I used to look forward to Fridays. After all, it would mean the end of a work week and some relief from the daily grind. Not really a complaint since I enjoyed all the jobs I ever had and took pride in what I did. But, we could sleep in a little, shop, be lazy, putter in the yard, and generally do what we wanted.
There are no Fridays in care-giving. Nope. Unless you are fortunate enough to get help or if there was someone to tag team with or if you had a part-time job (just long enough for you to make a little money while getting out of the house), the weekend is light years away.
I looked up what our county offers in terms of services for “senior” adults. I just happened to be curious on the day the Senior Center is closed for their “Staff In-service Day”. You should have seen me rehearse exactly what I was going to say. Me working these words several times over, “My mother is a senior visiting for 6 months. She has dementia and is about Stage 5. Is it possible for me to bring her for an activity? I plan on staying with her – would that be okay?” No, I have no idea what the answer is yet. But you can be sure I will make the phone call tomorrow.
It has only been a little over two months since mom came and I am already needing intervention! Yikes! This morning, contemplating my situation over coffee, I realized that I am beginning to speak loudly in stilted sentences only to have her look at me and say, “Were you talking to me?”
I am also beginning to count my interactions with people from Walmart, the phone company, the doctor’s office, and the mail delivery person and my text message threads as adult conversations! Warning bells went off in my head. Time to change my reality. I don’t have to fall into the death trap of self pity because of my selflessness and it is not selfishness to self-heal by looking out for myself. You see what I mean when I say I need help.
I am hesitant to go to a support group because quite frankly, I know I’ll hear the same stories where the names have been changed. I think that is one reason jobs are nice unless the job I go to is working with folks who have dementia. Just sayin’.