I never thought it would be this difficult.
To be clear, I mean the situation, not my mother.
We’re starting Mom’s fourth week with us and I’m exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Fortunately my mental capacity remains arguably sharp enough to recognize and practice everything I’ve learned about my own self-regulation. What’s surprised me is that my SR lens is focussed on me much more than my mom. I thought I’d be looking for her stressors, working at reducing and reframing those. Nope – I’m working on me.
With mom’s sketchy memory we’re never really sure what is true and what is drama. She’s homesick, but at times doesn’t remember where home is? She’s angry that she was brought to our place without anyone giving her notice (not true, we’ve been discussing this move since last fall). At least once a day she tells me she never wanted to come here and she wants to go home. While we attempt to respect her wishes we also know that going ‘home’ means she will need substantially more care than she was getting. When we relent and agree to arrange for her to go home she shifts her position to liking it here. There are no goal posts. There is no final answer.
In the positive column, Mom got a cell phone and TELUS set it up with her old home number. She was delighted when she got a call from one of my Aunties. On a recent good day Mom sent out her first text complete with an emoticon happy face. She proudly carries her phone with her everywhere. Her watch strap broke and she’s figured out how to use her phone to tell the time. “Hey Siri, what time is it?” We all celebrate those lucid moments.
I never anticipated having to navigate the BC Senior Care system. Somehow this phase of life caught me off guard. Why can’t they just have a flow chart: step one, step two and so on. If yes, go here; if no, go there. Maybe they do and I’m just missing it.
After many phone calls, we’ve connected with an Integrated Case Manager who was kind and patient. She has the task of getting this process started. Because Mom doesn’t have a family doctor in our town we had to ask our own doctor if they would take on Mom as a patient. Our doctor is fabulous but I didn’t want to ask what seems like a ginormous request. I got my dear Reverend to make that call. The request was graciously declined.
Now we’re back to connecting with the Case Manager for the next step. Without a family doctor Mom is considered to be an orphan in this system. Yup, an orphan. I cringe every time the word is referenced. No doubt a stressor in my ProSocial domain. Pause, breathe, repeat. Hopefully she will get on the intake list (this week?) or perhaps I’m being far too optimistic.
This morning, I ask myself again; what are my hidden and not so hidden stressors? Which ones can be reduced and which ones do I need to take a break from. I’m thankful for friends who have gone this route before me and have been generous with their wisdom and support.
Better is possible, isn’t it?
PS I’d appreciate any tips, good news stories, and how you navigated this stage of the process. How did you keep your own peace and calm?
PPS The comments and encouragement you all gave me on my last post meant a lot. Thank you so very much.