...just a bit...
We try really hard to keep life hopeful and happy day to day here...pretty and comfortable surroundings, light and sunshine, interesting books and movies to fill the sometimes hard-to-fill hours. But there are days like today when I just feel so tired with trying so hard to balance the darkness that is always present with Alzheimer's. Our darkness isn't as dark as what others have to bear, but it is dark enough to me....one night of Mom not waking up and me watching her (through the monitor) wander her room opening doors and curtains, sit on the bed staring into space, constantly fluttering her hands and fingers...until I determine that she is not going to go back to sleep on her own and go and reassure her and tuck her back into bed. The bed that she often doesn't recognize as her bed or even that it is a bed at all. One night like that might help. The same for our home that I work so hard to make safe and beautiful for her, but that she doesn't recognize as hers. Tho' she does comment on its prettiness sometimes...all the while she wishes "they" would paint the fences and get rid of the piles of mulch and lumber.
The first time Mom used the term "they" and we realized that she didn't understand anymore that she lived with us and exactly how it all works, it was gut-wrenching...like the time Mom referenced me as "she". We have sort-of become used to the "they", but these past few days it jars again.
When the nights aren't broken with watching and sadness, the weirdness of the waking hours are easier to bear cheerfully. I guess it has been a few weeks now without an unbroken night. And there might be the fact that I am trying to get through these days without the comfort food that I have turned to over the past few years to soothe the little, daily disturbing things...and the evening glass of wine. I have read many Alz. caregiving memoirs and it is rather common to "let yourself go" during the years that you are spending so much thought and energy on someone else. But that sets up another layer of negativity for me, so I will go on in my way, trying not to succumb too often to the cake or the darkness.
It is past time for me to wake Mom up. So I will pull up the bootstraps of my mind and get ready for the "morning" routine (it is past noon)...A glass of orange juice to entice her to sit up...lots of stroking and pulling her back up into a sitting position again and again for she is always reluctant to wake when it is actually time to...the whole dressing routine and the placing of her chair at breakfast where she will see the least amount of worrisome things...the grass in the hayfield sometimes looks like people or animals to her, the tractor and the canoe and the mulch pile make her wonder alot and if she sees Pippin laying down she speculates about whether he is cold or uncomfortable, but if she can't see him she worries about where he is....It might be easier not to have her near the window, but I believe the sunlight is beneficial to her, and the activity of the birds that come to the feeder....so we continue the dance of dark and light, and are grateful that most days the light is the one leading.