In a few days it will be about 2 months since Angie moved out of her independent living apartment into the memory care unit. I look back and it's hard to say where the time has gone.
I remember thinking so clearly at the time how much Angie's world was shrinking. Who could have known I would wish today to have back that diminished quality of life which would never have been acceptable on any day in a pre-dementia world.
On a daily basis I am never sure how I will find mom when I stop by. As I walk in from the car I prepare myself with a pep talk and I make eye contact with the other visitors I see coming and going. My fellow caretakers. I see their lips moving too as they walk by. This work is not for the faint of heart.
I am learning to spend time with Angie in different ways. I have become her full time hair stylist and manicurist. I do my best and she tries to overlook it when I slip with the curling iron. I tell her there is a price to pay for beauty and we laugh. Mostly we just sit together. She asks me what she needs to do now and I tell her "just this". I tell her it's the time of day when we don't have to worry anymore. She smiles and says "oh thank you Carol". Then 5 minutes later we go through it all again.
The inability to predict how things will continue to progress is keeping me on my toes. Angie has had another small stroke, she's fallen, had a touch of pneumonia, and some worsening of her heart failure. With all that I still don't think she meets the qualifications for hospice but I am very close to setting up an informational visit with an agency just to be sure I am not too close to the situation to see the facts clearly.
We'll keep you posted.