It's A Good Day

It is too nice of a day to have the house all shut up. The windows and front door are open, welcoming the whipping winds inside to help us air out the winter blahs that held us captive for too long. My mom is in the kitchen peeling, cutting, creating a dinner I am sure I will eat too much of. I would offer to help but she would just kick me out, again.

Today is a good day.

I am the ever annoying optimist. I wish I was not at times as it seems to annoy my friends and family. When I am nice to a frazzled and distracted waitress, when I lend the benefit of the doubt to someone who was supposed to have their work done two days ago, when I do not call people on their bullshit-at least not publicly-I can visibly see and hear my loved ones take the deepest of disgusted sighs.

In the past, I have been accused of being a dream pusher. I gladly accept that title and that I am a cheerleader.  I sincerely believe you can do what you want to do. I believe if you put your energy, time and hard work into your goal you most likely can meet it. I will help you. I will tutor you, assist you, donate, help you raise funds, raise awareness, be your sounding board-whatever you need, whatever I can do, I will.

There are enough naysayers, bad days, dream crushers, negative attitudes and rough realities in this world that I refuse to be part of the ugly cycle. I need to offer hope and support where and when I can.

Silver linings exist. They may be hard to find, they may not expose themselves in a timely manner, they may not make sense, but they exist.

Over a month ago I was sitting at work when my husband called. He went with my mom to her appointment at the memory clinic. He was so nonchalant when he said the memory team (neurologist, social worker, neuropsychologist, my mom and hubby) had decided the best course of action to treat her dementia was to start her on Aricept.

My mouth went dry. There were too many thoughts and not enough words that were silently choking me. My eyes began to sting as the built up tears burned as I blinked them back. My husband was saying something but I had no clue what.

Dementia.

I had not expected that.

I really thought it was going to be her thyroid again. Over the past year she has been having issues where she was forgetting things-what she came in the room for, what we were talking about, incorrectly balancing her checkbook, retaking her medicine or forgetting it all together, forgetting that she already ate or asking the same question over and over, unable to break out of a creepy cruel trance.

A few years back, she had an issue where her thyroid levels were off-so off that they mimicked early onset Alzheimer's. She was put on medication with no resolution. Eventually, it was revealed her thyroid levels were ridiculously low, she was put on levothyroxine and BAM she was back to herself.

I had thought this time we would come to the same conclusion. She had an MRI, EEG, did multiple cognitive and spatial tests, tons of labs including her thyroid and B-12 levels checked and after meeting with her Memory clinic team they have concluded she has mild to moderate dementia. A hideous umbrella of a term that just meant that these symptoms were not going away.

My husband was still talking, I had questions but did not know what to ask or who to ask. So I asked the most pressing bothersome one that was screaming through my head, How is mom? How did she take hearing that?

I could hear his half-smile, wryly forming on his face, You know her, she said it could be much worse.

And I realized exactly where I got my annoying optimism from and why I could not let it go.

I may not be able to find the silver lining in this situation especially when this week has been a little rough, a little emotionally taxing, but it does not mean I will not find it.

Not all days are bad days. Most days are in fact wonderful. The Aricept we learned cannot reverse or stop memory loss-nothing can-but it can slow the progression. My mother is still funny and inappropriate, sassy and sweet, a wealth of knowledge and a goofball all in one.

Just some days, it's hard to find her.

Some days she will forget that she already exercised or that the mail came. Some days she will refuse to take her medicine swearing she already had. Some days she will become upset and emotional and we cannot soothe her. Some days she will ask the same question over and over until it wears on your nerves and your soul like only a grater can.

But today, today is a good day.

The wind has stopped ruffling our curtains, instead I hear the distinct slapping against the concrete and grass outside that could only mean rain.

Just as I was about to complain about the newly falling rain, my mom wondered aloud excitedly if there would be a rainbow.

Silver linings, there is no wonder who could have taught me to believe in them.

Today was a Sunday Confession with the one and only More Than Cheese And Beer. I want to say thank you everyone who has shown love and given support during this time. To my sweet readers and followers on my Facebook page-I appreciate the love and positive vibes you showered me with when I asked for it without explaining why.

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