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Feisty Folder

Becoming a short distance caregiver

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So a LOT has happened since the last time I posted. My Mom was in and out of the ER a few more times. Then she spent eight days in a psychiatric unit getting her depression and anxiety back under control (which was a strange little vacation for me, I felt I could relax for the first time in months, knowing I wasn't going to be getting a call from the cops that she'd been found wandering)

 

My mom was sent back home and six days later, on the 11th of December, my father called and said he couldn't do it anymore, that he was going to have to “institutionalize” her, and that he would rather die than live in an institution. I told him that was okay since he doesn't need to live in assisted living, but mom had been making clear for months that she was more than happy to live in assisted living. When we got off the phone he was trying to decide between a placement in Tacoma or Ellensburg (since Ellensburg is near me but he lives more than an hour away from Tacoma). An hour later, after not getting satisfactory information off the web, he called me and asked me to check out the assisted living places in Ellensburg and I got the opportunity to be an awesome daughter and tell him I'd already done so months before????. He asked me which my first choice was, I told him my choice and that after the earlier phone call I'd already been planning on calling them the next day, he asked me to go ahead and do that.

 

 

And miracles of miracles the best assisted living place in town- less than a mile from my apartment- actually had an opening!

 

And so this year for Christmas I got my mom!???? She and my dad arrived on the 18th of December- ten years to the day since I was diagnosed with Chiari- and then on the 19th she moved in to her new home. A life changing person is a way better gift than a life changing diagnosis.

 

After seeing the place my father is actually considering living there with my mom, funnily enough a good assisted living place is not really a fate worse than death????. While we haven't yet decided what the ultimate living situation will be, what I do know is that right now my dad is back at their house in the middle of nowhere, packing up to move closer come spring????.

 

Mom is making friends, she's eating well, she's safe, and she's happy. She's also quit calling herself stupid (I think it helps that she's not the most impaired person in her new home). Last week when she was coloring she told me “I knew this would be a good place for me, but I didn't know I'd get to have fun too!”

 

My biggest concern was that she'd have trouble finding her way around. My mom loves frogs and there's a space outside every room for the residents to decorate. Without telling her what I was doing I put up a frog outside her room before she saw it the first time. As we walked down the hall the first time she noticed the frog, one she'd never seen before, touched it, than with complete confidence said “this must be my place”

 

It all still doesn't feel real. I'm more surprised by this turn of events then I was by her being found wandering. And there is still alot of work to, for instance she's still on a waiting list to be taken on as new patient by a local dr, which is bit like walking a tight rope without a net. Every time I get off the phone with someone trying to move things along mom tells me “you work hard!”. The staff at her place is completely fine with how much time I spend there, but her new friends keep reassuring me “you don't have to be here so much, she'll be fine, she won't be lonely” (Yeah, but what if I get lonely?) And honestly I just love this opportunity to spend so much time with her. But I'm a little afraid to pinch myself in case this is all a dream. It's a wonderful, STRANGE transition for both of us.

 

However, it is my birthday on Wednesday, so I guess happy birthday to me.

 

Hope everyone else's 2017 is going as well as mine is ????

 

-FIESTY

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So happy for you, your Mom and your Dad. I have seen some nice assisted living, was very impressed, thought I might like to move in (now!) Beautiful surroundings, friendly faces, all things done that need doing, all one has to do is enjoy their live the best they can, sounds like your Mom is doing that. As an only child, as you are, I can appreciate the peace this is giving you. Great move, so happy for all of you!

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Feisty, it was so wonderful to read your post and all that has happened!  I always get a kick out of how you write and the humor you manage to find.  I'm so very glad to know the move has been such a positive for all and that you are getting to be with "your mom" again.  And to think it's only 1 mile from your home and had an opening right away is a miracle, as that seldom happens.  :-)  I'm so happy for you.  :-)

 

Linda

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