Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How long can you tread water?

This is how I am feeling right now.  I am treading water.  I am not moving forward but I don't appear to be moving backwards either.  I am in the waiting pattern like an airplane waiting to land at a closed airport.  I am substituting frivolous fun for real effort and work.  Tried to change that yesterday.  Paying for my foolishness today.  Not exercising with lunges for a year it is a bad idea to think I can pick up where I left off.  Allow myself to back up and try again.  My health is improving.  Knowing the real source of my swallowing problems is an eye opener.  I hadn't realized I was afraid to exercise in case I made my internal problems worse.  Now, I know that it had nothing to do with my muscles and everything to do with being allergic to something.  Not sure what yet.  Other people assured me that the blood test would take a while.  Trying to be patient and I am still bad at it.   I am noticing that my head feels clearer.  I am getting back into doing my karate and actually feeling better about my efforts.  Preparing for the next level tests. That is one part of my life.

The other part that is consuming time, energy and pushing me way out of my comfort zone is visiting my mother after hip replacement surgery.  I stop and visit on my way home from work.  I am trying to use my training from Early Childhood Education and observe what she does and say.  I am also doing a bit of research on Alzheimers.  People are saying mother's behavior is caused by old age and possibly Alzheimers.


I am accepting that my confusion is, to me, she isn't acting any differently then she has for the last 50 or so years.  The main difference is now she treats everybody like she treated Judy and I.  She still has her favorite nurses that get effusive thanks and praise and the scapegoats that are blamed for her discomfort, usually female physical therapists.  I am a piece of furniture or a person to order about.  If she doesn't like the conversation she is too deaf to continue.  But sometimes she talks so softly I can barely hear her.  Some conversations make no sense then the next time I talk to her, the past conversation never happened.  Same as I've always known.  I am struggling with accepting this is simply the devastation of old age.  To me she would have had Alzyheimers in her 40's. 

What I learned that I think is helpful-

Top five tips
  • Try not to take behaviors personally.
  • Remain patient and calm.
  • Explore pain as a trigger.
  • Don't argue or try to convince.
  • Accept behaviors as a reality of the disease and try to work through it.
    Read more: http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-stages-behaviors.asp#ixzz4ZEkvjekq

    Basically what I learned with the help of counseling....her behavior is not about me.  Whether it is a disease eating away her brain or maggoty fears triggering her behavior, it is still not about me.  Interesting how this knowledge takes a burden off my shoulders.....all she is, not about me.  I can't change her, fix her, or make things better.  Daily I remind myself, her choices and behavior are not about me, ever. 

    Still waters run deep


Tundra Woman said...

You and your sister know this woman better and for far longer than any of the providers around her. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it and I wouldn't do it in her presence, but I would inform the healthcare people firmly this is no change whatsoever from her behavior for the last 40 yrs. Not because they "need to know" you're "right, " but because they need to know their diagnosis (which is a r/o paradigm) is incorrect. This could also lead to medication errors which could be detrimental to her health/ quality of life. The dementia diagnosis is at best provisional, and if it is Alzheimer's how did they r/o other forms of dementia?

You've really nailed the paradox of having an anusive/neglectful parent(s): On the one hand their behavior towards you really isn't personal in that it would not have matttered who you were or what you did as a child, adolescent, adult. How is it the child's fault the parent's behavior towards them is cold, rejecting and highly critical? What, they failed to "child" the "right way?!" On the other hand it's intensely personal because the abusive/neglectful behavior is tailored just for you. You're trapped by your very dependence on these people for your survival.
It's the parent's responsibility to foster the relationship, not the child's.

Ruth said...

Thanks TW.