I began to notice how Mom would lose the ability to remember words. They were instances just here and there, but none the less... she just could not remember certain words.
I watched as this began to increase and it was not easy to go through. Trying to make them remember is futile since they don't know what they have forgotten. That memory is locked away somewhere for safe keeping. I say this because she had moments where she would remember something and it was as clear as clear could be. Even her countenance changed when she would relate the memory. It was amazing.
I was blessed to go to a Care Giver's Conference given by the Elder Services in my county and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I learned so much. I learned that the crystal clear memory Mom had is called just that... a crystalized memory! Once she was done talking about it, her demeanor went back to what is now normal for her. It was almost like watching a dual personality emerge and disappear.
Having an older brother who was bent on correcting my mother frustrated me to no end. He was convinced of so many untruths about her that I would just shake my head and walk away from him. It did no good to "discuss" the point with him. All that did to her was make her angry and I also saw the depression growing because she was reminded that she was not thinking clearly.
It has gotten much worse because she decided to throw away her meds so she would end up in the hospital and from there she would go to rehab. I know she thought this would be her ticket to go to where she really wanted to be. Mom loved it at rehab, and that is where she wanted to go, not assisted living. Mom really did not like it there at all and wanted out. Well, she got her wish because by not taking her meds for a week, she cause more damage to her heart, her blood pressure went up, she retained lots of fluids... it all put tremendous stress on her heart and put her back in the hospital. I really liked her new Cardiologist but he did not mince words with me. He told me plainly... your mother did more damage to her heart. Balancing that and the renal failure is like walking a very fine line. She is in a critical condition now and she is going to die!
I was good until he said that to me, once I was off the phone I fell apart! I got through that and now we have a DNR and DNH in place along with the morphine drugs to ease her breathing and make her comfortable. I was very angry at first that she did this, but... I got over it and my heart breaks for her that she felt that desperate.
We truly thought assisted living would be the best place for her but she hated it so much that she made a desperate attempt to control what she felt she could without realizing the damage she would cause to her body. She just did not have the ability to think it through, unfortunately. If she makes it to Christmas, we will be blessed!
I love mom, and God knows I have a lot to really hold against her but no family is perfect. It is all so insignificant now that she is at that place where she won't be with us much longer. I thank God he called me to take care of her inspite of the "family issues" and that took more strength than I realized I had. What's that Brooklyn Tabernacle song... My Help Cometh from the Lord! It truly does! He has given me the grace to forgive, he has given me the grace to love her and care for her and make her last days as pleasant as possible. For that I am truly grateful.
My one wish, my hope, my dream... is that when it is my time, that my own daughter does not wait to experience what God has allowed me to learn at this time in Mom's life when I am where she is now. Holding grudges does no one any good especially the person holding the grudge.