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.