hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “January, 2015”

Twice A Child III-Denial

I disregarded the fact that she had just told me this same story the last time we talked and that was just two days ago. When she said the trash collector will be here today because he comes on Friday and it was actually Sunday, I barely paid attention. Then she lost her house keys, twice in a month. I rationalized, well I have lost my keys in my purse so that is no big deal. When she told me she had her purse stolen from the exam room at her doctor’s office I was furious! I called the head administrator, I called the local police department, we made out reports. Today I can look at these things and so many others and I know I was in denial. I did not want to face the facts. However, the facts may spare you and your loved one at least some undue duress.

Fact like the most typical early detection is CRUCIAL for diagnosis and treatment. Many factor are weighed in regarding diseases of the mind. All memory disorders are NOT dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease gets tossed around as the catch all for older people with some memory impairments but Alzheimer’s has some very case specific symptoms that separates it from all the rest. Other physical disorders can affect the mind like diabetes and high blood pressure. Pain exacerbates these conditions as well. In our effort to be PC and kind we are calling these conditions out of their name, and it not only puts you in the wrong state of mind it puts others and perhaps the ones you love suffering from these conditions in a misguided, misinformed state. Speak to a medical professional, do reading on your own, and KNOW your family history. The person you may be caring for now could easily be you in the years to come.

This not to say every little misplaced item or forgotten lunch date is cause for concern. One must weigh each situation accordingly; listen to others around your loved one and speak directly with them. Just because you are close to someone, does NOT mean you know all about them.That closeness can be the very reason you are in denial. As our group maneuvers through this era of our lives these are some of the realities we are faced with. Our parents, if we are so blessed to have them still, are in the “twilight” of their lives. Some may live on to their late 90’s. 100 is not as uncommon as it used to be. Some of them may never loose their sense of consciousness, others may look at us one day and no have any idea who we are, and then there are all the variations in-between. However, we are strong and we will get through this, too. Simply be aware.

Advertisements

Twice A Child II-Anger

When you fall from grace there generally is no cushion.  No matter how you brace yourself the landing is rough. A sudden abrupt thud. Examining the some of the stages we experience with this aging process, I think this is one of the more difficult ones, but to be honest one really isn’t better than the other. They are all emotional avalanches.

There he or she is, they look remotely familiar at times they look exactly like this person you know and love, then something strange occurs. You tell yourself how ridiculous this is, how out of character this person is behaving, what you have to realize is they are no more in control of this change than you are. Oh how you long for the person you used to know. At times you may get a glimpse of that individual again, but as unpredictable as a gust of wind they will disappear on you. Then you must realize the look is what looks, are surface impressions and superficial. Your loved one is transitioning and for your own sake you had better try to as well. I am not talking exclusively about death here.

I warn you take you hearts off your sleeves, because these folks you were once so close to, will pull no punches. From nowhere the accusations fly, ” You talk to me any kind of way, You don’t care about me, You took my money, You don’t respect or love me, I wish I was dead.. Venomous hurtful things said for reasons unknown, but then you have to try to understand this is not someone who is completely in control anymore.  I cannot say that enough, because you will be challenged by this, repeatedly and you must be strong for it will take a lot out of you. They are floating in and out of awareness, without warning attitudes and temperaments change. The very next day they will not remember how ugly they treated you, so you MUST try to forget it as well.

I think because we live(d) our lives without being told or being taught it is okay to get mad/angry/be upset with people we love, we don’t know how. We fight back these feelings, we feel guilty about having them and grow frustrated with behavior of ourselves and them. If you have experience in “fighting fair” you MAY be better equipped, but note the word “MAY”. Furthermore, there is NOTHING fair about what is happening to your loved one. It simply is happening.

Try to be kind to them and yourself. Look at this experience as one that shall pass, for it will, and be able to share with another person information to give them solace as they travel the path you have gone down. My BFF is big on random acts of kindness; well the next time you see an elderly person who looks lost take a moment out and talk to them, they have something to say and your listening could make all the difference that is needed in their world. A stranger may have to help someone you love one day, find their way back to where they belong.

 

 

Twice A Child

I think about children running in a park laughing and squealing from excitement. I see tiny cute faces with smiles that light up rooms. There is a side that we see sometimes, when these same sources of joy do not get their way, and reality has to be put in play. These same beings with limited experiences of life now must be taught some life lessons. Then we move on to the next fun learning experience.

Now you have been primed for a discussion about something I truly hope none of my readers have to go through. I also know many of you will and many of you have or are going through this. I can only say, I am beginning to understand. When a loved one starts to loose touch with reality it is a process similar to the discovery of cancer. Many emotions and feelings surface. It is hard to describe the helplessness. Disbelief, Denial, Anger, Sadness,Confusion, and Loss; I believe I am scratching the surface here and the order may be different for we are dealing with individuals.

If I think about it long enough or pull out the obituary I can give an exact date, but the date is not important, the experience is. My grandmother was about 70 years old when she died. She suffered from dementia. I didn’t know a lot about her, she and I were distant at best. I only know of one grandchild she was close to and I didn’t care for him. This same grandson who, in her eyes, could do no wrong ultimately assisted with her demise. At the time Sammy was an easy target, he was all you want in a villain; unattractive, fat, not intelligent but a conniver. My maternal grandmother was an unhappy individual; she had nine children, I do not know that she ever embraced motherhood, for I saw her later in life. She was a stout woman about 5’3″, she had long silky hair and high cheekbones, her skin-tone had a copper red color to it characteristic of her Native American bloodline. I think my grandma was dutiful and of all the things a mother teaches her child if one thing/action/word gets to sum up the experience of being related, that would do it for my grandma and my mom.

Grandma helped out of a sense of obligation. This woman who taught me to cook and of whom I shared a room with, I know little more of her than the story she told of my uncle biting her which resulted in the end of his breast feeding. I cannot recall her saying she loved me or any of her grandchildren, I choose to believe that was because she felt this emotion was understood. I lived with her for seven years with my family. When she grew tired of us being there, she became mean and invasive. She never said,”Get out!” she showed it. Did she intend on being mean, that is debatable, what I do know/feel/believe is she was at a place that told her she should be afforded her way(willfulness much like that of a child) and if she did NOT get her way she was angry, she would pout, be unreasonable, or throw a tantrum. Yet in the end the child she treated badly, was the one who visited and tended to her at the nursing home everyday until she departed this life.

How can you recover from that, will you ever be able to rectify this or even acknowledge you were wrong or sorry. I don’t know how my mother felt about her mother, there was a coldness to grandma and I think she transferred some of that coldness to my mother. Mom was sad and she cried when grandma passed, but as I look back it seems like it was the thing to do, to be sad. I know I don’t want my grandchildren to think about me like this way, and in some ways it seems to be in my DNA. I am here to tell you, I fight this attitude daily and consciously. I tell myself ,” Don’t be sour, no one wants to be around a mean old woman.” I love my family openly and freely..unless they suffer memory loss they will not think of me and say,” I wonder if mom/abuela loved me/us?” I tell them everyday and each time  I see them I tell them it more.

One can believe what one wants, but stress can kill you. Putting undue pressure on yourself regarding things that are out of your control is senseless, it drains the very life out of us. The older we get the more difficult it is for us to return to a normal state. Thus being older and angry is NOT a place you want to be. The good is hard to remember when the bad is slapping you in the face. We have no control over what ultimately will be our condition physically, but what we do have charge over, we should take very seriously and guard it with all that is in us. Be pleasant, smile and think happy thoughts. Once it is gone there really is no turning back; not for you, not for the ones who you love.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: