Apologia for these journals:
They are not about taking care of a relative with moderate to severe Alzheimer's/senile dementia.
For an explanation of what these journals are about, click the link above.
For internet sources that are about caring for relatives with moderate to severe
Alzheimer's/senile dementia, click through the Honorable Alzheimer's Blogs in my
links section to the right.
Let go, let go, let go
This post was the only post published on a now defunct blog that I started in Blogger on blogspot almost immediately after losing my domain, "The Mom & Me Journals dot Net". Although the post speaks about a renewed interest in posting, after writing this post several other issues competed for my attention, not the least of which was an attempt to recover my domain. That particular attempt failed. Finally, a little less than a month after I published this post, I decided, since my material continued to exist on Blogger and I wasn't, then, and am still not sure whether I'll be establishing a new domain for all this stuff, I decided to republish all my journals on Blogger through Blogspot. Soon after I did this, I noticed that publishing this particular journal on Bloggers servers would work better if I thinned out the number of posts, here, and transferred them to archives. It's repetitive, slow work, for which, fortunately, I have a gift and in which I am still involved. I've gotten through 2004, which resides at Mom & Me Two Archive and have begun year 2005, which resides at Mom & Me Three Archive. As I go I'm transferring comments, as well, in the same manner in which the lone comment left on this post by Karma has been transferred.
For all the letting go I've been doing in the recent past, the one action I seem to have regrasped with renewed enthusiasm is journal posting. I'm having no trouble letting go of my domain. I'm having no trouble letting go of my former site (except as an archive, most of which I expect to republish at a later date; I think a piece of my soul would have died if I had lost the material, though). I'm having no trouble letting go of my rapacious insistence on original template design (which used to take me hours of cognitive sweat and afforded me hours of cognitive pleasure). After months of lackadaisical posting, though, suddenly I'm finding a need to post frequently and loquaciously, again.
I think it's anxiety about my mother. She seems, lately, to be undergoing an obvious and accelerated decline (I know, Dr. Thomas, I'm not supposed to call, or think of, it as "decline" and I don't want to but, well, I'm at a linguistic loss at the moment). The increased physical frailty, the falling, the barely noticeable recovery period...ai, yi, yi...the only aspect of the last few weeks that keeps my stamina up is that her humor, her will and her spirit remain firmly, sometimes even annoyingly but never regrettably, intact.
All the daily, sometimes hourly questions:
- Doctor or no doctor?
My mother's preference is usually "no doctor" and I work hard to honor this, but, you know, sometimes I wonder...
- Wheel chair or no wheel chair around the house?
I have to remain extremely flexible regarding this option. Sometimes a day which looks, at the beginning, like one kind of day turns quickly into another.
- Extra sleep or an insistence on keeping her up?
I know that she heals better in sleep; probably most of us do. However, it's hard for me to handle days in which 16 or more of her hours are spent in bed. It's not that this isn't normal for her when she's healing, it's that I have a hard time accepting this normality.
- Therapeutic exercise or not?
When it hurts, it hurts, but, sometimes, it's hard to get out of her whether it's hurting or she just doesn't feel like it for no reason other than she's hard to convince, anymore, that movement is a good idea.
- Good cop or bad cop demeanor in order to get her going a little every day?
I hate being "bad cop" or, as I usually dub this behavior, "drill sergeant", but sometimes it's the only thing that will get her going...and, so far, when I finally surrender to sternness, she always responds. Always.
- Blood draw (which is long overdue) today or wait another day?
Frankly, I'm not expecting anything unusual; maybe a slight drop in hemoglobin because of the daily Tylenol I've been feeding her (assuming that this acts on her system rather like aspirin and ibuprofen but to a lesser degree) but nothing requiring a transfusion
The discomfort from the falls, which rarely manifests as outright pain, rather as "grabbing" and complaints of unusual "stiffness" has caused my mother's blood pressure to spike frequently, so I've added that fourth 10 mg lisinopril tablet to her medicine regimen as of today. I expect some of the spike is also do to my obvious anxiety, which breaks through at the most inconvenient of moments. Since she is extremely reluctant to exercise, right now, I've added a few moves to her usual standing up routine, as well as extended this revised routine to repetitions when she's walking around (with increased aid from the walker and/or me) and it looks like she's going to falter:
- "Unfold yourself, slowly, Mom."
- "Pull yourself up out of your hips and thighs. Does that take care of the grabbing (if she's complaining of this)?"
To which she always responds, "Oh, yes, that's much better."
- "Finish straightening up."
- "Drop shoulders all the way."
- "Flex your knees a little and pull them in line."
- "Now, do the hootchy kootchy (wiggling her hips from side to side)."
- "Okay, step straight out, not to the side (she has a tendency to try to turn into the direction she's intending to go as she takes her first step, which often is her undoing in terms of balance)."
- [Repeated several times throughout whatever journey we're taking] "Good. Good. Here we go. Walk right into me. Don't overreach yourself. Concentrate on what you're doing, not where you're going or what you're noticing around you along the way."
- I will be establishing an outgoing links section to all those journals that were listed on my now defunct site. I'm rediscovering them, after months of not visiting. It may take me awhile to reestablish descriptions, but it is a delight to catch up with all of you. There's at least one other I'll be adding, as well. Give me a day or to to get to that, please!
- Test results probably won't be formerly posted until I establish a new domain and journal.
- One of the histories and a few of the miscellaneous pages continue to exist on servers other than my previous domain server, with which I found it necessary to sever my relationship. As soon as I find those, I'll be adding those as inboard links.
- I've decided to seek publications for some of my essays and more cogent posts in other venues. As I have success, I'll keep you updated on where they are.
- While I'm here, I also plan to resurrect as many of those posts that appeared in carnivals or to which other journals linked as I can since those links are now dead, and notify linkers of the new urls, in case they wish to reestablish them.
- Regarding the colors I've chosen here: I've been favoring blue, lately. This is new for me. Blue has never been a favorite color of mine but when I finally decided to replace my old, disastrously worn purse a few months ago, when I found the perfect replacement (it's wonderful), I couldn't take my eyes off the cornflower blue version. This blue template is also one I devised for a section of my now defunct former site which I never got off the ground, a section which I had planned to devote strictly to reactions to "old" news. That blog still exists but contains nothing more than a few test posts. I felt, though, as I realized I'm needing to journalize, right now, in order to remain emotionally sound and attached, that using the blue scheme I devised seemed right, calming, sort of like taking deep, calming gulps of "blue" air.
- The "Stuff & Things" in this title refers to the distinct possibility that I have been wanting to journalize about other things, lately, things seemingly unconnected to my mother and me (although, truthfully, I am so enwrapped in our journey together than everything in my life is connected to our journey). Not exactly sure what stuff and things will appear here...but I'm looking forward to the discovery
- Lastly, I awoke this morning from a dream in which my mother and I discovered a large, sectioned nest of baby toucans that had dropped out of our pyracantha bush. As I awoke from the dream, my mother, who was fully functional in it, and I were rescuing the nest and the birds, resetting each in its section, intent on replacing the nest in the bush. Although I didn't bother to speculate on what it meant, I came away from it feeling so optimistic that I had a hard time waiting until an appropriate awakening time for my mother so that I could tell her about the dream.
"Baby toucans," she said. "Wouldn't that be something! Do you suppose some might actually nest in our pyracantha?" It sounded like she enjoyed the dream as much as I.
You never know and, yes, that would be something. Here's to a future filled with baby toucans.
All material, except that not written by me, copyright at time of posting by Gail Rae Hudson