These past five weeks have been kind of... interesting.... between my mom's progressive dementia progressing and my dad's physical and mental condition tanking about two weeks later, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster. But here's some takeaway from the whole thing in no particular order:
1) Making plans is a futile endeavor. Good idea if you can pull it off, but also have an exit strategy and plans B and C ready for implementation at the drop of a hat. Failing that, a good case worker is your best friend.
2) Having someone help field this stuff is invaluable. I found that my sister and I make a formidable team--each having particular strengths and using them to the fullest. Listening to her trying to deal with one brain-dead family member had quite a bit of amusement value.
Having backup in the form of Mr B keeping the home fires burning and things under control is the only thing that gave me the wherewithal to be able to concentrate on what needed to be done. Couldn't have done double-duty.
3) When you are up against the hard wall, when you are crying in the emergency room, when you have absolutely no friggin clue at all what to do--miracles happen, someone steps up from nowhere, and shit gets done.
Some say that G-d only gives you as much as you can handle, some say the gods push you to the edge until you say 'no more' and then give you one more shove to prove to you that you are stronger than you think you are. Not sure which one is right, but been there more than once in the past month.
4) There are some things that can't be dealt with until you hit a crisis. See items 1, 2, and 3.
5) Listening to two people with dementia talk about a painting is kind of like being in someone else's acid trip or reading The Illuminatus Trilogy. It's reality with a side of magic mushrooms.
6) Front doors in modern cars need child locks too just in case someone decides to unlock the door and try to jump out when you are going 40 miles per hour. Of course you'd need some inkling that this is a possibility in order to implement. Surprise is sometimes a royal bitch.
7) Sometimes the most unprepossessing of exteriors holds the greatest, most caring staff. Books/covers.
8) Word in small towns really does fly quickly.
9) Compassion should never be underestimated or discounted. It can lead to small miracles (and sometimes big miracles too).
4 years ago