I was heading for Dementia Highway... in Mom's footsteps.
My diet was not good. I wasn't getting regular exercise, just sporadically when I felt the "Oh Shit" come over me when I finally got the courage to stand on a scale. Each time I stood on the scale, the numbers climbed until I was obese, just like my mom. I was unhappy, it had a negative affect on my spirit.
The other day I was talking to my new best friend and she said, "You know, caring for your mom was YOUR journey. It was something for you to go through alone." I have thought about her words since she spoke them and she's right.
I call it Karma, others would call it the luck of the draw.
It has been a journey caring for my mother. I learned a lot about myself, some good and some not so good. I even forgive myself for all the not so good things that I may have done or thought. I'm human. I'm here to learn and create a life that will be remembered, long after I'm dead.
Every one can be an asshole to someone sometime.
I really don't remember who said those words, but I do remember hearing them years ago when I was young and impressionable. I often wondered if it was just an excuse to be a shit head sometimes? Looking back from a wiser place, people are competitive and sometimes we all just suck; especially when we think it's all about us.
It takes work to be nice. I remember a nun telling me once, "You get more with sugar than vinegar." I never really understood what she meant. I wanted to understand so I would be nice to people... old people. Hence the beginning of my attraction to seniors and helping them during their tough times.
It's rewarding to care for a senior with dementia.
There are days that just seem impossible when caring for a demented senior; I know, I live with one. I have noticed that when my mood is not the greatest, my mom's behaviors are unbearable. She's more bitchy and less agreeable when I am not in a good place mentally.
Demented people are super sensitive to emotions. They tune in to feelings and can immediately scan a room and draw a conclusion just by the energy everyone is giving off. I think this could be a reason why demented seniors have a hard time in crowds. People are just uncomfortable around demented people. Hell, how do you respond when someone says, "Hey, look at the elephant in the pool!" or "Look at Eddie in the trees!" (Eddie is my dead brother.) It can be a bit unnerving and seems to always trigger unacceptable behaviors.
I've noticed that when I'm happy; when I am singing... my mother is happy and listens to her mp3 player and sings "Here we are.... here we are......" all day long. It's the song by Jason Mraz that she thinks sounds like angels singing to her. Hey, whatever it takes to keep her happy, is super.
She didn't have acupuncture this week. Dr. Barton is on vacation and she didn't want anyone else to do it. She's had trouble finding her words all week and it's been bothering her. I've been in a good mood because I have had respite. I can handle her agitation and turn it around.
Monday, she will have acupuncture again; she is looking forward to it.
Another observation that I've made is Acupuncture won't work very well if the patient is agitated. A couple of weeks ago my mom was pissed off. I was tired and not in a good mood. She was difficult. She didn't want acupuncture because she keeps telling me that it's too expensive. I told her that she has to do it because it makes it easier for us to communicate. There was no getting through to her, she was not buying it, she wanted to be in control, period.
I let it all go. I didn't force her to have acupuncture this week. Now, she can't wait for Monday so that she can talk again after her acupuncture treatment.
In a nutshell, care giver emotions and attitude matter more than anything. Keep smiling. Sing. Get respite so that you have the strength to keep doing your angel work.