Friday, August 5, 2016

Traveling Despite Dementia

It has been a bit of a nerve wracking week and I had promised to keep things under wrap here until things were resolved.

My Aunt is very ill and has been in the hospital for over a week now.  She and my Uncle had moved out of Albuquerque several months ago and settled in Tennessee.  She's been ill a long time but her condition became critical and she was placed in ICU for several days before being moved to a regular room.

Mom and her brother keep in near daily contact and Mom felt she should get out there to see them.  She felt her brother needed some extra love and support.  She told me of her decision and while part of me cringed inside, I understood the desire to go.  A trip was the right thing to do and we all acknowledged it wasn't going to be easy.

A dog sitter was found for Nikka.   Mom decided a 2,000+ mile drive with a dementia patient was easier than trying to manage flights.  The last time they flew, Lyn wanted the plane to land about 30 minutes into a very long flight.  Lyn also doesn't like driving on highways anymore.  However, she trusts Mom and so they went.

They drove for two days.  Lyn updated Mom with every road sign she spotted that they were still on I-40.  Mom had assigned this job to Lyn and she took it to heart.  Lyn had her car book and she knew they were going because our Aunt is sick and needed some love.  Lyn worked so very hard to be cooperative.  They arrived tired but determined.

It was late when they arrived and so they waited until the next day to go see my Aunt and Uncle.  My Aunt was shocked to see them, having not been told of the trip beforehand.  She was convinced they were en route to see me and it took a little work to get her to realize they had done the drive for her.  Mom and Lyn were able to visit with them for two days, making sure they didn't tire my Aunt out.

On Wednesday morning, they returned to the hospital one last time to say good bye to my Aunt before starting the long drive home.  They arrived back in Albuquerque late yesterday.  Both are relieved to be home.

Lyn has had some tears over the past week.  However, she was out of her routine and her environment.  She was upset to see my Aunt so ill.  It was all understandable and much less than what we anticipated.  She really wanted to make this work and put a lot of effort into the trip.  Mom and Lyn's visit was a gift which my Aunt and Uncle deeply appreciate.  As Mom pointed out to him, "We're family.  It's what we do."

More to follow...

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