Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Mother's Work is Never Done

It's always an emotional roller coaster with Mama Drama. From the moment I enter her room I could tell by her face, how she is doing & what kind of mood I may have to deal with that evening.

Tonight as I entered, there was barely any energy with the tiniest of smiles & hardly a light of recognition upon seeing me. I knew it would be a challenging visit.

Vin: "Do you want some chocolate?"
Mama: "Whaddya think?" (She takes it & finally a little smile).
Vin: "Do you want to leave your room & play some cards?"
Mama: "Of course." (Okay, we're batting a thousand so far, thank God!)

I just don't have the energy to put on a show & work that hard tonight. There are other things that I'm dealing with in my life besides Mama - as most of you Caregivers do as well! I just wanted to stay home tonight & relax... but there's no one else that visits. I wheel her out of her room & she mumbles something.

Vin:  "What? I can't hear you".
Mama: "I said I LOVE you."
(OMG, what am I thinking about? THIS is what is important. This very special moment.)
Vin: "I love you too Mama."
Mama: "I don't know what I'd do without you?"
Vin: "Well, don't worry, I'll always be here for you." (I hold back the tears.)

Sometimes she can still play the role of Mama & I am her captive audience, I am her son again. It comes from a very real place. Sometimes I act the part of a needy son so that she can take the cue & realizes that "a mother's work is never done."

At times I do feel overwhelmed knowing that I'm the only one who can bring a smile to her face or change her mood. Its a big weight to carry, & some days it's not as easy as others. But like I tell Mama, don't worry I'll always be here for you.

Her energy is increasing & she starts singing an uptempo "Baby Face" replacing the original words. I know she is singing about me, because she looks at me with such devotion & motherly love that it makes everything else seem unimportant. I just wanna hear Mama's version of her song that she's singing to make me smile, because a mother knows. I now have tears in my eyes & a silly grin on my face. I applaud her & thank her. She says your welcome & knows that once again a mother has done her job.

I leave the nursing home in a good mood... we are both in good moods now. She is ready for sleep & I am ready for dinner (& maybe a cocktail.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"What Do You Know About Dementia, Mama?"

Mama & I have always had a strong bond & have always been honest with each other, we don't do the B.S. thing. However, since Mama was diagnosed with Dementia... I was at a loss. Should I tell her? What do I say? How do I explain this? Did the doctor tell her? What is the best way to talk about it with someone I've always been honest with?

I bring up the conversation about Alzheimer's & Dementia every once in awhile & ask her about it, to see her reaction & understanding. She usually gets annoyed or chooses to avoid it & changes the subject either by singing, complaining or wanting to go to bed. I asked Mama what she knew about the disease. Her response was "I don't want to talk about it. I like what I am & that's it"! (Above is a short video of our conversation). Notice her transition from answering to going into song & keeping me entertained. It must've been difficult for her to multitask like that. It was very disturbing for me to ask the same question. I was on eggshells, not wanting to upset or hurt her feelings.

I usually don't put her on the spot about this it, but I just wanted her "take" on her awareness of the disease at this particular moment.

"Some of These Days You're Gonna Miss Me Honey..." Some days, that's how we deal with it.