Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Anhedonia or Acedia?

Looking at my father yesterday I noticed how much weight he has lost in the last little bit. How much of that is due to how sick he was, how much to worry about his own health, or how much is from having to deal with my mother I do not know. Today one of his friends noticed and commented on it as well. I suspect he has lost twenty pounds or more.

His health has improved. His surgeries done. He does not seem as foggy and groggy as when he was taking all the pain medication. He is doing more and is more active. He is not eating much though. Yesterday he requested one of his favourite meals and then barely ate it. I am making another of his favourites tonight but I am not hopeful he will eat much.
I do know he is very stressed. Mother is a full time nightmare these days. He seldom gets any relief from her and when he does all he seems to do is dwell on the issue of her dementia and her decline. I do not know how to help him there. He is taking anti-depressants and his dosage was doubled. They do not seem to help. Even when she isn't being bat shit crazy mother is constantly negative.

I took mother for lunch today. That was both to have some one and one time with her and to get Dad an hour break.
It is hard, at times, not to get angry at my mother's antics but it does no good to do so. She doesn't understand anything and certainly wouldn't understand the anger and in any event it isn't her fault. If she knew the extent of her decline or if she knew what her behaviour was like she would be mortified. I prayed for patience once and I believe my mother is the Good Lord's way of teaching me that virtue.

Mother will not be around much more. In some ways she isn't now. This person who inhabits her body isn't the woman I have known for 61 of the last 64 years. We almost lost her last month. She is so frail the slightest illness could take her very quickly. If she lingers it is only a matter of two or three months before she will have to be in a home and if not because she has become to difficult to deal with then because father can no longer handle things.

So we went for lunch and I tried to enjoy every second with her and in spite of her negativity I tried to make the best of it. I love my mother and I want to give her the best that I can.

She complains of being bored. She complains of that a lot and I can understand it. Housework is a thing of the past for her and the hours that used to take up are now dead hours for her. She can no longer see well enough to read and although she has a cataract operation coming up she will never read again. Once sentence would be forgotten before the next would be read. She used to knit and crochet constantly but no longer remembers how. I try to get her to watch television but she adamantly refuses to watch during the day because that just isn't done. So she is dreadfully bored.

My sister takes mother out every two weeks for her hair appointment and to have her nails done and now I try to get her out every chance I can. Today to lunch but yesterday to go grocery shopping. Anything to get her out of the house and give her something different to see. Often she doesn't remember we have gone but sometimes she does and says how nice it was.

Life is very difficult right now. There are days I want to cry. There are days I wish to be mothered but instead find, that as a son, I must mother my mother. I hate it but I may need some help soon. I will make an appointment with my doctor and get some anti-depressants myself. I am beginning to sink and that is certainly not needed. As a person who live bipolar disorder I know that every depression will me followed by a mania and every mania by a depression. I cannot afford to have a recurrence. I have been through that too many times and now it would be way to much to handle.

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