How did we get to this place of being in limbo? Your life has had so many ups and downs. More than anyone would expect when looking at that beautiful smile of yours. Even to this very day as your mind is failing you and your mental illnesses are becoming exaggerated, your smile lights up a room. But today, your smile cannot fix what’s broken. I’m sorry momma. I’m sorry our country’s system has failed you and many more like you.
It’s a flawed system which doesn’t come close to the words fair, caring, concerning, compassionate, or even right. However, the system is what it is and we have to work with what we have. There’s no other way. Well, there is. If a person or family has unlimited amounts of money they don’t have to play by the same rules as us normal folk do. Fair? No. Right? No. Money talks. Always has. Always will. Those are the facts and there is nothing anyone can do to get around them or change them.
Before you fell and broke your hip, you were so happy to be living in Florida and walking on the beach in January on your birthday. You seemed so peaceful. In fact, I don’t recall a time when you were more at peace than that day. It was as if we were starting over. At the assisted living facility, you were thriving and making new friends, exercising, going on outings, and laughing, dancing during happy hours. On March 23, 2018, we received the phone call that you had fallen in your apartment and were headed to the hospital with a possible broken hip. Tragedy. We knew it was going to be rough and a downhill battle. Little did we know…
…How tough you are. How much of a fighter you are. You have rebounded physically remarkably well. I’m so proud of you. You’re a great inspiration for the battle and changes you’ve had to endure all while your mind continues to fail you. Throughout all of this time, you’ve been so confused, so turned around, upset, and hurt. Who wouldn’t be? After all, you had to give up everything you ever worked for: your home, your car, your possessions, even your money. For what? To live in a crappy nursing home for months while in rehab for a broken hip because you lost your balance, broke your hip and needed surgery requiring rehab, and then needed Medicaid. Trying to switch from one state to another has been a nightmare, to say the least. We have had a lawyer helping us. However, she can only do so much because everything according to the state and government has to come from the power of attorney which is me. Unfortunately, I’m very limited on knowledge when it comes to the laws, rules, loopholes, and timing of what needs to be done when and how. Thankfully, that is where the lawyer has helped. She has guided me along the way. I’m grateful for her.
I know you don’t understand all of this. I know you can’t process all we have had to do. That’s okay. You don’t have to. All you need to know is that you are loved and your best interests are our main concern. When I say our, that means Chuck and I. Our doesn’t mean the office personnel of the facilities you’re at, the agencies we have to deal with, the state, the government – they don’t care. Unfortunately, you are another number and I’m another POA needing assistance. When just one of the personnel in the group of people that are involved in the process of getting you moved from your rehab facility back to your home at the assisted living facility doesn’t do their job, everything gets messed up and I have to clean up their mess. God forbid they admit they were wrong or didn’t do what they were supposed to do, let alone try to help me fix the issue. I’m sorry momma. I feel I’ve let you down.
Luckily, your doctor at the rehab facility is kind and allows us to remain outside with you when he needs to do a quick check up on you while we visit. This is awesome. Who wouldn’t want to see the doctor outside with this view? ME! There are several things we have to be grateful for, this is true. Let’s try to focus on those. I’m trying hard to do so. The system is making it hard though. And my health is failing me, too. I have to get me right now and pay some attention to myself health-wise. Soon momma. Soon you will be back home – only this time in memory care. You will be able to come and go outside whenever you want to and the activities will still be there. You won’t even miss out on happy hour! You can still have your glass of wine or a beer and light up the room with your smile once again.
Meanwhile, we will still sit outside for a couple more weeks looking at the sky and admiring how beautiful it is. We will look at the large pine tree with the big pine cones that mesmerize you with their size.
The tall pines are gorgeous and we watch the birds fly in and out of them as we sit and reminisce from your childhood to whatever comes to your mind. You were supposed to go home tomorrow, May 24, 2018. Now, it appears you will have to wait until the first of June.
As the pine trees continue to grow high in the sky, I will continue to try and find ways to make your life as comfortable and less confusing for you as possible. Despite the system we are stuck with, I will fight for your rights and care and ensure you’re cared for the best I can.
Life is blurry to you, this much I know. Remembering simple things is becoming harder each day. You ask, “Am I being punished?” This breaks my heart. Although it may seem a punishment, no one deserves this. Alzheimer’s is a wicked, cruel disease. “No momma, you’re not being punished,” I tell you every single time and hug you. You cry and then I cry. Somehow, someway, we both end up laughing.
These are the moments to remember. I am making a life decision right now to not let these awful situations that our government has set upon us when it comes to elderly care upset me like it has been. My wish is that our children will not have to go through this for me or Chuck. Perhaps I’ll learn from this, and Chuck and I will spend all our money on ourselves, traveling, planning our end, spoiling our grandchildren to no end so the government has nothing to take. Something for us to ponder, at least.
The most important thing for me is to help you find peace. You’ve worried, worked, worried more, worked more, tried your hardest in life to make the best of what you had. Please let me help you try to find peace. I don’t know if you can find it, but let’s keep searching. You deserve that and so much more.
I look forward to the day when we can peacefully walk on the beach again and put all of this nastiness behind. For once, I wish my mind could forget all of this like yours does.