Happy Holidays

Happy Hanukah. It’s been a while since my last installment. On the heels of Thanksgiving, I know we have much for which to be thankful. Some days, it’s so hard to genuinely FEEL that.

Since our return from Florida, the construction on our home is just about complete. We now have a hot tub right behind our bedroom. This was high on my husband’s wish list, and I found the resources to make it happen. It is a very relaxing, therapeutic device. And our nieces really enjoyed it when they came for the holiday. I personally couldn’t see the value of getting into a vat of 104 degree water and then emerging into 30 degree air, but it’s actually nice. And the massage is awesome, particularly for my feet.

Anyway, when we first got home, my brother called and told me he’d read my blog and felt bad. He offered to take Mom to his house for the weekend to give us a break. We took him up on it. It was nice to have some time to ourselves. It wasn’t nearly enough, but you take what you can get.

Clearly, he didn’t exactly enjoy her visit, and my brother’s comment upon their return was typical: “No one held a gun to your head.” Don’t blame me. I never asked you to do this.

Well, quite true, no one did. And truth be told, this is, on many levels, a nightmare come to life. But what options are there? Having explored so many, this was what we’ve come up with. Should we have left her in Florida to fend for herself? Left her in the senior apartment where her needs were not being met and I was STILL left holding the bag for her doctor appointments and administrative stuff? Much as this sucks, it’s still the most workable option.

I did decide to approach her doctor with the possibility that my mother is depressed and suffering from pseudo-dementia rather than the real thing. Upon examining her, he agreed and put her on an anti-depressant. It’s too soon to tell if it’s working (it can take as long as 12 weeks), but she’s only been on the drug for 4 weeks and it doesn’t seem to be doing any harm.

Meanwhile, Bob and I try to keep talking to each other. We snap at each other more than we used to, but we know each other well enough to see from whence it comes. Talking calmly, taking time outs for ourselves and soaking in the tub help a lot.

I’ve also just joined the Children of Aging Parents Support Group. It’s nice to read what others are going through. One woman’s post made me well up in recognition. Others make me feel like I don’t have it so bad. It just underscores the importance of community. This is clearly why religions developed. This is the new religion for our time: Welcome to The Church of Online Support.

And now, having put the finishing touches on my post, I’m going to go work out and prepare to televise my town’s council meetings.

Happy Holidays, folks. May you get what you need and enjoy what you get.

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About traceysl

Digital Artist, creative technologist, problem-solving lover of life. Having cared for my mother, who died on April 14, 2015 after a long fight with dementia, I have refocused professionally to helping others through my experience. I have started a company called Grand Family Planning to provide unique Family Support Services. In this way, I share my knowledge and give meaning to the tragic turn of my parents' journey through the misery of dementia.
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