Alzheimer's disease · Caregiver · Caregiving

My learning curve / March 23, 2006

Some days, I’m situationally tired. In other words, I know that I’ll feel better after a good sleep. On other days–more and more of them–I’m so tired that I’m even more exhausted after sleeping. I have dreams that just remind me of my waking life. Today I actually called in sick to work, did not tell my mother, and went to my own house and slept most of the day. And I dreamt that my mother was at my house with me.
I’ve been living with my mother for almost a year and a half, but keeping my own house as a little sanctuary–a promise that my life will return to its old patterns, as impossible as that may be. But what I discovered today is the bind I’m in. The only way I can get what I wish for is if my mother is institutionalized, or dies. So spending time at my house is like rehearsing for that time. I imagine anyone facing a specific inevitability realizes this. You find yourself in a psychological buffer zone, and maybe you just have to make yourself as comfortable there as you possibly can be. Things can’t be the way they used to be, but you know that the future is going to tough. In the meantime you’re treading water, grabbing onto little bits of flotsam that pass by. You have to face it–you’re not in control, you don’t have much control at all.

Sometimes the stress of the situation pushes me to do or say something I would never be able to, otherwise. This can be good and it can be bad. I never would have imagined that I’d make my thoughts public in this way, but it’s helping me. I’m not thinking of the consequences, the way I would have in the past. Whatever happens, happens.

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