I was back home for Christmas– it was okay, but not great.
Yes, this is the first Christmas without going to Dad’s and without having to negotiate who gets me for which days. But honestly? I was busy enough with Mom that I barely noticed that part.
Unfortunately my mom is struggling and I feel somewhat helpless. And also frustrated. And a touch angry if I’m being completely honest.
Mom right now is in a lot of pain. She’s always been a stoic, so if it’s bad enough that she’s complaining, it’s bad. It’s her hip– which has needed replacement for awhile, but now evidently it’s bad enough that we’re looking at January as the time.
Of course she didn’t really tell me any of this- I had to discover it on my own while being around her.
It makes me angry that she isn’t telling me stuff- but I’m also frustrated and mad that she’s let her health go to the extent it has. She deliberately didn’t go to a doctor to get her Parkinson’s diagnosis until it was MANY years into progression.
My mom is also heavy- she always has been. But she’s fine nothing to increase her activity or modify her diet and it’s contributed to her arthritis and joint degeneration. Which is now so bad she’s been forced to do something.
She also didn’t tell me that she had a car accident. (Minor, lost control on some ice, hit a curb). Her car was in the shop when I came to visit– which I found out only when we started discussing how best to get her to church for Christmas Eve.
We ended up not going because there was no way to get her into my lifted truck and I didn’t have time to arrange other transport.
At least we were able to watch the service digitally.
Mom’s Parkinson’s is being managed, but I’m not sure how well. She doesn’t have much for tremors, which is good, and she still does crosswords and plays Jeopardy! but I think there are other symptoms. Her strength isn’t great and she is slow to get around. Some of this is probably the hip, but she is really having trouble getting up out of chairs/couches.
I spent some of my time down there lifting her furniture by 3 inches so that she can get up more easily. She has a tall toilet which helps. And all her furniture is motorized for reclining, etc.
Because she’s becoming more and more home bound, I tried to make her environment more accessible. We’ve added a walk in shower. Her laundry is on the main floor. I got her a toaster oven so she doesn’t have to bend down to use her oven. I’ve rearranged closets and cupboards for better usability.
I also set her up with Apple TV and logged her into my Netflix and Amazon prime accounts so she had more tv options. Of course this added “tech” which I think has baffled her a little.
I have people coming to clean for her once a month. Soon I’ll be setting up home assistant visits to help with things that she may need. My goal is to keep her in her home for as long as absolutely possible.
I also need to keep her in her home town as that’s where all her friends are, where his church is, and where her support is.
The worst part is that I’m 220 miles away. I worry about her constantly and am having to rely on her friend network to check on her. And her best friend (one who did so very much for her) died very suddenly a month ago. Which has not only left a care void, but a big friendship void in my mother’s life.
So yeah. Not a super Christmas, and not a great 2019 in general. I’m ready to put this year in the review mirror.