Saturday, March 17, 2012
IS THIS A DREAM OR A NIGHTMARE ?
IS THIS A DREAM OR A NIGHTMARE ?
On Saturday around 10:30 in the morning I received a phone call from Elaine my mom’s caregiver. Elaine phoned to tell me that since she could not reach my brother she would like permission to take my mother with Trudy, her daughter and her grandson to the beach.
My answer was that I thought it was a lovely idea, and shared with Elaine how my mom use to love to go to the beach. I also explained to Elaine that I thought it would be quite difficult for my mom to actually walk on the beach and be in the hot sun. I reminded her that because of mom’s macular degeneration the bright sun and the reflection of the water would blind her vision. I was just happy that my mom would be getting out and had total trust in Elaine and Trudy.
That was the last time in two days that I had any contact with my mom or her caregivers. I speak to my mom everyday and after not being able to reach anyone, no matter what time I tried or whose number I called, by early evening on Sunday, I started to feel concerned and frightened.
On Sunday I was with my son during the day, so I was a little preoccupied. I actually had forgotten that I was unable to reach my mom. I now wondered that if my mom was in a hospital my brother or Elaine would have surely contacted me. Could all the phone circuits be out of order in Florida? I knew that was highly unlikely. Finally that evening my brother called me back around 9PM and reassured me that he had spoken to my mom around 12:30 that day. He agreed with me that I had a reason to be upset for neither Elaine or Trudy answered their cell phones or called me back after leaving several voice mails. They split the twelve hour shift of taking care of my mom, so where were they? My mom’s phone just rang and rang, and all I was left with was total silence.
I tried again between 8PM and 8:30PM when my mom is ready for bed. Still at this time her telephone just continuously rang. Where could she be? I felt so helpless and there was absolutely nothing I could do.
As I went to bed I had a thought of what it might feel like when I can no longer speak to my mom. There was a feeling of a hole and an empty space in my life. When I finally fell asleep that night I had a dream about by mom. It was a lovely dream. My mom was by a beach or a nursing facility, and she seemed to have come back to life. She was changing her clothes and having conversations with other people, not exactly as my mom use to be, yet she seemed free of Alzheimer’s. My mom appeared to be whole. The dream was so surreal. Yet when I awoke the feelings of heaviness were still with me.
Was it the fears of knowing that one day even if my mom is still alive I may not be able to speak to her? That I may not hear the sound of her voice? Or was it a deeper fear, that one day my mom will be gone. I have so many feelings, although on most days I seem to be able to stay in the moment. For the moment is truly all that I have.
Was I upset because I could not speak to my mom or was I upset for the unknown? Did I awake to a dream or was it a nightmare, disguised in its own reality? As I speak to other adult children whose parents have Alzheimer’s this seems to be a similar fear. We sit, we wait, we watch as our parents slowly disappear from this world.
FACT – Every 68 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Currently there is no prevention and no cure.