Usually I see my dear demented mother on Mondays when Ray goes to Daycare and I bring her back here. This week we had the doctor's appointment on Monday so I didn't bring her home. Most Fridays my sister comes and looks after Ray (mostly making his morning tea) and I go and visit Mum at her room in Nareen Lodge. I take cut up fruit and usually get there for morning tea, manage to get her on her feet after a while and we walk the indoor circuit for a while and then go to her room and she eats the fruit.
She has been in the dementia care now for three years. I had to put her there after Ray's stroke in 2001, as the doctor pointed out to try to look after both of them was driving me into an early grave. So it was a choice, my husband or my mother. Think on that for a guilt trip! My sister didn't talk to my mother for fourteen years so she has only been back in contact on a friendly basis for the last couple of years. I'm pleased to have a amicable relationship with her and her family as I never wanted us to be alienated. The original fight was between her and Mum (both being hard headed opinionated women) and I just got caught up in it.
Anyway Mum has recently started flinching way from me. I used to be able to sit with my arm around her and she would be happy with that, but as well as dementia she has regression so now, as a small child does, she pouts, whimpers, jumps when there is a loud noise. She hardly speaks now and then as for the last two years or so what she says makes no sense. I usually cry on the way home from visiting her. It is so hard to see her deteriorating, to see the light die in her eyes, her owlish stare, the distress on her face. There is nothing between us but the deep love I feel for her.
The combination of Mum and her dementia and Ray and his continuing strokes is sometimes more of a burden to manage than I think I can bear.