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.