Life as we know it

It’s been a strange few days here in Dementialand. On an outing last week, the car suddenly drifted to a halt as all the instrument panel lights shut down. We were lucky in that we were on a side street and only about a mile from home. Stuck in the middle of nowhere with a person with dementia, a small dog, and a non-moving car is not where you want to be.

Thankfully, I had my trusty battery charger with me and was able to get the car running again to white knuckle it home while my mom chattered on happily, but after talking to a friend, we think it’s the alternator. It was bound to happen. It’s a 14 year old car. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it totally craps out on me. A new car is definitely NOT in the Dementialand budget. As it is we’re having to wait until the first to get it repaire, because we can’t have a new alternator AND utilities, so…

It couldn’t have happened at a less convenient time either – two days before we were supposed to travel to Western Washington to go look at a house. I’ve decided that staying where we are is too stressful with the rising taxes and cost of living. There are too many months where were struggling, so it makes sense to sell the house and buy a cheaper one in a less expensive area. It’s such a tough decision, though. While small and by no means fancy, this is the house I grew up in. I thought I would at least have it after my mom died, because I’ve given up so much to care for her, but unless fate is going to let me win the lottery pretty quick here that doesn’t look like it’s what fate has planned.

Anyway, a friend saved the day and took us for a drive to the coast go see it. The house is adorable and old, really old for this part of the country and in a bit of disrepair. It is priced well and perfectly sized for us. I’ve always wanted to live in an old house, but the repairs are also going to cost some. I am so tempted, because the land is gorgeous. It’s pretty ideally situated near a river and the ocean and deer in the yard are a pretty sure thing. The energy of the house felt lovely too. I can picture us living there and think we could be happy, but the repairs are daunting enough that I’m not sure I wouldn’t be wasting money paying for a home inspection, even though part of me hopes that they would be manageable.

The whole idea of moving is so stressful, though I know once it’s done I could breathe a little easier. My mom is progressing and it would be nice to have more time with her. As it is, I feel like I am working constantly to keep up and have little reward for it. I have my course creation business, which I LOVE but can’t devote enough time to, because I’m constantly working on other things to help get by as I build. Lower expenses and being able to pay off some debt (which I could, if we moved) would help my stress levels immensely. At this point, I have a lot of headaches and cry too often. And between my mom’s utter lack of regard for anyone else’s need for sleep (like honey badger, dementia doesn’t give a shit) and my own worries, I am awake every couple hours and don’t really sleep. It doesn’t help that her behavior is all over the map during the day.

As a result, today has been weird. I woke up for the last time to find her sleeping on the floor in our spare bedroom and since she’s been up, she keeps popping in and out, yelling things down the hall at me about whether we’re going anywhere. It’s part of the negotiation process on whether she will come out or not. We’re in a big negotiating phase right now. Nothing is ever yes or no. It’s like living with a rockstar with a complicated rider. Her presence and willingness to do things always come with stipulations these days. She can also trash a hotel room like nobody’s business (I assume, having seen what she’s done to our spare bedroom on a bad day). She just had her medication, so it will be quiet soon. I’m hoping once she calms down, she will come out and watch t.v. or nap in the living room with me instead of popping in and out of the bedroom door like a giant mole in some kind of absurd real life whack-a-mole game. She does it so quickly, that is really what it reminds me of.

At least I got her to come out for lunch. She actually even ate a lot of it, though by the end of her bowl, she was ready to call the police on me for trying to coax her to finish all her chili. I suppose ignorance of the law is no excuse, but I worry about her and really wanted her to eat. In my defense, she is too thin and the chili turned out really good this time. Anyway, if you’re reading this before they come take me to the slammer, please send bail and money for the prison commissary. I’ve become kind of addicted to sweet chili Doritos and don’t know if I can survive without them.

I need to call her doctor again. We’ve been working on adjusting her meds. She was doing really well for a month or two on the new cocktail. It was so nice for a while, almost like having her back, but she has gotten kind of manic and erratic again, so well keep trying until we get it right. Meanwhile, I’m just tired and worried, but I have a fun project coming up starting on Halloween, so there’s that to look forward to as I try to figure out if I can keep doing my teaching or if I should but that on the back burner for a while to focus on getting more writing clients or some sort of VA job. What ever it is, it has to be from home, because that’s the only way I can take care of her and make sure that we don’t end up living in a tent down by the river.

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