Saturday, October 30, 2004
I could have lied...
I didn't. The truth is that two weeks ago I was reminded of a small, local gourmet restaurant (that serves something besides "everybody's hometown" food or chain food or steaks) and thought, yeah, I'd like to go there, and my birthday would be the perfect time. Mom would like it, too. The restaurant has narrow hours so last week I made a reservation for tomorrow. Then, as the days continued, as I journeyed through my caregiving tasks which remain intense and continued avoiding some of them that would probably be beneficial but aren't absolutely necessary, avoiding them because I seem to have lost my motivation somewhere and haven't yet discovered where I last put it, I'd think about going to the restaurant and realized that, well, this is how the day would go:
- The entire day would be focused on getting Mom ready to go out:
- Making sure she remembered, throughout the day, what we were planning on doing;
- Making sure that she was up enough, moved enough and her meals were spaced well enough so that her blood sugar didn't shoot too high and her medications and supplements were well spaced;
- Spending the two hours prior to leaving the house getting her ready and gently pushing her to cooperate;
- Getting the "emergency" bag together;
- Negotiating her walker and her oxygen at the restaurant;
- Keeping her mind on scanning the menu, leading her away from something that would leave its mark in her blood stream for 24 hours or more;
- Trying to talk her out of having restaurant decaf coffee in order to avoid a sudden, disastrous bowel movement during dinner;
- Picking her napkin off the floor several times;
- Reminding her not to eat so much bread or other starchy accompaniment that she would decide not to eat her meal;
- Possibly even having to take complimentary food away from her to ensure this;
- Making sure no alcohol was served at our table
- Shying away from dessert;
- Spending so much time and energy making sure the experience was both well modulated and enjoyable for her that I would end up not caring what I ordered and probably not even eating much of it;
- Feeling so exhausted by the effort of monitoring her experience that I would be impatient to leave long before she was ready;
When Mom remembered my birthday and suggested an on-the-town celebration, I said, no, and I told her why. Everything I wrote above, including that I didn't want to spend my birthday this year doing all that. I just don't.
She was very disappointed. Saddened, even, although she forgot both quickly. I'm neither. My recovery from the intensity of August 1st through October 5th still isn't complete. As well, I have no idea when or how, I pulled the back of my left knee and that's been a bit of a trial although it's getting better, slowly, with the help of occasionally wearing a knee bandage and taking lots of ibuprofen. Staying off it is not an option.
I don't know. I guess this last month and probably the next is my way of taking a vacation. Dropping things here and there like recording stats, recording in this journal, having Mom do therapy exercises, badgering her to stay up more, thinking of things to do to keep her up and engaged, making appointments for her for physical therapy and acupuncture, taking her with me when I go on errands...I've let all these fairly-non-essentials slide. Still, almost every waking moment is filled with observation of my mother, taking care of my mother. Very little is left for me. All the things that I did without a thought before are presently feeling, like, hmmm, like personal encroachments.
A week or so ago it occurred to me that maybe I need to re-up my intake of Black Cohosh. That seems to have helped. I decided a week ago that during the month of November I'm going to work on a project that will take a fair amount of time each day and will be only for me. I've been preparing for it and am ready to go. Nothing, I know, nothing will deter me and maybe doing this will get me back on track, on all my tracks, happily, even my caregiving track. We'll see. I have more to write on this but I am very tired and am going to go to bed.
I'm not much of a birthday person when it comes to celebration, etc. But this year for some reason, well, this year I could have used some sort of celebration that didn't involve keeping an eye on someone else, some sort of clear, unencumbered diversion. This year it's just not possible and, this year, I'm not taking it well.