Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

I suppose that by their very definition, there is no such thing as a "good" disease. They are all debilitating and wasting to some degree, lesser or greater. They all cause the sufferer some sort of pain and cause the loved ones of the sufferer some sort of anguish. I am not trying to say that what I am going through is any worse than what people all over the world are going through every single day, I just want to say that Alzheimer's Disease SUCKS!

I am 800 miles away from my Mom, so there are as many as 5 to 8 weeks between my visits to her. With each of my last several visits, I saw a dramatic decline in her condition, less of HER there: sleeping more, increased confusion, increased difficulty expressing herself, decreased physical ability. One of the really crappy things about AD is that, because of the sufferer's difficulty understanding what is going on around them, they tend to be fretful, depressed and, sometimes, hostile. We are lucky that, by and large, my Mom is fairly content. She loves her room, she has a nice view of the pretty backyard of her facility, she likes most of the people that care for her, she likes many of her 'neighbors' -- though she says that many of them are "not all there". She likes listening to music, especially the soundtrack to The Sound of Music. We listen to it over and over and over again -- always new to her, but it has become etched in my brain. The bitter irony of 'remembering your favorite things' when you are 'feeling sad' is that it is not such good advise when not only can you not recall things you like, you can't even remember what you had for breakfast.

The car trips north and south back home were beautiful. Spring was bursting out the whole way: bluebonnets and paintbrush in Texas; redbud and fruit trees in bloom all along the way; wheat fields covered in that new, neon green; spindly-legged calves and colts among the herds of cattle and horses. Life renewing itself.

For some reason, a factoid I remember learning in paleontology popped into my head. If you take a sponge -- not the bright blue rectangle by the kitchen sink, but the simple sea animal -- and push it through a fine mesh screen, its cells, disassembled by passing through the screen, will re-assemble on the other side.
I am hoping my heart has the same ability as the sponge and will become whole again after all of this is over.

10 comments:

Tonya Ricucci said...

I am so sorry. horrible situation. hearts do heal eventually. I lost my mom 19 years ago and I still miss her, but I don't ache and cry like I used to. Sending you well wishes.

safieh said...

Beth, I am so sorry about your mother. I don't have much experience with AD, but any time you need your spirits lifted, I'd love to get together and sew! Just let me know!

amy and the bad cats said...

AD does suck, for sure. i empathize with your situation and wish i had easy answers, or any answers at all really, for you.

Becca said...

I'm sorry about your momma Beth.

Sujata Shah said...

Hugs to you my friend!

Nifty Quilts said...

I love your analogy of the sponge. I'm sorry your heart is being squeezed right now, and sure it will grow anew again, with even more wisdom, compassion and grace. Hugs to you.

Carla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla said...

Carla said...
Sorry about your mom. My grandmother had AD. She still lived in Missouri and I in Texas so I didn't get to visit her often. It's a hard disease for those who have it and in a way I think harder for those of us who don't.

I'm new follower via Quilters Crossing. Love the shop and the girls.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Dearest Beth, I wish I had the perfect words to make you smile, all I can do is send you my love and hugs and the same to your mom and wish you both all the strength in the world to get through this. I'm so glad that your mom is content. And that you can see flowers. I think the sponge factoid is a valuable thought, and I think hearts work in similar ways. Lots of love, RD.

Sherri ~ daintytime said...

What a terrible disease - maybe much more terrible for you than your mom. It runs in my family as well. My grandmother and great grandmother died of it. My mom had a great fear of it and always said she wanted to die young. And she did at age 60 of pancreatic cancer! Oh my. God stays near and heals the broken hearted - says the psalms.