Jan Thomason: You Never Know When God Is Going To Pull The Rug Out From Under You...

...but, when He does, you just go with it using prayer, His strength and deep breaths (you, not God). 

...and it happened to me a couple of weeks ago. 

I'm still reeling but I'm sure it will all settle down soon. 

Ah, heck, who am I kidding? 

It won't settle down until my mother passes or gets to the point that she needs to return to a memory care facility. 

But, it's okay. She's my mom. 

Long story short, my mom has early stage dementia. 

I have four amazing brothers and sisters who have each taken a part of her care together up until the time that I arrived about 2 weeks ago. My mom lived in Michigan. Kalamazoo, specifically. She was diagnosed in this psychiatric hospital for geriatrics (love that my mom was in a psych hospital. Special). 

She was then moved to a memory care facility which was absolutely beautiful. Had her own suite - it was huge - and an amazing staff. 

Don't get the wrong idea - all of that beauty and good care comes at a price. 

You'd think if they were going to charge what they do, they'd lose the funeral drapes. 

It was decided that she didn't need that much attention and after she had told three of my siblings that she wanted to live on the ranch with Jan and the puppies (we have four rescue dogs), I got the phone call. 

What am I supposed to say?? 

I said "yes", of course. 

According to her O.T., she functions at the age of a 3 year old and needs constant supervision. 


So, I drove up, spent two weeks, helped pack up everything she owns that she wanted to move to Texas - enough to fill a moving van partway - loaded her, her dog and her walker, etc. into the car and took off for Texas. 

We're home. She's settling in. 

Keeps telling me she's taking a bus to Kalamazoo for Christmas. 

My mother on a bus? 


Glad she doesn't know what she's saying. She'd freak. 

Here's a poem that I want you to read, especially if you are taking care of an early onset dementia patient. 

It's an amazing read: 


Do not ask me to remember 
Don't try to make me understand 
Let me rest and know you're with me 
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand. 

I'm confused beyond your concept 
I am sad and sick and lost 
All I know is that I need you 
To be with me at all cost. 

Do not lose your patience with me 
Do not scold or curse or cry 
I can't help the way I'm acting 
Can't be different though I try. 

Just remember that I need you 
That the best of me is gone 
Please don't fail to stand beside me 
Love me until my life is done. 

You can learn more about Jan on her blog, The Polkadot Barn


Alice said...

My mother in law was recently diagnosed with dementia. She was, and is, an exremely intelligent woman, so it is very difficult to hear that she tried to make pancakes on a coffee pot base, or accidentally ate a carton of sour cream thinking it was yogurt. For now, most days are good ones, but we know that this will not always be the case. Thanks for the wonderful poem. It's a great reminder for those who care for a loved one with this awful disease.

Bless you for taking over the care of your mother.

TesoriTrovati said...

oh. Miss Jan. Thank you for sharing this. We have been dealing with the early onset dementia with my mother for 6 years. It is something that up to now has been easily hidden, sloughed off. But now it is much more noticeable. People are starting to ask. My dad is there with her every day but he is trapped. Not the retired life that he expected, and yet he is not turning over any of it to me, although I live only three blocks away. That makes me feel ever more helpless and a failure for not doing more. I have tears in my eyes from this moving post. And also because i can see myself in your shoes. You are there for your mother but it is still an icky situation. This is a bump in the road you did not expect. Know that you are not alone. And thank you for sharing that poem. I will have to print this to remind me to take a step back when I am frustrated.
Enjoy the day.

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Thank you for sharing your story and the poem. My grandma had dementia and my grandpa took great care of her. In 2009 my same grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and passed away soon after. It is hard but there is a lot support from your family and friends! Take care!