One part ends, another begins, odd things that inspire a book


We’ve fought a hard and depressing and draining battle with my aunt’s Alzheimer’s and dementia since August. My aunt has not been cooperative with her doctor or her home nurses or us in terms of dietary changes and that has taken a toll on her health. She’s come to the point where she can no longer wash dishes by hand and argues about taking her medications every day, three times a day. She’ll be in a nursing home in two weeks or less where professionals can deal with her eating habits and medications. I hope she’ll be happier in the nursing home with “people who have the same problems as me,” as she says.

I didn’t think it would go anywhere but I got an idea and started writing a story about a woman in her forties caring for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia. There’s a mystery subplot and supernatural elements because I can’t seem to write a book without touching on the paranormal.

I don’t know if anyone will want to publish this book but I think that caregivers of family members with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia would give the book a try and identify with the family struggling with similar situations. Often we read books to escape our reality, but sometimes it can help to read about people like ourselves dealing with situations that we deal with every day. I’m 41,000 words in and I hope that one day there is a book that will bring caregivers together into an online group where they can talk honestly about their daily struggles.

There is no Happy New Year here. My aunt and the rest of us are just moving into the next phase of dealing with the disease. No one wants her in a nursing home despite the way we feel when we’re exhausted and burned out and blowing off steam to each other or friends, but there isn’t anything else to be done. It’s time to put her into professional hands. The nursing home that she is going to is one where she worked for years as a nurse. There are still staff members there who remember her. I don’t like the thought of visiting her there because that’s where both my maternal grandparents died, but I will.

As I said, there is no Happy New Year here and no putting this year behind us. It’s just a different number and a different road.


6 thoughts on “One part ends, another begins, odd things that inspire a book

  1. I hope things will start looking up for you. Maybe once the strain of caring for your aunt is gone things will seem brighter. Even though it’s hard to watch loved ones deteriorate, no one lives forever. Take comfort in knowing you’ve done everything possible, took good care of her, and got her where she wants to be. Let’s hope we are all so fortunate when we reach that stage.

    • The stress is getting worse as we wait to hear from the nursing home and it’s depressing but also a relief to know that this is the last time we’ll be refilling her prescriptions. I don’t know if there’s any hope for improvement but maybe she’ll at least feel better when professionals are medicating her and planning her diet and she can’t disregard them the way she does us. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking to have someone angry at you because you’re trying to do what’s best for their health.

  2. Go to the library and look through the current Writer’s Market for publishers of poetry. Or, you can buy WM for your eReader. You can also google online poetry journals. Try looking up Chuck Sambuchino. I can’t remember the name of his publication at the moment (very embarrassing) but you may find some resources there.

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