Just Walk Away, Renee


Just Walk Away, Renee

Today I'm placing my mom, who has dementia, in a temporary facility for two weeks while I return to my northern home to "take care of business". Already in my third year at this, with my husband (who dutifully keeps the home fires burning), I have been negotiating our physical separation while he lives in Ohio and I live with my mom in Florida.

All life now seems to be a matter of comparisons. How much has my mother declined since the last trip? Since the last dentist appointment? Since the last time I took her to a restaurant? Since the last time we walked around the block?

And how much have I declined since I started this path? Do I have more creases and crevices on my face? I look jowly. My neck looks ropey. I have reoccurring issues with my shoulder and hip. I can't remember stuff sometimes. Is it gravity, the roll of the dice, genetics, or is it the caregiving?

My mother is in remarkably excellent health, as I continue to find out. There is not one thing wrong with her except her mind, which, I know, should cause me to rejoice and be thankful, Glory Halleluiah. We could have 8 to 10 more years of this rapture. We have learned that Hospice cannot offer services with a diagnosis of dementia only. Last night she materialized in front of the open, double paneled sliding glass doors. I had to put my glasses on to correctly see this vision, of my mother completely naked on the bottom, wearing a bra, and a wet depends like a bolero jacket. This should be an interesting addition to the entertainment committee of the assisted living facility.

It has taken extensive thinking and planning to get her ready for this facility stay. During her previous stay it felt like, oh yeah, drop the kid off at the babysitter's. But after three days in the facility, my mom was discovered on the floor and she was immediately taken by EMT's to the Emergency Room. Her Medicare EOB stated she had a "significant threat to life or function". But there was no apparent injury of any kind. All of her ER tests reinforced her excellent health. So for this second facility stay, we have reiterated our desire to not send her to the ER without consulting with us. The DNR came out again and we discussed it one more time. How do you keep your loved one safe but not receiving treatment she and we don't want? I even documented my mother's propensity to "hang out" on the floor these days, She has two trendy, therapeutic twin beds and a pristine cushy couch, but NOOOOOOO!!!!! She has to lay on the floor. She's fascinated with the floor and picking up a sesame seed. In addition to this floor fetish, we had to iron out all her changes in her medical plan. It took an entire page for me to explain what I do for her daily. It took another page, single-spaced, to list all the things she was bringing with her on this visit, required by the facility and which I thought would make her stay more  comfortable. No less than 6 large black garbage bags for a wee little 90 pound lady. You can understand why I make a poor camping companion, but get accolades for being thorough. I've tried to cover every base.

Personally, I have a backpack for my own trip. Period. All I need is my thyroid medicine, my drivers license, a credit card and my wits.

I write today because I'm closing the door. I'm boarding the plane. I'm flying like a Free Bird. I'm fleeing to the waiting arms of my husband. I've done the homework, thought every geriatric forethought, and have to trust the professionals for the rest.


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I'm so hoping you are relaxing, holding with Hubby, the exact moment that I'm writing this. \r\n\r\nTake photos, make memories, enjoy the break. \r\n\r\nThanks for keeping us posted. :) I always just love your blogs posts.


I am so happy to hear that you are ready and leaving on your \"Spring Break\"!!! May you have a wonderful, relaxing, no phone calls from Florida, exceptional two weeks! I always feel a little anxious when I leave too but know that my Caree will do what she wants regardless and at almost 95 years old, she deserves to do whatever that is when I am gone. We can pick up the pieces later on and no one in the family will blame me!! Enjoy your Family!


Jan, congratulations for having the strength to do this, including filling those six garbage bags and typing that single-space page of your daily to do\" list. I feel freer, reading that the plane doors are closing and you are flying away. Superwoman, flying back to her Clark Kent (also Super). I agree with everyone, the bolero Depends jacket was a nice touch, on your mom's part as well as yours. Please let me know how the two-week stay goes. My Mom is in a similar situation--perfect health, no short-term memory, still at home at 93, will probably live forever--and my sister and I will probably need a short-term option at some point. Wishing you a deep rest (and no emergency calls from Florida) and a sweet reunion with your husband. Blessed be.


Oh, and I now have an oldie but goodie tune floating around my head!


Oh my goodness. You have me laughing again, with a tear at that same time.... knowing that reality. Have a well deserved break!

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