I turn 60 on March 1, which means my mom turns 80 on April 11. Yesterday, February 4, I retrieved my mom from the Southwest emergency room after she had fallen on her front steps while bringing in the morning Gazette. Her head was scraped, no cuts, no broken bones, but lots of blood due to her blood thinner pill – one of many pills. It was the fourth time I’ve taken her home from Southwest Hospital in the past two months. An ongoing UTI caused the first three visits.
When I dropped her off at 11:30 a.m., I had her take her morning pills. When Danette and Micah checked on her later in the afternoon, they discovered she had taken her morning pills for the next day as well. They brought her to our house to stay.
My mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She can no longer figure out how to operate the microwave, the T.V. controls, or her car which I sold last week. We are in the midst of applying for Medicaid which she easily qualifies for. Sooner or later my mom will be in an Alzheimer’s unit in a nursing home.
Over the past 34 years I’ve visited with many parishioners in Alzheimer’s units. They’re locked down. You have to get a code at the front desk to get in and out. It’s not something I look forward to.
I know we will lose the war my mom and our family are waging against an opponent who always wins. We have no chance against the damage inflicted by enemy fire.
For years my mom has picked up elderly women who no longer drive to get them to church, doctor’s appointments, and to go out to eat. In her mind, I took the car away. As the enemy attacks her, he also attacks her family. I know all of this in my head but it doesn’t make it any easier.
We don’t know how her disease will progress. We do know the day will come when she will no longer recognize any of us. We will do everything we can to protect her for as long as we can.
Our Lenten journey will be especially dark for me this year. I believe that at the end of this journey is the resurrection to eternal life. As my mom enters into the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease, I pray that the light of Jesus Christ brighten her darkness as quickly as possible. God knows I’m not a patient man.
In Christ – Pastor Doug