Vacation Update

LilMagill

Vacation Update

LilMagill
flowers-260897_640This trip has been hard.

It's 7:49 and I'm supposed to wake up my husband at 8:00 and walk Mom and my son down to the breakfast buffet. Mom has been in so much pain from not being able to sit in her recliner and has had so much confusion from all the stress and pain. At least I know, or think I know, reasons for what I'm seeing.

In addition to the pain, she has been disappointed, I think, by lack of attention. She really loves my cousin and his wife, and all the times we've visited, they've treated her like a queen and given her so much time and attention. But the only times we've seen them this weekend, they've been hosts at their daughter's wedding, so they haven't had attention to spare. Fortunately, another cousin and her wife are here and we got to spend lots of time with them. But even though we sat with them at the reception, the overall noise level was so loud that Mom was mostly left out of the conversation because she couldn't hear and was probably too tired to make the effort to jump in anyway.

After the rehearsal dinner, she was telling someone, "I don't know if we're staying for the wedding or not. They're my drivers and they haven't told me." On the way back to the motel, she said, "I didn't know we were going to the wedding, so I don't think I brought any clothes to wear." There was just really a lot of this kind of confusion. This was so much worse than her normal memory problems--but then again, her normal problems take place in the context of her normal life where everything is familiar and predictable.

Aside from my worry and dismay over my mom, there have definitely been some positive moments. My husband has done a great job of taking care of us and getting us from place to place safely. Yesterday, my son and I went out to a restaurant with my cousin and her partner and their daughter (same age child!) and my husband went out and got a sandwich for Mom to eat in her room so she could keep relaxing. She'd been up all night with diarrhea the night before, though thank God, she managed to get to the bathroom each time and there were no midnight phone calls down the hall. My son had a great time hanging out with his cousin and they bonded, of course, over the girl's iPhone games.

I had an a really soothing talk with this cousin I'm talking about, who is a psychologist. She was so sympathetic and understanding about my mom and shared with me that her partner also has mild cognitive impairment. I had no idea! But hers seems to be caused or at least significantly affected by some pain meds that she has now stopped taking, with some cognitive improvement. Anyway, it felt good to exchange our stories and compassion.

Well, it's 8:00 now, time to walk down the hall and see how they survived the night. Hope all is well or well enough with my fellow bloggers.

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tj

I am glad you have such a supportive husband. The traveling and wedding are stressors enough but adding in being a care giver. Great job keeping it together.

Hussy

So sorry your getaway was so difficult on your mother and you. It sounds as though the scales have tipped and at this point this kind of travel has more drawbacks than payoffs for your mother. But as <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/worriedwife/' rel=\"nofollow\">@worriedwife</a> points out, how could know if you didn't try? \r\n\r\nNice to hear that you nevertheless found a few bright spots -- a husband who really stepped up to the plate and being able to spend time with your empathetic cousin. \r\n\r\nI'd like nothing more than for someone else to pack and unpack our bags when we travel, but no matter how many times I've tried to revamp our budget, I can never find the money for a valet and lady's maid lol.

EllysGdaughter

LilMagill, your trip sounds like it was a lot of work and stress for you but your mom took it the hardest :( I know for Elly, it's a balancing act to know when to push when she needs to be in a sociallly appropriate situation (great-grandson's wedding) or optional situation (going out to church). We keep walking down the road with our loved ones and it does make us appreciate the time when we were kids and just got to go along without all the duties ;) I am thankful you had a chance to talk with your cousin who totally understands you!! Thank you for sharing.

Jean

Oh Lil, when I read your posts, they take me down memory lane with my mom. Mom began showing some mild symptoms of Alzheimer's in her early 60s, but the dementia symptom became more obvious when she traveled. In fact a trip with a friend left us with no doubt. Mom got so confused when on that trip and got hysterical and was crying on more than one occasion because she couldn't find her money/purse to pay for her meals. Her friend would show her it was right there but mom couldn't grasp it. It unnerved her friend to no end. And it took me and my sisters out of denial.\r\n\r\nIt's pretty typical of those with dementia to start withdrawing for some of the reasons you mentioned. Not being able to hear or follow conversations, being disoriented out of their familiar surrounding.\r\n\r\nI am so glad you have been able to snag some enjoyment from this vacation and I think you are doing incredible to make the most of your family's life and your moms.

Denise

I am so sorry for the challenges! We do our best to prepare for what could happen and then everything else seems to happen. It's just stressful.\r\n\r\nI love that you shared an update with us this morning. :) I hope it helped to write it out and that the rest of the day has fewer bumps.