Thank you to both PJ and Blogitse for giving me food for some serious thought with regard to when, if at all, it's time to commit my mom to a nursing home.
I want to also thank my childhood friend, Pauline, for her email note that comforted me and assured me that I WILL KNOW when it's time. Pauline, thank you for your friendship, it means a lot to me.
Our goal all along has been to provide an environment for my mom to have more good days than not so good days. Lewy Bodies Dementia is a terminal illness, there's no known cure and drugs don't help very much; pharma drugs cause my mom problems creating more confusion and fear in my demented mother's mind.
Maybe it's me but I have a hard time watching my mom scream out in fear and it's even worse to see her cry. Seeing ones mom (or dad) panicked is the worst nightmare any child can witness, regardless of your age.
Most onlookers would believe that my mom needs to be in a nursing home because of her behaviors and mental decline. It's the easy way out for me the Care Giver; it's a decision that I struggle to make.
Why do I struggle with the decision?
My entire life my mom has told me about the "Crazy Gene" that seems to be prevalent on her side of our family. Her mother and older sister spent their lives in a nursing home since the time my mom was 14 years old. Facilities have frightened her, it's a deep fear for my mom a fear that has been part of her life for at least 68 years. My mom passed on her fears to me and now I am left wondering, "do I put her in a home now or do I wait to see if she's approved for state aide and can have assistance to live at home?" Can I wait? Should I wait?
Mom, she has clear days and when she's clear, it's awesome. It's during these days that doubt fills my heart, rendering me paralyzed to the idea of putting her in a home.
But, as soon as she has a good day or two, she will have a not so good day... like yesterday for instance. Her blood pressure was crazy high; I kept her home from Day Care. Up and down, like a roller coaster her pressures will rise and fall with no rhyme or reason.
High Blood pressure always brings visitors who are not welcomed, hallucinations that cause my mom to become frightened; raising her blood pressure even higher. It's scary for both of us.
Over the last few days, I've been pondering the question, "When do I know it's time to commit my mom to a home?"
My husband and I had a long discussion regarding this topic. Our goal has always been to give my mom more good days than not so good days. I believe that we have accomplished this for her. However, now my mom seems to have more not so good days than good days. It's a crazy ride, one that is not for the weak of mind and heart. It's like having a nightmare where you ALMOST finish something but have to keep doing the task over and over again... hell.
Yesterday I began keeping track of the quality of her days on a calendar. GD will mean Good Day and BD will mean Bad Day. I'll gather the data and at the end of November I'll evaluate and see if I can bring myself to have my mom committed if the evidence presents itself. Facts. I need them to make a clear decision, one that is void of emotion. Emotions muddy the waters; nothing is ever good when it's done from a place of high stressful emotion. Lately, I've been experiencing way more stress.
The mark on the calendar for yesterday is BD because her blood pressure went up and up no matter what I did. Not even celery was working well for her yesterday, it helped a little but not with dramatic affects like it had in the past few weeks.
Taking one day at a time is all that I can do. I will not give up until I have facts which logically guide us to a peaceful conclusion. I've been having lots of conversations in my mind with the Blessed Virgin Mary; the only Catholic Saint that still gives me comfort during the character building times that life tends to present.
I look forward to the day when this is all over, when my mom has finally passed through the veil to join all her family and friends. In the meantime, I'll stay the course while I work on getting my mom on "the list" for a bed in Uncle Al's nursing home.
I'm wondering... do other LBD Care Givers witness crazy blood pressures with their loved ones?