What a difference a year makes. Readers of thriftymommastips.com know all about this journey we have been on with my mom. It started one year ago and led us down a really rough path for a long period of time. It was tragic, drastic, devastating emotionally and financially, and it has left us all changed.
Last summer, my Mom spent the greater part of two months in London hospitals as we tried to figure out what was going on. She was hallucinating and she was confused. Meanwhile her symptoms escalated. It was a sad and exhausting time _ one I couldn’t write about because it was too close to the bone last summer. Eventually my Mom received her diagnosis (dementia, a term that falls under the Alzheimer’s disease umbrella) and after many assessments, and months of advocating, we were able to move her to a great retirement home near me. Now, it is more likely that I find my Mom in my backyard hanging out waiting for me, or shooting hoops on a Sunday morning. And frankly today that is a welcome event after the trauma of the year that went by.
The experience of the last year was not without its merits or rewards. I came out the other side a Sandwich Generation Superhero.
Sandwich Generation Superhero Powers
1. My Spidey sense: This can now be used to find free parking nearby any hospital. (This is tricky because hospitals really like to overcharge and stress out families of the sick.)
2. Herculean strength: to juggle tiny children and keep them safe while navigating visits on a hospital psych or emergency ward.
3. Shapeshifting: Mystique’s ability to turn into anything came in handy when I became a magician at distracting same children on psych ward so they didn’t freak out or know where we were. Also same powers can be used for changing shape and size as needed to sneak in and out of hospitals after and before visiting hours.
4. Mindbending: The ability to argue effectively with neurologists and leverage political contacts to fix that which is broken or remove that which is obstructing my path. Best used to bend their will and make them see your point of view.
5. Mrs. Incredible’s super bendy arms. Because really I needed extra long arms carrying personal items back and forth, transporting children and bridging both my old life and new life.
6. Superman’s ability to fly: In my minivan, faster than the speed of light when necessary to defuse volatile situations and to transport my Mom back and forth over great distances.
Are you a sandwich generation superhero? Even if you aren’t yet, you can use the resources here at comfortlife.ca to build your strength and grow your resources. My previous posts are here: Five Tips For Talking Money with Your Aging Parents and here is the first part of our story.
Parenting your parents while parenting your own children is outrageously hard work, you can use the help and once in a while you can use a laugh or two. P.S. Don’t forget to take time for yourself.
(Us, in the days before we acquired our superhero powers)
I’m a Sandwich Generation Brand Ambassador for Comfort Life.
Comfort life is Canada’s trusted resource for retirement living and care. www.comfortlife.ca