Alzheimer’s and Dementia

My mom met with the assisted living car facility today about my grandparents.  I was too nervous to call and see how it went.  It is a terrible situation and I grieve for everyone involved, even myself. My grandparents both have Alzheimer’s and dementia.  What is unusual is that they share the same delusions though.  They literally are in their own world.  Since my cousin has gone away to boarding school my grandparents and my parents have reconnected.  It quickly became obvious that all was not well.  My grandparents…. it’s just such a mess and I think only people who have experienced a loved one go through the trials of Alzheimer’s and dementia can understand how vulnerable they are now.  The worst part is that I miss them so much because even when we are together, they are not the same grandparents I used to know.  Sometimes they don’t even remember who I am.  I wish there was more I could do to help.  I just love them.  My parents are doing their best to help but they live 45 minutes away in another city.  They keep driving down to help twice a week but the rest of the week is consumed with worry about them.  The assisted living facility is only a block from my parent’s house and is super nice.  I used to volunteer there when I was in high school.  I hate the thought of them going to live somewhere like that because they’ve always been so independent… but I hate the thought of them alone in their big house more because at least in this place they will be safe and will have positive social interaction with people who won’t try to steal everything they have.

I pray for my parents and grandparents.  I hope that whatever happens the family will embrace my mom with love and support instead of blame, anger, negativity, etc.  I hope they disprove my fears and expectations.  People are SO awful!  Especially family!  I feel so helpless.  I just send positive thoughts and prayers their way and hope it is enough.  Still no job update.  Running out of money still.  I need a job before May 1st so I need to get an offer in the next couple weeks.  I will keep praying for the best and trying to brace for the worst.

 

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To Grandma or Not to Grandma

So a weird thing is going on and I’m not sure how to feel about it.  My dad’s mom has gotten in contact with me recently.  She sent a card and $50 after I got engaged.  I sent a thank you card in response.  Then she sent us a $100 and a card around Christmas.  Again, I sent a thank you card in response.  Then my dad starts telling me she wants me to call her.  I haven’t and I’ve resisted his attempts to make me, just like I have for years.  My feeling has always been that she is the grown up in our relationship.  If she wants a relationship then she needs to initiate it.  Then in February, she sent a card and a heart shaped thing of decorative pink plastic rosebuds.  They are completely useless in every way!  They don’t smell good, they’re not good for anything, and they’re pink!  WTF?!?!?  Then she called me and left me a voice mail.  I am SO CONFUSED!  I finally mailed a thank you cared today after two (at least) conversations with my dad about it and one with my mom (on his behalf (she later told me)).  I don’t want a relationship with this woman.  I’ve always felt like her and her husband tried to buy my love instead of actually loving or spending time or showing affection or interest in my life.  I’m really upset because graduating from high school wasn’t enough for them to care.  Graduating from college in four years, debt free also wasn’t enough to get her involved with my life.  Now I’ve closed that door and moved on and now that I’m getting married, now suddenly she’s interested in having a relationship with me?!  Last time I spoke to her was around my college graduation three years ago.  She didn’t want to talk about anything other then the fact I’d been dating Fiance-Then-Boyfriend for over two years.  We haven’t spoken since.  I finally purged the negative guilt inflicting me about my relationship with EXBF and it feels like my dad’s mom is trying to slide right into that unfulfilled “gap” in my life.  I’m not sure I want that to happen or if I’ll even allow it.  I’ve always said all she had to do was call me.  Well, after almost 25 years of life she finally did call me and it turns out it’s not good enough. It’s too little too late.  I don’t need or want her in my life.  I’ve been so hurt by that woman and her husband that I won’t even call them my grandparents.  I don’t want to open myself up to that again.  Even though my grandma (my mom’s mom) is not doing well, she is still the Grandma Standard in my life.  She has always loved and accepted me for who I am regardless of what’s been going on in my life.  She has always embraced whoever I brought with me to her house and made them feel welcome, whether it was a friend growing up, a college roommate, or a boyfriend or my Fiance.  her and Grandpa were the first ones tot totally accept and love and embrace Fiance as my future life partner.  Their acceptance helped me realized how Fiance was going to be that future in actuality.  My parents love and accept Fiance even if they all have had some rough patches in their relationship.  I miss my grandparents so much!  My dad’s mom will never fill the void that grandma has always filled.  I don’t even want to give her the chance to try.  Maybe someday I’ll regret it but for now I don’t want to open that door to my heart and let her back into my life.

Anxious Reality

I can’t sleep because I’m so anxious.  Things are not bright at the moment.  I have slept less than seven hours the last two nights combined because I’ve been so anxious.  Things that are bothering me/I’m anxious about include:

My dad’s health

My mom’s health

My parent’s relationship

Boyfriend

The Babies (Olddog and YoungDog)

My job

My health

My living situation

My car

Money

MONEY

So, there are other worries also, but these are the ones with resounding echos and repeats in my head.  I am writing them now to get them out of my head so I can try to sleep and let the echos bounce within the pages of my journal.

(Author’s Note: Sadly, I still worry about many of these things even though it’s been 3 years…  I dithered about whether to include this post or not on my blog because it’s very personal and it includes things I don’t like to discuss with people.  I finally decided to include it because I want this blog to be a place where I can be myself and if people in the world see that, even the dark parts, then that needs to be ok.  Maybe someone else with anxiety induced insomnia will stumble across this post and realize they are not alone and it might help them.  I don’t know because I sat down to enter this and read through it and got all anxious myself so hopefully it doesn’t make someone else’s anxiety worse!  I can’t worry about other people’s feelings right now.  It’s time for me to be selfish.  This blog is about me and my feelings.  I try to find the magic in the world because a candle loses nothing by lighting other candles.  I hope that if I go through life as a candle helping bring light to other people that maybe it will burn some of the darkness out of me where it hides because I try not to show it to other people.  I don’t want to add more darkness to the world.  I want to add light.  That’s why this post is hard to write and why I’m stalling by doing this Author’s Note… *sigh* No more excuses.  Here is a glimpse of the shadows flickering behind my light.)

My dad’s health:  My dad has back/spine/neck damage/problems.  Disks 3&4, 4&5, 5&6, 6&7 all have problems.  He was a landscaper his whole life and worked incredibly hard physically (and in general).  There are a few different causes but the terrifying reality is his severe pain and his inability to work like he has for his whole life.  He’s so hurt he can’t even really play XBox anymore.  That really sucks because that used to be his way of zoning out from the pain and giving himself a break.  He needs back surgery on his spine.  The kind where they go in through his throat and fuse his bones together with a metal plate.  He could have had the surgery 5 years ago and so it was that bad then but now its 5 years worse!  He’s scared.  He hasn’t told me that in as many words but I can tell.  He’s gone to a physical therapist and wants another option besides surgery.  There’s not really another option.  He’s scared for his quality of life as he gets older.  I’m scared for him too.

My parent’s relationship: I think both my parents are really depressed.  I worry that they might get a divorce even though they are getting along much better than they used to.  My dad’s unemployment is about to run out and my mom doesn’t make enough money herself to cover all the bills.  On top of that they have medical bills, 2 dogs, and no end in sight.  My dad really can’t work.  Between cutting out the hard or not at all physical labor and having to pass a drug test (he uses pot medicinally to help with his spine pain), things are looking quite grim indeed.

My mom’s health: I think my mom pretty much hates her job.  The nepotism at the library is so over the top I don’t know how she deals with it.  It infuriates me to hear some of the stories about her work.  I hear “library” and think “how awesome!  I’d love to work there!” but then I hear about what it’s really like and yeah it has really awesome elements but on the other hand people insist on doing things the same way they’ve always done them, just because they’ve always done them that way.  That’s not logic, that’s being stubborn and I don’t understand why people are so resistant to change if it’s helpful change.

Cousin: My awful cousin is FINALLY gone to boarding school so he is out of my grandparent’s home.  They seem to be going/have gone BAT SHIT CRAZY though.  When did that happen?  How did I miss it?  Oh yeah, I missed it because they’ve chosen that awful cousin over literally the rest of the family and pushed everyone away.  They are so hurtful and supportive and cruel to my family now and it breaks my heart.  They used to be so loving and supportive and held all sorts of family events and their home was a place of love and celebration.  Yeah, sometimes grandpa would get drunk and yell at everyone but once we got that out of the way the party could continue… “Poor AwfulCousin” is all they care about now.  They did not even get Christmas presents for anyone else.

My parent’s other property in NeighboringTown to HomeTown: Things keep getting worse there.  I still don’t really know just how screwed we are but the more I learn, the scarier it gets.  Every time we think we have good renters the jerks just come and steal them.  Literally they wait until a couple of months before their lease is up and go up to the front door and tell the renters that we are raising the rent (which is a LIE) and who knows what else.  Then they tell them that their property is just like this one and oh hey, is even cheaper a month (because it IS since the used the floor plans that my parents developed and bought the corner lot adjacent to this one that my parents were going to buy the following month and then built the same set up we have and instead of finding their own renters they keep stealing ours and undercutting the rent which they can afford to do because they can afford to do that.)  I really hate people.  I mean, who does that?  What sort of lifelong friend stabs you in the back over a piece of land in a town that looks like it will have good property values in a couple years but right now is pretty worthless and then continues to twist the knife at every opportunity?  I just cannot wrap my head around it!

I don’t have a safe/happy/good reality at the moment and even fiction stories are not helping me block it all out.

Today my mom told me they are considering bankruptcy. The unfairness of IT ALL strikes me and makes my throat ache.  My parents have lasted through cancer, cancer again, a kid (me), a kid going through college (me again), a home business that was on and off again, addictions, people screwing them over, so many obstacles and trying to invest and then cruel and deceitful people finally break everything.  It’s SO unfair!  I know the world is unfair but I don’t understand why bad things always seem to happen.  And why do they always happen at the same time too?  I’m almost paralyzed with fear for was.  What can I do to help?  What will happen to us all?

Pets: OldDog is so old.  He tired to jump onto my bed last time I was home visiting and missed.  That has never happened before.  I picked him up and held him and cried and cried while he licked my arm trying to comfort me.  He can’t help where he goes to the bathroom anymore.  It’s gross but he’s old and can’t help it and we still love him.  I don’t think he’s in pain but I’m terrified he is and I’m just not around enough to really know.  The time is approaching when we are going to have to decide if he needs to go to sleep.  I’m unsure and terrified of what will happen.  He’s been my baby since I was in third grade.  I already miss him so much because I don’t live with him.  I sometimes call the house when I know my parents are gone and leave a voicemail to the dogs telling them what good puppies they are and asking if they want a treat.  When my parents get home the dogs are all excited and barking and jumping around and they know its time to give them cookies cuz I left them a happy voicemail.  YoungDog is so dumb and has learned such bad habits from OldDog that I worry about what will happen to her.  She’s really sweet but such a spazz!

Boyfriend: Things with Boyfriend are alright.  We still love each other madly and are planning on our future together.  I can see now and I don’t know how to move forward.  I don’t know how to get to where I want to be.  There are no sure or right answers to these tough questions.  He has his stupid 6 month lease that he signed since I moved up here, his job that he seems to love (or at least really enjoy) that he is amazing at, and a car, and a life in CollegeTown.

Living situation: I’m in BigCity living with a grandma who’s never there, a goat, a cat, and two dogs that eat better then I do.  I work 10-12 hours a day at $10 an hour.  I can’t afford to move out of this house.  I don’t know if I even want to move out if I can’t move in with Boyfriend.  I can’t afford to live because I make so little money.  I spend a ridiculous amount of money on gas EVERY week because this place is so far away. It’s really super scary trying to make it on my own.  And I am because my parents are not really in a position to help me.  They say they can help if I need it but how can I believe them when they say that but then also tell me about all the financial worries they’re facing?  How do I go on with my family in so much trouble?  How can I just live down here and selfishly try to do what I want when maybe if I moved home and got a job it could help them out? What do I do if they are going to file bankruptcy?  Is it too late to do anything anyway?

Job: My job is SUPER boring and I HATE it!  I literally loathe it. I’m already bitter and it hasn’t even been four whole months yet.  Cycle Counts are interesting but I just need more money.  The Tech test is $130 and getting that much money seems hard to me! That’s pretty surprising because I thought it would be easier by far to move to that position.  The test itself is a lot of math and memorizing abbreviations.  I may get hosed if I do spend the money and then can’t pass the stupid test.

Car: My car is old and is my only mode of transportation.  I live too far from work in BigCity to take a bus or even a series of buses to get to work.  Also with my strange hours the buses don’t even run that early in the morning or that late at night if I was to switch shifts to night shift.  Troubling. It’s all troubling.

My health: My allergies are INSANE!  I have an allergy appointment on Wednesday morning with an allergist in BigCity instead of the one I’ve tried to still see in CollegeTown.  I don’t know the company name, address, or Doctor name at the moment.  I hope it helps me be able to breathe.  I don’t like being reminded of my serious problems with the most basic part of being alive (breathing)!

I took two Benadryl before I started writing this and am finally falling asleep!!!! FINALLY  I have friends but it worries me too.  I wonder about the future and can see where I want us all to be in that future but I don’t know how to make it happen. I wish magic was real so there would be an easier answer or at least more options.  I’ll write more later because I’m going to go sleep like a rock.