receptionist and cried.
Then the intake nurse arrived who had done Beverly's interview at our home just a little over 2 months ago so that I could place her in this nursing home. She assured me , as all health care providers seem to do, that it is the disease. Even knowing that does not keep it form breaking my heart.
Jackie assured me I was a good daughter and that I had to accept she would only get worse. Dam it I hate Alzheimer's!!!!
After an hour the troops returned I could tell by their faces it did not go well. Heather had tears in eyes and rushed to hug me. Where was her "good Grandma," I wanted to scream "SHE"S GONE FOREVER but I didn't we just held each other and cried. It seems Beverly who always thought any woman that swore was horrible used several words to Heather and the others letting them know I was no longer her daughter and that I obviously did NOT love her because she is now in a prison.
WHY???? Science can clone a sheep replace numerous body parts but why can't they fix the brain?????
She was not the Donna Reed Mom that my other friends had,she was divorced in 1953 not cool to be Catholic and be divorced, she worked 2 jobs. She was beautiful, tiny with a long red pony tail to her waist, she was stuck with me. There was no family to help so she left me alone to tend myself from the time I was 3 until I started school. There was no social service or daycare I really raised myself. I promised my self early on that I would be the Mommy that I dreamt about her being.
Skip to the man I called Daddy for 50 years. BOY do I wish he was still here then she would be with him and I could believe it was all okay again. Truth hurts and this disease is HORRID!

The shock of Alzhimer's!

Why the blog? Maybe some one out in "blog land" has been down this path. It is rocky step messy and very hard. Alzheimer's is divided into levels she is 2 and almost 85 she is very healthy otherwise and could easily live to be 100. To watch this woman who was so active and alive disappear into a fog is beyond painful!
I have been using facebook for the last 8 months to chronicle the death of my Daddy and the craziness that my Mother has brought to my calm peaceful life!
My friends and family are trying hard to understand. What a surprise it was to go to close up my parents house in Az. and bring my 84 year old mother back to NY. Forget the financial disaster my wonderful Daddy left. Mother (Beverly) was in shock, of course, but all of us are in upstate NY so there was no alternative other than to bring her here with us. Us, being my wonderful husband, Brad, myself, the youngest of our 5 kids and only one left at home, Heather ( 9).
Within a few days I realized Mom truly did have Alzheimer's . Daddy had said she was having some "issues" BUT he forgot to say in our daily emails and every other day phone calls that my mother had moved into a different world mentally.
After 6 months of living with us. The disease began sucking of total every once of energy and being more and more mean 2 months ago today placing her in a nursing home was the only choice.It was not an easy thing to do. BUT my family was starting to fall apart. Alzheimer's is Horrid. I am not sure what it is like in the brain of one who has it but I know what hell it is for the family who has a member with he disease.
She has made it clear she hates me right now. Again it is the disease, it still hurts.
Heather has off today. Her other grandma passed away a month ago and she really wants to see my Mother. I am gathering 2 friends and we are bringing in goodies to her. I'll sit in the lobby while they visit. Will she even remember Heather? I have warned Heather she might not, will she remember the others with her who she met while living with me, who knows.
A few days ago I spoke with the charge nurse, Cindy, she has said that Mom is now hanging out in the "common" room and smiling and talking . Then a few times a day she clouds over cries and tells them all how horrible am to have done this to her and that my Daddy would be very angry.
I spoke with my Dad the day he died and his last words were to extract a promise that I would take care of Mom no matter what. I did and still am I have her POA. As any one knows that can be a pain especially regarding any finances.
I was inspired to do this after seeing "Julie and Julia". The Lord has been with me though this and sharing that might help others. Bottom line as I say on a regular basis Alzheimer's is horrid!
Say a pray cross your fingers, I'll let you know how the visit goes.