Today we actually had progress in several directions, including, yes, a verdict which made other decisions fall into place. In the nick of time, too, because I am exhausted and overwhelmed.
A diagnosis that had been hinted at and was in the back of my mind even though every test indicated that her heart was "fine," has been confirmed. My mother’s feet have been swollen, she’s tired, she would have fits of confusion, then clarity, etc. Today they officially declared it congestive heart failure – not to her, but to me. They wisely decided she wasn't the type who needed all the details. She has some fluid in one of her lungs, so that is going to be drained. Then it will be back to the nursing home. I am not happy to have this diagnosis, of course, but I’m glad to have A Diagnosis – at last there is a name for the weird assortment of things happening to her, and that, in turn, makes her appropriate level of care a bit easier.
I had drafted the cancellation letter for the ALF yesterday, but didn’t send it, because remember, just three weeks ago the staff at the nursing home was all upbeat and sure she would be able to return to assisted living, and nobody had said that this downturn is likely to be permanent. Today the ALF's director called me, and said that she’d visited the nursing home yesterday to follow up on some of her residents who are there for rehab, and talked to the staff, and everybody is in agreement that she is back to being onery and refusing PT and losing ground independence-wise, and is not going to be able to live independently anytime soon, and I should give up the apartment. So I faxed the letter. This weekend I will rent storage and a UHaul, and next week Girl and her friends will move Girl’s furniture to storage, and then go to ALF and move grandma’s stuff to storage too. Before they go move the big stuff at the ALF, I will spend Saturday packing up clothing and odds and ends, and move the small pieces that will fit in the Subaru. So another weekend is about to be shot to shit, but I feel oddly relieved that decisions have been made and we have a plan.
I talked to my mother this evening, she was not nasty at all, and she sounded calm and reasonable. Maybe they adjusted her meds. I will be there for her, but at a safe distance, for my own sanity. I’ve been feeling utterly overwhelmed and exhausted lately – can’t imagine why – and not sleeping well. I am officially on the brink of losing it. Tonight I will be in bed by 9, I will watch TV and be asleep by 9:15. I've been waking up at 4 a.m. lately - which is a whole half hour earlier than the clock. Yeah, I have the clock set for 4:30, because my schedule since May has made regular exercise highly irregular. I'm back to doing 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, which will NOT be going to the garage sale, thank you. Getting up that early is fine, but I do have to back up the going to sleep time accordingly, at least on weekdays.
In terms of sheer, grinding intensity and endless things to do, the last few months have been right up there with my husband's last six months, and there is no end in sight. But this time I have the added touch of a new job that takes up 60+ hours of my waking hours, and health concerns of my own. Getting up to exercise is a necessary part of taking care of ME.