A Week in the Life of a Caregiver: Wednesday
It Hurts to See Her Reduced to a Shell of a Person
This is the first time all day I have had to write to you. My morning was a non-stop race to get from Christina's day camp and on to my doctor's appointment at noon.
I called home and spoke to Charlie around 11 a.m. and got the news that Mom was so rude to the home health aide she left 45 minutes ahead of schedule. The aide tried to convince Mom she could help her with a sponge bath and by tidying up her room. Mom wanted no part of her at all. The physical therapist was here at the same time and she mentioned to Charlie that Mom should cooperate. Otherwise, the service would not send any other home health aides to the house. I get the feeling Mom might be doing this on purpose for that reason.
I have been so upset with her lately I have trouble controlling myself when I am around her. I got to the point when I had to distance myself a bit and, while sitting on my front porch, I realized she is not going to get any better and what has to change now is my attitude toward her.
Mom is getting more and more confused about things as each day goes by. Everything centers on her and all her bodily functions. I commiserate with her as often as possible, but it still galls me to discuss those things while I am preparing meals or sitting around the dinner table with the family. I love her so much, and it hurts me tremendously to see her reduced to a shell of a person. When I look at her now, I remember the old horror movie, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." I am seeing a shell of the mother I had, but her personality - what makes Mom my mom - is missing. The person who never hesitated to offer a loving hand and who was not only my mom but my friend as well is gone. All I can do for her right now is treat her with love and respect and tolerate with God's grace the strange things she does. If I had to offer advice to another caregiver, I would say it is all right to take some time off for yourself because it helps you control your feelings and get a different perspective on your situation.
I have to get Christina to bed now, and I might as well do the same so I will be better able to tackle tomorrow.
Talk to you tomorrow, diary.