Friday, March 15, 2013

MY HEART IS ACHING



MY HEART IS ACHING

During the week I discovered that mom's money would shortly be running out. We are now getting closer to the moment, when she will have to go on Medicaid, and be admitted into a nursing home. Her condition is progressing, and my brother and I do not know how long she will be able to stay in her home.

I as her daughter feel so saddened, and I am left with a heaviness that I can hardly explain. I honestly feel a little lost.  How can I do this to my mother? How can I abandon her ? How can I just put her into a nursing home, when she still has moments of aliveness. How cruel can I be ? What now are my choices?

I have so many things to think about, and wishing that I will be able to do the best I can for her. I do not want to upset or hurt her. The strange thing is that mom will probably not even realize what is happening, and if she does, she immediately will forget it. Her wishes and my promises to never leave her home will be broken.

My emotions are running wild . I know in my heart that I am not alone in this. I know that this is happening everyday, to so many other families. My writings and being able to express myself  helps ease my pain.

The nursing homes are filled with so many people, and have long waiting lists especially in the Alzheimer units. The beds do not free up quickly, for the victims of Alzheimer's can live for years and years with this terminal illness. 

I was aware that this would be happening, just not realizing when I would have to face this. Now what? Was I living in denial, or choosing to live in the moment?

Maybe we have some more time? Could mom bounce back again? Are our calculations incorrect?  I think, I pray and I wonder.

 I passed a homeless man several days ago and I felt so troubled by seeing him.  He had no place to live, no shelter, nor food to eat. It was an epiphany that hit me, for I flashed on my mom.

Alzheimer's has stolen her life from her, yet not the love I know she can still feel. Nor the warmth and comfort of her own bed. I must stay grateful for all the blessings that we have in our life, and know that the world still has some miracles.

Aftermath:
 
I awoke with only thoughts of my mom. I felt queasy and I was left with frets of fears, along with all the many decisions that will have to be made. Do I bring her back to New York?  Can I even find a nursing home for her? Or should I have her remain in Florida, where she and my brother both live ?

 As I spoke to mom and shared how much I missed her, without telling her how my heart was aching, she said "do not worry, for we will get to see each other soon." My heart at that very moment broke in two.

 I know that I must lighten up. Oh how I despise this horrific disease that robs you of your dignity and your life .

I cry out wanting only for my mother to hold me, as when I was a young child ,and comfort me as I snuggle into her arms. I want her to reassure me, that everything will be okay.


 

18 comments:

  1. How I wish my mom could hug me too. For many years before she passed last Thursday, she was unable to do anything and was completely bedridden with no memory of anything. I have said if I could shoot this disease dead and spend my life in jail for doing that, I would. Our country is awful with the elderly-the expense, the care, everything. I know your pain first hand. My brothers and I were very fortunate that my father would not put her in a home and moved all the equipment into his home and we hired wonderful 24/7 care.

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    1. Debra, I can say nothing other than I am so, so sorry about the loss of your mom. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I am here for you. Lisa

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  2. Oh Lisa, I wish I knew what to say. I know exactly what you're going through and it's so very painful. I abhor this damn disease... what it does to its victims and families is so cruel.

    Today marks three months since my mom succumbed to it, and I miss her more than words can say. Just to have one more chance to sit and hold her hand... or hear her say "I love you." Instead, I try and find comfort in knowing that she's whole again, healthy and happy. My guardian Angel, flying high with her beautiful wings.

    You will be in my prayers, Lisa.

    ~Ann

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  3. I appreciate your blog very much! My mom is deteriorating quickly as well... and I wonder the same thing... when? When is it time to say, "It's time."? Thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you in your journey!
    Devon

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  4. Lisa, I remember this time as if it was yesterday, Mum has been in a home for nearly three years now, and it broke my heart to read your blog. Your heart is always in the right place Lisa and although it will be hard, I am sure you will make the right decision. Always here,
    Hugs...Julie xxx

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  5. Dear Ann, Julie, Devon,

    I feel such caring and warmth from all of you. We all understand what this disease does to our loved ones, our families and our "lives". It also brings us together to be there for each other. Just think how special that is.
    Hugs to each one of you.
    Lisa

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  6. Lisa...first may I offer you support in a virtual hug. The loss of no longer being the child/daughter to your mom and the rise of becoming her mother and she your child, switches roles in ways that one can never be prepared for. With that said, all promises such as never having to leave home, must not be hanging over you and your brother. Your heart will guide you, your objectivity will prevail, and the decision of what is best for her will be clear. Cast off your doubts, your feelings of failing her, your burden of what if's. Rise up and meet the new woman that you must be. To care for your mother with compassion and love your brother and you must agree on what would be the best path to take now in your mom's care. While bringing her to you is an option you must think how disruptive would this travel be on her? It might be time to go and preview places where she is near your brother.

    Allow yourself to sit quietly, think clearly, and then make the steps that must be done. Once the decision is clear you will feel some peace of her safety and comfort for when she does need to move. Find a cheerful, well lit, with gardens that she might be able to go to. A place with activities for her to participate in if she wishes.

    Your journey is leading you on a different path Lisa...do not fear...she only needs you to hold her hand and guide her with your continued love.

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    1. Ellen your beautiful sentiments are so appreciated. I can only say thank you from the bottom of my heart along with Amen.
      Hugs back to you,
      Lisa

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  7. Hi Lisa. My heart breaks for you, too. As you know I had to make many of the same decisions. But I did find that with Mom living close to me in a nursing home (after she lived in my home, assisted living, and a memory care facility) that I could enjoy many peaceful and sweet visits with her. I often dreaded going to visit, but once I was there, and concentrated on being in the moment with her, I was so glad to hold her hand, sit outside with her, or just talk to her. I hesitate to give you advice, of course, but if you are thinking of finding a nursing home near you, it might be worth it if your brother is OK with it. Your time with her nearby will be a gift.

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    1. Martha, I feel what you write is what is in my heart. My brother is fine with whatever I decide.Thank you my new friend for reaching out to me. xoxo

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    1. This really brothers people who know there is no cure. It oreys on our psyches and if you are lying, you will or should be very ashamed of yourself.God, I wish it were true though.

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    2. This really brothers people who know there is no cure. It oreys on our psyches and if you are lying, you will or should be very ashamed of yourself.God, I wish it were true though.

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  9. You will NOT be abandoning your mother when she moves to a nursing home; instead you will be getting her the best care from professionals who are trained in this disease. Plus if you could see her more often, wouldn't that be great. I was told on a Thursday that I had to find a nursing home for Mom by a rehab who was discharging her on Monday, a holiday. How could I do it. I got down on my knees virtually and begged the assted living to give her a chance to come back to her apt. It was clear to all, including my borther and me by 4 days that she couldn't live by herself in an asst living apartment any longer. We were lucky to find one of the finest facilities in the US, most technologicaly advanced and run by a foundation that won't take any mistreatment of its patients. Now I know she's where she needed to be. When she fell and broke her hip, they were in the room in 30 seconds and had her to the hospital 5 minutes later. The doctor said they usually lay in the floor for hours and do more harm trying to get up. He said they saved her life by their quick actions. Who knows, but your nursing home may extend your Mother's life for sometime, whereas being by herself she might have fallen and gotten hurt and had no help, if it happpened after the caregivers had left. God will walk you through this next stage and show you that you are doing the best you can for your Mom.

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  10. This breaks my heart :( It's so hard to have to make these decisions and I don't know what we will do when that time comes that my mom needs constant care. Our situation is a little different...my mom is only 51 and has a very rare form of dementia. But essentially it ends up the same. You are such a loving daughter. I admire you and your love for your mom.

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    1. Hi Cassandra,

      I am so sorry to hear about your mom. She is so young. This must be very difficult for you and your family.Where do you live? Do you still live home? The Alz Assoc offers different support groups. My mom is still living in her home except that my brother and I know that because of finances she will have to go on Medicade and go into a nursing home within 5-6 months. We were able to arrange keeping her at her home a little longer. Yes this is a very difficult thing to do and it breaks my heart. I hope that you will email me back and I want you nto know that I am always here for you.
      Sending you hugs,
      Lisa

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  11. I was searching to find a blog like this tonight and found yours.My mother was so beautiful tonight.As I walked her back to the halls of her Alzheimer's unit, I realize how tragic this is.She looks so young for 83 and is the prettiest and sweetest one there.But she can't open a card,and she wondered what I had out on the toothbrush (toothpaste) that tasted so good.She shuffles along and pats me on the arms, and says that's my girl.God, why have you let this disease be in our lives? Sometimes I hate you for it.I love my sweet little mama and the oain I feel as I remember her laugh her smile her Thank you as I walk away are so cruel and she didn't deserve this God.She has always been such a loyal Christian and faithful servant. I don't know ifbIbcan take this getting any worse.I'm an only child and she is all I have. I don't like this emotional heartbreak and I avoid it but it is coming through and it hurts.
    I love my mother and I want her back!!! Give me my mother back, I need her!!!!

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    1. Jan my heart feels your pain. One of the things that you have left is the love you two share. Never forget that and cherish and hold on to all the beautiful times that you have shared together. Lisa

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