Friday, April 8, 2011
Back from Virginia
When I got there, I could see that she had deteriorated significantly from the last time I had visited. After a little visit, I went to talk to the head nurse. She told me that she was very glad to see me, that they had intended to call me next week. They told me that she could no longer function in assisted living and that they felt that she should move to the Nursing Center. She was no longer eating on her own, was not capable of taking care of her personal needs and she was sundowning, which means that, as night falls she undergoes a personality change and becomes increasingly fearful and paranoid.
I agreed, and we discussed the whens and wheres. It was decided to move her right away. That meant that, the next day, we had to completely clean out her room in assisted living and move her clothes, and what furnishings that would fit, into her new room in the Nursing Center, one floor down. It was quite a job, as her room in assisted living was jam packed with her "stuff" and there wasn't nearly as much space in her new room.
Luckily (or not, for her), my very good friend had ridden down with me, just to keep me company on the long drive. She helped me with the move, and we got everything done in one day. It was a real job, not only moving, but deciding what furniture and clothing would go to the facilities' second hand shop, and what of her furniture would go into storage, with the rest of her stuff that was already there.
It took us that entire day, of solid work, to get her situated, and we were both pooped by the end of the day. We made sure she would be settled in her room after the mandatory chest x-ray, and headed back to where we were staying. We got a good night's sleep, and headed back, yesterday, for home. It's an eight or nine hour drive and we weren't fully recovered from the day before, so by the time we got home last night, we were exhausted again.
I plan to do absolutely nothing today but go to the grocery, and take a nice long nap.
Emotionally, I'm a little shell-shocked. It all happened so fast, and while she is 91 and things like this are to be expected, it was very hard to have it descend so quickly. She has been like a second Mom to me for my entire life and is the last living member of that generation, on both sides of the family. It is going to be very hard to lose her.
The next job, which will happen in a couple of months, will be having an estate sale of the "good stuff" that she insisted be moved into storage when she moved to assisted living. Now that she has deteriorated to the point where she no longer remembers it, we can move it along.
I often think that it isn't fair that people who have lived such good lives have to spend their last years in such a continuing state of decline.
I'll try and catch up on your blogs in the next day or so.