Back in the day, this began as a blog about writing and being a writer. Then it morphed into being about whatever came across my radar. Three years ago, Alzheimer’s laid a big old turd in my life. Not me, (thank God/Goddess/You Name It), but my mother. It came on so suddenly that my family and I thought she hadn’t long to live. But she fooled us, and here we are four years down the line.
There have been changes. My dad died May 2012. Mom went into a “retirement home” (dreadful place) for four weeks before I yanked her and brought her to live with me and my amazingly supportive husband. I’ve gone from a part-time caretaking role (shared with a sister and a niece) to a full time, 24/7, keepin-an-eye-on-Ginny caretaker.
Livin’ the dream, that’s me.
Anyway, all that earlier stuff is chronicled here among my blog posts for any of you who want to ferret it out.
As time has gone on, though, I decided I just didn’t have the time or inclination to keep blogging. I write novels and short stories and have a hard enough time getting those published without trying to find time to blog on a regular basis. But a funny thing happened. Total strangers wrote to tell me how much the the blog helped them to feel less alone in their own caretaking journey, and so I thought…why not?
So here’s the thing — I don’t promise to blog on a regular schedule because a) I don’t know what life’s about to throw at me, and b) if I promise a schedule, I’m sure to break it, and then I’ll feel like crap when I really don’t need one more thing in my life to make me feel like crap. I’ll blog when I have time, when I’m moved by something inspiring or maddening. I hope you’ll share your stories and thoughts in turn.
The thing to remember is, you’re not alone. We are all crazy quilts patterned with odd bits sewn together, sometimes at wrong and uncomfortable angles. We are different — and more alike than we realize. We are brilliant and dumb, heroic and cowardly.
And we do the best we can at any given time.
As an update – earlier this year (2014, assuming this blog goes on) Mom came down with pancreatitis which necessitated a hospital stay. During that week, she forgot ever having lived with us. Because I was close to suffering serious burn-out, I thought it a good time to make the transition to a memory care unit, which we did. There were tears, recrimination, anger (hers and mine), but over the course of a couple months, Mom settled in….only to get felled by a compression fracture of the spine. Three more disorienting days in the hospital and a move back to rehab later and here we are. She’s still in rehab (and likely will be for another month) before a decision must be made, but I’m hopeful she’ll take that decision out of our hands. She is declining mentally and physically, eating little, sleeping a lot. It is what it is. I’ll continue to post updates as things occur. Thank you for joining me and my Mom on this journey.