Being a caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient is sometimes like being a mother all over again. Mostly to a teenager, at least in my house. Mom gets very emotional when things don’t go her way. She doesn’t like to be told what she needs to do. Things have gotten a little better, but I think it’s my attitude that has changed. It has always been hard for me to take charge of her care because let’s face it, she is still my mom. I have finally gotten over this with the last episode of “Did you take your medicine”. I don’t tip toe around anymore. This is hard for any daughter, but I just came to the conclusion that it had to be this way for her well-being.
If she needs her medicine, I give it to her. If she needs to take a bath, I tell her to take a bath but if she needs a hug then I give lots of those too! That’s the most important thing, making sure she feels the love that I have in my heart and not the frustration that sometimes is in my stomach. She doesn’t appreciate me much anymore, and she will throw her tantrums, but I know this is the Alzheimer’s, not mom so I can deal with it.
We were at Cracker Barrel recently having a girls lunch (mom, my daughter, my cousin and I) and we had finished our meal. While mom and my cousin shopped I went out with my daughter to enjoy the sunshine and a little nicotine (yes I started smoking again). Anyway, mom stepped out into the sunshine smiling and she pressed a small package into my hand. The only thing she said was “You can keep the bag too”.
I got into the passenger seat of my daughters car and opened the bag and inside was a tiny book. It is small only about 2 x 2, but I don’t ever think I was given anything that was more valuable to me. Needless to say, I sat in the front seat and cried silently all the way home and when I looked at my daughter she had tears in her eyes also. I was glad that she was there and I could share it with her also. It was such a sweet moment in time when I wasn’t a caregiver, but just a daughter for a few minutes. I will treasure it and the book (which contains page after page of reasons why my mom loves me) for the rest of my life!
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!