I’ve started this post several times…
About dementia, about sudden changes, and each time I don’t get far
and now it has come to this “ending” of sorts.
writing about my mom, dementia, grief, the whole thing.
“My Mom has stepped into dementia. It comes and goes,
and it makes her angry and horrid and sad and confused and…” 1 May
“I’m packing my mom’s apartment tomorrow.
I have about 4-5 hours to go through her place and…” 17 June
“I just cleaned out my mother’s home. It was sad, stressful,
and I was making decisions for the whole family.
Mitchell was amazing, taking care of me while also
shlepping, loving, driving hours, all that.
Being present for my sobs then understanding that
I had to turn way and get to work (limited time).
The truth is that being real is being in the moment with emotions,
but real emotions are rarely anger at the loved ones around us…” 20 June
If you saw an earlier version of this, I took it down on
advice of counsel, and am re-posting it with revisions.
I am sinking into grief.
I don’t want to call it depression, because I’ve been there, and my depression
had no thoughts, no thang you could point to and say, “THAT makes me so sad.”
I’ve never seen so much cruelty and lack of caring in my life.
Has it gotten that much worse or was I blind to it?
I don’t mean I was unaware of wars, rape, brutality, but I didn’t see it in so very many people on a daily basis. I lot of it centers around greed or power or ego…
A lot seems to stem from a lack of reflection on just how crappy a person
is in a given moment, just the meanness-for-fun or
lack of caring in ANY way about the human being in front of you…
This week has changed me:
Some nurse? doctor? at unnamed hospital in Southern Oregon told someone
that some family member was pushy and angry with them. I can’t imagine who that is,
as there are only three of us, and it wasn’t me, and my niece doesn’t call
(she is a nurse and we know when she calls as it is for a specific reason)
and would never be an ass unless someone had a child of hers hostage,
and it apparently was a woman, as they decided it was me.
I’ve not had reason to be snotty, they’ve done a good job, or so I thought,
with my Mom, who can be out of the box with her dementia.
But it resulted in me being banned from getting any information about
my mother or asking any questions about what I’ve heard.
They do not want to hear that whomever was rude was not me;
there is no possibility for a reconsideration or review.
No one asked me for my side of things, though truth be told
I wouldn’t have one as the entire thing is no where near true…
I’ve tried talking to patient relations; she shined me on…
And yes, after them poking the bear boxed in a corner (me)
several times I now have yelled at them.
What to do?
Here is where it gets depressing… Really sad… I am frankly amazed.
My brother is DPOA, and I was fine with that as he is retired
and I run a business that is 60 hours a week.
I can’t always pick up the phone and I can’t run her legal case.
I let him know what was going on at the hospital and he did nothing.
Back the damn truck up… I began thinking of the coincidence
that he threatened me the day this happened,
when he thought I wasn’t in agreement with him.
(I was in agreement, but why confuse facts.
He is hard of hearing and has a temper and I’ve been working with his crap for months, biting my tongue with the goal of my mom’s well-being always in my mind.)
Apparently he is fine with me not having access to information about her.
Maybe he even instituted the lockout, as the story they are telling is not true.
Further, this has carried over in medical orders from the hospital
to the facility that she has been parked at… another story.
They won’t give me information on her…
they would not confirm that she was there TO ME.
They called my brother instead of calling me back.
Listen up folks, this is serious shit:
in today’s strange legal world if you are not on the approved list,
you cannot even know if your loved one is present in a facility.
Even if you are a direct relation.
So IF your loved one is missing and you are calling to ER rooms,
they cannot confirm that a person is there.
I guess that means you have to call the police now?
The police can go have a lookaround and then confirm she is safe, at least,
but it is doubtful they can tell you which facility she is in….
My brother is professing ignorance, sort of… but not really.
He has said it isn’t true, as if I’ve made mistakes about this.
I don’t make those kind of mistakes. I pushed each time.
He hasn’t bothered to change it…
he acts like he believes I waged war on some medical practitioner.
But the simple fact that he would do that to me, and to her
is filling me with anger and grief.
I am the one who has been writing her daily, sending her things to cheer her,
and telling her I loved her… He is performing a service.
When my own brother was dying and for a time he did not want to see his son,
I honored that and also told his son that we were trying to change his mind…
Before the end, they reconciled and I am glad for it.
I would not have locked his son out just because I was pissed at him.
Mine isn’t a perfect mom, and has done some truly shitty things as an adult mom.
She raised four kids by herself (with help from her parents) when our
deadbeat father decided he didn’t want to pay child support.
She didn’t try to kill herself in front of us; she took responsibility for us.
She didn’t leave us crying alone when we were kids, kept us healthy,
she cuddled and loved us and made sure we were safe and
did our homework with us and gave us confidence.
She tried to give us opportunities and a better start in life.
We didn’t have cigarettes put out on our arms and
we weren’t sexually or physically abused.
She didn’t bring asshole dates home to grope us or beat us.
She was FUN, and taught us ALL how to have fun with no money.
She was a great cook — a GREAT cook, and adventurous.
She wasn’t perfect, but she didn’t abandon us when the going got tough.
I seriously doubt any of us could have gotten anywhere without her parenting,
and most of the fuck-ed-up-ness in adulthood any of us continued to exhibit
beyond our middle 20’s is because we didn’t bother to clear the crap that our parents
handed down to us. ANYTHING that anyone is still bitching about over the age of 25
(“my parents did this or that to me and that is my excuse…”)
is frankly their own damn fault. So I say grow a pair and do for her in this time
when she is helpless, and alone, and stuck.
I could not do this to any human being.
I have no idea how she is today, and no way to find out except wait
until my brother decides to call her and report to us…..
I fought for several days to try to change this.
I have no power in the situation and it breaks my heart every time I think of it…
first thing in the morning and as I am winding down my day to sleep,
and each time I paint an object and as I go through her things,
it makes my heart ache for her well-being.
I cry as I am writing this…
been crying a lot the last couple days as it all sinks in,
and there is more to this story,
a family pattern of punishing and withholding love.
Moral to this story, best make damn sure the one
you make your DPOA is not a real ass with another agenda.
And no matter what, get it in writing signed
and notarized for/from all your loved ones that
no matter what some damn DPOA says,
you have permission to have information on them…
Information, sending messages, and the ability to say
you love them directly to their faces.
©D. Katie Powell. My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites. Art (unless stated) is also by me; please link to dkatiepowellart.