|Biographical Non-Fiction posted March 28, 2009||Chapters:||...66 67 -68- 69...|
Mom has a relapse.
A chapter in the book A Leaf on the Wind
Descent Into Hell
Valerie and her mother are forced to move into a Senior Center. Her mother's dementia returns and one day Valerie comes home and discovers her mother is missing.
"I believe the root of all evil is abuse of power."
Teresa insisted everything would be fine saying, “Give it a chance. I know in time you will find this is the best for you.”
Teresa visited Mom a few times during the first month then suddenly stopped, saying she was just too busy to make the long trip. Teresa took over all Mom’s finances. I chuckled when Teresa complained that Mom had no money in the bank and that her credit cards were maxed out.
“Teresa, I have been trying to tell you for years how broke Mom was,” I explained. “She has been living from month to month on her credit cards. Don’t you remember when I asked all of you to contribute $100 a month to help her out? I sent you several emails about it but you never responded.”
Teresa denied any recollection of me ever asking her to help.
“Then it’s a good thing I kept all my letters and emails isn’t it?” I said sarcastically.
I was telling the truth. I kept copies of all our correspondence for two reasons. My obsessive personality wouldn’t allow me to throw anything away and, my family had a tendency to say things then later deny it.
Losing the sight in her left eye a year earlier had been difficult but now Mom was slowly losing the sight in her right eye making her favorite pastime, reading, impossible. The lighting in her apartment was terrible so one day she asked me to go over to the house and get several of her lamps that Denise was using.
I was shocked when Denise refused to give the lamps to me and slammed the door in my face. Later, Denise changed all the locks on the doors and refused to give Mom keys.
Despite calling her several times, Denise refused to return the lamps or anything else that belonged to Mom.
Over the next few months, I drove by the house several times and to my horror watched the yard deteriorate into a six-foot high pile of weeds. The grass hadn’t been cut for months and the driveway was littered with junk. Neighbors would flag me down when they saw my car to complain about the condition of the house, loud music, and late night parties.
Mom wrote Denise a letter demanding she mow the lawn and take care of the yard as she had promised. Denise ignored her. When I wrote her a letter demanding the same, she responded saying, “You are not the landlord. You have no authority to tell me what to do.”
Mom was so angry she canceled Teresa’s power of attorney and sent Denise a notarized letter telling her I had the authority to tell her what to do.
Denise was furious.
She eventually cut the grass but the junk and garbage continued to pile up. Mom finally sent Denise an eviction notice. Denise ignored it.
The stress on Mom and me was horrific. She developed another urinary infection and the little green men returned. She was immediately put on antibiotics and within a few days, the little green men disappeared. She began to lose weight and often had difficulty walking. She started using a cane.
My health was also deteriorating. The pain in my legs was so severe I often used a wheelchair just to get around. My doctor was at a loss as to what was wrong and the specialists she sent me to continued to insist I had MS. I seldom slept more than a few hours a night.
Mom and I were physically a mess. I was supportive of her but the constant stress caused us to spend most of our time just crying on each other’s shoulder.
Teresa continued to be a bitch. She constantly complained about the financial strain helping Mom had placed on her. She complained about how much money she had spent setting Mom up in her apartment, and how much money she spent moving Mom’s furniture to her house in Shelton. She criticized Mom for everything. Mom was deeply hurt and at a loss as to why Teresa was being so cruel.
No longer receiving money from her renters, and the fact that Denise often failed to pay her rent, Mom’s only source of income was her Social Security. She barely had enough to pay her monthly bills and often had nothing left to spend on necessities, such as food. My disability check was half of what Mom was receiving and we were finding it difficult to make ends meet.
Mom was convinced she was going to die alone in her ugly little apartment. She had completely lost all hope of ever going back home. She fell into a deep depression. Since her first hospitalization, she had been seeing a therapist but she continued to deteriorate. I persuaded Mom to go and see my doctor.
Dr. B. ran a battery of tests and told Mom she had a large blood clot in her carotid artery, dangerously high blood pressure, and another urinary infection. Mom’s age and blood pressure prevented Dr. B. from recommending surgery saying, it was simply too dangerous. Instead, she wrote Mom a prescription for antibiotics, blood thinner and a different antidepressant.
On the way home Mom began talking about writing her will. She didn’t make any sense. She said she wanted to leave everything to the local animal shelter and give all her furniture to the Goodwill. I knew the infection was affecting her judgment so I told her, “I don’t think this is a good time to write your will. You need to be a little more clear headed before you do that.”
Mom suddenly became furious. She accused me of meddling in her affairs and told me to shut up!
After dropping Mom off at the apartment, I drove to the drugstore to get her prescriptions filled. When I returned, she was gone.
I was frantic. I pounded on everyone’s door asking if anyone had seen her. Mom had simply disappeared. Terrified, I called the police. Afraid something terrible had happened to Mom I could barely speak when the officer questioned me.
After giving him a complete description and a brief history of her current mental state the officer asked, “Is there anyone in your family she may have gone to visit?”
The question was absurd. I responded with an adamant, “No.”
Despite my insisting she had wandered off the officer said, “Just to make sure, give me your sister’s phone number so I can speak with her.”
I gave him the number and listened as he spoke to Denise. After hanging up the phone the officer smiled and said, “Apparently your mother is just fine. Your sister said she was angry with you and has checked into a motel for a few days to get away from you.”
I was speechless. There was no way Mom would or could go to a motel. She had no money and her credit cards were completely maxed out. After the officer left, I sat alone in my apartment, recalling that for weeks now, Mom had been talking about going home. I had no doubt her dementia had returned and she went to the only place she knew. Mom had gone home
Earned A Seal Of Quality
This was a difficult and stressful time for both my mother and me. Neither of us were in good health and the stress was more than we could bare. Financially, Teresa was in very good shape. She owned a small resort and a liquor store. Her yearly income was significant and she made sure everyone knew how wealthy she was.Pays one point and 2 member cents.
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