Recently I’ve been struggling a bit to keep my attitude positive. Well, not so much positive as up. I’m a pretty positive person all the time but I do have times when I feel like I can’t get a handle on things. I try to take things one day at a time and go with the flow.
When a new issue pops in, however, that’s when I typically get lost for awhile as I adjust to it. It’s hard to avoid wanting to control it but in the role of caring for my mom with dementia, I have to avoid control and instead work with the new situation.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that Mom has been getting up earlier and getting dressed before I am even out of bed. It used to be so nice – I would exercise at 6:00 am and she would get up sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 so that by the time I had breakfast ready at 7:00 she would be ready to eat. No more.
There were issues that had cropped up – light on all night, sleeping too much and too hard during the day. My caregiver forum buddies and my Alzheimer’s coach had great advice and I was able to put much of it to use.
But none of the changes solved the problem of Mom getting up too early. When you can’t solve a problem, it becomes difficult to avoid the urge to control and instead work with the situation. I did some fretting about it and even let it doubt my ability to take care of Mom. All of that led up to a few sleepless nights and the urge to “runaway, runaway!”
This morning after a few more chats with my forum buddies, it hit me! I’ve been beating myself up about this but the situation is still better than before she moved in!
No offense to my brother because Mom lived with him and his family for 24 years before she came to live here. He put up with a lot in that time, especially in the most recent years, and I don’t know how he handled it so long. The last couple of years at least, Mom was going to bed at 9:30 pm or so and getting up at 7:30 am but she was up every hour, if not more, during the night. She would even open my brother’s bedroom door to check on him or if there was a light on in another part of the house, she would go investigate. She was up and wandering at night and sleeping a lot during the day.
So, yes, it is inconvenient that Mom is getting up earlier than me. Truth is, though, she is getting more rest than she did at my brother’s and actually sleeping better at night than she did there. In spite of the new development, keeping her active is improving life overall.
Consequently, life is good!