Mom had a very tough and hard life; from growing up in an abusive home, to marrying a man who later did the same and played mind games all the time with her. Cheating, you name it he did it. I have to say that’s probably one of the only things I truly wish was different in my life. But thankfully Mom had the courage and strength to take myself, my sister and her from that situation and become a single parent. With hardly a penny to her name & 2 children under the age of 10. But she did it. I always have to remind her to this day how strong she really is and how much she had to overcome. She can surely overcome this.
The best thing that happened to my mom ( besides my sister and myself ) which she would say would be to find her best friend and marry him. He is truly our father in every step of the way. He brought us into his life with open arms and never looked back. In fact, he was the one that walked both myself and my sister down the aisle when we got married. As it should be. I have always believed that a parent isn’t a parent only through blood alone. It takes more than blood. He definitely proved that.
Which is why I’m finding this is one of the hardest parts of my journey with my mom is seeing her changing every day. I don’t mean for the better either. My mom has a disease called “Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus”, which means in our teams that the fluid in her brain will build up causing pockets of fluid. Which will then cause normal functions like walking, talking etc. to be more difficult. In fact, there have been a few times when we almost lost her. Which was very hard to see, the one person in your life that is always there no matter what to support and comfort, laugh and argue with. So with this disease, they can do a procedure that inserts a shunt to help regulate the fluid so there won’t be any build up. Well, my poor mom has gone through 4 surgeries & meningitis. So long story short we have had our ups and way downs.
With all the surgeries and meningitis we’re not sure of the extent of her brain injury/dementia. So like I said, in the beginning, every day is different. Every day she says to me ” she doesn’t know what she did to deserve me” and I tell her ” ditto”. We have very trying days where she is a stubborn mule, and other days when she’s happy as a clam. There are definite changes that if she saw what she was doing now, her previous self would shudder at the thought lol. I guess that’s one of the pluses with dementia they don’t remember or realize exactly what they’re doing.
I have a lot of friends that have met my mom and I have a very dear friend Teresa who adores my mom and mom is the same with her. We are a tag team together. I thank GOD every day for her and my daughter Eryn, for the support and help I get with Mom. I also cannot thank enough to my amazing husband. I don’t know very many husbands that would accept his Mother in law in his house to live, with all the craziness that goes with it. His parents passed away at a fairly young age, so he never got to experience ageing parents. He certainly doesn’t understand dementia at all, let alone brain injury. The only thing he does know is all the different characteristics my mom is displaying now is certainly not the Mom in law he knows. Which I think helps him understand.
This lady ( my mom ) is everything to me and one of the best things that have helped me in my career as a PSW/Care aid to help take care of seniors. I know in my heart that is why I have been doing this profession for so long. I truly believe God knew I would have to help my mom in this journey that she is going through. Yes, it’s hard, the struggles are real, I could have very easily given up and put her in a NURSING HOME and just visit on holidays/birthdays. But in my heart, she is my mom and my constant. I will do everything in my power that I can to make her last few years how ever many they are the best she can have, as long as I am able to. The other blessing in working in a Nursing Home is that I know the reality as well. So I warn you the stories I will be telling are true, I am not making them up. My only goal with sharing my experiences with mom is that there might be other daughters or sons that are going through the same thing. Maybe them knowing they’re not alone will help us get through these trying days. So stay tuned, my mom is a spitfire and she does come up with some doozies.