Written November 19, 2015:
Today was the day. Get to the nursing home by 10am, pack everything up, sign the discharge papers, take my mother out to lunch, get her home, unpack, hopefully take a nap, then in early evening pick my son up from the airport. Things were going great; my mother happy to be on the outside and looking forward to going to the Chinese food buffet. She later said let’s just get things in and that’s it, not dealing with anything today. It can wait. Yeah, right.
She brought some food home and warmed it up. After doing that, it stayed on the table, because she had to clean. While she was doing that I was trying to fix the television so all the stations she could see if she wanted to watch something. Then we had to go over the clothes that were in the clothes basket, the plastic bags, the towels that weren’t put away, the chair that was not positioned properly and needed to be moved to the left then back then to the right then back, the walker (the old one though she got a new one this morning) and why it was in the bedroom and not in the living room. I never touched it while she was in the various medical facilities. Then the sheets on the bed weren’t right, there was pennies in a bag on the bed and why was that there and where did she keep it, and why was the closet the way it was. I could feel the familiar territory called Mistrust Street about to fill the atmosphere. I quietly got my coat telling her I was going to the airport and would be back later with her grandson…
The psychiatrist’s evaluation said mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This condition may lead to dementia or it may not. The symptoms are increased forgetfulness, not remembering names or losing a train of thought, feeling overwhelmed in decision-making and the steps to accomplish a task, to name a few, according to Mayo Clinic. The good aspect of MCI is that it is not so severe that it interferes with daily living, and many who have this do not get worse while others get better.
About a couple of hours later I get a phone call, and I admit (knowing who the call was from) I did not want to answer it, but I did. My mother wanted to know if I had been to the airport, and I stated not yet. By her vocal tone it was as if what happened earlier did not happen, she did not sound agitated at all. As caregiver I have to go with flow, weaving in and out of Familiar Street like a car weaving in and out of traffic, and not getting frustrated in the process. And believe me, this is truly a process. To caregivers everywhere let not your heart be troubled, nor your mind weighted with signs and lanes of Familiar Street. Like I, you will continuously be driving down this road. Just keep casting over to God, and let your faith be bigger than the situation.