I’m sitting here thinking about the fact that August is more than half over and that summer, itself, is almost over too. This summer has definitely been more challenging than others I can remember and its all centered around my mom. My mom has dementia of some sort – she’s been in denial, as has my dad, for a long time. Reality, though, has really hit her this summer along with a host of other issues. She was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration in July and has started the protocol of intra-ocular injections on a monthly basis. She’s tolerating them well, but after the second one last week, something happened and the whites of her eye filled with blood. The doctor doesn’t think its anything to be worried about, but its made her more anxious about the next time (who can blame her!). She was also just diagnosed with Stage IV kidney disease. In a few weeks, we go back to have a host of labs done to see if the disease has continued to progress (she’s declined more than 15% over the past year) or if she’s somehow stabilized. Regardless, we meet with the nephrologist the end of September and will make a plan to live with this condition moving forward. She’s remained strong in spirit and has said that she’ll try dialysis if it comes to that. She’s painfully thin, and super frail and I just wish there was more I could do to make her well — I’d give anything if I could.
My dad of course is her constant companion and care giver and its taking a toll on him as well. He’s exhausted (who wouldn’t be) and I look at it as my job to take some things off of his plate so that he can relax some and be able to care for mom.
With all this sort of ramping up over the past couple of months, I started to notice a few tell-tale signs creeping in. Procrastination, tiredness, poor sleeping…all too familiar signs of my depression. I got scared! I mean really scared, and even now, after speaking with my psychiatrist about it earlier in August, I’m still not sold that its all just sleep related (she seemed to think that if we can get sleep under control, the other things would be managed as well…so I’ve got a script for mild sleeping pills.). I’m not sure if this is working, I do know that I hate taking something else to manage this stupid disease. There are days I get so damn frustrated with it all I just want to ignore it — but I know what happens when I ignore it and I know how bad that is and would be on my parents – especially now when they need me the most.
I really wish there was a silver bullet – both for my mom and for me….