Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This post is going to be plain Jane. No photos, no funny comments, just the truth and sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it hurts badly.

You might remember that my mom fell and landed on her head about three years ago. She was like 81?? Anyway, she had to have brain surgery because blood was pooling or something so they did surgery and she's been fine since.

About a month ago my mom started having trouble sleeping and without sleep she was not good company and she began to become weak which makes all the sense in the world. She soon started having some hallucinations.

It gave me pause as it probably did all of my siblings. But I kept my thoughts to myself and we went on. Finally (finally), one of my sisters that was spending some time with mom decided that a second opinion was needed. (really??)
I don't know how, but they got her in this amazing clinic that was able to stabilize her and get her on the correct meds. Things started looking up. She's been sleeping pretty regularly.

Things started looking up, here, at least.
I'm in Texas.
My brother, Russ and his wife, Leslie, are in Florida.
My two sisters, Joan and Jean, and Randy and my SIL, Eileen, are all up north with my mom who lives in Kalamazoo. It's actually all of them that have done all of the "heavy lifting". I'm here in Texas where it costs 800 dollars to fly round trip to Michigan so I am living in my own little Hell, different than theirs. Russ is able to get to Michigan from Florida very easily and he has really stepped up.
I'm very proud of all of my siblings for stepping up and fighting the fight, all of them working for the good of mom. Even when there might be a disagreement, they step back and do what's best for mom.  It's been really wonderful seeing them work together - all for the good of mom.

And, I sit here in Texas, praying, reading updates, participating in conference calls w/ doctors, reading more many emails that some days it feels like that's all I do, discussions about specifics, you get the drill. And do you get that all of this has happened in one month????

Are you feeling my sense of helplessness? It's been incredibly hard but I have done what I can and will continue to do my best for my mom from here and when I make trips up north.
I leave the first of January for two weeks with my mom.

Mom's been moved to an independent living facility in Kalamazoo that is for dementia patients. I've seen photos, it's so, so nice, and so, so expensive. LOL (Why I'm laughing, I don't know). There's a library, small TV rooms, a small kitchen where the patients can bake or cook with their OT, an atrium, craft room. She has her own huge room and her furniture. Looks great in the photos I've seen.

Last night when they took her there for her first night they told me that she was restless and confused.
Oh, sweet Jesus, that word. That word, "confused". It breaks my heart to hear that my mom was confused.
Or that she was ugly, hateful, my mother. MY mother was ugly.

My mother is confused.
My mother is hateful and says ugly things to her children.

Oh, God, I want my mom back.
This is killing me.
I want my mom.

It seems like I spend a huge amount of time crying.
Do you think I'll cry less after I see her?
Doesn't sound like it at this point.

I don't want to go.
To Michigan.
I don't want to see her.
I'm so afraid she's not going to know who I am.
I haven't talked to her for a little over a month.
She doesn't ask for me.
She never asks for me.
I know she doesn't remember me.

She will never live in her home again.
And she will never come to the ranch again.
She loved the ranch so much.
And we loved having her here.
She got to see her Texas grand kids
and bake Clayman his favorite cake like 5 times in three months.
It seems like every thought I have connects to her and
every thing I see reminds me of her and I am so sad.

I know that I should be grateful that I had her for my mom and
that God blessed me in so many ways with her as my mom.
(Yes, I know she's still my mom. I get that.)
And I AM grateful.
But, right now I'm very sad and a little scared.

Pray for me?
I'd really appreciate it.
And pray for my brothers and sisters, my family.
And pray for my mom.


Jody said...

Oh, my heart aches for you and your mom. My dad went the way of dementia and Alzheimers and it was a brutal scab that we kept picking - try to hold yourself together with thoughts of the good times, the love.
You are in my prayers.

Sarah said...

I am so sorry that you and your siblings are having to go through this. Loosing someone through dementia and Alzheimer is a difficult process because while they may be here psychically all the love you felt from them slowly disappears. I agree with Jody, that it is important to focus on the good times you had with your mom and pray that one day soon there will be cure for those like your mom.

Sending hugs, Sarah

ImagiMeri said...

Oh Jan, what a couple of years you've had. I do think of you often, and I will continue to pray for you and your family.......for strength and for love. I have been totally blessed this past year, to be caring for my mom in my own home. I, too, have multiple siblings, and we all live in the same state, however because of my disabilities I am not able to work. I have taken on the lions share of caring for our mother. It's been very hard, but at least I have been able to care for her, so I can only imagine your pain at not being able to do the same.

God Bless, and take care sweetie,

Robin said...

Oh dear sweet Jan, it breaks my heart to think of the emotional roller coaster you have been on lately. I know your visit in January may be difficult, so I'm keeping you and your Mom in my thoughts and prayers. Have a safe trip and I do hope you can enjoy the good memories during this holiday season.


The Blue Door of Greenville said...

My heart goes out to you!! Its almost like death itself loosing parents to dementia. My 92 year old mother lives with me and she's beginning to forget the simple things, like how to turn the water on in the bathroom. It scares me to death!!! I hope to stay in touch with you. I just started a blog.


Fanciful Expressions said...

So sorry for you and your mom. Keep trying to think of the good times you had with her. That was the purpose of her living.
You and your whole family will be in my prayers. Hugs.

Julie Ann said...

Sending you *HUGS* and prayers!! Maybe you could fly into Chicago and it would be cheaper? I would come pick you up if you could come on the weekend!!

Jan Vermillion-Thomason said...

I'm not sure I responded to everyone - I tried to but today I'm sick (fever, chills) and trying to do my emails on my phone in bed when I feel cruddy was probably not the best idea.
So, if I didn't hit you, trust me when I say thank you so much for your encouraging and uplifting words.

The Hell continues, trust me, but I've God on my side and I know that he holds my future in his hands and my moms and siblings, too.

God bless you, Jan


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