|My mom and Uncle Al|
A good day
I am ready to commit my mom to a home, it is definitely time. A bed did open up for her at Uncle Al's home but with the state that Uncle Al is in these days, we feel it may not be good for my mom to live with him and seeing his decline. It's horrible to witness someone in the end stages of a dementia illness. It's my mom's fate and I'm scared for her.
Death is part of life. I get this fact very well. The aspect of death that is troubling is the suffering people go through to get to the finish line.
Now, Uncle Al can't talk, he grunts and makes noises. He tries like hell to talk and communicate, but he just can't do it. It's surely frustrating for him, not to be able to find the words to express his feelings and thoughts.
Last weekend, when I visited Uncle Al with Maryann, I brought my camera and asked him to give my mom a message. He smiled into the camera and tried to give his little sister a message; it made my heart break to see my once vibrant Uncle Al trapped in a dying body.
I thought of Uncle Al as a young mischievous boy being chased by his Pa. I thought of Uncle Al playing ball with other kids, working in the movie theater, going off to war so that he'd have a place to sleep and eat. I thought of Uncle Al's full life, but still felt sad to see him incapacitated, unable to move and communicate his thoughts.
My mom, she is heading for this same ending; or is she? I wonder if all that we've done for my mom, the alternative approach to helping her, if it will bring a less painful ending? I don't know.
What I do know is that Acupuncture is helping her a lot. Over the Thanksgiving holiday my mom wasn't able to get acupuncture twice a week. I noticed a huge difference in her mental state of being. She was more agitated and confused. Swallowing pills was a project that needed patience and time; two aspects of life that I was running short.
Today, she has Acupuncture before I take her to the Day Program. It helps her find her words and remember how to take her pills.
Friday, my mom told me that the nurses at school were excited that she was able to swallow her lunch time supplements with no coaching. "She did it! Did you see that?!" The nurses exclaimed. It made my mom happy to hear the nurses become joyous over her accomplishing a once simple task.
Acupuncture gives my mom the feeling that she is capable, believing that she can do everything herself. My mom, she doesn't like having a Care Attendant; she likes having a companion. Tonight, I hope she lets her companion help her in the shower. It's one of those tasks that no matter how many times I've helped her in the shower it is just as difficult as the first time I had to help her wash herself.
Today, we should have a good day. My mom slept through the night. Albeit she did wake up at 6 AM, walking down the stairs to use the bathroom attached to my husband and my bedroom in the basement. I'm always amazed how she misses the bathroom attached to her own bedroom; I even leave the light on so that she can see the toilet.
It's never a good feeling to have a panicked crazy person who has to pee, standing frozen on the stairs as she screams, "But I have to pee!"
We had no bowel mishaps today. Everything made it into the toilet. I'm considering this a sign for a good day ahead.
I will call nursing homes today and set up appointments to do tours of the facilities. I need to find my mom a home where the staff understands Lewy Bodies Dementia. I am on the hunt for the right place for her where they understand her condition. I live in a town with lots of seniors and a plethora of nursing facilities.
I've also decided to take my mom to the nursing home myself. No big fan fare. I'll prepare her for the move and just do it myself. Emotional family would make it worse for her and me. I feel that I've gone this far alone with her I may as well go the rest of the way with just the two of us.
I have only one request for my family with how they can now help, visit Ma frequently and regularly once she is moved to a facility. Mom will need everyone more than imagined when she's in a home. Even though you may think she's "gone" or not there, she is... she'll just be trapped in a dying body, just like Uncle Al is right now.
It's been a long road that I've traveled with my mom. The day I do bring her to a facility, I will do it knowing that I did all that I could to help her. I will have no regrets and for this I will forever be grateful.