This past weekend our family experienced a big bump in our journey regarding care for our mom. Here’s the deal, when someone has dementia there comes a point where that individual cannot be left alone for even ten minutes or do things for themselves that any normal functioning person is able to do. They need round the clock care. For many months we had a system down for Mama June and things were going smoothly…that is until a couple days ago. There was an immediate decision made to be sure that our mother was receiving the best care possible and with this decision came discussions and frustrations among family members. It was one of those moments, where everything needed to be dropped and people needed to step up and step up quickly. I had to immediately find subs for my classes and this stressed me out. It was a Friday night and I needed two classes covered for the next morning. I sat glued to my phone at a bachelorette party finagling however I could to get my classes subbed. It was about an hour later that I got word that a couple amazing teachers pulled some strings behind the scenes and sorted out my morning. It felt like I could breathe again, I was beyond grateful. In my mind I felt a little less anxious, but I knew that getting subs for my classes was just the tip of my anxiety iceberg.
That’s the thing about anxiety, it’s sneaky and it likes to linger. It’s like the guest that won’t leave even after all the other party guests have gone home. So even after I sorted my classes out, I was still extremely anxious about the family meeting we called for. It has been a little over two years since I had a full blown, can’t seem to breathe, feelings of out of control, anxiety attack. I was so worried that family members were going to argue, point fingers, not cooperate, not do what they said, etc. It was as I was driving out to the meeting that I literally felt like I was going to faint. I could barely breathe and my hands were clammy. I probably should have pulled over. I didn’t want to argue with my siblings. I didn’t want to to cry. I just wanted to get our mom’s care under control and have everyone help in some way, shape or form because we need all hands on deck at this moment.
So I walked into my mom’s house and everyone was happy. I could feel the energy and it was good! I went to lay down and do some deep breathing in the other room to get myself together. Once everyone arrived the meeting was in session. We went over our agenda, caregiving handbook, and most importantly we went over our calendars and all committed to the times and days we need to be with mom. We accomplished all of this with barely an issue. We even laughed. It was a moment that our family needed to come together, every one of us, and be there for our mom. The woman who did so much for us and brought us into this world to live a beautiful life. And she was there too. Although she did not comprehend what we were talking about, she sat at the table with us as we met and colored in her coloring book. She was happy. It was after this meeting that I realized that even though my family has its issues and we all don’t see eye to eye on everything, we are still an exceptionally strong unit and when sh*t really hits the fan we rally together and do what we have to do to make everything okay. If it weren’t for my family, I’d be sucking on Xanax lollipops like nobody’s business. We proved to one another this past weekend that we are all in this together. And I know, that if our mom could understand and comprehend everything we are doing as a family, she would be so f*cking proud of us. We may be a crazy bunch, but we’re a crazy bunch that sticks together.
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