Jeeee-zusssss! What a week.
Updated: Jan 28
Sometimes there's just no escaping Downer Town.
Death wish (Mom). Melt down (Me). Crying jags (Both). Drinks on the beach in sunny Mexico (The Other Girl). Implausible assertion that The Other Girl planned her vacation months ago knowing this would be the week Mom would lose her mind and she wanted to be miles away when it happened (Me). An allegation my rational self knows to be completely ludicrous, but there hasn't been a rational female in this house all week.
Seriously, we haven't had this bad of a time in months.
Walking down the hallway to Mom's art class, apropos of absolutely nothing, Mom blurts out, "I'm just gonna kill myself!" Me, emotionally drained from a week of similarly gloomy proclamations replied, "Well, you'll have to wait until after art class. It's already paid for."
I mean, come on, Universe! Cut me some slack, wouldja'? It was the normal anxiety x 100. It was often hard to tell what the exact issue was, she can't really verbalize her fears, but a reoccurring theme was either fear of people in the house, or fear that people were missing from the house (I couldn't figure it out). For awhile she was upset that she couldn't find her mother - that's new. Over and over again this week she said, "I don't know what to do," and "What do you think I should do?" but she can't answer when I ask, "Do about what?" and all my guesses have been in vain. The usual redirects, comfort measures, and reassurances made no difference. I emptied my bag of tricks on her to no avail.
I made sure she got plenty of exercise, both walking and trying out a new exercise DVD specifically for dementia patients so she would sleep better and thus be in a better mood. Nothing. Just $20 bucks down the drain and sleepless nights for us both. I took her on a senior tour to the Humane Society and Purringtons Cat Cafe - a day filled with puppies, kittens, and her peer group. Zip response on her emotions, although I damn near adopted a dog in a desperate attempt to have something, anything, look at me with love and joy (like we need one more thing to take care of around here).
Mom, unimpressed by a cat, unimpressed by Mom.
I kept up the socialization with respite care; there's a woman at Thelma's who has taken a shine to Mom, and while I'm not sure if Mom likes her as much, she certainly responds to the woman's affection, but that didn't make a damn bit of difference either. Children always cheer her up so we went to OMSI, a place crawling with kids capering about in all kinds of happiness-inducing shenanigans. That actually bought me 45-minutes of "not-gloom" before it all crumbled and she wanted to leave.
I have to go get her from respite care soon and I can already feel the noose tightening; these past few hours of freedom strangled, squelched. My cousin is coming over to spend the evening with her tonight so I can go celebrate my best friend's birthday, giving me a little bit more time to be out and away from Downer Town, but what will I wake up to tomorrow? I've got another 4 1/2 days on my own before The Other Girl comes back, so I better pull myself together and find some new tricks to keep us both from slipping over the edge.
I had a fantasy last night before I fell asleep of a drive-thru memory care facility, and of me shooting Mom out of a canon from the car into an admittance chair as I sped by, laughing maniacally, and screaming, "She's your problem now, suckers!"
Relax. It's just a fantasy.
Or maybe - it's my new business model when all this is over! I know I'm not the first care giver to temporarily careen wildly around the sanity bend when hitting the rough roads. Perhaps I'm on to something...