C9-H13-NO3 is the chemical makeup of adrenaline. The last two days I have pumped far too much of this complex chemical through my blood tubes. Mom fell last night late in the day after a bad day of taking, missing and probably spitting out meds. Fall calls are not the kind of call one likes at bedtime after a long weekend. Just an hour or two before that I had got the good news that her teeth were found. Before that…a bad day. Before that we had our short, nice visit. Up and down we go, where we stop, nobody knows…
Fast forward to today. A quick 10 hour day of work and off to hop on the adrenaline train ride again. Tonight’s challenge: getting mom to take her meds when she was clearly so far out of whack that the whack store had a sign on the door advising whack seekers to shop elsewhere. Short story long, somehow I was able to convince mom that her former doctor really wanted her to take her meds. Thank you, Lord.
I tell this story not to get claps, likes or similar, but to say thank you to caregivers everywhere. Thank you for enduring trials 3x per day. Thank you for not giving up on your loved one even when they are a shell of who they used to be. It matters. You matter.
Bit of comic relief: after playing the piano a tad after supper
(sadly, pretty rough too), mom was starting to sag. The meds were starting to
serve their purpose. I took mom to bed, took off her shoes, and tucked her in.
She said “Can take get my picture?”, her most coherent sentence of
the 3 hour visit. Her roomie was asleep and the room was dark…and I said
“Sure, Mom”. I pulled out my Samsung Galaxy to snap her picture as
she faded off to slumbersville, pressed the pic circle and……Boom goes the
dynamite!!!! I stinking forgot to turn off the flash and I nuked poor Mom’s
corneas with the stupid phone!!! I am soooooo fortunate that the blitzkrieg
from my phone didn’t wake her all the way back up. Lol…but not lol. It soooo
reminded me of taking one of my 3 pride and joys to their cribs as babies, then
trying to sneak out after singing the Barney song or similar for the 77th time
only to step on either a loose board or a Lego…and then starting the process
over. Tonight, God knew I and the Sweet 17 needed a reprieve. Lol. The picture
below doesn’t do it justice.
I do squat compared to most caregivers. I spend maybe 10-20 hours in a week with mom with a staff of nurses nearby helping the whole time. Sure, the other 60 walking hours of the week we spend thinking about medicine, moving options, hospitalizations and the like that 2 years ago had never entered our brain, but we still have quite easy. Compare that with 24/7 family caregivers listening at all hours while sleeping to see if mom went outside to feed the nonexistent cows or, Lord help us drive the car. Compare that to the ladies and gentlemen who work in memory units. How could they not be stretched paper thin by 12-hour shifts of word salad, falls, angry families, missing dentures and deaths of Sweet 17 members everywhere. Lastly, compare it to Alzheimer’s patients themselves who literally live in a state of panic with little or no ability to address problems or process rational conversations.
Let me summarize with this: Alzheimer’s sucks. Thank you for supporting me as I chronicle just how much it sucks. I am sorry for downer messages that I often post. Some are hard to sugarcoat.
Lots of beautiful things happen in the memory unit. Lots of love and compassion and Godly service happening in all directions. Things will get worse before they get better for these ladies. Support these nurses and doctors. Visit the ladies and gentlemen who struggle. Help your neighbor help their relative. Learn about Alzheimer’s. Give. Volunteer. Advocate.
Thank you for reading this and pray mom sleeps all night properly medicated. 🙁 You matter.