Today is Friday and instead of my usual night out with my husband for supper, I stay home with mother and watch the RFD channel. I'm getting a little more comfortable with my homebound feelings than last week, but am torn between the love of my mother and the freedom that I once cherished. It's been a long week and enough dementia shenanigans to last a month.
It all started last Sunday when we decided to take mother to a restaurant after church. What in the world were we thinking. My husband made the unfortunate decision to take us all out to eat in a town that included traveling on the interstate. If you ever decide to drive a dementia person on a trip, make sure they're in the back seat, or blind folded. My mother rarely has a bad word to say when it comes to my husband Bob, but this time, she spared no one. As we stand in line, I can see my mother visibly shaking. "What in the world is wrong with you mother?" I ask. "I'm mad at Bobby!" she snaps. "What for?" "I can't believe he brought us up here!" I look the other way as we are escorted to our table. As we are seated, spurts of "I wished I'd stayed home" to "this is the last time I'm coming here" are overheard by whispering onlookers. The same person that catnapped in church that day, retorted back at her "well, no one will ever bring you back mother, if you don't hush." As the waitress takes our order, Mother becomes more and more outraged,forcing me to make her food choices. We wait an unusual long time for our food and mother is irate. With remarks about the tea to the decore of the room, she was not a happy camper. The food finally arrives as mother taunts the waitress "well, it's about time!"
A visit to the doctor this week indicates that mother has low hemoglobin and needs a colonoscopy to rule some things out. She has agreed to the doctor and myself that she will comply. Appointment dates are made, only to get her home and statements of "You can forget that!" are rolling off her lips. I'm not sure about you, but forcing someone with dementia or no dementia, to drink a gallon of yuck is not on my priority list. I will need much prayer to pull this one off.
Mother spends much of her days, watching the squirrels, doves and crows, eating acorns and shelled corn which my husband has carefully placed around the firepit just so his mother-in-law can have a first hand view of all the wildlife at her new surroundings. Mother rarely mentions the live nature, only to complain about the ugly old wooden bear that stands six feet high outside her window. "Why in the world would anybody want something like that near their house is beyond me" she complains.
Next week will bring a change. I have decided to take mother to the new Senior Day Care Center in the town where I work, just for a trial visit. I fear that mother will have many choice words for me and those folks before the day is over.
Only God knows how much I love my mother. Only He can remind me of this love as I care for her. I pray for much needed strength and patience as I make my way down the stairs each morning.