Friday, July 3, 2009

To go or not to go?

Well, the 4th of July is right around the corner. And my mom is still (of course) in the nursing home, still not doing too good, although we're kind of getting used to it now...

So here's my quandary for the day:

There is a family reunion on the 4th of July. All my mom's relatives. Her brother, nieces and nephews, cousins....it's at my cousin's house. He lives out in the country, in a house with one bathroom. About 110 miles away from home. It's going to be a pot luck thing.

Before my mom got sick, she was really looking forward to this get-together. We went last year, and she was glad she went. Getting her into the bathroom was a chore a year ago. Now, I have no doubt, it'd be even tougher. But my mom is still talking about the "get-together". I tried to suggest that maybe we could just take a special trip down there when she was feeling better, but she looked so sad, I just dropped it. She's been pretty confused, so I was kind of hoping that maybe she'd forget. But I have read (and it seems to hold true) that Alzheimer's patients can remember things when they have an emotional investment in them....so she probably won't forget this one....

I'm torn. I really don't want to go. I'd rather stay home. It's a long drive. I'm shy & quiet and although I enjoy seeing my relatives, I don't thrive on chatting with them. But there are so many reasons why I should find a way to get my mom there, not the least of which is "what if it's her last family reunion?" and really, most of my reasons for not wanting to go are related to the inconvience and stress that I would experience, not the joy that she would experience.

DH feels strongly that we need to find a way to get her there. And I can see his point. The nursing home would let us bring her, as long as she wasn't gone for 24 hours. I'm worried about that bathroom, too. If there are 50 people there, and one bathroom, my mom's 25-minute bathroom trips aren't going to be appreciated much. But there I go again, focusing on what other people think and not what my mom would like....

Seeing those people might lift her out of her depression....

I have been entertaining the thought of driving down there, staying for about a half hour or so, and then heading home....that way my mom can go, but we won't overdo it...

Every day brings something new, doesn't it?

When I used to talk to my mom about DH and DD, back when my mom was clearer-headed, I used to tell her, "Some people get a little bit of crap here and there throughout their lives. I'm just getting all of mine at once. So when the crap is over, I'll just have a crap-free life from there on, because I'll have already received all my crap." LOL. My new question is "When will the crap be over?"

Oh....and DH confessed that he did not fold the laundry.


Karen said...

Wow. I really hope you manage to go and that the day holds no stress for you.
Hopefully, just once, everything will run smoothly and you'll be able to look back and laugh at all the things that you are now stressing about.
Funny how with some people the punches just keep rolling in.

Robin said...

Your decision is going to be difficult...so sorry :(

If you go, consider that if she is at around 4yr old level and bring a few changes of clothes in case of washroom accidents. Also, give her lots of warning when it's time to leave so it doesn't seem sudden to her. And remember that you will probably need to watch her the entire time, as you would a small child.

If you don't go, then do your best not to feel guilty about it. It is absolutely ok to put yourself first and decide it's just too much for you to handle right now. Whenever your mom asks about the event, you can keep saying "you're just not well enough to travel mom, I'm sorry" and leave it at that, like you would for a small child.

Family can be notified of her condition and told when visiting hours are. They can make the drive to come and see your mom in what is a safe environment for her, instead of your mom being expected to travel to them.

Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

I hope you're happy with whatever decision you made.
I don't think it would be selfish of you if you didn't go. One hundred and ten miles (220 miles round trip) is a long drive just to stay thirty minutes and then turn around and go home.
I think the long drive and the crowd once you got there would be stressful for your mom. She probably wouldn't recognize everyone and she would find it difficult to follow the conversations. Add the bathroom situation and you have a very unpleasant day.
You're in a situation right now that's like a marathon. You have to conserve your energy to make it to the end of the race. Burn out now and you're in serious trouble.
I hope you had a good holiday however you chose to spend it.
Oh, tell your hubby that doing the laundry is nice but it's only part of the job. Folding and putting things away where they belong is the complete deal.
Sheesh! What does he do all day, anyway?
--Miz Kizzle