OUR JOURNEY CONTINUES (Day 4)
I've been back in New York now for four weeks. While visiting mom I was sure to have paper and pen with me so I would be able to write down what I was feeling. There were days when I wrote nothing and days when my thoughts and emotions just overflowed as I scribbled away.
Today is the first day that I pulled out my notes, and for the next month or two, I will be documenting in sequence what I was feeling.
Day 4: I awoke today feeling good about mom yet when I reached the nursing home I started to feel a little queasy. After entering the facility and signing in, my husband and I took the elevator to the second floor.
It took a while to find mom, as usual, she was roaming the halls in her Merry Walker. Mom was clearly not having a great day. She appeared to be tired and most of what she had to say was about going home.
I heard mom "crying out" as if she hoped that we could help her. "Take me home my mother is waiting for me,"she pleaded . I need to go home and take care of my children." This was something that mom spoke about on many days.
Since this was in the beginning of our visits it really did upset me. I quickly learned to make the best of it and play along with her. On other visits when she mentioned that her mom was looking for her and I would say "Mom I spoke to your mom and she is okay." Mom would then look at me and with surprise in her voice, "you spoke to my mom?" "Yes mom, I did."
I realized now why my mom never stops roaming the halls. She has made comments that she is almost home, and with each corner that she turns she seems to think that she'll find it. Her eyes wander into the different rooms as she keeps searching.
At these moments, when she is looking for her children, her memory takes her back to when my brother and I were infants. She cannot visualize us as grownups. When I share with her that I am her daughter she looks confused while at other times her face lights up and quickly tells me that she loves me.
I try not to focus on the sadness of this disease Most of the time I am able to stay in the moment and remain grateful that mom can still walk and talk. So for now I choose to be thankful for each day that we can still share together.
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