Saturday, March 7, 2015

roller coaster

All of my life I have loved roller coasters.  The higher, the twistier, the faster, the better, because the highs and lows are all so much fun.  And even though they can be scary, I always figured I was safe because roller coasters are safe.  Scary fun is okay as long as it is safe, right?  (Although I never really trusted a wild mouse roller coaster.  First because it feels like the car is about to tip over and off the track at any moment, and second, because--hello--mice.  Who can trust a mouse?)

Lately, we have been on a roller coaster of sorts around here.  By lately, I mean the past several years, but the ups and downs have become more intense and more frequent in the past few months.  So much so that last Monday, we moved Jack's mom into a care center for people with memory loss. 

I'm pausing to let the enormity of that sink in.

This is not the usual intense yet ultimately exhilarating and safe roller coaster.  This one has all of the scary parts, the incredibly intense moments and minutes and hours,  but is seriously lacking in the fun department.  And we can't seem to get off the ride.

We never intended to have Jack's mom live anyplace but her own home across the street from us.  Jack's brother lives there too.  And when his mom started showing confusion, more and more, and then started experiencing numerous close calls--with falls, burns, wandering, pill mishaps--we thought we could bring in home care aides and keep her comfortable and safe.  But then we realized it was all getting more and more risky to both his mom and his brother.  So we reluctantly started looking for a place that could become home to her. 

And on Monday, we took her there. 

And then the roller coaster really began. 

I keep hoping it will all get better, but being outside of her home, away from her normal routine (if there is such a thing), has made her confusion so much greater and so much more obvious.  Seeing her with people who are further along this path is fraught with emotion--fear, pain, concern, and so much more.  I keep hoping she will settle in to this place that is likely as good as it gets at this stage of life. After visiting with her this morning (after a nightmare visit last night--not her fault, not anybody's fault, just a series of unfortunate events), I was somewhat reassured that she is in a good place. 

But then I went to the mall to return a pair of pants (that has its own story for another day).  I left with tears in my eyes after seeing so many people who are able to go out and walk around and buy stuff and do whatever they enjoy with their partner, children, grandchildren, and friends, yet Jack's mom has reached a stage that no longer includes even the simple joy of being in a mall, let alone riding a roller coaster in an amusement park.

This getting old business is no fun.

1 comment:

Joey said...

Such heartbreak. I'm so so sorry for all of you. My love to you and your family, my friend.