Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It still hurts somedays

I had a bit of a bawl last night. I was in my old neighbourhood doing errands and ended up having a cry on the way home (great to do while you’re driving!). I also had a cry later at home.

I don’t go to my old neighbourhood very often because it’s out of the way from my home & work and I do get a bit emotional when I’m there. It’s like there are reminders of my mom everywhere: my family home, my old school, the places I took countless lessons (piano, ballet, skating… you name it, I took it), the park that my mom took me to every summer and my mom’s nursing home. Even the storekeepers knew my mom so when I run my errands, the stores even tug at my heart.

Somedays, I look at these places and smile, remembering how devoted my mom was to me. She didn’t drive a car so we walked or took transit to everything. My mom didn’t work so her whole life was taking care of me. My siblings are much older than me so I had my mom to myself ~ it was almost like being an only child. It’s no wonder I sometimes think that out of the three kids, I have taken her passing the hardest.

Other times, like last night, I get emotional looking at these places. I almost pulled into her nursing home’s parking lot last night just to sit there and bawl and “feel close to her”. Yes, I know she’s not there and this sounds insane but it’s the last place she was alive. However, I drove on. I think my upcoming birthday is a bit of a factor in emotions this week…I have a thing about birthdays as my readers know.

At home, my DH could see I wasn’t 100% and asked me what was going on. I didn’t want to get into it so I brushed it off but he kept asking. I finally told him what had happened and he really didn’t know what to say (which is probably why I didn’t tell him in the first place – he’s not very good at this stuff). DH is not the most sensitive person and at times, he can even be a little abrupt.

I tried really hard to explain my feelings to DH. DH was a bit insensitive at points like when I said I sometimes "feel alone" in the world because of my parents being gone and my siblings being distant. He said something rude like that I was just “being dramatic”. I said I wasn't "being dramatic" or looking for attention and that I truly feel that way somedays.

I don’t think DH gets it. He has his parents who call almost everyday. He has a sibling who is somewhat close (i.e. she’s at all holiday dinners at his parents). Since my mom died, my siblings have become more estranged than they were before for various reasons that could warrant their own blog. I speak to them occasionally and see them rarely but things are definitely AFU. I definitely feel like I no longer have family. One of my siblings tried to say that my DH is my family now. Hmmm… not sure I’m totally buying that. When I think of family, DH is not the only person.

Overall, I think I’ve been doing pretty well. I’m definitely doing better than I was last year and day-to-day, I’m okay. There are just somedays where I fall down and last night was one of them. My DH looked at me sometimes last night like I insane. I tried to explain that it hasn’t been 10 years…it’s only been over a year and yes, it still hurts somedays.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I had a dream...

I had a really strange dream the other night. In my dream, I was sitting with my husband (who wasn’t really my husband – it was some other random person but in my thoughts, I was thinking it was my husband!). Anyways, it was evening time and we were chatting.

I was asking how his day at work was and he was giving vague answers. In my mind, I was panicking because I couldn’t remember what he did for a living. I was desperately trying to figure out what he did for a living before he caught on that I didn’t remember. It was freaky! My mind was racing and frantically trying to retrieve the information but it kept coming up blank. I kept asking him questions in hopes of getting a clue and to cover up that I didn’t know. I asked if anything different happened at work today (nope); if everyone was at work today (yep…was hoping for a name of a co-worker to help me); if he ate lunch today (hoping he’d mention where he ate lunch for a possible location clue).

I also looked at how he was dressed, if he had tools or a briefcase with him, the state of his hands (I thought he might be a mechanic at one point) and I tried to remember what hours he seemed to work. I woke up before I figured out what he did.

It was the weirdest dream I’ve had in a quite a while! I felt a bit startled by it. That must be how an Alzheimers patient must feel like when they’re in the early stages and trying to cover up their memory losses. My mom used to be quite clever about getting around things when she was confused…and that’s when I actually knew something was wrong with her. I wonder how long she had been operating like that before I caught on. I’m also thinking about the person not really being my husband in the dream… how it must be so confusing and scary to be sitting with someone when you aren’t quite sure how you’re related. My mom used to think I was her sister and my brother was her husband or her own brother (who was deceased for years). I was also forever a student in my mom’s mind ~ she was always asking how school was. Her Alzheimers became apparent when I was 17 so maybe that was the age range that she had me set at.

It was a scary little glimpse I had in this dream. As scary, frustrating and heartbreaking as it is for caregivers, it must be absolutely terrifying for the patients in the early stages when they’re still aware.