Monday, December 15, 2008

Just telling you...

Ok. First of all I want to make it VERY clear that I'm not complaining. I'm just going to tell it like it is. I know this is temporary. I know I will get through it. I know I hope my children will love me enough to put up with me as an old lady as we love Jim's mother.

I believe I have mentioned in previous blogs that Alzheimers is a dreadful disease. Ah, yes, I'm sure I have because once I started talking about it and my mom I got the most incredible support from the most incredible bunch of friends in the whole wide world.

What I didn't mention is that Jim's mom also has Alzheimers. Jim's dad died 13 years ago. We have taken care of his mom in many ways since then. Mostly we have taken care of her house, Dr. appointments, finances, making sure she has groceries and stuff like that. She has done pretty good on her own without having to take on those tasks. She was diagnosed with Alzheimers shortly after my mom was. However, hers is so different from mom's. For years, as long as we didn't change her routine she did great. For years we have called her twice a day to check on her and remind her to take her pills. She lives an hour from us in a little town where she grew up. She has brothers and sisters still living there, so she has been in good hands.
Last weekend we had our big Christmas Party. I will blog about that later... We spent the night at our friends' house and neither of us had our cell phones with us. We got home Sunday morning and there were frantic messages from Jim's Aunt. His mom apparently decided in the middle of the cold winter night decided to walk the streets of Chamois in search of her old home place. The Sheriff found her and the Highway Patrol was called in. She finally remembered the name of one of her brothers and they took her in for the night.
(Note: I am complaining here. Jim has a brother and sister (age 51 and 39) Nobody thought to call either of them. They waited for Jim to show back up. He has been the only one there for his mother)

So anyway, we headed down to the little town of Chamois and picked her up from his Aunt's house. She is doing good but there is no way we can chance leaving her alone in the middle of winter. If she decided to take another midnight stroll, we might not be so lucky to have someone save her.

So she is with us. Let me tell you - it is not easy. She was up at least 10 times last night - probably more - and everytime, she came in to wake me up and let me know she was going to the bathroom. I'd get up to make sure she found her bedroom back. She repeats herself a hundred times - maybe more. I had her help me put the Christmas Tree up today and every 2 minutes she asked "Is that an artificial tree, Nanna? (what she calls me). I'd say "yep, feel it". Jim spent the day trying to figure out our options. I think we are going to be able to keep her close to us. There is an assisted living center right down the road that we think we take her. It is going to take time to get everything set up though. She has no money - so that is issue number one.

I may start blogging the top ten things I heard 100 times today...


AliceKay said...

*sends you BIG hugs because it sounds like you might be needing them*

My Side of the Story! said...

My Grandmother has had Alzheimers for couple of years now and I completely understand. It is a very hard situation to go through.

You are doing the right thing by keeping her with you for the time being.

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Tori_z said...


I'm glad she was found and is doing OK. I hope you can get things sorted out for her soon, but - in the meantime - at least she's somewhere where she'll be looked after. I'm sure it's hard for you and Jim. But at least you two are prepared to do what is necessary to care for her properly.

*Sends you more hugs*

Intense Guy said...

*silently slips in and gives you a BIG HUG*

The person that made that late phone call knew who they could depend on - the biggest and bestest hearted ones...this year may be the best holiday Jim's Mom will ever have.

ChicagoLady said...

My Uncle has had Alzheimers for several years, and so far my Aunt has been able to take care of him at home. She doesn't vary his routine, she doesn't fix any strange foods that he doesn't know, she tries not to take him to loud, noisy places where he might get agitated, she shaves him, but yet he is still able to go outside and walk around the block without getting lost.

Well, I just got my Christmas card and letter from her. It's now at the point where it's too much for her to try to take care of him alone, so she's put his name on a waiting list for a Memory Care Home.

When I was last up there a couple years ago, I don't think he remembered me much at all. He even struggled remembering his own grandkids. When one came to their house, he said, "Hello granddaughter." He knew she was a grandchild, but didn't remember her name.

What you've done and are doing for Jim's mom is very admirable. Most people would just put her in a home, but you made the effort to keep her in her own home, on her own for as long as she could. It's such a shame that Jim's siblings don't help out more.

sexy41 said...

I am so glad they found her and she is now in your's and Jim's hands. I know you will take great care of her until you can get a place for her. I so know how so hard it is taking care of someone with Alzeimers. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you punkn.

The Wife O Riley said...

I'm so glad she's ok and somewhere safe now.

I have a little something over at my blog for you. Just a small token of appreciation for your lovely comments yesterday. It helped me out alot.

LadyStyx said...

Oh goodness....I cant believe I missed this entry (among several others..*sigh*).


Punkn said...

Dang I love those hugz and hugs!!!!
It has been an interesting week to say the least. She will be going to an assisted living center that is four blocks from where I work, so we will be able to visit her and check on her often. Thank you for your kind comments everyone!