April 1, 2009
Tension has been building inside me for quite some time. The anti-depressant I am taking doesn't seem to be enough to handle what I am going through. I feel so burdened, so depressed, on the verge of tears. I just wanted to unload my burden, life some of the cares and so I called a pow wow with two of the children, Michael and Shirley, the two that were nearby.
We sat down in the living room, the three of us, and I started crying and pretty much lost it. Through my sobs the words tumbled out of my mouth, deep from within me. 'I just feel so trapped', I said. 'I can't even go out the back door. I don't bat an eyelash at night until he's sound asleep and then I sleep lightly and awaken at the slightest sound.' I kept saying 'I am so tired' over and over again.
I am crying and they are trying to console me. Shirley has seen me have meltdowns before but this was the first time my son had seen me like this. I could tell he was uncomfortable and didn't know what to say or do. But, in his male awkwardness, (males usually don't handle tears very well) he arose from his seat to come over and sit beside me and hold my hand. Shirley, who was sitting on the other side, reached for the other hand and we sat connected by thought, love, and skin. They reassured me but we all know that life isn't going to get any better. However, I did release all the tension, hugged my dear children and felt better.
Things would be better if I had some help. Tammy had taken other employment so I started interviewing people who might work out as sitters. One woman came. I just didn't connect with her at all so I told her I'd just have to let her know something next week. There were others whom I saw but it was first one problem then another. and I did not find anyone.
We need to do something about Elbert for the first weekend of May. Our Grandson is getting married and I'd give anything to have Elbert there. But... the wedding is 300 miles away. Elbert would be totally confused, needing constant attention and riding with him that far would be like riding with a very unruly child. 'How much farther is it?' 'When will we get there?' 'Do you know where you are going?' and 'How much gas do we have?' Just taking him 30 miles to the doctor brings on a barrage of questions. Imagine being cooped up in the car for 5 hours hearing that over and over and knowing he was so desperately confused. No, I couldn't do it. But, what would I do with him?
Michael and I met with the Family Services director at the Alzheimers office and we set about getting a respite bed at a nursing home for three days and four nights. I didn't know we could do such a thing. Amazing.
We also talked about a permanent placement in an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Susan, the Family Services director, put in a call and set up an appointment for us to meet with the Magnolia Manor Assisted Living home. If I can't get help in the home, then I have to start preparing myself for the placement process. I can't do everything I need to do to take care of Elbert and still keep my sanity. Big decisions, Big steps. Can I do it?