a light at the end of the tunnel, or an oncoming train?
So. Christmas was… better than I hoped, not especially good, but not as bad as it could have been. How’s that for damning with faint praise?
I put up my last blog post last Friday. Saturday, mom had a rough evening. At one point, she started yelling how she hated this house and wished I had never brought her here. I asked where she wanted to be and she said ‘anywhere you aren’t.’. Now granted, she had no idea who I was, so it didn’t really hurt me, but it did annoy me. I almost decided that come Sunday, I would discreetly take down the tree and what few other decorations I had put up. There isn’t really going to be a Christmas around here, I thought, so why pretend? It seemed like more trouble than it was worth though, so I let it be. This turned out to be a good thing, as you will see shortly.
Sunday morning, I was online, mom was napping, and I decided to fill out a form on a website for referrals for elder care assistance. I figured I’d get on a mailing list. Next thing I know, a box pops up that says ‘we are phoning you, right now’. 0_0
Yikes! Mom doesn’t tolerate my being on the phone much, or for very long. She needs the attention, and I think she’s starting to get a bit paranoid too. As soon as I answered my cell I explained all this, along with the fact that if she woke up and started to yell, I’d have to pretty much say OKAYTHANKSBYE and hang up. The lady on the other end was totally understanding! Turns out she cared for an elderly parent too. I wonder if these folks make a point of hiring people with experience in that vein. (it’s called A Place for Mom, aplaceformom.com)
Anyway, I elaborated a bit on my situation and she said she could hook me up with somebody who could help. Then she connected me with a very nice guy who apparently handles referrals for this area. We talked for a few minutes, and he said he would email me some local agencies that do in-home care and sitting, along with several assisted living facilities with good memory care units. (I asked for the ALFs’ names since I would feel kind of weird calling to go tour a place I used to work. LOL!)
My Christmas miracle was, mom napped the entire time! She literally did not wake up until just as I was saying goodbye. Whew! So, a light at the end of the tunnel; a feeling that there might be a conclusion to this, before it concludes me.
That was Sunday morning, as I said: Christmas Eve. Mom was pretty stable throughout the day. She wanted fish for supper so I called to see how late Captain D’s stayed open (what can I say, it’s close and she likes their baked fish with lemon pepper) We drove down and got it, brought it back, and enjoyed a nice supper. She knew me and what day it was, and was glad I got the tree put up, and wanted to open her presents on Monday, so, fine with me. She napped, woke, was still good; napped some more and WHOA. Woke up in full-on bitch mode. Oh joy.
About 4 am on Christmas morning, she was up and was not going back down. I had to walk her around the house to the windows to show her it was night; then about 6 am had to turn on the tv and show her the time in the corner of the screen, before she would concede it was time for breakfast and not supper.
My aunt came by and spent part of the afternoon, as her brood had gone elsewhere to visit. Mom sacked out then, and I should have done the same, but not when it meant ignoring a guest & missing a chance at an actual conversation with a sane person!
When mom woke up, she was still agitated and confused, and in nasty mode. That night was another ‘jack in the box’ night, up and down every hour or two and next to impossible for me to rest. Finally I got her down about 2:30 am and dozed off. By which I mean, I apparently fell asleep so fast and hard, I did not feel her get out of bed. The first I knew of where she was. was when I was awakened by a crash and screaming bloody murder.
Yep. She fell into the Christmas tree. Remember though, I said it would turn out to be a good thing I left it up? Look back at that picture I put up with my last post, of our tree. See that piece of furniture behind it? That big solid wood washstand, with the antique basin and pitcher? That’s what she would have fallen into had the tree not been there, which would, I suspect, have had much more dire consequences for both her and it.
As it is, she is now the not so proud owner of a hairline fracture in her right shoulder. She’s wearing a sling for the next 4 weeks, and mad as a wet hen about it. Although in all actuality, when she noticed today, as I was taking the tree down, that she had broken several branches on it, she seemed briefly more upset about that.
I crashed from my hopeful high, feeling like I’d been hit by that proverbial oncoming train. I figured all work on getting sitters, and ultimately checking out potential places for her to move one day, would have to come to a screeching halt. Not so, apparently! A kind gentleman I was corresponding with, from one local agency, said they had no problem with taking on new clients during recovery from such mishaps. He is sending someone the week after New Years to evaluate her. So, here’s hoping! The Nashville RV show is the weekend after my birthday in mid-January, and I’m selfishly hoping I might be able to get somebody to stay with her so I can go and gaze and dream. Maybe, to stretch a metaphor till it hollers, I can hop on that train and ride it back out of the tunnel.
(oh, I ended up opening mom's presents and showing them to her, at a time when she was in a decent frame of mind. She did like them all, so that's something.)