There’s been a lot of progress on the Alzheimer’s mom [AM] front. In addition to day care three days a week, a caregiver comes in two days a week and there’s much more family support as well.
However, as she continues her slide, the stress doesn’t go away, and it’s sometimes hard to maintain my equilibrium. But, something happened this weekend, and it truly caught my attention.
Saturday wasn’t easy. On top of everything else, we’d had a late breakfast [a good strategy, by the way!] But, by the time AM was ready for lunch, not only was I not hungry, more importantly, I was near tears. There was no point in talking to her about it. After all, we were still in the ‘what day is today’ mode. There was no way I could eat in this state, yet, there we were in a restaurant [nothing fancy – food is ordered at a counter, and they call you when it’s ready].
So, I ordered AM’s food, and went next door for a huge cup of tea, and settled in to knit. The warm tea and the act of drinking relaxed my throat and calmed the tension. I ended up eating a couple of hours later.
Trust me, I was very pleased with all of this. As I reviewed the events, the emotions, and my responses, I realized that this cycle had been going on for decades. I’d trained myself to eat even though it was hard to swallow. Why? The only answer I could come up with was that not showing emotion was important. And if that meant eating to cover it up, well, that’s what happened.
Lesson learned: it’s not possible to live that way.
So, keep your ‘emotional eyes’ open. Take your ‘emotional temperature’ before you eat anything. Now that I’m finally understanding all this, you can bet that I’m doing it.