JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Frustrations of Alzheimer's

I made it to Kansas City safe and sound and type to you from my father's office. We're going to take my Mom out to her favorite restaurant in a little bit. Yesterday night, I managed to get her to synagogue, which she not only enjoyed, but also ran into one of her old friends.

But, she's been driving me crazy. Its not just the disappointment of her not exactly remembering me or being able to comprehend much of what I say to her. Its not just that I have to really struggle to get her to do anything, i.e. go to the bathroom. Its not just that I had to shhhh my own mother a couple of times when we were at synagogue (because it was a silent pause moment and she started talking loudly). The hardest thing is that she snaps at me with this really angry tone that she never took with me before in her life.

I know all of this is just the disease, but it is completely stressful and heartbreaking to see your mother who is barely in her 60s struggling so much just to exist and still be quickly disappearing. I was here a couple of months ago, and the difference is striking. She several times got upset that her parents won't know where she is. (Both of her parents have died, and she says it as if she's some young kid.) This, I think, is a very bad sign. For my great aunt and my grandmother, it was a sign that we had hit the one year left mark.

My dad still doesn't look so hot. He has more color in his face, but his weight is still at 155 lbs. He used to weigh 200 lbs. There's no muscle on him, and since its so hot and he's wearing shorts, it is kinda creepy to look at him honestly. I don't know how he manages with all of this, but it is certainly taking its toll on his body. He looks much like his father did in his 80s. (But my dad is only in his 60s.)

I leave tomorrow, back home to teach again. I am kind of glad to not have to be here too much longer, although sad to not be with Mom. I haven't even made my plans yet for September, in part because I feel very non-committal right now about how long I'll come for. I want to help my parents, but it breaks my heart to see them. It especially stresses me out to be with my Mom.

But for tonight, I'll take some deep breaths and have a drink with dinner and try to savor the time that we have and at the very least give her some enjoyable moments.

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Blogger I Survive! said...

Karma, it is wonderful to see you making the effort to make a stronger connection with your mom and your dad. I understand how hard it is to see one's own parents suffer. It is even harder when we realize, much to our dismay, that there isn't much we could do about it. It shows how much love and compassion you have for them. I find non-attachment (aka, unconditional love) is simply not possible in such cases. That said, I think you are doing the best you can... simply being there for them.

What more could anyone ask? Keep it up! :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007 8:38:00 PM  

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