It’s done.

Well, mom has been moved.  It happened two days late, but it happened.  I dragged my sick self over to her house to help get her ready to move.  Then I got her into the car, drove her to the new home, brought her inside, unpacked her things and left her there.  Like she was an unwanted puppy or something.

God, I feel so guilty.

I was OK until we drove away from the home she’s lived in since 1978.  I had to work really hard not to cry as I drove her to this board and care home.  I described the place to her, reminded her of the caregivers’ names, talked about her room, etc. because she didn’t remember.  She said she was sorry for whatever she did to make us not want her any more.  I tried to explain to her that we weren’t moving her because we didn’t want her.  We were moving her because we couldn’t take care of her any more.  I also told her that as her daughter and health decision maker, it was my job to make sure that she was living the best life we could get for her.  And staying at home wasn’t the best for her any more.

I don’t think she got it.

So I left her there.  I gave her hugs and kisses and left her there.  With virtual strangers.  In a house that isn’t home.

You don’t have to tell me how much better this will be for her.  Trust me, I know.  I just feel as though I’ve given up on her or something.  Intellectually I know this is a good decision.  But emotionally it’s hard.

I’ll sit here and cry for a bit longer and then get up and calm myself down.

I don’t consider myself to be a religious or very spiritual person, but I found myself praying a lot today.  I prayed for guidance and strength.  Now I’m praying for peace.  I hope I find it soon.

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I broke the dog :(

Yesterday, I took my brother’s dog (Niner) for a run with me.  I’d planned on running along the shoreline for 2 miles, and then turning around and running back to complete 4 miles total.  I didn’t take into account that poor Niner is overweight, out of shape, and completely unused to moving around on anything rougher than hardwood floors… and the trail along the shoreline is gravel.

She did pretty well for about the first 1.5 miles.  Then around mile 2 I noticed she wasn’t keeping up.  And she was favoring one of her paws.  I stopped to check her out and saw a little bit of damage on the pad of each paw.  The paw she was favoring had the worst damage.  I felt so terrible – I’d unintentionally abused her through negligence and ignorance.  I tried to carry her, but she’s easily 80-100 pounds.  Even with her as docile as could be, I couldn’t carry her very far.

We eventually made it back to the car.  I cleaned off her paws.  Luckily there was no blood.  She didn’t cry or whimper.  I took her home and called my brother.  He called the vet and described the damage.  The vet said that it’s the equivalent of the blisters we get when we walk in ill-fitting shoes or do yard work without gloves.  We’re supposed to keep her paws clean and watch for infection, but they should heal on their own.

I still feel awful.  The poor dog was just doing as I asked.  I figured she’d be tired by the end of it, but I didn’t think about the gravel on her paws.  I know better for next time.  I won’t repeat that mistake again.

My brother says that once Niner’s paws are healed he’ll work on toughening them up with longer walks in the neighborhood, and then working their way along less paved trails in the hills.  The movement will do them both good.  And I’ll hopefully be able to join them along the way.

My mommy

My mom had another stroke on Sunday/Monday.  We’re pretty sure that it started on Sunday.  We took her to the ER and they sent us home because they couldn’t see anything wrong in her CT scan and blood work.  Monday my brother called 911 because she couldn’t tell that her left hand belonged to her.  They took her to the stroke center at Kaiser Fremont.  The ER doctors verified that she had an acute ischemic stroke, which has caused the brain to “neglect” the left side.

She’s doing better, but still has a lack of sensation and coordination with her left hand/arm.  Getting her out of bed is difficult; so far walking is impossible.  She’s much more awake and aware of her surroundings and she fed herself today.

After her last stroke we decided that it would be best to give me power of attorney over her medical decisions and my sister over her financial decisions.  On Monday I had to sign paperwork regarding resuscitation, feeding tubes, and breathing apparatuses.  It was heartbreaking.  Today I had to verify the paperwork that had already been signed.  It was so hard to read the decisions that had already been made and make sure that they follow along with mom’s wishes even though they go against my own.

I asked her roommate how mom did last night.  She said that mom kept calling for me and trying to get out of bed to find me.  Not my brother, not my sister… me.  Her roommate kept telling her that I had to go home and mom kept saying, “but Danie takes care of me, she remembers everything and she doesn’t get mad.”  Even though my siblings take care of her on a daily basis, she looks for me when she’s in distress.

She started yelling for me again today when I was on my way out to get lunch.  I felt so guilty leaving, but I can’t be there all the time.

My husband praises me for being so strong and loving.  He said today that seeing me at my mom’s side reminds him of why I’m the perfect woman for him.  I don’t know how much of this is strength because I’m weeping as I’m typing this.  I just do what needs to be done.  I call it being an adult, not being strong.

Time to dry my tears, blow my nose, and fix my makeup.  I told mom I’d be back to visit her in a little while – I don’t want to make a liar out of myself.

 

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