Friday, March 29, 2013

MY MOM MY HERO



MY MOM MY HERO- is a Newly Released  book. It is a compilation of special posts, including some of the many comments I have received from readers around the world.  Dedicated to my mom, and to all the other's who have been effected by this horrific disease. This book is also dedicated to all the caregivers that I have met, and the ones I have not. It is a book about love and relationships.

It is available on Amazon and Kindle worldwide. I'd like to share the link with you.



 

Friday, March 22, 2013

KISSES CLOSE TO MY HEART


KISSES CLOSE TO MY HEART

The last several weeks my mom has not been as vibrant or sharp as in the past. She has been both connected and disconnected. This was what my brother had been feeling, which left him thinking, that she may shortly have to go into a nursing home .

My interpretation was a little different. Mom does not wander, and she has still been able to be alone in her home after her caregivers depart for the night, without too many occasions of disturbances . Since her money is dwindling ,in the near future she will have to go on Medicaid, and then be placed into a nursing home.

One day this week I was able to catch mom with a conversation that delighted me. It's not that what she said made much sense, yet she sounded to me both upbeat and jovial. She was definitely confused with who was who ,yet I so badly wanted to experience all the silly things that she was sharing with me.

It began when mom questioned me about my name."Mom, my name is Lisa." With that she started to laugh as she so heartily said, and with excitement ,that she had the same name as me. "Mom, I thought your name was Ruth." She so proudly answered with my name is "Lisa Ruth Elian." She continued to say that she and I had the same name, which she thought was quite funny.  I smiled and quickly thought that maybe she wanted to have the same name as me, because of her love for me. I did not feel upset, and trying to convince her of anything else, would do absolutely no good.  Harmlessly I played along.

I continued with telling her that everyone loved her. With such surprise in her voice she shouted "really, I did not know that everyone loves me." "Mom that is because you are so sweet."She then shared with me how much she also loves her mother, as if she was still alive. I quickly decided not to tell her how long ago her mom passed away, and just allow her fantasies to continue.

She then asked, "what's your name again?" As we continued on, she repeated the same conversation. She then wanted to know when I would be visiting, which is a question that she frequently asks of me. After explaining that I lived far away, in New York, she quickly remembered by saying,"oh I forgot you live there," as she started reminiscing about the city that she was born and raised in.

Today's call as it was ending, I made sure that I would collect my kisses from her. Mom did throw them to me, yet she said that she tried two times and nothing came out of her lips. "Yes mom I did get your kisses and I put them in my pocket." She then wanted to know, sounding like an innocent child, how I could do that. I declared that it was magic. "You threw them, I caught them, and they are now my kisses, that I can  always keep close to my heart." Mom let out a giggle.

Lucky, lucky me for her sweet enduring kisses. They will remain today and always, in my pocket which lies very close to my heart.


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.


 

Friday, March 8, 2013

IF ONLY FOR A DAY

 

IF ONLY FOR A DAY

I most recently asked my mother is she would count to twenty for me. Mom refused claiming that she was not feeling very well. I thought differently. I realized that at this moment she was not capable of doing this. For her saying that she felt ill, was her way of covering up what felt difficult for her to perform.  At certain moments she remains sharp enough to be able to know her limitations

This week my husband and I celebrated thirty two years of marriage. I excitedly shared this with mom and her response for me was adorable. "Wow Lisa, I did not know that you were married, and for such a long time." "Yes mom, I am." She then said "is he nice?'' "Very nice,"I answered. " I also have a son, your grandson who is named after your father.""How old is he?" Proudly, I said he's twenty five and six feet tall." Mom seemed delighted.

There are many different ways that I could have reacted to what mom could no longer remember. My emotions could have left me feeling upset ,or perhaps angry that she has Alzheimer's. Fortunately for me, I can appreciate and enjoy the interactions that we still can share. Mom was like an innocent child and just hearing her cuteness left me with smile.

Sometimes I wish that I could slip into my mother's head if only for a day, and see the world from her perspective. I wonder through her eyes what does she see?  What does she hear, and what does she think? How does her brain process everything that surrounds her? Mom seems to be happy and in no pain, and for me this is all that is important.

Several years ago I interviewed her and asked if it was scary that she did not remember certain things. Her answer, back then, was that it did not upset her. She knew that whatever had happened the day before had to be nice. Today, mom has lost a great deal of her memory.  I ponder what would mom now say, and could she even answer my question? Sometimes, I sit, I wait and I wonder. If only for one day could I know the answer.

 

Friday, March 1, 2013

CLOSE TO MY HEART


CLOSE TO MY HEART

As today's phone call came to an end, my mother told me that it was a "pleasure" to hear me sing to her. The word "pleasure" was a different word then she normally uses in her new limited vocabulary.  I loved the sound of it, as it made my heart skip a beat. My soul cried out to how much I miss seeing her.  Since my brother lives nearby, he gets to visit her once a week, which leaves me feeling a little envious.

 I experienced mom this week in some different troubling ways.  Her caregivers and I watched to see if she was behaving strange, because she was either constipated, having another UTI(Urinary Tract Infection) episode, or that Alzheimer's was naturally reclaiming her. This time I was able not to get upset and stay in the moment. Could I be getting immuned, or perhaps learning not to panic?

I must admit that I did call three times in one day, just wondering if she was doing any better. Fortunately, mom rarely ever needs to take any medication for anxiety. Yet this day I requested that her caregiver give her half a pill to hopefully bring some tranquility back into her life. As the day went by, the pill seemed to have helped.

Mom had been rambling on about her fingers and continuosly counting them, explaining that someone had slapped her hand. She insisted that she had to return home, although she was already in her home, as she claimed that she had much to do. I made certain that her fingers were not sprained or broken, since mom could not tell us if she had accidentally hurt herself. Could she have closed a closet or draw on her fingers?  I am not certain, and we will never know.

The following day she made more sense, yet her question left me with an empty feeling. She wanted to know if I had any friends. "Yes mom, I do have friends."  I was feeling rather sentimental  as I expressed to her, how blessed I was that she was my mother and also my best friend.  Mom then shared , "I use to have many friends but since I am now in the house all the time, you loose your friends." "Mom does this bother you?" "No not really,"she explained saying that these things do not upset her.

I can only wonder if mom feels all alone and terribly isolated. There are very few people left in her life. She has her caregivers, my brother and myself, yet in her universe, she no longer has any friends or neighbors that ever come to visit. What emotionally can she be experiencing in her world, that she no longer can share with any of us?  I found that what I was left with, was an emotion of just wanting to hold her, and tell her that everything will be just fine

As the week progressed she bounced back and intrigued me with her words of wisdom. Once again mom was saying that she was happy to be alive. I have noticed that after she has had a disturbing experience, she always returns with being grateful for her health and life. It is amazing and a blessing that mom can somehow, someway really understand and appreciate just being alive. I listen carefully to this amazing ,wise lady, and I hold her words close to my heart, just knowing that each day that we are alive, truly is a gift.

Note: the picture above was when mom was free from Alzheimer's.