Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm Still Here

Citygirl bopped over to my other blog and reminded me that I haven't posted here for a while.

I have been feeling depressed and full of anxiety. Things here have just been building up and dragging me down. I've had a lot of work stuff on deadline that didn't help things. On top of that, I was organizing a vacation getaway to New Orleans as a way to rejuvenate myself and travel has gotten stressful, too. Go over to Why Oh Why? and check out the pics and narration of the trip if you are interested.

I struggled through with a stomach ache but did manage to catch up on some sleep. I enjoyed the city and look forward to going back again some day.

I shed a few tears while I was there. When describing my mom to my best friend over brunch, the tears welled up in my eyes as I said how sorry I feel for mother dear. I vacillate over when is the right time to throw in the towel and place her in assisted care. It just breaks my heart to think about her getting upset because she doesn't know where she is and feeling abandoned.

As my best friend said, and it is a thought for many of you who come here to this blog: "It's a fine line between being noble and being a martyr." That bit of wisdom has given me something to think about and may be the way I have to frame the assisted care idea to get beyond my misgivings.

Sorry it's been a while. I've just been lacking motivation.


Greg said...

Well I'm glad to read your thoughts again. And Bravo to Citygirl, who has left some wonderful, poignant and thought-provoking comments with me and whose own blog is devastatingly moving on this subject.

Just one thought to add, personally, and that is that your Mom might just possibly surprise you by welcoming the assisted environment. Believe me, I was convinced that my own Mother would fight tooth and nail before going into a Home, but she seemed to recognise the one she wanted when we visited. She responded to the kind people she met there (she was oblivious to the facilities) and she really loves having someone to talk to and reassure her at any hour of the day or night. She did spend a few weeks of worrying how we were going to afford this 'hotel' and she kept telephoning me to let me know about her pension, but she's calm now and at home there.

I've been reading Andrew Holleran's book 'Grief' which is clearly an autobiographical tale populated with characters who just happen to allow him to debate the many forms that grief can take. He (the narrator) has just lost his Mother after caring for her at her home for many years, finally having to find her a home. I thought of you.

I'm glad you had a break and it sounds like both you and Citygirl have been letting some tears fall - which was probably a way for your body to relax a little, too.

My Best Wishes to you and your Mother.


Anonymous said...

I have talked to a lot of people recently who have loved ones who are suffering from Alzheimer's and they all say great things about the assisted living experience. I know it's hard to let her go but it's worth a try. She might really enjoy the friendship and support from the others there that are going through the same thing.

citygirl said...

Good to see you on here again. I know I get mighty depressed and down somedays and don't feel like blogging or socializing in real life. I slink to work & home like a ghost and don't do much else sometimes.

It's not just the patients that have the disease; it's the carers too. And once the patients pass on, the carers still have to recover from years of living under stress and depression.

I thought my mom would literally kick & scream before she'd go to assisted living. It wasn't easy but we eventually got her settled in and she liked it. It was heartbreaking and guilt-ridden for us to make that choice but it was for mom's own safety and our own sanity. Everyone comes to that point and some give in to help/care while other soldier on. But what matters is that you make the right choice for you and your mom.

A Single Man said...


Glad that you're back posting again.

I don't know what to say except know that we all think of you and we understand some of what you're dealing with.

I worry too about H not realizing where he is someday when I can't take it anymore. Or worse, he realizes where he is and feels abandoned because I have run out before he's not aware anymore.

But, I love your friends' quote. And it is good for me to watch myself as I slip into martyrdom more often than not. Nobility is the goal, of course, but sometimes it just gets so overwhelming and sad that I cross that line without realizing it.

When to throw in the towel...that has been the hardest for me to know when.

I've been told by many that H may actually enjoy the more social setting rather than being home and slowly slipping further into his dementia. A dear fried of ours said, "Well, what you both want (keeping H at home) may not, in fact, be what is best for him or for you."

And sometimes, just a few moments here and there when I don't let the guilt get to me, I think that my friend is right, but my heart struggles with it.

ChickPea said...

Would there were a simple answer to this dilemma - but every situation is different.
You can only find your OWN answer for your situation - and the accommodation that is available to your loved one.
"What you want...and what is best (for all parties concerned)" is a humdinger. In retrospect, we had reached an absolutely impossible scenario with caring for DJ, and were fortunate to have kind advice and wise counsel when we needed it. But the reality of then doesn't change the subsequent guilt feelings that now surface once the sleep deprivation has been corrected. Life is complicated. We can only do our best for the situation.
I dislike this concept of 'Noble gesture or martyr' - REAL martyrs are made by others TAKING a life, and I am disturbed by this degratory and dismissive use of a precious word. I know what is intended, and the intention is laudable. But I am disturbed that any carer, giving care through love/honour/obligation - call it what you will - should be urged to level such an unkind accusation at their own heart. Yes - identify the need to change circumstance - but please, not because of an implication that there is maybe something inappropriate in the motivation of the giver......Love is expressed in many ways, and sometimes pushed beyond limits - but it is no less 'love' for all that.