I say that with a huge smile and laughter in my heart. My mother is an amazing and wonderful woman whom I love completely. She has early stage Alzheimers and I have become her caretaker. This decision was easy, she needed help and my husband I were able to adjust our lives for her.
If any of you have ever lived with, or cared for someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, you’ll be able to relate. I’ve had to practice all of my patience and utilize my energy reserves just to keep up with her. I don’t know where she gets all that energy at 75, but she has it!!
Now try quarantining with her. It drives her crazy that we can’t run to the stores to shop, or her favorite thing is going out to eat every day. Just try to help her remember social distancing, oh my! She loves talking to people and being in their personal space. Now my mother lives in a small Texas town and has all the friendliness and sweet southern charm you can imagine. She’d rather smile at you than not and these face masks have been a challenge. I’ll look over and she’s pulling it down to smile. I laugh, but constantly remind her to keep it on. “Smile with your eyes!” I say.
Every movie we watch can be watched the next day with no recollection of it. The smartphone she has is a constant state of “now, how do I answer this thing?” The remote control is the same. When we do laundry she checks the dryer but doesn’t turn it back on so the clothes take forever to dry or go sour if I forget. She has a compulsion to sweep the floor but leaves the piles of dirt all around the house like landmines. The only channel on cable she watches is the old western channel and it’s always on. If you leave something on the kitchen table, forget about it, she moves it or throws everything in the trash including the car keys. If you leave your drink unattended it’s poured out and the cup promptly washed. She forgets to close the bathroom door so my husband has to be extra diligent about walking by! Especially when she showers.
Try getting her to take her medication in a pill organizer. She picks through the pills every day as if I’m poisoning her, analyzing each one. Don’t get me started on driving! It has become a huge area of tension between us. She told me “you will have to pry my keys out of my cold, dead hands!” That about explains it all.
Even though we have rough days and times when we butt heads, we laugh everyday and enjoy our time together. I try and put myself in her place and realize how hard this must be for her also. I know that the future holds harder times, so I try and enjoy the time that she remembers now. She is hilarious so it’s hard to stay frustrated anyway.
I guess to sum it up. I love my mother, but… I love my mother!