Last year when my mother was in a rehab facility, her words changed to match her actions, which had turned to confusion, and putting me down. It was like her brain suddenly and surprisingly changed to that of being hurtful and hateful. At the time, I did not know what was going on, and did not know how to react, or what to say.
But that was last year.
A few days ago, my mother was falling a lot: twice on Monday and again the next day. When I got to her door and heard her yelling for help I found her on the floor. She was very much in pain. Eventually I called 911 who took her to the hospital. She was confused, asking me the same thing over and over and over, and as the week continued on, she became agitated and combative, saying I set all this up to get her out of my life and take her money, and “God was going to get me for doing this”; the very same words she said last year. She also called me pitiful, and should have known I would do this to her. My brain immediately took me back to October 6th of last year, when she went verbally ballistic. But this time when she called me pitiful, I told her I was not, for God was with me and who can be against me. She said she did not want to hear that and started la-la-la singing. It got to the point I left, knowing she would soon be transported to the skilled nursing facility. After yelling at me and calling me names, I came home and she called me, pretty much asking me the same thing. This time it seemed a piece of her personality returned, and we could communicate a little better, though I kept answering the same questions over and over again. I had heard this familiar verbiage before, but this time my reaction was different, and in my opinion better.
Dementia came by for a visit, but this time I would not be weak, and I stood up to it.
To caregivers everywhere,
- Do not take what is being said to you personally. Friends who have experienced this with a their parents have told me that.
- Here’s the reason: it is not them talking, but the dementia.
- Here’s something else they told me: Continue to love them, and care for them. If you have to get out of the situation, do it, which is what I did today. Both of us needed space, and I believe it helped.
- I know I did not “set up” anything: the medical staff set up where she was go next. I know I am doing all I can to help my mother. As long as you know that, you know you are doing right by your loved one.
This year God has been involved. I asked Him to intervene. When you give the invitation, it is not all on you. Casting your care to God allows you to be able to breathe, enabling you to continue on. I am concerned, of course, but I am not worried. There is such a difference between being worried and being concerned. Being concerned acknowledges there is a problem, but at the same time give it over to God and move on. Being worried means you take the whole load and attempt to solve the problem, losing sleep, getting headaches and other bodily pain in the process.
I invite you to invite Him in the process. You will see the difference, like I have.