Its Not My Fault!

Autumn in New York

Autumn in New York (Photo credit: blmiers2)


Last post I made a promise to not just myself, but all of you, that I would blog twice a week.  And promptly broke that promise.  But I have some really, really good excuses.

On Tuesday, when my first post was due, I drove to upstate New York to visit my mother.  My intention was to spend part of the day with her, then go stay at her house, write the post, and spend the evening with my niece sharing pizza and beer.  Parts one and three of that evening went pretty much as expected (more on the visit with Mom in a minute), but part two ran afoul when I got to the house ready to blog and discovered that my zealous sister had cancelled the cable television, the telephone service, and the internet hookup.  So much for that idea.

On Wednesday, I again spent part of the day with my mom.  She’s been pretty unhappy away from her home and family, but her to credit she says the place is clean (it is), and the staff are very nice (they are).  She’s had two complaints, though — that’s she lonely, and that the food is awful.  Regarding loneliness, I told her that she didn’t have to spend every day in her room, that she could go out and meet people (difficult in a woman who is shy).  She said, “You don’t understand.  I’m willing to talk to people, but these people don’t talk.”  As for the food, I figured it was probably just different from what she was used to, but she maintained that it was awful.  I decided to stay awhile and really observe what was going on.

It turns out that most of the small resident population are, indeed, largely uncommunicative.  Part of the issue, of course, is my Mom’s ongoing dislike of her hearing aids (and the fact that, to my knowledge, the facility has never put them in her ears), but barring a handful of people, most of the residents seem to spend their days staring straight ahead — at walls, at televisions.  As for the food….well, I stayed for lunch and was revolted.  A cold, hard, dry biscuit with approximately three-quarters of a cup of tepid “stew” dumped over it.  Not enough gravy to begin to moisten the biscuit and overly salted.  Mom is barely eating and has lost all the weight she’d regained.

I was not amused.

Hence my lack of blog on Thursday — I’m putting the wheels in motion to withdraw my mother from the facility and have her move in with my (tolerant, understanding, wonderful) husband.  I’m not sure how long we’ll be able to keep her here.  I don’t know  how fast her Alzheimer’s will progress or in what form.  But for now she’ll be here and we’ll make the best of it.  With luck, it might turn out terrific.  Time will tell.

I’ve spent the last couple of days making calls, trying to arrange things.  For every loose thread I tie off, another unravels, but I think we’re getting there.  I’m probably out of my mind — or will be, by the time this is over — but I had to do something.  Complaining about change is one thing.  Losing 10 lbs when you only

104 to begin with is another.

So bear with me.  I’ll try to be good.  I’ll try to keep up.  I’ll probably be writing a lot about life with Alzheimer’s as it comes home to roost (Please, God, let this be the only way it comes home to roost, please keep it away from my brain).

What the heck.  Life’s supposed to be an aventure, right?


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's, Blogging, Challenge, Change, Melissa Crandall, Mother, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Its Not My Fault!

  1. Lynn says:

    You are so brave-and your husband is a saint for taking on this challenge. Please do try to blog about this new adventure you’re facing. We could all learn from you.

    • Thank you, Lynn. I sure don’t feel brave. It feels like the right thing to do, but I’m scared and nervous. Ed IS a saint for his willingness to take this on. I could not do it without him. I know he has my back, but the brunt of stuff will be on me. Fortunately, I have two good friends who also have my back. Thank God for them both. I will definitely blog about this as it goes on, if only to keep my sanity.

  2. Your Mom is so lucky to have such a caring daughter. Hope everything works out alright.

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