Thursday, December 15, 2005

Four words for you: Long Term Care Insurance.

Although this is generally a knitting blog, and an occasional "Isn't my baby cute?" blog, today was a pretty big event. Today we moved my MIL into assisted living. Come back this weekend if you want knitting - I should have finished my mitten by then, I've only got a little bit of thumb left, then we can start on Mitten_2 and try to figure out how to make them the same size and wishing I had taken notes on the first one.

My MIL is 55 and has pre-senile dementia. She's lived with us for about a year and a half and has had the diagnosis of dementia for just over 2 years. There's a lot of stuff swimming through my head, and I've written quite a bit so far and deleted it. I'm having trouble figuring out what I want to say about it and what's the important part of the story. In the two years she's lived with us, she's gone from wanting to go and find a job, where in a 20 minute meeting with someone, we thought no one would believe that she was demented, to not being able to get the words out of her mouth - she says "Yes" and that's pretty much it.

I want her to be well cared for, even though she wasn't a very good mother to my DH and his 5 brothers and sisters. However, I don't want to give up any of the things I want to do with the kids (and DH doesn't either) - we want to be active in Boy Scouts, to go to the playground and Target and beginning band concerts. I feel a little bit like a failure for putting her in an ALF, although I know in my rational mind that (a) they'll care for her without the predjudice that I had [I can't shake my anger at what a bad mother she was to DH! How do you treat the people who came from your body the way that she did???] and (b)this way we can take better care of the kids and (c)MIL might even be happier there. She didn't want to come home from daycare yesterday.

Anticipating the move has been making me anxious. The drive down there was hard - not quite as hard as when the nurse handed me a bag for my clothes and told me to change into a gown when I went to have LaLa, but hard. Now I feel that post-SAT frazzle, and I still have to do work today. There are a lot of things that I'm looking forward to - a shorter commute home, not having to buckle her in to the car, not having to hold her hand when we shop, but this step makes me feel a little guilty and a little sad. Maybe it's a mourning process, this transition. We'll see.

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