It's been surreal. My mom is in a facility. I was unable to care for her another minute; I was spent.
Blood pressure through the roof; a weird headache that I've never experienced was the tell tale sign that there was something wrong. I cried every day for months and on and off for the last 3 years. This journey with my mom has been intense.
Relief from care giving; exhaustion leaving my being as sleep restores my inner battery to keep on keeping on. I feel more alive. Life was difficult this last few weeks. My mom was falling repeatedly. Her balance was way off, jumping up to chase hallucinations, with agitation from her inability to speak.
Just in the knick of time, a bed opened for my mom. Friday, she started exit seeking at "work"; the indicator that she had outgrown the day program. I picked her up from the program and drove her to the nursing home.
Knowing that external emotions affect my mom, I decided to go alone to the nursing home with her. I held it together, I had to. I didn't shed one tear, even though my mom gave me the old Italian "Stink Eye." She is mad at me.
Abandonment issues from her childhood are prevalent, she is depressed. I have visited her every day since she was admitted. Yesterday, we brought her an iPod radio with our old iPod so that she could listen to Frank Sinatra. Music calms her and blocks the noise of sirens going off in other patient rooms.
Today, I visited Mom and fed her applesauce with all her vitamins.. B12, Applpoly, Vitamin D3 and a 50 Billion probiotic. She loved the applesauce. I think it helped her to realize that I wasn't leaving her alone in this place.
I drove her around the grounds in a wheelchair. She couldn't speak to me. I showed her where the cows and horses had once grazed. Her nursing facility was built on old farm land. It's very pretty outside.
The breeze was nice this morning. I could tell that my mom enjoyed getting out. She held her little stuffed black cat; a toy I had bought years ago when her cat, Savita was a baby. I couldn't help myself, it looked just like my mom's cat. She was patting the cat this morning and when we went for a ride, she held her stuffed black cat like a little girl.
I had met a few other residents. I introduced them to my mom. Angelina is my favorite. "Do you like Italian food? Come to my house! I'll make you a nice Italian dinner when I get home." Every day, she says the same thing.
My mom enjoyed meeting Angelina; she looked like her cousin Angie, her favorite cousin that has been dead for years. Angelina invited my mom to her house and said, "Would you like that, Josephine?" My mom smiled and nodded to Angelina.
Mom spoke for the first time today. I asked her what she needed and she said, "toilet." Wooo hooo! I raced her back in to the home and 2 aides helped her. I didn't have to do it.
Off we went when her business was done. I took her to the dinning room where they were having donuts and coffee. My mom and I sat with Angelina and her friends. They were funny. One lady, Anna was such a bitch toward me... it made my mom laugh.
Our new found freedom is like nothing I have ever experienced. Silence. We finally have silence. I can hear myself think. I can relax knowing that someone is taking care of my mom, someone way more capable than me.