I was thinking about some things that happened Thursday. I realized I can be grateful even in the midst of this horrible disease.
I went for an Essential Caregiver visit. (Texas now allows Essential Caregivers to enter facilities.) I knew I needed to organize E’s closet, quickly go through drawers looking for trash, and clean out the bathroom cabinets. She tends to stuff everything anyplace she can – food containers, jewelry, plastic forks, etc. Her Brain is broken; E has dementia. She doesn’t know where to put things so stuffs them to get them out of sight. She’s cleaning the best she can.
I planned to do all the cleaning quickly during her Physical Therapy session; I try to do this weekly. I had 45 minutes to do all I needed to do – just enough time to do all the cleaning with E out of the room.
But the therapist was late and E was in her room. Yikes!
This is the first thing I’m grateful for today:
As her disease has progressed, E’s become more relaxed and more willing to have others do for her what she used to do herself.
This is woman who vacuumed her house daily and was very picky about cleanliness. In the earlier stages of her disease, she used to hate having anyone go through her things and was reluctant to accept help with cleaning. She didn’t like that she needed help. When helping her, I had to tread carefully. She sometimes got irritated and told me to stay out of her things.
Now she readily accepts my help. She didn’t balk at me going through her things! She was fine watching me and even thanked me! I’m grateful she accepts help with peace and is comforted by my help.
Here’s the second thing I am grateful for:
E’s short term memory loss means lots of good surprises for her.
I stepped into the bathroom just moments before the therapist arrived. She asked E who was in the bathroom. E answered, “housekeeping, I guess????” not remembering who was there.
I stuck my head out and said, “It’s me!”
She smiled and was so excited to see me! “It’s my daughter! Kathleen! Isn’t that wonderful!” E said with great joy. ❤️❤️❤️
Each time I take her for tacos and a coke, she eats like she hasn’t had a taco in years, savoring every bite. “It’s been forever since I had a coke!” she’ll say with a twinkle in her eyes. She doesn’t remember we do this almost every Thursday. Instead, she is thrilled that I have given her this wonderful treat!
Yes, I hate this disease.
And, yes, I can be grateful even in the midst of it.