We arrived late on Tuesday, found some food after some hangry exchanges in the grocery and managed to be settled in to our accommodations. Because of my CPAP, we slept on the opposite sides of the bed. Which I think greatly affected our sleep patterns. Nevertheless, we managed to get up and out of the house in time the next day to have breakfast and to pick up my brother-in-law. We decided to spend Tuesday at the nursing home my father-in-law currently lives in. It is called Golden Living but I called it the Nursing Home of Sadness or NHOS.
My father-in-law has Alzheimer’s. I have seen it before. It is really the most horrible thing to watch someone go through. He did not immediately recognize his sons and I must have been a very new person to him. He is bedridden – much to his own making before his memory loss started. There is no getting out of bed. He watches TV. He sleeps. He eats his meals in bed. This is how it will be for him until he dies. We sat with him for several hours. I ran an errand so I left for about an hour.
I took some time to walk the halls of the NHOS when I got back from the errand. The other residents were mostly sleeping or watching TV. There were some women in the common room doing their nails and chatting. The dining room had some residents in it chatting or reading. There was one woman who was starting her first day there. For the most part, it was just sad and scary to me. There were some good things about it. The home is actually not terrible. It was clean, there were things to do, and the staff was friendly and attentive. Not the worst place to be but certainly not, what I want.
I started think about my current physical condition. I lost a lot of weight a couple years ago, its crept back on. I still have knee pain and when it is bad, I do the old woman shuffle. I thought about what my physical condition would be at 72 if I did not stop making excuses and get my ass moving. I keep thinking about the women in the room across from my father-in-law. Both asleep in their wheelchairs with the TV on and nothing else to do.
When we were alone later that night, I told my husband he had my permission to push me off a cliff before I live in one of those places. My father-in-law did not take care of himself, his relationships, or his finances to make his situation better. I can certainly see how it that is going make the next years worse than they could have been for him. I do not want that kind of life. Ever. I do not want to live in a NHOS. The time is now. No more excuses. I just need to think about those two women and my father-in-law and that is enough to motivate me.