The pains of dementia

Health Coaching | January 25, 2021
The pains of dementia

It is 12:13 a.m. on November 27 th , 2020, my birthday, I am 56 years old. I have never felt better in my life. I can’t sleep because I have this thought going through my mind and it is consuming my every moment. I find myself crying here and there and I keep asking myself the question, what would I do, what would I want my kids to do, what should I do?
Ahh, the question.

If I were not able to feed myself and couldn’t remember anything and was confined to a wheelchair, If I needed someone to feed me, but not regular food that I can chew, mushed up food because I cannot chew (I have swallowed most of my teeth), oh and I need someone to wipe my ass and clean me. My days are empty, no-one comes to see me because they are not allowed to because we are in the middle of a pandemic. I have to sit in my room every day. I eat there, sleep there and stare out the window EVERY DAY!
My question is, would I want to live?

I know that I would definitely not want to live and yet that is how my mother spends her days and that is what is eating me up inside. How can I let her continue in this condition?

My mother has four kids; three girls and her baby boy. Three of us in our 50’s and my older sister in her 60’s. I remember my mom as colorful, elegant, polite, had a temper, threw good parties, dressed beautifully and always well put together. She owned a woman’s clothing store in the Sheraton Centre Hotel and had a great following of good customers who just loved her. She loved going to the store. She loved going out for dinner, doing her crossword puzzles, reading TIME magazine, having her afternoon tea, gardening, sitting by the pool. I could go on and on with memories.

It all went downhill when she fell down the stairs in the middle of the night and hit her head numerous times on her way down until she landed on the ceramic tiled floor, blood around her head and unconscious. I remember sleeping in the hospital with her and she kept telling me to go to the kitchen and get a mango and she would peel it for me, thinking she was at home. She started to get better and then a sudden change that would land her back in hospital. I remember that day clearly because it was her and I in the ambulance being transferred downtown to St Michaels Hospital where she would need emergency surgery to drain blood
from her brain. She was fine but declining slowly over the years. She eventually needed PSW’s to come into our home to help with cleaning her. She would lie on the couch all day and my dad would sit with her. Seeing her this way was part of his decline.

When my dad passed on suddenly, we had to get her into a long-term care home. She is in a very good home and they treat her really well. I would visit her every afternoon. My brother and I would meet at the home and move her to the window and sit there until it was dinner time. We became celebrities at the home, saying good-bye to everyone every night. My brother had his following of older women that loved him.

Now I think of her being alone in the state that I described above, and it seems to be haunting me because it is such a horrible state to be in and I know that I would not want to be in that situation. I have actually told my kids to take my life if I were in that situation. I think to myself, who am I kidding, are they really going to do that? Would I be able to if asked?

I ask myself what is the right thing to do, what would my siblings say about me feeling the way that I do? Am I heartless by thinking of ending her life? Just when I think I am heartless and say to myself “how dare you think this way,” I remember what she is going through and I ask God to take her in her sleep peacefully, to be with dad, or her sister, or mother, or father, or granddaughter. I know she will be happier. I can picture her up in heaven as this beautiful well put together woman in white, with a beautiful smile and a warm heart just being free.

As I write this, tears are streaming down my face, I wonder if I say anything to my siblings let alone anyone about how I am feeling, about what I think I would do, and then I go back into the “how can you” and hope that God will take her peacefully.

I miss my Mom, I mourned her so long ago….

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