Mom is holding her own. It is rather incredible, and we are happy that she appears to be doing better. We had another big weekend with lots of family. She participated in the outing and it was fun to see her interact with many of the great-grandchildren.
There are a couple of concerns: she continues to lose weight, and has dropped 9 pounds since she came home from the hospital 12 days ago. Due to the congestive heart failure, I have all the instructions on what to do if she gains weight: No more than 2 pounds in a day; no more than 5 pounds in a week. But what do I do about her losing weight? Her appetite is good — she eats 3 meals a day plus a small snack in between each meal. She is always excited about a dish of ice cream after supper; cookies in the middle of the night (some habits die hard, I guess). We have gone through her supply of Ensure — guess I’ll restock that cupboard.
The other concern is her desire to go home. Here we go again. She tells everyone that she is going home in a few days. Besides myself, three other family members have told her that she is not going home. Her apartment lease is up this month. We have made plans to pack and store. Her lease has not been renewed. I have already canceled some of her utilities. Sigh
She has stated three times today, ‘do not let anyone take anything out of my apartment’. And three times she has asked me, ‘what would they do with all my stuff?’, if they did. And yes, three times I have told her, ‘pack and store’. So there is that. The repeating. So in circles we go. Round and round. Over and over.
This. is. exhausting.
Can I just be honest? She is much easier to take care of when she is really sick. That sounds harsh, and I don’t mean to say I want her to be sick. I don’t. I just mean to say this is challenging. This half-sick/half-well is really hard.
Taking care of an aging parent is more difficult than I expected. There are layers of crisis. Just when we think we have a plan, the situation turns another direction. Two weeks ago, we sincerely thought Mom was on her death bed, and now, here we are fighting about her returning home again. What a roller coaster ride.
It. is. just. plain. hard.
I have talked with my sisters briefly today, and they know we might have a “situation” on our hands. I suggested that we have Mom evaluated by a Neuropsychologist. That was actually our plan a few weeks back — before she ended up staying over 20 days in two different hospitals. The main reason she couldn’t go home was due to the dementia. But hey, she is pretty darn lucid these days. And we are concerned about her allergies, and how they tend be extremely irritated in that apartment. But, if she passes THE test, then I guess she is an adult, and she gets to call the shots. (There will be no complaining about the watery eyes, headaches or numerous sneezes. Well, at least, there will not be a lot of sympathy extended).
I have raised 4 daughters, and yes, there were challenges. There are still challenges. However, this taking care of a parent tests me in different ways. This changing of roles. Every day, we are jockeying for our positions. I never know if I will have a passive opponent or an active, dominant one. And when my mother is my mother, she is dominant (that is a nice way of saying she is stubborn).
I guess I’ll call the apartment complex in the morning. Hopefully, they haven’t leased her apartment to a new renter. If that is the case, I may be in big big trouble.
But, you know, I’m just thinking out loud here. I don’t really know what will happen. I don’t know what I’ll do. We will most likely have another family meeting. I will probably not call the apartment.
This may get ugly before it gets done. There is a vocal, sick parent, 4 siblings and several very involved in-laws trying to make the best decisions. Anxiety on steroids. Oh Lord, help us…. again.