Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Visit

      The Charge nurse suggested we wait for Mom in the dining room while they got her ready. I was once again told each day is different so she may or may not be belligerent. My friend and I waited for 30 minutes before Mom was ready to visit.
         She was pushed into the dining room . To be honest I would not have recognized her, at first. She looked almost like a cartoon witch. Her eyes deep set, her hair to her waist, white as snow most of her teeth missing. Her hands were so brusied. Her body sloughed into the wheel chair.
     The flowers I brought were Spring colors she seemed to like them. Heather had made an oragami bird to sit in the flowers. Mom seemed unsure who Heather was. I gave her information about all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her looks were blank.
    I had used my cane because the parking lot is pretty uneven, plus the walk to her room was fairly long. She asked why I was usuing a cane. I pulled up my pant leg and showed her my scare then explained my full knee replacement. For a few minutes she was the OR NURSE again asked the "right" questions. Then she faded.
     An aide pushed her back to her room at the end of the visit so we could place her flowers in the room.
      Her new location is so tiny mostly because it is packed with stuffed animals and blankets she has crocheted.The pictures I have sent and framed were in her room too.
      I bent down and kissed her told I loved her and left.
      What more is there to say. There was little if any conversation; it was me giving information to a woman I believe once was part of my family. But this lady was not her, she has her name but her soul that made her Mom was nowhere to be felt.
      I am numb. I doubt think I'll go back, my Mom is gone.


  1. forgive me, but I thought to myself
    "whew, you did it!" that took alot of courage.

  2. I prayed long and hard, what courage it took came from God. As you have read it has been over 2 years since I saw her.
    When my friend Deb's husband died in the "lock down" unit in Texas I knew she would understand.
    My husband and the older kids would not go but sweet Heather wanted to go with me, BUT she had state testing. I am very glad she did not come since my Mom didn't seem to recognize anyone's name until I spoke about except my middle son, Stewart. Most likely that is because he and his wife saw her and Daddy about every 6 months the last 6 years Daddy was alive.
    Now I wait and hope and pray that her time here is gentle and short. Thank you for your kind words. God Bless!

  3. Hi Jewels,
    I kinda new here, but I guess I don't understand why you wont go see your Mother. I'm trying to read back to see if anything happened between you two or if you just don't like to see your Mom like that?
    Sorry to ask.
    My Mom had Alz also.

  4. Hello Tracy,
    First as you most likely are aware Alzheimer's affects everyone differently. My dearest friend's Dad is the exact opposite of my Mom . Babe is funny and loving and never says a mean thing. My dear friend Deb who went with me to the last visit, had a husband that was so violent only place in the USA would take him .
    My mother has become belligerent and sometimes violent.After several of my visits the staff has had to medicate to calm her down. My mother and I have hmmm abusive is to strong. I spent the first 1/2 of 62 years trying to be the daughter she wanted. No matter what I did it was seldom if ever enough. The past 30 years I accepted I was not enough and prayed I could get through each visit without being ripped to shreds. My Daddy who has been gone almost 4 years was the buffer. But even he couldn't stop her from tearing me apart verbally.
    The disease has made her even more unkind. She says things to myself and our family that cause tears and anger. YES, IT IS THE DISEASE BUT after years sometimes you just have to walk away to protect yourself.
    I pay her bills, I make sure she is well cared for I send presents. BUT I can no longer put myself or my family into an enviorment that is emotionally harmful.
    Alzheimer's comes with a terrible price. There is no means to heal old wounds and the heartbreak of knowing that is deep.
    I hope you have a better time with your MOM. What I have learned. Is each of have a different path with our parent but it all comes back to ALZHEIMER'S IS HORRID!!!!

  5. Dear Jewels.
    It is obvious from your posts that there is something going on between you and your mom that precedes her illness. I have read back a little, and unfortunately you seemed to have a troubled relationship with your mom from the past. Because of this, it is understandable that her behavior towards you now is bringing back all of those bad memories. So, in a way, you are coping with 2 pains - the pain of the past, and the pain of the present. You have to try and separate these 2 things. In spite of your past relationship, you are really trying to be a good daughter. and care for your mom. Her behavior towards you now most likely has nothing at all to do with the past. She most likely does not even remember the past events. Anger, and belligerence, even to those closest to them, seems to be a normal part of the disease for a large number of alzheimer patients. I was always very close with my mom, and now, with her alzheimers, she often would turn on me in anger, saying things she would probably never even THINK when she was herself. Initilly these angry words were directed only towards her caregivers, but now it seems they are directed towards anyone who is in her path when she becomes agitated.
    Don't be so hard on yourself. Just keep reminding yourself that its the disease, its the disease, its the disease. This can be very hard. I more often than not, leave my moms apartment crying, because even though logically I know it is her illness, and not her speaking, the words are still coming out of her mouth. Just realize you are doing the best you can. I also feel guilty about my mom not living with me when she has good days, but then I remind myself that the unpredictability of the agitation in this horrible disease was having negative effects on my still young children. If you can convince yourself in advance, that you will not react if your mom gets angry, you should go visit her on a regular basis. The more often you go, the less strongly you will react. I think the fact that so much time goes by between visits, makes it worse for you when you do go. I think your mom might also react better if she sees you regularly. The beginning will be hard, but each visit will be easier. I think you need to do this as much for yourself as your mother. I don't mean to interfere, just trying to help. We all hate this disease.

  6. Tracy, I have been down that path already! She lived with me and my family until it got unbearable for everyone.The nursing home was the last resort.I was at the nursing home every week and sometimes twice a week the kids were all there too. BUT there comes a time for most of us when there is nothing left inside after many hours of pray and speaking to my mother's caretakers I realized the best thing for all of us was to let her live in her world. I appreciate your thoughts but I know the choices myself and my family have made are what is best for us.Good luck to you and God Bless!

  7. hi jewels, just found your blog and after reading your post had to stop and send you a big (((hug)))
    this journey is just so hard, everyone's way through it is very personal. I now feel a stranger in my mothers life, I totally understand where you're coming from xx

    1. Dear Elanor, Thanks for the hug. The reason I started the Blog was to share with others that EACH and everyone of us has a different path with our loved ones.You are so right everyone's way is very personal! I hope you have found some peace of mind and heart.God Bless, Jewels