Life has been pretty stressful lately and I’m already failing at my every day journal plan, which is just not tenable right now, but that’s okay. If there’s one thing being a dementia caregiver gives you, it’s the ability to pivot at a moment’s notice. My mom had a rough couple weeks with a lot of behavior disturbance, which I now think is linked to a UTI, which is great, because its fixable and shes’s already acting a little more like the new normal after even a few doses of Azo, so I’m hoping getting some antibiotics will be even better!. Even though I want to share our journey here in the hope that it will help others, who are going through it too, the reality is that sometimes I have to stop and take care of us first. She is my first priority.
And so, between her and trying to clean up our house, looking for a new house, and trying to come to terms with the reality that I am going to need to sell the house I grew up in and move somewhere less expensive if we want to survive and not get further behind than I already am, I’ve been a big ball of stress and emotion lately and find myself short on sleep and often ready to cry at the drop of a hat. I live in fear of losing everything, especially the means to keep our dogs, who really are the main thing in my personal life that keeps me happy these days. I know I won’t let it happen, but they’re family and I could not handle losing them, so I worry about such things and have nightmares about someone taking them away. And then, when my car died a week ago and I didn’t have the money to repair it, well, that pretty much put me over the edge. I just have to keep doing my thing and trust that it will all work out.
But today, the universe gave me an unexpectedly relaxing and fun day in the form of a friend who called to invite us on an impromptu drive to the Gorge (my favorite place) on a really good dementia day. My mom can’t really get out and walk far and mostly doesn’t want to, but she was happy looking at the trees and waterfalls and eating all the ice cream she could. We, of course, don’t do it every day, but things have been so crappy lately that I happily allowed her to eat a blizzard, a hot fudge sundae and at least half my fries for dinner. We’ll go back to carefully counting and tracking calories and nutrients tomorrow. Today was just about enjoying what we can enjoy. And we had a nice time. We laughed with good friends and chatted and looked at pretty scenery. My mom was a shadow of the sweet and loving woman she’d always been, but I could see her, the real her…and sometimes that is enough.