Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So Mama, How Was Your Day?

I am very proud that I was asked to be a guest blogger by The Alzheimer's Association for "The Longest Day". My blog entry, "So, Mama How Was Your Day" is featured on their site. It is dedicated to all those who have the disease, their caregivers & our memories. Here is the link to The Alzheimer's Association Blog:

What do you remember? If I asked you how your day was today, what would your answer be? "Another day, another dollar." "Nothing special." "TGIF!" Our lives are made up of our memories. When you're losing your memory the struggle to keep your memories can be the longest day. So I asked Mama what her day was like & you can see her answer in this short video.
Mama & I are a lot alike in many ways. We handle difficult situations thru humor. We both love food & music (which is very therapeutic for us). We are both worriers (okay, we're neurotic)! She was always very protective of me as a child & now I am protective of her as an Alzheimer's patient. The days are long for the both of us for different reasons. Hers, because of her dementia, confusion & loneliness. Mine, with the constant challenge of being a caregiver for Mama & trying to balance my own life. There's been a complete role reversal of parent & child. But it's a bond that can't be broken & I wouldn't have it any other way... because who else is going to do it? It's difficult when there's no other family there for support, but as Mama says "the hell with them" (and that's putting it mildly).

I've started recording videos during our daily visits as therapy for her & for myself. Her mood changes & she loves the attention. She feels she is finally getting her fifteen minutes of fame & I think I've created a monster! I am so thankful that she loves to sing & actually entertains me (on a good day)! I ask her questions & am always curious at what her response will be. Sometimes it's the truth, sometimes she makes something up or breaks into song to change the subject. Or she'll tell me to "just shut up & let's play cards!"

I only hope that thru research & awareness of Alzheimer's we can cure this disease. Hopefully one day it will no longer be the longest day for the patient or the caregiver. And we can all keep our memories.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"My Nerves Are Shot!"

"My nerves are shot!" You don't know how long I've been hearing this from my mother. I think the first sentence I ever formed was "My nerves are shot."

I will ask Mama "How are you feeling tonite?" She'll say "I'm dying", then start to feign a highly dramatic cough, throw back her head & pretend that she just died.

I'll ask her "Mama, are you okay?" She'll sit up acting like the Queen of Sheeba, "Whaddya mean?" she'll say as if nothing has happened.

So, when people ask me why I say "Mama Drama", this is just one of the many reasons why she continues to rule as the Queen of Drama. Then there's my own Daily Drama with Mama Drama, which is just dealing with the nursing facility, the doctor, the nurses, & of course, the Star... Mama!

So let's see... how did I come up with the name "Dementia-Mama-Drama"? Hmmmm... did I tell you that MY nerves are shot?