Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dinner for two

Every Tuesday night I go to Mom's apartment to make her dinner. Tonight it was baked Dover sole, broccoli with cheese sauce, mashed potatoes and miniature cupcakes from Trophy in Wallingford.

Mom was sitting watching the news when I arrived. She was really hungry...she had only eaten a bowl of cereal for breakfast and a bowl of soup for lunch. My brother had not been there for lunch today...so she wasn't that interested in eating. I prepared dinner as quickly as I could and got our plates ready. Mom seemed really hungry and ate almost everything...except a few pieces of broccoli. I gave her three of the four cupcakes...she ate them right down to the wrapper.

I told her after dinner that I wouldn't be able to come out Thursday morning.. as I told her she started counting off the days until she would see me again. I told her I really couldn't help it...I have stuff to do for work and just can't come as usual. I asked her to tell Mark if she needed food from the store.

I left with her walking me to the door as usual..she is losing so much weight..her cloths hang off of her. I told her again that it wouldn't work for her to live with Pamela and I. She just keeps bringing it up....and I keep telling her No. I feel guilty, but I know that it would never work. She would create problems for us and I will not have that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shingles redux

I took Mom to her eye specialist last Thursday. Shingles has reappeared in her right eye. It was really red and itching for several days. The doctor looked at her eye and told her that this was a flare up of shingles again. He wanted her to do eye drops every couple of hours every day. I told Dr. Carroll that she couldn't do that for herself and I am not there enough to do it either. He opted to give her a shot underneath the eye...basically some kind of steroid. Her eye started clearing up within 24 hours...so this is good news. We return for a follow up appointment this Thursday.

How do you feel?

Mom is struggling with her life. She keeps saying that her life can't go on much longer. I finally told her that it is hard for me to hear this kind of talk. No one knows how many days we have on this earth...I understand that she is depressed and missing my Dad every day. I understand that she is lonely and isolated..but she has fought every suggestion I have made to get her involved in a senior center. It is hard..she can't really get around very well..even with help. Her energy levels are at an all time low...both physically and emotionally. She is depressed with the coming of winter weather. Mom is definitely a "glass half full" kind of person.

I have been trying a new tactic in the last month. I buy inexpensive greeting cards and send her one or two a week. I know she waits for the mail everyday...so getting a card really cheers her up. It is a small gesture..but seems to make her happy for a little while. The larger issue of what I perceive to be her depression is not a subject she wishes to discuss. When I told her that I thought she may want to go to the doctor to discuss how she is feeling she had one word "Bullshit"....case closed.

Mom is dependent, narcissistic, self-absorbed, funny, opinionated, smart, and still makes a mean roast. She is so many conflicting things..but all I can do is try and help her out and do so with good intentions. I am actually to the place where I am appreciating this time alone with her to get to know her in new ways. She can drive me straight up a wall, she makes me laugh, she makes me sadder than I ever thought I could be...but at the end of the day, I love her for all her contradictions.