2017 Was Mom’s Year; I Hope 2018 Is Mine…
It seems that other than January 2017, when I wrote a post a day, I only wrote 6 other posts for the year.. the last one being in November. I wish I had a really good reason for that but I don’t. Still, I’m going to get a bit more personal than I usually do anywhere else because I think it’ll help me mentally.
I’m the owner of 5 blogs, and I write for 2 others. I make sure I write an article a week for my two main blogs but for the others I write something when I get a chance to put something together. Last year was the lowest output of articles I’ve ever had, even though I still wrote 159 of them, not counting what I wrote on this blog. That means I average a new article every 2.3 days, which isn’t all that bad except I made no money off any of it; I need to do better in that regard. Oh yeah, I also created 87 videos for 2 YouTube channels.
By the way, just for kicks, if you look to the right in my blogroll you’ll see my 4 blogs along with others: I’m Just Sharing, Medical Billing Answers Blog, Mitch’s Blog and Top Finance Blog, in case you’re interested.
In any case, I was quite deficient in 2017 for this blog and there’s a major reason why. In the past I got out of the house more often and checked out a lot of new places and events around town. Last January I ended up moving my mother in to live with us, and for now she’s going to be here as long as possible physically. Unfortunately it might only mean another year, but we’ll hang on as long as we can because that’s what family is supposed to do.
What this basically means is that I don’t get out as much as I used to, and when I do I tend to go to the same places over and over. Occasionally I get to diversify, like I did when I checked out a new Chinese restaurant close to where I live… and liked it.
Back in 2015 I wrote that I was going to write about other things and that they’d probably end up going on this blog. Some of those things might include personal feelings and things that have been going on in my life. I’ve done a lot of the first but little of the second. On one of my other blogs I wrote an article teaching how we could be open and truthful without telling it all and I stand by that statement. Yet I found that when I wanted to talk about what was going on with me outside of my major topics I didn’t really want to do it.
Today I’m ready to talk about a few things going on in my life, and most of it will concern my mother. Suffice it to say she’s got dementia, and her mind will never get better. Yet, at this point there are still certain things that for many might be alarming but for me are kind of entertaining.
For instance, she seems to not be able to tell the difference between fiction and reality most of the time. When she first moved here she was telling people all sorts of stories about our early days together and a couple of trips we took while my dad was in the service. Unfortunately, they were only partly true. I can say with conviction that we were never attacked by Russian jets when we flew to Japan and that the military didn’t have to fly in to save us. I can also tell people that I’ve never been to Shreveport Louisiana, another favorite story of hers. She doesn’t remember all the places we’ve actually been to and has trouble remembering where she is now.
The biggest issue she has in this regard is with TV shows and movies we put on for her. As time goes by she gets so angry at certain people that she bolts out of bed to get close to the TV and yell at it. When that doesn’t satisfy her, she comes looking for my wife or I to get us to beat someone up. It’s at the point where I’ve had to stop showing her most of her favorite TV shows like the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie. I’ve also had to stop showing her movies that have any racial overtones which, strangely, eliminates a lot of movies I’d never thought about because I hadn’t seen them.
Another problem is part of her physicality. Even though she’s considered reasonably healthy, she’s got some problems. Last March Mom had a heart attack and it turned out it was lucky she was living with us because she’d forgotten how to use her Medic Alert necklace and wouldn’t have survived is she was still living on her own. After that event, the cardiologist put Mom on a few new medications that unfortunately made her weight balloon. She already had a bad knee and the weight gain made it worse.
Part of it is lucky on our part because Mom had developed what’s known as “running”, something she’d started when she was still living alone and I took her car keys from her. She would leave the house and walk, but luckily she always went to her friend’s house down the street. However, she was leaving the doors open and not putting on a coat, and since it was winter that was problematic. The first couple of months with us she got agitated and did the same thing, but luckily I caught her both times before she got further than the inside of the garage. After the heart attack and with the weight gain that kind of thing stopped because she gets winded quicker and her legs start hurting too much to continue; whew!
The overall biggest issue with Mom is that she’s developed incontinence; in other words, she’s not always sure when she has to go to the bathroom. During the day when I’m with her I make her go every 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the last time she had something to drink. If I wait for her to tell me she’s got to go it’s already too late because we’re probably not making it without something bad happening.
It’s much worse at night because we obviously have to sleep. Sometimes Mom doesn’t know to get up early enough to make it to the bathroom without incident. Other times she takes off the adult underwear we make her wear to bed because she’s never worn underwear to bed in all the years she lived on her own or with my dad. When that happens all bets are off. The lucky thing is that she’s only wet the bed one time in the last year. The unlucky thing is that I have to shampoo the rug in her bedroom at least once a month.
These days my world centers around Mom. Since she’s my mother I end up spending most of the time with her, which impedes my ability to work on my career, even though I’m self employed. I can no longer travel like I used to because I can’t afford being gone for weeks at a time anymore. We haven’t gotten to the point where we’d feel comfortable with someone staying in the house overnight with Mom, even if we’re around.
We have a couple of people who come by twice a week to wash Mom so my wife can get a breather (it’s the one thing I refuse to do) and we take Mom to a senior center once a week to interact with others. My wife will stay with Mom a few hours here and there, but it’s mainly me. I’ve only had one free night in over a year, and that’s when my mother’s cousins came and took Mom with them for an overnight visit in a hotel. I need to change my business model but I also need to figure out how to get more sleep.
Overall I’m glad Mom’s here because I know she’s being taken care of. I also know the kind of care she’d get in a nursing home and I don’t want to put her in a place like that until we physically can’t take care of her anymore.
I know I need to find a way to process my time better, have more time to think and write and figure out how to generate more income from home and an occasional short trip when it’s needed. I also know I need to get out of the house more than I’ve been doing and do some real networking. Let’s see what 2018 has in store for me, my wife and my mother… hopefully I’ll write more here, but I’m not promising anything! lol