I’ve been reading some of my journals/emails from 2010-2014, (the one’s I mentioned in prior blogs that I saved for “keeping strict accounts” during that time period). I’ll be honest, it sucks to go back. These two emails were partial excerpts to my friend, and are fairly tame compared to others (which I will eventually share over time.)
My hope is you can relate or find parallels in your own situation of caring for your loved one, and know you are not nuts or alone in this chaos. (These emails are verbatim so, be kind with typos and poo gramer, I mean poor grammar).
May 28, 2012, Monday
I couldn’t find mom for 5 hours today. She was supposed to drive from the cabin to a mammogram appointment in Reno at 1pm. I called to see if she made it, the secretary said she never showed up. I called neighbors at the lake and asked them to walk by the cabin, see if her car was there, it wasn’t.
I tried her cell phone all afternoon, no answer, straight to voicemail. I had three legal transcription files due for Jan. When I called Jan to tell her about mom, she understood, but this was the 4th time I bailed on her. She let me go. I understood. She was regretful and said that once I got mom situated better, to call her back, she’d put me to work again. At 5:30pm mom called.
I tried to remain calm, instead- “WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN MOM?”
“What do you mean?” she asks.
“You had a mammogram appointment that you didn’t show up for.” Mom said she did. I asked where she went, she said St. Mary’s.
“That wasn’t where your appointment was, it was on W6th Street, NOT St Mary’s.”
I’ll verify tomorrow where the hell she went. Did they actually take her without an appointment??! I asked mom about her phone, “Oh my cell is off. I don’t use it much…” she said. What she means is, she doesn’t know how to use her cell anymore.
May 29, 2012 Tuesday
I called St. Mary’s. They wouldn’t verify whether mom was there or not due to “patient privacy.” I told the woman I was her daughter, had power of attorney, that mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and could she please tell me if she was there so I can pay the “missed appointment” charge at the other place and reschedule if I have to. I also couldn’t find my mother because she was apparently with you. Please help me here…!!” I pleaded.
“I can’t verify who you are over the phone, so I can’t answer that…” she said abruptly. I drove to St. Mary’s personally. Mom was, in fact, there for a mammogram the day before. “How is it possible you take walk-ins?” I said angrily. I continued, “Thanks for making my day hell. I’ve got all the time in the world to deal with bullshit like this. Appreciate it.” And I walked out. F****** St. Mary’s.
What Is True For Me:
I could no more control the confluence of events these two days than fly to the moon. Caregiving is like sweeping the porch in a windstorm and why it sends us off the deep end. If days like this happened once in a while and not every single day, we wouldn’t be so pushed to the limit all the time and drained. But this is, unfortunately, how it is. I know you know that, I’m not saying anything new that you don’t already know.
My only words of wisdom are; put the day behind you as quickly as you can. If your loved one is safe, have your angst end there. Get some rest. Put on a clean uniform in the morning. Stretch. Throw your face-mask on, take a breath and squat down. Be ready for another day of your catcher’s mitt catching more shit. Then repeat in 24 hours. Great visual, eh?