I'm down with a nasty cold. It started with Asparagus, went to B-Boy and now me; I'm closing the loop. Normally I'm quite resistant to such contamination, because I have the habit of constantly washing my hands, but I guess that I'm too tired now from my mother's move to a new nursing home.
Last night visit update:
- I called the phone company to have them transfer her phone line from the old place to the new one. The transfer won't be complete until today, the 22nd. When I visited her last night, she complained that the line doesn't work, and when I reminded her that it won't work until the 22nd, she said: That's not true, I asked the nurse why my telephone doesn't work and she said: it's your daughter's fault!
- She did the clock watching routine again. As soon as I arrived, she would look at the clock every five minutes. I tried to point it out to her: "I know you're watching the clock because you're afraid that I would leave at a certain hour, and it would make you suffer, but why don't you enjoy my company now and only suffer when I do leave? Because right now, you're suffering twice, once while I'm here with you, then again when I leave." She nodded but continued glancing at the clock.
- When I told her that I would leave at 6:30, she got upset. "Why can't you stay longer?" "I'm exhausted, Mom, I've been up since 6:30 in the morning, I've put in a full day work, I came here straight from work, I'm sick and when I get home, I'm gonna have to put in another workshift. Last night, I left at 7:30 and when I got home, I litterally crawled in bed." She doesn't care. "Look at me, I'm with these old people all day, I'm so depressed!""I know, but it was the same thing at the old place." "No, the old place was better!". "It's the same thing. At the old place, you stayed in your room all day and only came out for the meals. You didn't participate in any of the activities. So why don't you do here what you did at the old place?" "Why did you have to move me here? Why don't you care about my happiness?" "Mom, you're not a child and you're not handicapped. Go out and make new friends, then you'll be less lonely. I cannot be responsible for your happiness, I have my own life, I have my children. I'm 61 years old, Mom, I'm supposed to be enjoying my old age and I'm working two shifts. And now you want me to take care of your happiness? Why don't you do something about it, instead of waiting for other people to do things for you?" She doesn't care. She doesn't want to explore the new place, she doesn't want to explore her own room to know where her things are, she doesn't want to talk to people in the other rooms and rebuffs their advances. All she does all day is wait for me. And when I arrive, she pounces on me. She's like a leaden cape on my shoulders, I am her sole source of emotional sustenance and she won't let me go. The unspoken irony is that when I was young, I was never close to her. I was her least loved child, because I'm a girl and she preferred my brothers.
- Old age is not supposed to be such an ordeal, is it?