Monday, August 20, 2012

Hodge-podge Edition

Five things I want to tell you (updates and downloads of momentary thoughts from my currently chaotic brain) in no particular order. Kind of like what you'll get if you open up one of my kitchen drawers (don't ask):

1. Ethan has been dropped off at camp.

Ethan, excited at camp drop-off
Five whole days apart. I am missing him. And yet? Wow, is the house quieter and more peaceful.

Every now and then something happens and I realize yet again that my son who doesn't have autism is actually higher maintenance and more exhausting to parent much of the time. Go figure.

2. And Jacob? About to do the same with him on Tuesday, a return to the wonderful ASD Jewish camp program he went to last summer. The one I had to drive like a bat out of hell up to last summer, a full day early, to pick him up and then race Hurricane Irene back down to New York.

Please let this year be a repeat of the wonderful time he had last year, but can we just skip the hurricane emergency and accompanying parental anxiety? Thanks in advance, gods of Autism. And extreme weather.

3. My mother is doing... better. I have heard that the swelling around her eye has gone down considerably. It was so hard to not be with her yesterday, but I had to take Ethan across 2 states to camp, and then come back, and I just didn't have it in me to then travel an hour each way in an opposite direction. (Many thanks to Suzanne who lives one town over, and came to visit my mom in my absence. True friend.)

I will spend today with her. Hopefully she can go home. Even if that "home" is no longer a true home (sob), but just her nursing home bed, it's better than a hospital one.

Mom is constantly anxious about her glasses, which I will be bringing with me today when I see her. But she forgets. This is the tragedy of my mother's cognitive impairment. In the moment she is so with it: bright and connected and funny and kind. But her short-term memory, her ability to make things told to her stick? Is just... GONE.

And so she is constantly anxious and worried and upset about mysteries that have no need to be mysteries if she could just remember. But she can't.

I HAVE her glasses. They have been fixed. I will bring them to her today. She has been given this information at least twenty times in the last two days. But I am positive she will wake up this morning not knowing where her glasses are, and worrying that they are completely broken and she will never get them back.

Number 342 of the things that are breaking my heart.

4. I am having a really hard time right now with all that's going on (and I'm not even telling the half of it). Anxious. I do not feel anxiety often. Which is a good thing because I tolerate it REALLY poorly. I am jumpy, twitchy and more distracted than usual. My ADD goes into hyper-drive. And I get really cranky. And negative.

And I write things like this:

When you've been spending time with your sad, injured mother, you tend to think ungenerous thoughts about strangers as you walk around streets of New York, like: "How come YOU get to stroll down Broadway chatting with someone who is clearly your sister, with your twin, odd, ungainly gaits while my Mother has to lie in a hospital bed with a baseball sized purple goose egg swelling her eye shut?" 

The brain screams NotFairNotFairNotFair as I and everyone else just walk about on our daily routines, oblivious to the manifold disasters that lurk around each bend. Every able-minded and -bodied person is just one misplaced step away from becoming a member of the underclass injured, the invisibles who shuffle or wheel among us oblivious, lucky folks.

See? I am just SO much fun right now. (Yes, it IS appropriate to start feeling sympathy for my husband right about now.)

5. Squirrel! ... Shiny! ... Was I going to say something else i was going to tell you? Never mind. I'll remember later. You don't mind a call around midnight, right? Or better yet - something to post about tomorrow.


  1. Oh sweetie the last one just wrenches my heart. I went through the same thing when mom would have her spells of dementia so bad, she was like a crazy person. My sisters, never saw that side, that would require their presence and all you know. Sometimes it really isn't fair and makes no sense at all. HUGE HUGSSS

  2. I heart you, Varda.

  3. Sending hugs. The cognitive loss is so hard. We went through it with my MIL.

    And you hear that, Mother Nature? NO HURRICANES! Go get laid by Father Time or something until September, mmmkay?

  4. I hope you get a few good nights of real sleep while the boys are away. And how about a special date with your husband one evening. xxx

  5. Not an easy time for you or your mom, but you are (as usual) meeting it with a sense of humor, albeit a blackish one.

    (Mine goes black at such times, too. And it still gets the job done!)

    Hugs to you, Varda.

  6. Enjoy as much of your down time as you can. Anxiety is such a horrid bitch.

    Whenever my kids are off doing things with their dad I always imagine all the wads of things I'll accomplish in the time off, and sometimes that does happen but more often than not I'll find myself napping, sitting around or goofing off and being completely irresponsible. Its kind of awesome, really.

  7. Okay, so I know you have LOADS of time for another appointment, but . . . have you considered meds for this anxious, heart-rending time of your life? Maybe some kind of anti-anxiety something could help?
    Right, I know, that's really personal. Just trying to think of a way to help you through this. 'Cause you're a gal who's pretty wonderful, and it's hard to only be able to pray & hope with you.

  8. I do home health care for elderly clients, and I feel that anger sometimes too. It's just not as personal for me. But of all of the things for (many of) us to lose, why memories? Our most precious possession? It seems so unfair.
    You have a lot on your plate and I commend you for all that you do!!

  9. Praying for you, for your mom, for your boys and that the hurricanes hold off until camp is over!

  10. NO HURRICANES! Have just done the anti-rain dance on your behalf. What a crappy time you're having - and yet you make us laugh with your writing, give your boys time in the open air of camp, tend to your friends. It's so hard, this stage with your mom - and in a horrible way, it might be easier (on her, at least) if/when she stops remembering that she's not remembering. Cruel to watch, of course, but on some level, also easier & less painful for her.
    Hugs to you.


I am so sorry to have to turn word verification back on, but the spam-bots have found me - yikes!