I apologize for the lack of posts and updates about Mom.
The holidays were tough. Tougher than I expected.
I sat in Mom's spot on Christmas Day. We have all of our place cards that she wrote in her beautiful handwriting.
This Christmas we had EVERYONE. Those are the absolute best. We had my stepson, my brother and his family and every Myer/DeBlasio family member. I felt like were were insulated with family and friends, somewhat protecting us from what a holiday without BB would be like.
On Christmas morning after the presents, after the craziness, we all loaded up into two cars and headed to Mom's facility. We stopped for her favorite Starbucks drink and got her a special decadent treat.
We pulled up side by side in the Visitor Parking.
We filed into the building and took over one of the private dining rooms and found BB hanging out behind the nurse's station in her "lounge chair with wheels". She is restrained in a chair due to her broken foot and her attempts to try to walk around.*
We smiled, looked at old pictures, told stories, opened presents, hugged her. She doesn't know our names, she knows we love her and that she loves us dearly. I don't think she recognized anyone in the pictures, not even herself.
Mom far right in the adorable bathing suit.
That was our Christmas with BB. That is the reality of a holiday with a 68 year old Mom who has advanced Alzheimer's. When we left I could see the anxiety and fear in her eyes. When we used to leave the Alzheimer's Wing she would walk us to the door and kiss us goodbye. Now she is stuck in an area with none of her buddies. It makes leaving so incredibly hard.
*The latest on BB is that they do not think she will learn to walk again. In the short months she was restrained in a chair she has forgotten she knows how to walk. They are concerned because she doesn't even attempt to get up now. Not out of bed, not out of a chair, she is sedentary. If they do get her up it is a very broken shuffle and she has to be assisted. There is no motivation or understanding that she could walk again.
She has also been having increasing anger in her sundowning episodes. She is stuck in this chair and sometimes just hanging out in the hallway and yells at people to come talk to her. "Hey you!" "Get over here". "Come back". I don't blame her and can completely understand the frustration. They have tripled her anti-anxiety/mood elevator medications hoping to combat this behavior. A bright spot is that a dear family friend is now working at her facility and can sneak me pictures from time to time. Here is one I received last weekend.
When you go to the facility you see the hallway of the very old. The ones parked in their chairs outside their rooms, staring into another dimension. I see my Mom headed for this phase and it is heartbreaking. I miss her. I find myself struggling to find joy in the holidays without her. I am thankful I have children that can keep the magic alive. She decorated for everything, Valentine's, Mardi Gras, Easter, St. Patty's Day. I'm trying to celebrate the way she would, because I know my kids would love it just as I did.
Ford signing her Cast before Christmas
She will remain in the Skilled Nursing unit if she cannot walk again. The Alzheimer's Unit (where all her friends are) will not take someone in a wheelchair.
I pray she learns to walk again.