Lorelei

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New Year, New Game

Lorelei

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2016 is here.  With. A. Bang.  

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I am a little bit in awe of the craziness that has descended upon my family with the arrival of the new year.  So far, it's been an El Niño.  (Disclaimer:  All events within this blog post are absolutely real.  Also, I am not looking for sympathy.  Really.  Just a collective "WTF?!" will suffice.  Think "purging" when you read this, because that's what this blog post is doing for me.)

2015 closed with a call from my mother's memory care community.  It looked as if she was ill, and that I might have to take her to urgent care in the morning.  I went to bed, after letting my children welcome the new year officially for the very first time, with clothes and supplies at the ready for a long day ahead.  8:20 a.m. came on January 1st with the phone call I'd half-expected.  My mom most probably had an infection and needed urgent care.  Red alert for ya, urgent care is closed on holidays.  So, to the ER I went, with my poor, little 68-year old, advanced dementia-afflicted mother riding shot-gun.  I was blessed by the powers that be with wonderful holiday staff at the ER who got my mother out of my mini-van and into a bed.  Her blood pressure was a measly 67/45.  Things deteriorated further, because tests told us that she had a raging infection and was septic.  Long ago, my mother had told me to never plug her in, when we'd gone over the what-ifs of life.  Well, neither of us had anticipated a diagnosis of frontal temporal dementia at age 59.  It was a game changer.  And administering antibiotics at this late stage of that game smacked of "plugging" her in at this point.  I told them NO.  NO antibiotics.  NO IV fluids.  Just NO.  Enough was enough.  Painful for me to honor her wishes, but there you go.

That was over 8 days ago.  Her siblings and my sister came in to say good-bye.  We played with the dry erase board in her room.  (Staff just tolerated our slightly-hysterical humor.)

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They have since gone back to their lives for now.  My mom's two sisters are (wonderfully) ready to come back from their homes 4 and 6 hours away whenever I call for them.  Her college professor brother checks in via text.  My sister cannot deal....and I can't worry about that anymore.  

My Delaney Jane and I moved out her bed to make room for a hospital bed at the memory care residence.  She's a gamer, that girl.

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My mom is back at the memory care residence, with hospice.  Reaching the end of her adventure on this earth could take hours or weeks.  The point is that the end is near.  I am relieved that her peace will be soon.  However, I will miss her.  However, I've been mourning her for eleven years....since the dementia butted its ugly head into our lives.  This is confusing to the humanity in me that wants to mourn vs. the caregiver who is tired and rather raw/worn from emotion.  She'd have wanted this over ages ago.

I've been reading to her,

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and knitting, 

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driving to get supplies,

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and indulging in my own little comfort care

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while preparing for YTT class.  (Such a timely read for me.)

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But, this is a yoga blog.  Let's get to the yoga.  Today, January 8, was the first evening of YTT for me.  I have been looking forward to it for a long time.  I almost didn't go, because of so many reasons.  For instance, the memory care community staff accidentally cut off and threw away mom's DNR bracelet.  Guess who got to put on a new one after going over AGAIN the painful paperwork that states that no one should interfere with my mother's death process?  Anyone?

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But somehow when the time came, I left her to go to YTT.  Talk about conflicted emotions, shall we?  

What made me leave my mom's bedside for more than four awake hours so far this year?  Here's what.  My mom would have been furious, if she'd been able, had I taken myself out of an opportunity that I'd been awaiting for so long.  An opportunity to make the world a slightly better place, like she did once upon a time as a social worker, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.  I can only hope that I will be able to fill the shoes that my mother's imminent passing will leave empty.  Right now?  All is quiet.  No jangling of the phone bearing news.  We wait.  I am learning patience and also that I am not in control.  I am struggling to be ok with that.  The lessons of the new year will serve me well, I know. 

YTT was WONDERFUL.  My instructor is kind and witty and strict-ish.  Classmates seem interesting and devoted.  The yoga studio is beautiful.  I felt free and new and alive.  What seemed earlier today as a tragedy of timing, now feels like a gigantic blessing and a gift.  I feel optimal gratitude.  Tomorrow will be a big test.  I will briefly stop by to check on my mom and then head over for 9 hours of YTT.  This training feels like so much more than yoga for me.  Send me good thoughts, please.  This community is the only place who has been told my story of 2016.  I am glad you are far-flung.  It makes the telling feel safe.  Thank you.


fshliz09, robert, brenskip55 and 1 other like this


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What a roller coaster ride Lorelei! Situations like your mom is facing is so tough. On one hand you want them to be at peace and no longer suffer, but still you know you will miss them so much. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. 

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Thanks, scottcraft.  Today, I kinda freaked out for writing such a personal blog entry.  Last night, when I wrote it, I was just worn out and at the end of a long week.  It is completely not like me to share so much.  Grateful for this community.

59 minutes ago, scottcraft said:

What a roller coaster ride Lorelei! Situations like your mom is facing is so tough. On one hand you want them to be at peace and no longer suffer, but still you know you will miss them so much. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. 

 

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13 hours ago, Lorelei said:

Thanks, scottcraft.  Today, I kinda freaked out for writing such a personal blog entry.  Last night, when I wrote it, I was just worn out and at the end of a long week.  It is completely not like me to share so much.  Grateful for this community.

 

I'm not one to share really personal stuff either, even though sometimes it's probably good to do so. I've gotten slightly better about revealing my deep feelings but I'm not as open as I should be and my wife reminds me of that from time to time. 

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Think "purging" when you read this, because that's what this blog post is doing for me.

Quote

 However, I've been mourning her for eleven years....since the dementia butted its ugly head into our lives.  This is confusing to the humanity in me that wants to mourn vs. the caregiver who is tired and rather raw/worn from emotion.  She'd have wanted this over ages ago.

Quote

My mom would have been furious, if she'd been able, had I taken myself out of an opportunity that I'd been awaiting for so long.

Quote

This training feels like so much more than yoga for me.  Send me good thoughts, please.  This community is the only place who has been told my story of 2016.  I am glad you are far-flung.  It makes the telling feel safe. 

Thank you for sharing - I realize it feels so vulnerable to put it out there. I get more clarity when I write, so I hope it has helped you.  

So many things jumped out at me - randomly quoted above. I was moved to tears when I read this.  

I was too young to understand how conflicting it was for my mom and her sisters to be caregivers to my grandma in her last years of Alzheimer's.  I see her so preoccupied now because her older sisters are going through it, and she's the youngest. Reading about your experience helps me put it more in perspective, especially since our family doesn't talk about feelings!  Understanding that just fighting the infection is essentially just keeping her plugged in... that takes such maturity and strength. That's so hard to comprehend when it's someone close to you.

I'm so glad you knew that not going to YTT would have been giving away an opportunity that would better serve others, not just yourself. Sending wonderful thoughts to you!

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Anahata, scottcraft, yogafire, and brenskip55:  Thank you for the good thoughts, prayers, and practices dedicated.  You guys mean a lot to me!  No change in the situation as of now.  

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