I’ve been ignoring the urge to post; convincing myself nothing earth shattering or worthy of a post is going on. But in reality, lots is going on. I can sometimes revert to “old” habits of, “if I ignore it or don’t acknowledge it, then it doesn’t exist”! It used to work all the time but now it really doesn’t; it’s right under the surface. I like to live in truth today.
My LO, as you know, transitioned to a Memory Care facility in January (Early-Onset Alzheimer’s). She has been getting along fabulously for the most part…. except for the part I’ve been trying to deny/ignore. When she gets angry, (a perceived injustice, an imagined “attack”, a direct command, Like “time to get out of bed, it’s lunchtime”), she tends to lash out. And I mean literally , with her cane! She hasn’t actually hit anyone , …yet, but she threatens people with it all the time. Not just “the folks who don’t have all their marbles” (as she likes to put it), even the staff! They can’t seem to get it that her door has to be locked because everyone is “stealing” her stuff! You recall, that’s the very reason I started to investigate facilities in the first place because I knew she would eventually cross that line and hit me. (She threatened me with that cane almost on a daily basis).
So, the geriatric care manager I’ve employed to assist with my LO’s transition called to say that maybe we should think about taking the “weapon” away and replacing it with a “scooter” type contraption. (so as to not seem punitive, taking the cane away). Not much can get you kicked out of this facility except injuring another resident. (It’s not really that she could seriously injure someone, it’s the liability that could seriously injure their “wallet”). I get it. My initial response was NO. They were over reacting and we should not be so quick to judge. Maybe she was being threatened; maybe someone is stealing her stuff; did anyone think to protect her rights? I wasn’t ready to acknowledge that she is progressing as my brain knows she will. My heart was saying “I don’t want her to progress so fast”.
The idea of her going to “walker” type scooter, was, in my Physical therapist mind, going backwards; if she physically stays at a higher function, then her mind will too! Just because I don’t want her to, doesn’t change the reality.
When I admitted this to myself, I was sad. Sad, because she is progressing. Sad, because all my wishful thinking can’t change it. Sad, because this disease is awful! I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Sad, because it seems fast to me, but what do I know!, I’m a rookie at this. And scared: how are we going to “sell” this move?
So, my Angel, here on earth, (or should I say at the facility) is sooo good at her job. She said she noticed that my LO’s right leg (the culprit for all her troubles) was shorter, and that she thought it was because she uses the cane on the right side. (Yes, I know, she uses it on the wrong side, but try telling her that! AND I’m a physical therapist!) So, she tells my LO that maybe using this “walker” type scooter, (I’ve yet to see it) would probably balance her out and accelerate her “therapy”. (Remember, she thinks she’s there for therapy and that she will get better, come home and go back to work!) This Angel could sell “ice to Eskimos” (as long as they didn’t have all their “marbles”!)
My LO relayed the conversation to me and added, that then she could carry all her “stuff” in the basket, like her roomie, Mayor Mary. (She used to be a city councilwoman for a city in the Bay area!)
I worry for no reason, or maybe I worry for my LO, because she doesn’t have a worry in the world. Except that they are “stealing” her stuff!
Welcome to the Land of ALZ.
4 thoughts on “Procrastination…..”
The ever changing world of Alzheimer’s is never easy yet it is simpler than many think. When you consider what’s reasonable reason …. forget that, or perhaps what doesn’t make sense to you… but somehow it does, then and only then may you start to understand! We have to learn to speak Alzheimer’s and learn a new world, a new lauguage, a new norm and realize just when you think you are starting to learn it totally changes the next day. It’s a world in which what makes sense to them this is often the key to communication. Create an environment where they are safe, understood, and valued is when we begin to communicate on their terms. They, just like Lo, are still the beautiful people they always were. Full of laughter and compassion for life just with different triggers, fears and worries that may not even be reality, but remember it’s their reality. Working with Alzheimer’s has taught me how to speak their language unstanding that some days they may speak Dutch, that just means I have to learn Dutch immediately! Creating a comfort zone is what it takes (or selling ice to Eskimos will never happen!) with all joking aside, sometimes we have to be creative with what facts are presented and how they are presented. Equally, there are times where we too are the story tellers to protect their delicate minds. What ever avenue we have to take to ensure the emotional comfort zone is the one in which we have to take. ( even if it’s not what the Physical Therapist would agree with 🤣
Ultimately sufferers like Lo thrive better with advocates like you Rhonda, you’re an amazing wife who is meandering this process the best you know how . I applaud you and know you have much laughter ahead of you with Lo . Remember to always lean on those around you during times of happiness and struggle. We are all here for you my friend.
Thanks so much. I’m learning as I go. I guess you could call it on the job training. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.
Thank you so much for sharing, Rhonda. As your friend, I love knowing what is going on in your life.
It seems to be a spiritual formula, or axiom that when we reach out for help, as you did with your “Angel’, God does the rest. It’s the struggle to reach the surrender point before I ask for help that is so difficult and painful. Thankfully, when we reach that point. And ask for help, He is there.
A note about me: my bi-polar meds have stopped working. After a long battle with myself and several psychiatrists, I start 9 sessions of ECT on May 31.
I treated myself to a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii last week. Allan Lee accompanied me we had a blast -the volcano was on the other side of the Island. We were on the Kona side.
I miss you and am praying for you both.
Love, Miss Coleman
Thx for your support. Prayers for your new treatment.