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HOME!!! . . . At Last! July 20, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.

I’m back . . . but rather overwhelmed by the challenges of dealing with my mother on a round the clock basis.

Mom is not only hard of hearing (“what???”), confused (“where am I?” “what day is it?” “where’s Doug?”), and forgetful (“where did I put my X? my Y? my Z?”), but in physical pain which limits her mobility, strains her disposition, and tests her (and my) patience.

This too shall pass . . . keep breathing.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Artwork by Monica Stewart . . . “Unity”


1. yogaleigh - July 20, 2012

My mother and I have shared a house for some years now. It has put my biggest remaining issues in my face and pushed me to find my way past them. But oh boy, what a challenge. I like your attitude about it — keep breathing…

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

We are starting to settle into a comfortable routine and mom seems in good spirits . . . today, I’ll start setting up doctors appointments and scedule some physical therapy for her.

And I shall keep breathing. 😀

2. ryoko861 - July 20, 2012

Oh I SO know what you mean!!!

Yes, this too shall pass….taking DEEEEP breaths……

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

When we are stressed, we need to remember the calm provided by deep breathing. Aah . . . that’s better!

3. Carl D'Agostino - July 20, 2012

I can’t find my x, y, or z. Neither my 1, 2, 3, or 4. I did find my 5 but forgot what it is used for.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Sounds just like mom! Thanks, Carl. 😆

4. Don - July 20, 2012

Welcome home and may it go well with you and your Mom.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Don. So far, so good . . . but what an eye-opening adjustment from my old routine. 😯

5. creatingreciprocity - July 20, 2012

Good luck.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Patricia.

6. bluebee - July 20, 2012

I guess the adjustment’s not easy for either of you, or for BFF

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

You are so right, BB. Adding anyone to an existing household causes upheaval . . . but adding someone with special needs creates additional challenges. We are meeting them one at a time.

7. Barbara Sullivan - July 20, 2012

Speaking as someone with long caretaking experience, I offer this (in addition to all the usual advice about taking care of yourself too): when I got angry and impatient and then guilty, it helped to sit by myself long enough to realize that painful as that was, it was just cover for something even more painful: helplessness in the face of a relentless illness that was stealing someone I loved.

But as I’m sure you know, the truth of grief calls upon that which can sustain us, and through us, those we love. During the long siege of my husband’s illness, I was fortunate to live on a gravel road by a river, and I walked that road several times a day, sometimes crying out loud, but always heard, always embraced, always strengthened. I hope you have such a place, in some form—even if it just means locking yourself in the bathroom–where you can be real, and find comfort. The most important thing anyone said to me at the outset of my husband’s dementia was: “You are going to have to be very strong.” Over the ensuing years, I learned the deeper lesson of how strength is made perfect in weakness.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Barbara. Excellent reminders. We are taking it one day at a time . . . so far, so good.

8. suzicate - July 20, 2012

May peace and patience be with you and love be your guide…those deep breaths will see you through.

clarbojahn - July 22, 2012

I second that.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Suzi and Clar. As long as we stay calm, cool, and collected (even in the face of constant challenges) . . . peace nourishes and sustains us.

9. cuhome - July 20, 2012

With aging parents of my own (90 & 92), both hard of hearing, one blind, one with early dementia, both insisting they continuing living in their 2-story home, one insisting he can still drive, omg, it is a difficult challenge to be assistive, supportive and respectful of their wishes, and knowing when/if the time has come to just say what has to be done. I feel your pain! Good luck with all that! It really can seem like a 36-hour day, can’t it?

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

“OMG” has been a rather constant refrain over the past 5 weeks, Janet. Mom did want to continue to stay at home . . . we told her that would no longer be possible UNLESS she hired a live in caretaker (which she did NOT want to do).

So we went with Plan B and she moved in with me. 😉

cuhome - July 23, 2012

I’m so glad she was willing to go along with a Plan B. So far, my parents will only go so far as to let us kids visit more often, and mom has a housekeeper once every two weeks. We’re just sort of waiting for the accident to happen – and it will. It’s hard. I have planted the seed several times that we have a couple of unused room that could be converted into a bedroom and a sitting room for them; sometimes seeds take root, and I’m hoping for that, but understand there’s little chance of that happening. You’ve helped me in my own situation, without knowing it! Thank you for sharing, Nancy. ♥

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Good luck getting your seeds to germinate. 😉

10. Booksphotographsandartwork - July 20, 2012

Just think of your mom when you were a baby and that should set things right 🙂 Glad you are both home safe and sound. As hard as it is on you just imagine how hard it is for her. The poor thing has literally lost almost everything that makes life worth living.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Well . . . when she cared for us as kids, we were busy living, loving, laughing, and learning. The reverse is not true. 😆

She is settling in well. And seems happy to be here.

11. Booksphotographsandartwork - July 20, 2012

I forgot something! Just what you want to hear isn’t it? I love that picture at the top.The colors and movement are so pretty.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Isn’t it gorgeous. I want to check out more of Monica’s artwork . . . when things slow down a bit.

12. sufilight - July 20, 2012

Welcome home, Nancy! You were missed! I wish you the
best with your Mom.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Marie. It is so good to be HOME!

13. Andra Watkins - July 20, 2012

Nancy, I have wondered how you’ve been in recent weeks. I’m glad to hear you’re home and getting your Mom settled into a routine. You’ve both been and will continue to be in my thoughts.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Getting her from Point A to Point B was the most challenging . . . especially since we had to cull her collection of clothes to a manageable number. Now that she’s here, things are growing easier by the day. Thanks for your good thoughts.

14. kateshrewsday - July 20, 2012

Oh, so glad you’re back, Nancy. Hope time resolves this situation….I shall be thinking of you.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Kate. BFF and I watched Downton Abbey (Season Two) last night . . . wish I could tour the estate with you on Saturday.

15. loubyjo - July 20, 2012

I find gettingold scary as having aspergers i have always need ed my parents to look after me !! not sure if I would cope looking after them !!! I have a brother but he lives about 2hrs away oh well have to see what the future hold and i do admie you

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, loubyjo. Caring for those with special needs is challenging, no matter the age of the individual. Good luck to you and yours.

16. barb19 - July 20, 2012

Welcome home Nancy! I understand your frustration and the challenge you are facing, it’s not easy.
I am facing a similar challenge with my mother back in the UK who is 92, and following a second stroke, can no longer walk, talk or eat normally, as she has lost her swallow reflex. Her food has to be pureed and spoon fed to her. My brothers over there are left to cope with her and it must be hard for them to see our mum like this; no conversation, no nothing.
I guess we are both in the same situation, in that they are not the mothers we know anymore, and it hurts us to see them like that.
Make time for yourself Nancy, stay strong – for this too shall pass. Hugs.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

My mom seems to be “regaining some ground” . . . she’s more “with it” than she was when she arrived on Thursday. Fingers crossed that the trend continues.

Good luck to you and your brothers and to your mom.

barb19 - July 23, 2012

That’s positive news Nancy – I hope the trend continues.

17. Pocket Perspectives - July 20, 2012

Welcome home Nancy….I’m guessing it felt good to be in your own bed, your own home…?a bit of “grounding” there? We missed you and and are all happy that you’ve made that big, courageous transition that you undertook throughout the past many weeks….and continuing weeks. What tremendous emotional and physical effort that takes. Please, try to be kind and gentle with yourself…try to find quiet breaks…go for walks on the beach…what nurtures and sustains you will be passed along to your mom too…Can you hire some help for a few hours each day so that you get breaks? I don’t care directly for my mother, but do try to keep in mind that I couldn’t/can’t “fix” anything…I could simply try to keep things going…and to accept that she had/has become a different person….that seems to happen and to try to understand and accept that….if such acceptance is possible. All of our hearts go out to you….

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Yes . . . my bed. My precious! 😀

Right now, we’re doing quite well. Mom doesn’t need constant attention as she likes to sit and read and do crosswords. So, we are all maintaining appropriate balance. Thanks, Kathy.

18. Perfecting Motherhood - July 20, 2012

Welcome back, Nancy and I wish you good luck and lots of patience with your new living arrangements. Change is never easy and thi is quite a big adjustment for everone.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Milka. Life does, indeed, take practice and patience. Lots and lots of patience. 😉

19. Team Oyeniyi - July 20, 2012

Welcome back. Yes, you definitely have a period of adjustment ahead. Not quite like my adjustment, our situations are different, but I certainly understand the concept of your old life just disappearing!

You can do it!

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Robyn. I expect that your adjustment has been far more challenging than mine . . . dealing with four exhuberant kids and coordinating all their schedules is much tougher than dealing with one senior citizen.

20. Karen J - July 20, 2012

Your friends have said much goodness. I can add only hugs ~ {{{Nancy}}}

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Karen. Hugs are always appreciated.

21. viviankirkfield - July 21, 2012

Hello dear Nancy…you were much missed and will be in my daily thoughts and nightly prayers. I send you sunshine for the difficult days and peace for the long nights.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Sunshine + Peace = Perfect Together. Thanks, Vivian.

22. jannatwrites - July 21, 2012

I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing. I’m glad you’re back home, but I imagine it will be quite some time before a schedule is established. Keep breathing 🙂

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Made great strides today ~ appointments for physical therapy, eye exam, and hearing exam set up. Changes of address in progress. Prescriptions filled. Etc.

We’ll take it one day at a time.

23. Jas - July 21, 2012

Good to have you back.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Jas. I’ll know I’m really “back” when I find the time to start cruising around in cyberspace again. Right now, I just have to take a few minutes here and there to catch up. 😉

24. Three Well Beings - July 21, 2012

I’m so sorry, Nancy. You must be exhausted from the strain of helping and moving through your own emotions right now! I am really glad to see you “here” tonight, and I’ve actually checked on you a few times just to be sure I hadn’t missed a post! Yes, keep breathing…and hold on! Thinking of you and also your dear mom! Debra

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks so much, Debra. I’m tired every night . . . but it’s mostly been a good tired rather than sheer exhaustion. Morning always comes a bit too soon though.

25. sweetdaysundertheoaks - July 21, 2012

Welcome home Nancy. I missed you. Wishing you all the luck and strength you are going to need. Thinking about you and BFF. It ain’t easy, I know.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Pix. “It’s been a Hard Day’s Night . . . and I’ve been working like a dog . . . then sleeping like a log. 😀

26. Maggie - July 21, 2012

I missed you! You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, Maggie. Appreciate your good thoughts and prayers. I’m cautiously optimistic that things will be “OK.”

27. spilledinkguy - July 21, 2012

I’m so happy to hear you made it home safely, Nancy!
And I continue to wish your mother (and your whole family) only the very best…

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Thanks, SIG! Being HOME has made everything so much easier to deal with . . . working out of my mom’s dining room for 3 weeks was TOUGH.

28. Patricia - July 21, 2012

Good to see you are back. I know it feels good to be home and sleeping in your own bed. Breathing is a good thing–keep it up.

Thinking quiet peaceful thoughts for you and your family.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

It does, Patricia. Being able to crawl into MY bed each night makes everything just a bit easier. And BFF is being a good sport about the changes and challenges . . . he’s promised to make blueberry pancakes for mom tomorrow morning. 😀

29. Tammy - July 21, 2012

Hang in there! You’re building good karma.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

I would LOVE to see my karma balance sheet right now . . . I’m sure that I’m in the “black” for the first time in ages. Old Karmic Debts are being repaid daily. 😉

Tammy - July 24, 2012

You’re doing good Nancy.

30. 2e0mca - July 24, 2012

I know you will succeed in bearing up under the strain Nancy – when it gets a little too much, just pop outside and feed the birds or do some similarly uplifting activity. Great to have you back 🙂

nrhatch - July 24, 2012

Thanks, Martin. Peace has prevailed . . . except for a few extraneous moments of complete and utter exhaustion. 😉

31. CMSmith - July 24, 2012

It’s good to see you back. You have the skills to deal with what you need to and keep yourself balanced. Allow yourself not to be perfect.

nrhatch - July 25, 2012

Like Mary Poppins, I shall strive for “practically perfect in every way” rather than perfection. 😎

32. Tokeloshe - July 25, 2012

Welcome home, Nancy.
Thinking of you and your family.

nrhatch - July 26, 2012

Thanks, Linda.

33. Naomi Estment (@naomiestment) - July 26, 2012

So sorry to hear of the challenging times you and your family have been dealing with, Nancy. Lots of love to you, xo

nrhatch - July 26, 2012

Being HOME makes it more manageable.

34. eof737 - July 29, 2012

Do find time to take care of yourself… Sending best wishes to all…

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