Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Taking a deep breath...

I've heard they're free., I know my blog entries tend to be like me...fluffy. Not a lot of grit, no insightful comments, no real controversy. I'm not a leader, risk taker or particularly witty kind of gal. Basically, I like being part of the herd...baaaaa...just call me sheep. These last couple of months I've had to step up and "take charge" in my personal life. A couple posts back I mentioned my mil had been staying with us. She lives 300 miles away from us and we needed to keep an eye on her. She's the one I needed to be in charge of. It is very hard to get a 62 yr old woman to do what's "good for her" when she has no reasoning capabilities. God help me, it was the longest 6 weeks of my life! Praise to longterm caregivers of loved ones with dementia. It is the most frustrating heartwrenching thing to watch.

We took her to a neurologist appt. last week and were once again told we had to wait another 6 weeks to get further testing. 6 weeks makes a huge difference in my mil's mental abilities. It was decided she would stay at her home, alone, with my bil checking in on her and us calling several times a day.

We return home. A couple nights later, Ken and I go out on our first evening alone in 2 months. We were like high school kids, just giggly happy to be ALONE! We received 5 phone calls in one hour from mil looking for Ken's dad (who passed away 5 years ago.) She also informs us she has given herself a prescribed shot she wasn't supposed to administer for another 3 weeks. (don't even get me started on why the neurologist would trust her to administer her own shots!) Drama, drama and more drama. I was selfishly annoyed that my evening was ruined with phone tag and "dealing with the situation." Thankfully, my brother in law stepped up and has her staying with him. I have spent the last two days on the phone arranging appts and getting my mil bumped to STAT status on her testing. I speak with her several times a day explaining the same things over and over and over. She keeps saying she would like to come back. I feel ashamed and guilty for not being ready to do another stint with her. It looks like this is going to be a very long journey for us and I'm praying I have the stamina. I'm also praying for a fast diagnosis so we can get the ball rolling with keeping her and others having the state take her drivers license. We haven't let her drive over the last two months but if she isn't diagnosed with something I don't know what legal actions we could take to keep her off the roads.

On a brighter note...don't you love my new decorative pins?!? I got them yesterday from GigiMinor. I had to make up a cute little home for them...this mushroom house bottlecap pincushion. Baby got a kick out of the smoke from the chimney. I think I need to do a spring themed one with flowers and a birds nest on the roof.

Thanks for listening to my pity party and letting me vent.


Cherie said...

You and your husband will be blessed for doing this for you mil. If she does not yet have the living will and powers of attorney (durable and health care) then get it done immediately, probably through a lawyer. It will save huge headaches later. Get this book: The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life (4th Edition) (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book) by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabin. It's eye opening and helpful. My husband and I took care of his parents who both had dementia, one with the short-term memory loss your mil has, until they died. It was quite a journey. Good luck to you.


Julie said...

I'm s sorry things have gone downhill with your MIL. It must be so hard on everyone.

One things that helps get more immediate care is if she were to be hospitalized. Sad, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Cherie gave you terrific advice, that book is wonderful.
My mother showed significant signs of dementia at 63, too. today, she's 73 and in a secured dementia unit. The care-givers at these facilities are on the fast-track to heaven in our minds.....these people are so special. Please begin to investigate your options with similar type facilities, they vary greatly and the costs are substantial. My mother was in absolute great physical condition, and that's probably why she has lived so long with this disease. Also, don't under-estimate the amt of alcohol consumption she may be doing on a daily mother medicated herself via wine and has further hindered herself. our state, all we needed was a physician to sign off declaring my mother unfit for driving. My husband did it and my mother was furious, but we felt as though she was such a hazard on the road.

our thoughts are with you,