Day Off, kind of…

Today I didn’t drive the hour and a half round trip to visit Mom.  Maybe that should feel like a break, but I much, much prefer the days when I get to see her, no matter how hellish of a day she’s having or how much it wrenches my heart.  But our car was in the shop and I really needed to dig a path through all the paperwork and boxes I’ve been neglecting at home.  Sound familiar? 

We’re having guests this weekend, which provides both a scary and desperately needed pressure to get our house (and its residents) back on their feet. 

Mom and I talked on the phone a bit, and then I spent endless hours trying to sort out her bills and fight her battles with all the untended business that had slipped through the cracks when her dementia worsened. 

It was a bummer of a day, mainly because it started out with her losing $2,000!!! to an assisted living facility we decided wouldn’t work for her a few weeks ago.  They had verbally told me that huge deposit to hold her place was refundable, but it turns out the paper I had signed said otherwise.  (Yes, should have read the fine print instead of trusting the smiling lady.)  I won’t get into all the details, but I told the management of the facility and their corporate supervisors loudly and clearly how I felt about that kind of business comportment.  And of course, it got me nowhere. 

Please be forewarned!  Fortunately, the many other residences we toured and dealt with were honest and helpful when we had to pull out of waiting lists- refunds with no questions asked.  But beware of any senior residence owned by Assisted Living Concepts! In my experience, they’re a huge and heartless corporation, now also confirmed by other people I have met who have similar horror stories.  

My day went downhill from there, until I somehow extricated myself from all the housework and got out into the crisp fall day (okay, it’s summer, but we’re on that cusp now).  I took out my frustration on the jungle of weeds that had eaten up my forgotten perennials, and stumbled upon some strawberry plants I’d put in way back in fall, when life was very different.  I spotted two plump crimson strawberries and popped them into my mouth, surprised that anything so tortured by neglect, creeping charlie, and drought, could be so scrumptions. 

Magically, everything quickly got better, as it always does when I remember to get out among the plants.  As I cleared paths to liberate my gardens from the weed veils, the scent of the sage, lemon thyme, and spearmint cleared the clouds from my head, and after an hour of outdoor therapy I was back to my happy self, releasing my earlier fantasy to go back to bed until October.

It's hard to stay grumpy in the face of a smiling gaillardia.

And now, I have a request!  As a fledgling virgin blogger, who aims to share these stories not just for my own therapy, but to commune and converse with others, I invite you to please come out and say hello.  Can you relate to anything here?  Make a comment, send an email, or share your own caregiving story.  Feel free to pass on your blog link if you have one. 

I’ve been so pleased to see there are readers each day, and they can’t be my friends and family , since I’m an undercover blogger so far.  Didn’t tell anyone I know yet-even my husband.  I find it easier to be more open online if I’m somewhat anonymous.  And to be honest, I’m still shy about posting tender pieces of my life and my mom’s life on the internet.  It’s all very new to me.

This entry was posted in caregiver stress, support, and respite and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Day Off, kind of…

  1. Katie says:

    I will be back and visit often and read every blog that you have here. Great work, and I know it is so hard to express these feelings. There are people who care and I will try and alert others to your blog.

    I wish you the best of luck. I also run a blog, (not the website listed) where I wrote about nursing home and assisted living care, and the horrors my mom endured. You have to scroll down to April 9th, and the blog starts off talking about my daughter, but if you scroll down, you can see where it ends up talking about my mom.

    Hugs to you and your family.

  2. Dear Margaret,
    I came to Panera today (while my mom is at respite care) hoping to sit by the fire and find some caregiving inspiration and fellowship. Well, the fireplace isn’t working, but I found your blog and feel richly rewarded. Since I became my mom’s caregiver over the past few years, I have regularly sought some kindred spirits in the blog world, but just couldn’t find them. I found plenty of resources and support and help with problems, especially in the early days when my mom was recovering from a fall. But for a long time I have been wanting to find others to “meet” with and share the journey of trying to go through this with hope and love and grace (when possible!).

    Anyway, I am thrilled to have found your blog, will be a devoted reader from now on and wish you and your mother the very best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s