Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I’m Not Staying Here, Take Me Home

          Wow.  What a day. 
          Mom was discharged with a great bill of health.  Great . . .  

          The paper work had not yet been processed for the assisted living.  Mom didn’t have to go to a rehab center as had been speculated earlier.  She was discharged.  And it was up to me to drive her away from the hospital.
          It was disheartening as I watched the nurses wheel her to the curb and load her into my car.  Less than nine years before, I had given birth to Jenna.  And it was mom who was driving while the nurses wheeled me out and loaded me up.  It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.  I absolutely HATE this role reversal thing.

          So I take her to the house where she has lived for the last fifty years (and she has not lived anywhere else during that time) and we actually have trouble getting in the door (I don’t think my key got cut all the way) and have to really work at getting in.

          She doesn’t have a problem until we have walked through the door.  She sits down and checks HER MAIL – mail addressed to the house where I had taken her.  I say I am fixing lunch.  She says she is not hungry.  I still fix her lunch.  She childish refuses to eat.

          I tell her to take off her coat. 

          “I don’t want to stay here!”

          “Where do you want to be?”

          “Home.  My home.”

          “Do you have an address?”

          She was irate – thinking I was just playing games with her.  I guess I was.  But not to be funny. But it’s just better to give in to her reality than to argue.  But her reality doesn’t have an address. 

          But she doesn’t want to stay in the house where we are because it’s boring!  So I ask what makes it boring.  What makes her other replica house more exciting?

          She said it’s not the house itself – but the location.  Her other house is in the city.  And there is a store on every corner!  She doesn’t want to live in this boring house in the “country”.

          I cover my mouth and hope that she doesn’t see the laughter in my eyes.  Mom’s house may not be downtown city – but it is definitely NOT the country. I’ll admit that the location was on a bit the desolate side 50 years ago – but the city has built its way around her house.  There are at least thirty eating places that can be walked to.

          A former neighbor from across the street knocks at the door.  He came to talk to Nate.  Mom told him that Nate didn't live there.  Then she practically ordered the neighbor in to explore her “weird house” with her.  He seemed to provide more comforting words than I did.  She still wasn’t convinced, but he seemed to calm her nerves.  And he helped to lighten my load. 

          I had to go get Jenna from school.  Mom was ready to go at 2:30.  Jenna’s school doesn’t let out until 3:20.  Her school is only ten minutes away.  I wasn’t planning on leaving and told mom hang tight for another 30 minutes.  We played Taboo.

          Both Kayla and Sunny offered to sit while I went and got Jenna – but I knew that mom was anxious to leave and so I told both that it would be an hour less that each of them would have to deal with if I were to take her and have Nate come pick her up from where I currently reside.

          So after I picked up Jenna, I brought mom to my home.  She hasn’t been here often, but hasn’t ever been comfortable with being here.  I don’t blame her though.  I’m not all that comfortable myself.

          But yesterday she was content.  She finally ate something and watched one sitcom while we waited for Nate to come get her.  For in her mind, Nate and Ellen live in her new house.  So even though I couldn’t remember her new address, Nate would know where to take her.

          Poor mom.  I hope that when we are able to move her into assisted living – which hopefully will be soon this week – she may “recognize it” as somewhere she’s been before and will feel more at home there than she does in the house where she actually does live but doesn’t want to anymore.

          I’m certain that once she gets going, she will be comfortable in the community and know that she is not alone.  She will be on a consistent schedule and she’ll have peers that will share in her limited time frame.  Of course we will all continue to visit her – but as her children and not her primary care givers.  And that will be a blessing to ALL of us.

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