Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mexico, Mom, and being strong enough

**I posted this, then pulled it off the blog for one simple reason. It's one thing to post my thoughts on my Christian walk, and let you visit and move on. It's an entirely different thing to put something that hurts out there and imagine the world popping in to see it, then just... popping on with their lives.
I've gotten enough e-mails though through the life of this blog where the hardest posts to write and leave out there, were the ones that spoke to someone. So I'm putting the post back up.**

It's been an interesting weekend.

We drove from the Tx/Ok border to the border of Mexico. We reached the city of Weslaco, then headed South into a little area called Progreso where we parked on the American side, then walked across the bridge into a little city in Mexico called Nuevo Progreso. We had the easiest time in the world simply walking into a pharmacy that was around 100 ft from the end of the bridge. We picked up a supply of my parents expensive medications, then almost immediately walked back across the bridge with our medicine and got back in the car and began the drive home.

The only truly interesting part concerning the town of Progreso, were the federales.

There were many of them just scattered around our small area, most of them stationed behind large stacks of sandbags. It's a sight I had never imagined seeing. I've been to this place before, but never before had they needed their military present around the border. One guard in particular was surprisingly smiley as he pointed with his gun that we were suppose to go through one walkway. It's silly how you think of things like "An armed soldier with an assault rifle just told me what to do."

It does most certainly inspire obedience.

The trip however, was an eye opener concerning my moms illness. This was the fourth time they have gone to Mexico to buy the very expensive drug Aricept. It's what she takes to help slow the progression of Alzheimers.
If you've lost a loved one, or been impacted by this disease I only want to say that I empathize with you. I'm sorry for your continual loss.

The last major milestone was when she had a bad confused spell awhile back, forgot she was married to my father and was confused about where she was and how she & he both had gotten there. She had missed one pill. They were on a trip and she'd "put the bottle up" and it was no where to be found so she was not able to take it. It was subsequently found and she quickly resumed her taking it, but without the medicine she woke up very confused. Somehow, while a difficult pill to swallow, it was somehow different just hearing it and not experiencing it.

This weekend, we discovered how much she has relied on routine to help her through her days. We all know that routine is important to those suffering with alzheimers, but as you watch someone go from being a normal functioning person it's hard to tell in the regular humdrum of life how vital that routine is.

She suffered this weekend. It was physically visible on her all throughout the weekend, she is suffering. What was a simple car ride was riddled with opening and searching luggage time and time and time again. Question after question of "have you seen this?" and every time we pulled over, with anxious hands she searched for some vital thing that wasn't even necessary, but no amount of words could dissuade her from her need for that item.

Then it came. An experience that I had to know would one day happen, but never once expected it or braced myself for it. The only thing I can compare it to is the moment a cancer patient wakes up and discovers that first clump of hair on their pillow... it's the physical reality of what you couldn't see.

And it hurts so badly I can hardly breathe.

I suppose the next major milestone will be when she forgets my name.

Today, we've extended our trip so she could get a better dose of rest before we got in the car again for this last small leg of the journey home. So I spent the day watching them visit with their old preacher friends and a lot of time thinking about my recent post
"What do you do when you're not strong enough?"

And the answer in the post isn't right.

My answer to what you do when you're not strong enough? You put your hand in the hand of the Christ who is strong enough - and hold on for dear life trusting that He's strong enough to get you through.


Anonymous said...

my husband's mother.

she has seven children.
six boys, one daughter.

they moved back near their daughter upon the mother's request.

the oldest will not go to see her.
the next is retarted since birth and lives in care. the daughter has been there the most. the sons care but are more removed mentaly and physically from it all.

she was put into full time care after her husband finally decided he could not any more.

he was not sleeping for a couple of months due to her wandering, and had an alarm on the door.

i am so grateful that they can afford to have care. yet, the money may not last long enough.

it is hard, is an understatement. i regret it may be in the future for many of us.

i have seen her go into it with courage. and i have seen great love and sacrifice from my father in law.

thank you for sharing this.

flyawaynet said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with it. I've seen the entire thing play out myself once before with my mothers mother, and you're right "it is hard, is an understatement".

Those people that live in that situation, taking care of their loved one while having to bear the sorrow of the continual loss, deserve a world of prayer.