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Alzheimer’s ~ Our Journey Part 1

 
I’m sitting here listening to the thunder in the distance. The promise of rain is in the air. They are predicting rain for today. Maybe up to an inch of rain. That would be so nice for the garden. I love a good thunderstorm. As long as we don’t lose power of course.

It’s been a long week. My Mom is with me this week. It has been a pretty uneventful week so far “knock wood”.  She was up a few times last night. She usually sleeps very soundly.

Today being Sunday is the most difficult day with my Mom. If you are a regular reader of my blog you know my Mom has Alzheimer’s and I am a caregiver for my Mother along with my sister. We switch every other week. Kind of like visitation with kids in a divorce. We like to say we share custody of Mom, lol.

Mom will be with me till Monday evening. It makes caring for my Mother bearable. I have been a caregiver for my Mom since 2001…Can that be right? Wow looking at the printed number is shocking even to me. About 5 years ago I was at the end of my rope I couldn’t take the day in and day out caring for my Mother anymore. Mentally I was exhausted. It felt like I had sacrificed my life. I had her 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

My sister agreed to take our Mom every other week. We have 2 brothers also in town and had asked them to each take Mom for one weekend a month. That worked for a while until my oldest brother was diagnosed with cancer. (He is still battling his cancer to this day) He’s so strong and brave. My other brother took Mom every once in a while then all of a sudden he stops and we haven’t heard much from him in the last 3 years. So sad. If he just would say I can’t handle Mom so I can’t take her for a weekend. We would understand, Believe me my sister and I know how hard caring for our Mother is.

As the years have passed I have had to cut back on how long I can work outside of the home.  My Mom can’t be left for to long on her own. I work in 4 hour shifts so I am able to come home and take care of Mom in between my shifts. I also do some online work from  home. My sister has help come in when she works because she works 12 hour shifts at night. Mom gets scared when the sun goes down. Typical of Alzheimer’s patients.

It has been a huge sacrifice for myself and my husband. Trying to make Mom’s savings last as long as we can. Hiring an outside caregiver is not cheap. I am trying to hold off having one come to my house while I work as long as we can. Since Mom lives with us we are not entitled to any benefits from the government. When you have a mental issue things are different. There isn’t as much help. Mom would have to be in a special place for memory issues and they are so expensive. Health insurance does not cover this at all. Crazy!

I have wanted to share my journey with my Mom with all of you. I have tried to write a post several times and I ended up upset and crying. It’s not  an easy thing to share. I feel so sad about it. I want my blog to be up beat not sad and whiny. I do not like whiny! But the truth is it’s part of who I am, and why I started this blog in the first place. As a stress release I blog. My sister eats as her stress release. My sister is my best friend. I can’t imagine my life without her. We can say what we feel to each other and not worry that we will be judged or misunderstood. We are able to honestly vent our real feelings that might scare someone who is not living the lives that we are living.

People ask me why don’t you put your Mom in a nursing home? I say our Mom was/is a wonderful mother who’s whole life was her family. As an adult my Mom became my best friend. We would talk for hours on the phone. Visit with each other all the time. This seemed like a natural progression when she did move in. Dad had been dead for about 6 years and Mom lived on her own. We would take her places, she never drove a car. We noticed things slowly deteriorating. She would call crying and scared at night. So we moved her in. She was diagnosed not long after that with Alzheimer and started medication. Anytime we have talked to mom about nursing home care she goes a little crazy. She gets so scared.

She is like a small child now. The only difference is she will never grow up. It’s such a terrible thing to watch your mother become your child…

Enough for today. I will share more another day. Here comes the rain! I think I may go outside and enjoy a little water from heaven on my face 🙂

Peace and Love to all,

Diane

P.S. After some thought this morning I wanted to add how grateful I am to be given the strength by God to care for my mother. I am grateful for the lessons I am learning from this journey. I am grateful to my husband, children and friends for the understanding and support they provide. In so many ways I am blessed 🙂
 
Shared at: The Grand Social , Heavenly Homemaker

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19 thoughts on “Alzheimer’s ~ Our Journey Part 1”

  1. Marilyn says:

    Thank you so much Diane….living so far away I wish I could do more for Mom. You and Linda don’t know how much I appreciate all you do for mom. I say you are angels on earth!! See you all soon…

    1. Diane says:

      Can’t wait to see you Sis!

  2. Melanie says:

    My grandfather had alzheimer’s and it was so difficult for my dad. I really admire you for taking care of her!

    1. Diane says:

      Thnaks Melanie 🙂

  3. Sarah @ Nature's Nurture says:

    Wow, thank you so much for opening up and sharing with us, Diane. I was really touched and had a few tears in my eyes by the end – not because of sadness, but because of admiration and inspiration. Thank you, friend, for being your amazing self.

    Much love and blessings to you, your family, and your very blessed mother. 🙂

  4. Katherines Corner says:

    You are living my deepest fear. May God bless you with continued strength and courage with your labor of love for your Mother. xo

    1. Diane says:

      Thanks so much Katherine 🙂

  5. Mary@Back to the Basics! says:

    Thank you for sharing. Sharing our ups and downs is important. It’s real.

    1. Diane says:

      I agree. It can be a little scary. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Jeanette Sumruld says:

    I pray that God gives you all the strength and peace that you need as you continue to care for your Mother. God bless you all.

    1. Diane says:

      Thank you so much. You have the same first name as my mother:) Thanks for your prayers.

  7. Grandma Kc says:

    You all have a lot of amazing strength and your Mom is lucky to have all of you.

  8. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs says:

    This isn’t whiny and we are your friends. You need to share your reality. It’s a release…and shows your strength. You are indeed a strong one and I’m sure that is So. Darn. Hard at times. I wish I could give you hug. Sounds like you need one. ♥

    Thank you for linking such an honest and heartfelt post to the GRAND Social.

    1. Diane says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. You’re right, and I did feel better after I shared that post. It’s been a long time coming. Thanks for being so kind my new friend 🙂 So glad I found your blog.

  9. Renee Spindle says:

    Diane- It’s so wonderful of you to share your life story about your Mom here on your blog. I know for a fact that reading all of the kind words of encouragement give you the strength to keep moving along to the next day. Thanks for sharing your heart with the world.

  10. Debra says:

    You are absolutely wonderful daughters ! I feel so badly for you though….you are sacrificing very much, yes, and it sounds so hard. One of the hardest must be to have your best friend become your child and she must rely on YOUR strength whereas in the past you relied on hers.

  11. Barbara says:

    Diane…

    I believe I had commented on one of your previous posts about your mother’s illness telling you that my dad was just diagnosed in December with vascular dementia. While they are different in process the manifestation of both illnesses are very similar. My sadly father is refusing to sleep at night with the forced air the doctor has prescribed for him, he feels embarrassed about it. My mom, who will be 85 in November, will not be able to care for him as he declines. I too have a wonderful sister who I know I will be sharing this burden with…and I have a brother who I know will not be in a posoition to help out because his wife has never really been a fan of our family. As I follow you I find myself preparing…sharing your journey is truely inspirational to me. I will be in your shoes in the not to distant future, I just hope and pray that I can handle things with the poise and honesty you have exemplified in taking care of your mother.
    God bless you and I pray for all of you.
    Barbara

    1. Diane says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so sorry that you and your family have to follow a simalar path as mine. It’s a rough road so brace yourself. I am so glad we are now friends. Being able to talk about and share the burden with friends is priceless. My prayers are with you.

  12. Karen says:

    Diane, I too cared for my Mom in our home. She had NPH (normal pressure hydrocephalus) it causes symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s I had help from Alzheimer’s. Org they had a caregiver program that gave me free time when I needed it. It is hard to care for your parent but I never regretted it. My Mom was in our home 2 years, she had a brain stem bleed and passed away. You may have already contacted alz.org I had help like great information on how to deal with the stress of care giving and even personal phone calls that were very encouraging. Hang in there. Karen

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