Yesterday I went to Mom's house to clean out the fridge. She thinks we did it weeks ago, although when we moved her we left everything in the kitchen, including dirty dishes in the sink (which we took care of the next day).
As soon as I opened the fridge yesterday and started filling trash bags I was again overwhelmed by her condition. It's so sad that she thinks we already took care of this. In fact, she's mentioned it several times. I wonder if she was trying to remember if we did it and then convinced herself we did.
That kind of thing has been happening for a very long time. This rewriting of the recent past to fill in blank spaces that must seem scary -- the not knowing, the confusion.
Once I finished the fridge, I emptied the spice cabinet, poked around in some other cabinets and found this:
This broke my heart. Inside are light bulbs.
When did she forget how to spell "bulbs?"
When did that happen? How long has her mind been deteriorating?
This isn't a word my mom would not know how to spell.
We first talked to the doctor about her memory almost two years ago. It was this past Christmas he felt I was describing the beginning of dementia rather than standard memory loss due to aging.
When did she write this? A year ago? Two years? Three?
She has been in the independent living community for just a little for a month. She is still mourning the loss of her car and the loss of her home.
She hints at moving back home. I'm telling you I took a gamble emptying that spice cabinet. She is going to be hopping mad if she moves home and all her spices are gone.
Except I know she is not going to move home.
She is not moving home and she is not getting a car.
That said I'm putting off taking her over and finishing the sorting and discarding. She has always had a very difficult time making decisions about what to keep and what to let go of and now the majority of what we need to do is to let go.
So much stuff and everything she gives to me or sells or sends to a charity is another piece of her independence she is relinquishing.
And the bolbs? She'll never see the significance of not spelling that right. That's where it falls apart. That's where it falls on me. I'm OK with it. It's not a complaint. It's just a little heartbreaking at times. To see a mind deteriorating. To see a person diminished.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Cheesy title, but I couldn't help it. Get it? The embroidery? The beginning of the word hope?
Instead of hauling my ass to the doctor yesterday I went to another yoga class. I'm still holding out that I can do a mash-up of home remedies instead of drugs. Not there's anything wrong with drugs. There isn't. I've done them. They helped. I'm just not ready to go down that route without trying to get back to the habits and routines I need not only to quiet the anxiety, but to find myself.
So yesterday, along with yoga, I spent some time being crafty (see above), took a nap, ate some chocolate, ate some more chocolate, and gave myself a mani/pedi AT 2:00 IN THE AFTERNOON.
I know. I didn't know that was allowed either.
I'm finally coming around to the idea that not having any work for a bit is a very nice thing.
The story with the embroidery is this:
I have this quilt from hell I have been working on for a very long time. I started to machine quilt it and discovered I had basted incorrectly (the top was longer then the backing) and I had to rip out the quilting I had done. Which is boring and infuriating. It's taken me months to do this because I've been busy and I didn't want to do it. I finally finished it a few days ago. Because the cat had peed on it (it really is the quilt from hell) I washed the quilt top -- even though you shouldn't. I was trimming off the loose threads when I found this:
Which really was very upsetting. I decided I was done and putting this top away again and would deal with it later.
But I just couldn't let it go.
I decided to patch it. Yesterday I started rummaging through my fabric to find some patch-worthy fabric when I came across an embroidery I had started at least a year ago. The calligraphy was done by my BF who has possibly the most beautiful handwriting ever. When we came up with the idea of me embroidering some of her work we both thought of the word "hope."
Of course when I happened upon it yesterday it was perfect. I ripped out the little bit I had done months ago and started the above this morning. I set it down to take care of a few chores and came back and saw it as it is in the photo. The beginning of hope.
So cheesy? Probably yes. Appropriate and applicable to my life right now? Absolutely.
The truth is, a week ago I was in a hotel room in New Orleans, curled up in a ball and staring at the wall while my kids waited for me to become functional and the three of us waited for the heat of the day to die down.
It sounds so melodramatic and ridiculous and it kind of is. But it was also a real hit the wall moment. I was really low. And really freaking out. And really panicking. The stress and just complete nonstop of working about 21 days straight and moving my mom and dealing with her crazy all at the same time just knocked me out.
Today I can't tell you that the tightness in my chest or my stomach is gone. It's not. But the yoga and the writing and the creative/crafty stuff are helping. I'm breathing. I'm not over the edge.
I'm keeping meds as an alternative. A very possible alternative.
And chocolate? That's mandatory.