Archive for March, 2017

Two Words
March 21, 2017

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“Help me”!

I was standing next to the nurses station as I turned to look from where the words came. Behind me, leaning against the corner stood a tall woman. With a stylish haircut and pajamas covered by a bath robe, she stared into my eyes with such deep penetration and pain, I could feel it in my stomach. That accompanied by the sound she used to convey her pain made everyone around the room, look in her direction. A nurse immediately went and placed her in a wheel chair.

My husband and I were here to admit his mother into a skilled nursing facility. For the past eight years, until this time she had been living with us. Recently diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s and the difficulty we’d been experiencing in keeping her safe and healthy, her doctor had recommended we place her under nursing care.

The decision had been fractious and frustrating. Much more personally for my husband. We admitted that the past few years with her had been much more difficult than when she first moved in with us. Unable to accept any guidance from us, she became increasingly angry, resistant to help and now, distant, to the point where she shut us out of her room daily except for meals and her multiple cups of tea. Coupled with her lapses in memory, anorexia issues, and habitual nervous rubbing of her face and hands, we felt challenged constantly. We would wake up each day and wonder what complexities we would face. She was not happy and we were not happy.

The nurses at the facility arranged for a smooth transition from us admitting her, out of sight, and getting her acquainted with her room and surroundings. At an appropriate time, the nurses asked us to leave, and to entrust the rest to them.

I’m sure, that all aspects of this transition with everyone involved brought many emotions to the forefront. We experienced depression, guilt, loss and they are ongoing and will be for a while. I’m sure the mother experienced similar, along with anger, frustration and even hate.

Reflections of our lives and what brought us to this point are universal in nature. Somewhere in each of us there is a part of us that is crying out.

“Help me”!.

 

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