Dementia and RA


I have been wondering over the past few weeks and months as my Mom has been slowly going deeper into dementia – how much  has taking care of her and dealing with the stress and frustration impacted the RA and my body.  What differences will I notice once she is established in a good adult family home?  I know it means there are still things to take care of, to keep watch over, etc.  Will there be less stress, less pain and  less difficulty moving?  One thing I think will be better is that I will finally be able to rest and have some energy again.  I have been feeling bone weary for quite awhile and no way to really sleep well at night to re-energize.  I’m not sure how long it will take to really rest, but not having the day to day difficulties and frustrations will certainly help.  Also knowing she won’t be walking around and suddenly come into our room and wake us up out of a sound sleep will help a lot.  A few months back we were sound asleep and suddenly she came in at 2 a.m. flashing a flashlight in our eyes.  She kept asking “How do I get off this boat!”.  That came out of left field and I am happy to say she hasn’t done it again.  It may take some time but I won’t be wondering if she has fallen in the middle of the night or during the day so I have to call those very friendly fellows from the Fire Department to get her up on her feet again.  And it will be so nice not to have to suddenly cancel my life because she needs something.

I have had neck and shoulder problem since March of last year – at times it is better and other times it really hurts.  I tend to say it is computer and too much mother – there may be more truth in that than I realize or would want to admit.  I know my Mom  can’t help what dementia is doing to her; I have probably not handled as well as I could have – it has been a learning experience for both of us – I wonder how much has registered with her.   I am not going to second guess myself and beat myself up because I wasn’t perfect – I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time.  It is constantly new territory, sometimes I do well and other times I have allowed emotions to rule; doesn’t come out that well when that happens.

I suspect I am tight in my muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as in the joints or how I hold myself.  I feel as if I have spent my life “bracing for the onslaught” – though I can’t honestly remember when I first felt that.  So I have probably held myself tightly most of my life, definitely not conducive to relaxing and being at ease.  Lately I have noticed I get a bad pain in my left hip – I can tell it is from Mom and I have allowed her to control my  choices.  Also, the left is the feminine side – go figure!  She has been a major, controlling figure all my life and it isn’t easy to change gears at this time of life.  But By George, I am doing it!  My Dad would say “By The Lord Harry!”.  I was very pleased and  flattered that Debye tells me how she admires me for doing this work at 65 – too many people have given up by then and think themselves too old.  I decided when I turned 60 that the last third of my life was going to be the best – I knew it meant changes and as uncomfortable as it has been at times through Ike Pone, massage with Debye and the other things I have done and learned, it has been worth it.  I have this need to understand and “Know that I know” who I truly am and love, accept, approve and trust myself completely.  I am getting there but I expect it to be a life long journey – I am a work in progress.

I will admit I feel I have been doing this with Mom for so long that I don’t remember what life has been before coming here 10 years ago.  Any more than I can remember age 23 and younger when I didn’t have RA.  It feels as if I have always had it; the difference is that I am not seeing myself as victim any more – an innocent by standing minding her own business and sideswiped by RA.  Strangely enough, I am learning that it may not have been something that started in this lifetime, that it has been from a past lifetime.  In my massage with Debye and also time with Monty I have learned I was a Roman soldier in another lifetime.  Thursday Debye had a picture of his leg hurt – I could picture it myself.  Yes, I know it sounds woo-woo and goofball to some, but  in some ways it makes sense to me.  As that soldier, I imposed my will on others and there has to be an energy balance for that – karmic balance.  I am still learning, but in many ways a lot of what I am learning gives me different angles on having RA.  I am determined to understand what happened and is happening as a way of  creating a healing.  Call me crazy if you want.

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