Since I stopped working to stay at home, my days have been a lot like thousands, millions of other women’s days. Sometimes – more often than not – they are painfully slow; and occasionally they fly by so fast I don’t know where I’m at or why I’m still in my pyjamas.
Sadie won’t sleep; I could fall down with tiredness. Sadie won’t have a bath; I’d give anything to be able to shave my legs and soak. Sadie wets the bed and poos her pants; any squeamishness I started out with is long gone. She won’t go to day care; I ache for some time to myself. She cries when I leave the room; I cry at night.
I can never leave her alone. It takes us ages to get out of the house. If I tell her something once, I tell her a thousand times. If I ask her a question the answer will be ‘no’ or, sometimes, infuriatingly, ‘whatever’.
If I entrust Sadie with her bus ticket, sun hat, a few coins …. they disappear. Yet bits and pieces, odds and ends, all sorts of random things, accumulate. She’s like a bowerbird; to her, trash is treasure.
I’m so frustrated, tired, and bored at times I could scream. But I never get angry. Well, hardly ever.
Sadie isn’t my toddler. She’s not my daughter. She isn’t even a child.
Sadie is my mother and she has Alzheimer’s Disease.
Julianne Moore’s character in Still Alice develops Alzheimer’s. Watch the trailer below, post continues after video.
I left my job and moved in to her place to care for her about three years ago. Caring for her is like raising a child, I guess. Sometimes she melts my heart. Sometimes she breaks it. Sometimes she says the funniest things. Every day is a challenge. Every day, we laugh.
Unlike raising a child, I don’t get to see her grow and develop and change and learn and try and fail and try again. I see her deteriorate.
These have easily been the worst three years of my life, but I’m not complaining. Honest. It was my choice and I’m glad I did it. One day, I’m going to look back with great fondness at the times I spent mothering my mother.