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My New Normal


Quote: What You Do For Someone You Love

You never know where you are going to end up. My situation as a caregiver is my new normal and my heart aches for my mom-in-law. She suffers from Alzheimer’s diagnosed over ten years ago but since Hurricane Irma, her condition has spiraled to worse to horrible.

Yesterday morning, I was awakened by my mom telling me that my mother-in-law had fallen in her room. Ma is what I call her, was confused and not knowing how she came to be on the floor. The room had this awful stench. According to my mom, she believes that Ma got confused as to where the bathroom was and proceeded to do her business in her room causing her to fall forward bumping her head. She had a whopping bump on her forehead, it was ginormous!

I immediately called 911, the dispatcher recorded the incident and diagnoses. He instructed me to leave the front house light on, the door unlocked and more importantly, for me not to move her.

All the while, as he was giving me instruction I thought about this horrific disease and all that comes with it.  The person inflicted with it is not aware of what is happening and the caregiver witnessing it will carry these tragic memories. It is not fair!

I dread how this story ends. I pray for the strength to carry me on this journey with my Ma. These days I try to focus on Ma, the way she is and her essence. I believe that it will allow me to move forward no matter what obstacle is laid on the path before us.

Alzheimers.net

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Moments of Confusion


Have you ever walked along a shoreline, only to have your footprints washed away? That’s what Alzheimer’s is like. The waves erase the marks we leave behind, all the sand castles. Some days are better than others.

-Pat Summitt

This disease sucks to no end! When you witness your loved one going through what I call moments of confusion.

When she finds herself lost in a space that is her home, not knowing whether to turn right or left to find her bedroom.

It is sad, you want to save her, make her better but you can’t instead, you can only guide her and stand by her.

She lives between moments of confusion and lucidity. I live it with her every day alongside her as her caregiver.

I am her family, I love her and I support her.

Brainy Quotes


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Surprise you, but not in a good way


Life Lessons

“Life is too short, hug tightly, love strongly, forgive oftenly, and always smile widely!”
― Zane Baker

Did you ever wonder how people who are supposedly close to you tend to surprise you but not in a good way? Take today, for instance, I contacted a friend. At first, I did not recognize her voice based on past experience. She was always kind to me, and very pleasant not to say that she was mean to me but she was not welcoming. When I told her that I did not recognize her, she revealed that she had surgery. I felt awkward in hearing her solemn tone on the phone. I even apologized because I truly did not know and I felt bad about her reaction. She was probably not having a good day but that is no excuse to be unsavory. She said I interrupted before she had a chance to tell me about her surgery and I owned up to that!  I was already feeling weird, not to mention this would be adding yet another issue to this scenario.  She, in the end, said that she assumed that everybody knew and I, in turn, told her, “No, ma’am, no, ma’am. “

Life Lesson Learned

I was taught to treat those around you as you would like them to treat you, unfortunately, for the most part, it does not happen. My life lesson learned about speaking to my friend is to give her the benefit of the doubt, not to take it personally and to be forgiving. I can choose to be angry or I can simply take into consideration that she obviously was having a stressful day, and I just happen to be the one that called.


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Come Feel Me, My Love​


Come feel me, my love,
bring me to a quiver!
Allow our souls to collide, let us dance in symbiosis.

Ah! Come feel me, my love,
the longing is unbearable to no end.
Your touch is an appetite that is continuous
within my heart, my soul, my mind.

Did you know?
Throughout our lives, we have shared many things,
the sad, the happy, and the tragic. 

Yet, here we are to this day,
we are as passionate,
as strong, and as in love.
A love that continues to withstand the hand of time.


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​Moments of Lucidity


Alzheimer’s disease is devastating and horrific, it may come with moments of lucidity but when it is witnessed by family members, it is a memory to remember fondly and wholeheartedly.

The moment of lucidity happened last night. I got a visit from my Ma, the person I remember as being Ma! It was late I was having trouble with sleep, and all of sudden through the crack of my door, I noticed all the lights in our house were turned on. It stemmed from the hallway, entranceway, living room all the way to the kitchen.

I was concerned that somebody broke into our home. As I opened my bedroom door towards the living room I suddenly heard, ” I am up, it is me!” The kitchen is located off to the side connecting to the living room. There she was, standing against the counter with a small pot in her hand as she says, ” I want to make some coffee.” Ma usually did her coffee the old school way processing the coffee grains through a strainer, then heating the milk in a small pot similar to the one she was holding.

I was concerned that she could hurt herself in making the coffee, so I said, ” I will make you coffee, Ma. Don’t worry! ” I proceeded to make the coffee all the while thinking how clear she was and talking. What a blessing to be able to have a conversation with my beautiful mother-in-law. When I told her that it was 12:50 am, she became apologetic. I reassured her not to worry, the night is young. I joined her for a bit, serving her coffee, crackers, and butter and made myself a cup as well.

That is a memory that I will always carry in my mind and in my heart. I know that this disease is devastating, crippling to both the person inflicted with it as well as the caregiver that witnesses it but if we can focus on those moments of lucidity, then perhaps we can make it through. Food for thought.


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Coping with Alzheimer’s


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I recently found myself soul-searching within the very depths of my being. Caring for a person with a severe illness is taxing, to say the least, but when you are the caregiver, it becomes something totally different. At times, it becomes gravely overwhelming, if not careful you will find yourself sucked into the depression, the isolation of it with no escape. Having a great support system is key to your survival and keeping your sanity.   

My mother-in-law is a loving person, she is slipping away day by day and there is nothing I can do to fix her. Yes, I have said it, fix her! She is stricken with Alzheimer’s. She is living with us, my mother too lives with us and is helping. My mom is my strongest support. I am blessed to have her. 

The situation has shifted towards the stage where my mother-in-law sleeps all the time,  losses large blocks of time, and she refuses to shower causing me to have to assist her. When she sits to eat at our kitchen table. I find myself observing her, and thinking, where does she go when she drifts off in thought?  Is it a specific memory? Is she aware what is happening to her? It is a horrible disease! 

When I think back to the last six months. Ma was living in the community, independently, renting her own apartment managing her everyday life until Hurricane Irma hit, inundating her apartment, and changing her life for forever.  The trauma of losing her apartment sped her illness forward to severe. She went from being a very active individual to someone who needs total daily assistance.

I treasure her lucid moments and sense of humor when it shines through. She remembers her past with such detail and sometimes shares such painful memories that I would prefer those memories to have been erased from her memory, but unfortunately, the memories continue to surface from time to time.

To our sweet lady, we will continue to care for you, love you dearly and cherish your every moment for as long as you are with us.

 

 


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Your Success is Straight Ahead


Where am I going?

I look here, look there and everywhere.

I see the road ahead and I still do not know where I am supposed to go.

Many say, map it out!

Some say, plan it out!

Others say, know your destination!

Like the sound of a train making that choo-choo sound.

The smells of that smokey steam engine that permeate the air.

It passes by and I still have no clue!

There are days where things get out of hand.

And there are days where the focus is relentless.

Like taking a bite out of a favorite dessert, Yum!

But no matter where the destination?

Just know that your success is straight ahead.

Keep going, keep going and do not stop!