Alzheimer's disease · Assisted living · Burnout · Caregiver · Caregiving · Depression · Grief

Same old, same old / August 31, 2007

A quick entry, just to say that I’ve posted at least once in August.

I continue to visit my mother three times each week.  Some days I find her settled, other days–like today–find her agitated.  She’s usually fretting about someone she cannot quite identify.  Today it was someone named “Lily” (the name of my recently-departed dog) who might be coming for supper, but my mother didn’t have any money and what should she do if Lily didn’t show up?

I can tell within seconds of arriving what her mood is.  On days like today she is enormously relieved to see me, as if I am bringing with me the answer to all her worries.  When she realizes that I am not, her expression tightens.  I try to change the subject, to reassure her that I will take care of things, but I can’t break the spell.  “Don’t you ever see them?” she asks.  “What happened to them?”

My doctor has increased my antidepressant and added something to help me sleep. I’m not crazy about taking sleep remedies but I am also not crazy about finding myself beyond exhaustion by the end of the week.  I thought I’d be on more of an even keel at this point but the waters are still choppy.  Maybe my expectations were too high.  Or maybe I’m catching up on the grief.

3 thoughts on “Same old, same old / August 31, 2007

  1. Patty McNally Doherty Says:
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:33 am
    Hi Deb,

    It’s been a long summer for all of us it seems. Reading a new post by you is like visiting with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.

    I had posted months ago about losing my dog Truman the same day my father died. I want to update you on my canine situation. I have two new puppies! Brother and sister, 8 weeks old when I got them and they are now 11 weeks old. For three weeks, all the good things about having four-legged friends around has returned.

    Their sheer exuberance when they see me in the morning, their licks and licks and licks all over my face, their rolling and tumbling with one another, their boldness in exploring the world around them, all of it, every bit of it fills me with the feeling that all is right in the world.

    I know it’s not. I know there’s plenty that’s wrong, but these two pups, they sure can pull the magic right out of the hat. Life is good, they say, just watch us!

    There is much we can do to make things better, but there’s something to be said for those things that don’t need any changing at all.

    The female’s name is Sox. The male’s name is Red. It was the only way I could convince my Boston-born husband it would be better to have two than one!

    Keep posting, will you? I follow your path with much interest and learn so much from your sharing.

    Patty

  2. Gail Rae Hudson Says:
    September 3rd, 2007 at 4:33 pm
    I’m guessing that probably your expectations were too high…but I don’t think that’s your fault. I’m guessing here, too, but I’ll bet that when facility living becomes necessary for a care recipient, it’s easy to think that relieving the in-home care burden will somehow relieve MUCH of the stress. What I hear from people who’ve been caring for loved ones in facilities, though, is that one set of stresses is traded for another. I think this is probably natural.
    I’m sure you’re also “catching up on the grief”, too, which probably also changes character and starts the caregiver down a whole new grief path when facilities become necessary.
    I’m also encouraging you to continue writing…as the path you’re on now, as a caregiver, needs your thoughtfulness and depth of insight.
    Thank you for checking back in, Deb.
    On a personal note…I haven’t forgotten that I owe you an email or two. My mother’s and my journey seems to have turned a bend, as well, and expression has become hard for me, again. Although I’ve surprised myself by becoming a part of an online support community, and I’m enjoying it…still, I’m having a hard time writing for and about myself. STILL not sure why!
    I think of you lots and look across the street for you, though! And, you’ve been on my mind heavily, lately, as we’ve watched “Now, Voyager” a couple of times within the last week!

  3. Karma Says:
    September 9th, 2007 at 6:12 pm
    I think that you’re right about catching up on the grief. For so long, you didn’t have space to deal with your own grief, you were so focused on your Mom. I’m glad to see your check in, as I’ve come to your blog from time to time and wondered how things were going.

    I’ve been told its usual to have to take medication for a short period of time with this sort of thing – I also was taking something for sleep and a mild antidepressant for about six months after Mom moved in to a facility.

    Take care.

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