Yesterday was moving day for my mom. She went to her new Room 222(for all of you that can remember there was a TV show with this name which ran from 1969 to 1974 staring Karen Valentine). The whole day went better than I had expected.
I’ll first tell you about the day before, Friday, I took mom to get her hair done at supportive living. The great news is that mom walked with her walker. She still is on oxygen, but she is now able to walk with supervision. She no longer uses a wheelchair at all. Mom was very anxious; she was very worried about her move that was happening on Saturday. She said, "I can’t believe this is happening to me? Will I be able to accept it?" I told her I would be with her every step of the way and that I would try to make everything as good as it can be. She said, “I know you will, Julienne. I see all that you are doing.”
I just reassured that this is God’s will; we both have to deal with it the best we could. I explained that we all have several stages in our lives. We may not always be happy with our next stage, but God wants us to make the most of each one.
Mom loves getting her hair done by Joannie*, her hair stylist. Joannie* always goes out of her way for mom. They both make each other laugh.
After her haircut, as we were leaving the supportive living facility mom saw several people who worked there; they were so excited to see her. They told her how much they missed her. She cried; they cried; I cried. If only tears could make everything alright. I took pictures of mom with them. It seemed to make everyone a little happier. The three women told mom that they would go and visit her after their shift on Sunday. Mom cried more. It was a good feeling for me to know that the staff cares deeply about mom. As we know, mom has become distant from people whom she used to care deeply for due to her early stages of dementia for the past few years. Her paranoia has made many circumstances difficult to accept for our family. We’ve dealt with it the best we can and we thank everyone for trying to understand even when we couldn’t.
When we got back to the healthcare facility, I checked her back in with her nurse, Darla*. She is one of mom’s favorite nurses. Darla* has been a godsend to our family. She has the patience of Job. When Sandy arrived, I was taking a picture of mom and Darla*; I decided to take pictures of mom and Sandy, too. Sandy, my sister from a different mother and father, was there to help me decorate mom’s new room upstairs. Mom was happy to see Sandy as she knows Sandy cares and is always there for her. I told mom that Ron and I would see her tomorrow at 9:30AM to help with her move. She knew Sandy and I were going to decorate her room. I told her we would try and hang her favorite pictures. She said, “I don’t know what to expect. Would you like me to see my new room now?” I told her to wait till tomorrow till we have a chance to make it feel like her home. Mom thanked Sandy and told her that she loved her. I hugged and kissed mom. We blew each other kisses like we normally do when I leave. She smiled faintly; I could tell she was anxious. She knew Sandy and I would do everything we can to make it comfortable for her.
The Community* has been great to us and I can’t say enough about their entire staff. When Sandy and I arrived at mom’s room, Rauol, one of the maintenance men, met us to help us hang mom’s pictures. Thank God for Sandy as I am a Gemini; I would probably still be there trying to decide where each picture should go. We were both amazed that we were able to hang all of my mom’s favorite oil paintings and pictures throughout her half of the room and her bathroom. To make Mom’s room feel more like her home we also had mom's lift chair, her standing lamp, small TV and remote, and her own pillows. When we finished, we thought the room looked very nice.
On Saturday, Ron and I got there at 9AM, Ron sat with mom while I went upstairs to her new room and organized her clothes in her closet and things in her drawers that the maintenance department had brought up there. Ron helped mom practice getting up and down with her walker as she has a tendency to stand without putting on her brakes; she keeps getting confused.
When mom came up there with Ron and Darla*, she looked around the room and said, “This is so much better than I thought. You and Sandy did a great job!” She immediately went to sit in her lift chair.
Her roommate was there. Mom remembered her from the supportive living facility. Mom started talking to her, but she couldn’t hear mom at first so her roommate got up and walked over to mom. She is 100 and hard of hearing. They did end up talking and mom said to her, “ Aren't you the lady that dances and snaps her fingers?” She smiled and shook her head yes. Mom asked if she was happy there. She answered, “Yes, they are nice here.”
Ron and I asked mom is she would like to go out for lunch to celebrate her moving to a new room. She wanted to go to McDonald’s. Mom enjoyed her double cheeseburger, Carmel frappe, and a few fries, but she couldn’t finish her meal or even half of her drink.
When mom was getting out of our car to go back into the healthcare facility she said, “It will be a long time before I want to do this again. I enjoyed it, but it is a lot for me. I am exhausted.” Ron and I brought mom back in and checked her in with her nurse, Sally*. Mom likes Sally*, too; she had been her nurse a few weeks ago when she was on this floor before. Mom asked Sally* if there were any activities that she could join in. Sally* showed mom the activity board. The next activity, an exercise class, was at 3PM. The present time was only 12:45PM. Mom had time to relax and watch TV beforehand. Ron and I kissed mom and said we were ready for a nap, too.
Mom thanked us for everything. She said, “Pray for me that I accept this.” We said, “You will mom, you are doing great.”
As Ron and I were leaving, Ron said he was mentally and physically exhausted. We both agreed; the day went the best we could have expected. :)