Monday, June 29, 2009
~Balancing Act, Part I~
Anyone who has their own business knows how difficult it is to balance work and home life. Add that to having your office/studio at home....and the balancing act becomes even more challenging. The 'drive' and discipline needed for the business to become successful is daunting. THEN add in an 89-year-old mother with alzheimer's and you have a balancing act that just simply doesn't 'balance' at all. In fact....it falls with loud thuds on a daily basis, although I continously struggle to keep everything in its place. It has me in tears and/or laughter most everyday. It's the only way I can keep any sort of sanity.
Mom's declining in the WORST possible way: she's rapidly losing her mind. There. I've said it. It's horrific to watch. I cannot imagine the terror of what it must be to like living in her body right now, and no matter how I try to understand what it is like there in her brain....looking out on a world that no longer makes any sense to her....I cannot imagine it.
She started a whole new phase in June: leaving. Yes...complete with her 'necessities' of life all tied up in a pillow case....neatly tied at the top with a sock. I can imagine that to her, this was her only way 'out' of the hell she is in. And so....the staff found her several yards from the assisted living facility, almost to the woods at the edge of the property having fallen on her knees. This poor, frail, pain-ridden woman who can hardly walk. Escaped. Frightening. When asked where she was going, her only reply was, "I don't know".
And so, the assisted living facility required that we provide paid, evening 'sitters'....to keep her safe. Yup....my job to make sure the hours were covered. And when there was no one to 'hire'.....it is me and/or my husband. Another 'job' to add to the already way-too-long list. Another emotionally draining task. Another step with mom as her disease worsens.
This week we will move her to a room in the alzheimer's area of the facility. A 'locked' area for people, like mom, that are 'flight risks'. Relieving....but sad and scary for mom, who I am sure will become panicked and angry at yet another part of her life she will be unable to understand. Another 'terror' for her to endure. Although we will set up her room (an exact replica, space-wise) as her present one, can you imagine the nightmare of wheeling yourself out of your room, as you've always known it, into a totally 'different' hallway? It brings me to tears whenever I think about it.
I thank God every day that we found Mom such a wonderful facility as this one. We tried caring for her here for a long time. It was a nightmare-beyond-belief. And so, for now, this is the only way to try to balance this part of my life.
Part II, Wednesday.