Today was not a good day…it was a hard day. One that involved taking my mom to the doctor for a follow up visit on her broken arm. There is no other time that I feel more alone then when I’m with my mom. Not every time. But when I’m tempted to given in to despair it’s when I’m with her. Driving her home from the doctor today…I just felt numb. Physically, mentally and emotionally numb…with nothing left to give. It’s been a rough few weeks…for both of us. I found the only thing I prayed was for God to show me a sign that he loved me, that he cared. Just show me something.
Below is my take on what a day or two in my mom’s life must be like from her perspective with Alzheimer’s. It’s not pretty…but it’s kind of what it’s like. So keep reading if you dare.
The other day someone told me, “It’s Mother’s Day”.
Hummm…just seemed like an ordinary day. A girl name Susan came to see me and we watched a movie together. I’m not sure…but I think she may have been my daughter once. Or perhaps even my sister. No I distinctly remember…I went to school with her a long time ago.
A couple more girls came to see me…with bright smiling faces. I think they said their names were Denise and Alyssa. They even brought me a very pretty flower…that now brightens my room.
You see I’m 84…and I don’t remember so good anymore. Actually…I’m not even sure I could tell you what it is I don’t remember.
If you asked me how old I am…I’ll tell you I’m 65 or 28 or 70.
That Susan girl tells me that I have this thing called Alzheimer’s and that’s why I don’t think so clearly anymore. I don’t know what she’s talking about. But between you and me…sometimes I’m puzzled. Yes puzzled…but I don’t even know about what.
Sometimes Susan asks me questions…like how many children I have or what their names are. Such a silly girl she is. Of course I know…I have two children…doesn’t she know that? Two girls. And then she has the temerity to laugh and ask me what happened to the others. Sometimes I feel like there’s a joke that I’m not in on. Puzzled…just puzzled.
What do you mean it was Mother’s Day the other day? I don’t have two boys, much less four. Come on…what kind of a boy would not even send his mom a card on Mother’s Day? You must be confused!
Today that Susan girl picked me up and we went for ride. Something happened recently and now I sit in a wheel chair…and have this thing on my arm. And that girl…just doesn’t understand when I tell her “wait a minute” when I don’t want to get into the car. I’ll do it when I want to, when I feel like it. But she’s quit insistent that I get in the car without delay. We kind of do this funny dance thing to get me from the chair into the car.
I don’t think she appreciates me pointing out that she can turn left here, or here, or here. She kind of gives me a funny look…and says that we are going straight for a while and not turning left. I just don’t understand…I’m perplexed.
And here we are at the building. Susan tells me I’m here to see the doctor. I don’t know why. I’m perfectly fine…and no, I don’t want to get out of the car. She doesn’t really seem to care that I just want to stay in the car. I’m fine…perfectly fine. Dog gone it…she’s making me do that stupid dance thing again. This time from the car to the chair. I’m puzzled about this whole thing. I don’t understand.
We’re in this room with a lot of other folks now and Susan’s filling out some papers. Every once in a while she’ll reach out and touch my arm or my leg and put her finger to her lips…and tell me to be quite and not bother the others in the room. I’m confused…I don’t know what she’s talking about.
Finally we go in to the back…and to this room that’s kind of dark. Susan and this girl tell me that I need to sit real still so they can get some good pictures. How many more will they have to take? Ouch…that hurts. That man hurt my arm…I don’t like him. But the girl that took my pictures…she was real sweet and made me feel like she cares.
So where are we now…and why does Susan keep telling me that I need to be quiet and not bother the others? I’m not talking, am I? I’m confused.
That bad man came back…and now he’s hurting arm again. He tells me it’s so my arm will get better. But it doesn’t feel like that…right now it just hurts.
I don’t understand why we’re waiting again. The door is over there. Doesn’t she see it…I keep pointing it out. But she’s not listening.
Oh no…not again! I don’t want to do this car thing again. That Susan girl seems like she doesn’t care that I don’t want get in the car. She makes me do it anyway…even when I tell her no. I don’t like her very much right now.
I keep telling Susan that she can turn right there…but she doesn’t seem to be listening. She’s keeps going straight. You know…when I look at her I think she may be crying. She has a funny look on her face and is wiping her eyes. I don’t know what’s going on…I’m perplexed.
Yeah…this place looks familiar. What do you mean I have to cooperate and get out of the car. Susan’s struggling as she gets something out of the trunk. And now she’s trying to put something on the sides of it. What is she doing? Why am I waiting? I don’t understand.
We’re going inside…and I think I recognize this place. The people are smiling and asking me how I’m doing. I think it’s dinnertime now and I get to eat. That Susan girl is leaving now. She said something about going back to work.