Visiting Mom

Had another whirlwind visit to Edmonton over the weekend.

Mom has been moved to a new facility: Lynnwood Extended Care Facility.  It is in the West End of Edmonton near West Edmonton Mall.

A very nice facility, to be sure.  Open and airy.  Brightly lit with lots of things to see and do for the residents.  They have atriums, small shops, cafe, gift shop and a variety of other stimuli including birds and an aquarium!

Before I went to see Mom, I checked out their website and they even had posted a You Tube video

It certainly did a lot to put my mind at ease.  Visiting my Mom is always a roller coaster of emotions.

After I got off the plane on Saturday, I drove to the East end of Edmonton and picked up my niece, Kathy.  I haven’t seen her in months and it was so great to see her.  We drove to see Mom and yakked incessantly all the way there.

When we got the facility, we parked and went up to Mom’s floor.  Mom is in a room close to the elevators and is sharing a room with another woman who is also suffering from Dementia.

Mom’s face lit up as soon as she saw me and Kathy. Her day was made!

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We stayed for about an hour and a half.  When it was time to go, I could see that Mom was starting to get upset.  She begged me to take her with us.

My heart was breaking as I calmly explained to her that I couldn’t.  As much as I wanted to – this is where she is going to get the best possible care.

So, Kathy and I left – I could hear her in the background crying to the nurses, ” I don’t know where I am supposed to go.  Where am I?  Why am I here?”

That is the hardest part of this wretched disease.  It strips away your sense of self, reducing you to your raw emotions.  After everything that my Mom has been through in her life, this was not supposed to be the situation she was currently in.

Kathy and I left quietly and got down to the car.  We drove away in silence.  Kathy lost her own Mom to cancer three and a half years ago.  To see her Grandmother slowly spiralling into this pit of fear is hard on her.

So, I offered to buy lunch.  We needed a diversion.  So, off to lunch we went.  We had a great meal at Brown’s Social House.  We ate heartily, laughed at some of our family’s antics and reminisced about the great times we shared.

I drove Kathy home and headed off to Pat’s place in Fort Saskatchewan.  Staying with Pat during these visits is a huge relief.  He knows exactly what to say and do to make me feel better.  Normally, it is just a cup of tea and a hug.  Can’t ask for more than that.

Pat’s girlfriend, Barb was there, too.  She knows that I struggle with these visits and does everything she can to help me feel better.  Pretty awesome person.  I am so glad she is in Pat’s life.

We had a very quiet dinner, watched some TV and called it a night around 10.  I went down to Pat’s guest room in the basement, crawled into bed and was out like a light.  I slept soundly (well, as soundly as I can considering I am such a light sleeper with a tiny bladder).

I got up the next morning at 7:00.  Pat was up and making tea.  Hooray!

Barb got up shortly after.

We had a leisurely breakfast – bacon, eggs, sausage and potatoes.  Can’t ask for a better breakfast than that.

I got cleaned up, packed and headed out around 11:00.  I made it to Mom’s place around 11:45.  She was overjoyed to see me again.  We chatted for a few minutes.  I then got on the internet and did a video conference call with Nance and Tjalline – my cousins from Holland.

Mom was ecstatic to be able to speak Dutch again.  They yakked for about 10 minutes.  I could see that Mom was just so happy.

After we disconnected from the call, Mom and I chatted idly.

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It was time to head off again.  This time, however, she was more resigned to my leaving.  I told her that Alex needed me at home and that I would be back before she knew it.

That seemed to work. She knows how much I love Alex and I need to be able to take care of him.  She accepted that.

I made my exit quickly and headed out of the facility.  I was at the airport by 2:30.  I had a quick lunch and went to wait at my gate.  The plane was loaded by 4:15.  We were up in the air by 4:30 and I was back in Abbotsford by 5:10 PST.

I got home by 6:15 and was greeted by two very happy puppies and my amazing husband.

A quick bite to eat, a little bit of TV and I was in bed by 10:00.

I have a little time before I need to plan my next visit.

Published by Al Zylstra

a somewhat erudite wannabe writer with aspirations of not putting people to sleep with my prose....

One thought on “Visiting Mom

  1. Hi Al: This is absolutely beautiful !! And it’s interesting how a person with dementia can at times actually seem to be reasoning, considering and reacting to someone’s every word. Your description of the two day visit was enlightening to me. Also it reminded me of my trip down a similar path with Rob during his last six months. Some days were certainly better than others. Thanks so much for keeping me in the loop. Hugs, Maggie

    Like

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