I’m sitting here staring at the computer, head in hand wearing a glum frown.
I went to see Gma yesterday. I am to the point I don’t even want to call her that anymore. That lady is so fucking gone.
The good(?) news is she is going quickly. I mean, if the inevitable is happening it’s probably best it’s not drawn out. But she is so confused and tired and scared. The time that she does have left is horrible for her to live and for me to watch.
She always, always, always was worried she’d lose her memory and her mind. I thought it was ridiculous because 1) whatever you fret over most always seems to be the last thing to happen 2) she would use examples such as, “I couldn’t remember Chagall did the stained glass at the Art Institute!” to attempt to prove her failing memory. Considering I said out loud to myself, “I forgot it was Monday!” ON A TUESDAY, she seemed safe in her failing-French-artists-names dementia.
But no. I had to tell her three times yesterday she had no message on her phone. I’d tell her that, she’d stare into space for a few seconds, look down at her phone, examine it in her hands like it was the first time she ever saw it, then hold it up and say, “But do I have a message?” Sometimes she said it real slow like I am an idiot for not understanding her question and if I’d just listen up we’d be done with it.
Because she will never have messages on the phone, I wrote it down. The next time she asked, I had her read the paper. It’s tucked into her important papers by her chair. It seemed to fix that particular loop we were in. But I can only write so many notes.
(She never used voice mail, and I realized after one day that she could not have her regular answering machine any longer because she was taking so long to answer the phone the machine always picked up first. She also never progressed to moving around again so she could never go over the machine and physically retrieve the messages even if she still had the mental fortitude to comprehend such a thing. This gives me the freedom to let the phone ring twenty times when I call.)
I am particularly frustrated with the catch-22 that any little change is confusing and exhausting to her. So if I think of something that might help, I then have to weigh the possible helpfulness with the hurt of change.
She also does not know the answer to questions like, would you like me to read you a story? Would you like to look at family photos? Shall we watch TV? I feel like I am forcing entertainment onto an unwilling participant. Make that two unwilling participants. It’s making a new boyfriend attend my one-act play that I didn’t want to be in.
I am sad for myself at the toll this is taking on me. I’m not sure if this is a pity-party or genuine warranted depression. I feel like a horrible friend because I am so selfish these days – I need to vent and ramble and it’s not even about new stuff. I’m getting scared to call people because I’m tired of dwelling on this situation yet it is ALL that comes out of my mouth. I am so aware that you have important stuff going on in your life. I swear.
I go to bed every night with a plan for the next day to be productive. Full of do-right things like exercise and salads that I know are mood elevators.
Then I don’t sleep well. And somehow the shiny new day looks beat to shit by 8:53 AM.
So here I am. Another day. I’m in gym clothes and I kind of stink but that’s because I never got around to showering yesterday. Some laundry got done. In between naps.
But writing is productive. It is one of my mood elevator. So here I am.