August 25, 2014: It’s raining cats and dogs and I’m worried.
I’ve just picked up Mom to bring her to my place for our weekly healing music session with Eric, and I don’t know how I’m going to get her into my house. We normally use the temporary ramp I set up over the front steps so I could wheel her into the house when she was unable to walk after being so sick in April and May. Thankfully, we’ve used the ramp differently than I had anticipated when I put it in place. I’ve only had to wheel her up it a couple of times, her ability to shuffle/walk having mostly returned after she knocked on death’s door in the spring and death didn’t answer.
Mom quickly learned confidently to walk with my assistance up and down the slightly-more-than-wheelchair-wide piece of plywood. Some say Alzheimer’s people can’t learn new stuff; I know from personal experience that’s not true. Even though we use it for walking not wheeling, I’m glad it’s there – it’s safer and easier for Mom than navigating the few flagstone steps to the front door. Mom’s BFF Gaby even “ran” down it during her last visit. And when I say last, I really mean it. I miss my/our angel Gabrielle 🙁
Anyway, like I said, it’s pouring – POURING! – rain. Even if I park on the lawn beside the ramp we’ll both be drenched within seconds and the ramp will be soaked and slippery. I could bring Mom back to The Home, contact Eric and ask him to meet us there and play piano in the drawing room rather than guitar at my place. Or, Mom and I could try an alternate route: I could drive into the attached garage where we would be sheltered from the rain. BUT, and it’s a major BUT, there are two relatively high steps to get from the garage into the house.
I haven’t taken Mom up or down any stairs since February or March when we regularly used the inside staircase in The Home. That was before she was sick. Lately she’s spent most of her time in a wheelchair. I really don’t know if she can manage the steps. I do a quick risk/benefit analysis and think about what Mom would want. I resurrect our Alzheimer’s café conversation of a few weeks ago:
I choose the riskier route for the both of us, knowing I have a safer back-up if all else fails. We make it up the two steps and into the house with relative ease. The thing is with life, Alzheimer’s or not, the main thing is to keep going.
Thank you Mom, for being so brave. You inspire me every day.
August 25, 2014