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Oct
14th
2021

Mom is dying... very slowly. · 3:21am October 14th

I need to talk to somepony and I don't feel like I can right now so I'm just going to vomit words here in semi-public.

I already wrote a story about this, but it is becoming too relevant to bear now.

EThe Longest Curtain Call
Despite dementia, Jack Pot still remembers his son. Unfortunately, Trixie isn't her father's son anymore.
Trick Question · 4.7k words  ·  104  43 · 830 views

I'm writing this post because I want to tell you all about two amazing people I love: Mom and Dad.

My mother is the most compassionate person I've ever met. My father ranks a very close second. They meet people and help them, even when they can't afford to. They send medication to a old woman who lives a couple hundred miles away and who calls them on the phone every day. On multiple occasions they've befriended a poor family and purchased Hearth's Warming presents for all the kids. They take in every stray animal they find, feeding those they can't bring inside (and sometimes trying to give them vitamin supplements), and taking the ones they actually can manage (mostly like, a dozen cats) to get shots and treatments, then they keep them and care for them. They just can't stand the idea of animals suffering, whether or not the kindness they impart is just a drop in the ocean. It doesn't matter if tossing a loaf of bread outside every day attracts more birds in an unending cycle. Dad would just say, "Haven't you ever been hungry?"

I look up to them in so many ways it would be pointless to begin listing them, but Dad's work ethic and self-control is just off the charts. He only recently retired from very long days of retail work on his feet. Mom retired earlier, for reasons that will become obvious in a moment. Due to some bizarre twists of fate, my relationship with them both has always been more like a friend than a daughter (or son, or whatever). They are two of my closest friends in this world. Only my husband Jewel comes closer. I love them. I love them both so much it physically hurts. I miss them something fierce, but they're in another city that takes a couple of hours to get to, and I can't make the drive by myself anymore due to my declining health, so we only see them a few times a year now.

Anyway, Mom has dementia. It's probably AD, which I know because I used to study Alzheimer Disease. I worked in psychometric testing to detect dementia, and also in medical microbiology on neuron systems. You can't ever know for sure if it's AD without a brain autopsy, but you can be pretty certain if it's clearly dementia and you rule out the obvious dementias that you can test for. It's been progressing slowly until now. Over the past month her mental health has stopped its slow decline and just fell right off a cliff.

A couple of days ago, she went on a walk and couldn't find her way back. She called Dad. He tried to find her, to no avail. She ended up walking twelve miles. The ambulance found her before he did. She was dehydrated, sunburned, and unable to answer "who are you". They took her to the hospital for tests, but Dad could tell that everypony there was just going through the motions. They knew it wasn't a stroke. It was dementia. This much was obvious to trained professionals. It might be the first time he's been able to get her to an actual hospital in a long time, because she developed a severe phobia of physicians a few years ago.

She's okay, physically at least, but she's not okay, if you follow. Dad is not okay. I am not okay. I think I'm underselling how much this is affecting me but I can't really put it into words, except that to say I hate dementia so fucking much and there is nothing I can do to make anything better.

I feel bad for Mom. She cries all the time now. She's 76 and thinks Dad won't take her to see her parents (I think her dad would be well over 110 years old by now). He shows her a photo of their headstones, but she won't believe it. She thinks my uncle, who died nearly a decade ago, is living in a private submarine off the coast of Japan because he went mad. She doesn't totally recognize me and Jewel anymore even though she pretends to. The last time we left visiting them she turned to Dad and asked if those people were related to them. I knew this would happen eventually. That's precisely why I wrote The Longest Curtain Call. I knew it would happen, and I needed to deal with it.

I feel much worse for Dad, though. Mom suffers and doesn't know why, but Dad knows exactly what's happening and is powerless to stop it. My father is very stoic. The line from The Longest Curtain Call about Jack only crying three times in front of Trixie is actually about Dad, not Mom. I've seen him cry three times in my life and two were (in my skewed opinion) my fault. I have to prepare to see it again. He has to watch her disappear piece by piece, and eventually he won't be able to manage her care. I don't think that day is far off. He loves her as much as I love them, which is to say, with all his heart. Neither of them deserve this. Nopony on Earth deserves this. My parents deserve it less than anypony I know. Life is unfair. Dementia is awful. If Mom were to die suddenly, it would almost be a mercy for them both. Probably for me too.

I also feel bad for Jewel. He suffers from generalized anxiety disorder and has a very hard time dealing with loss, especially death of somepony close to him. He cares very much for my parents, and they love him too (though Mom probably won't recognize him again). I'll need to be strong enough to comfort both my father and my husband while I'm dying inside. I don't want Jewel to be exposed to this most of the time, because it will be too hard on him. I know he cares, which is enough, and I will protect him from as much of this as I am able.

Fortunately, I don't feel bad for myself. I'm the most well-equipped person to deal with this psychologically, even though I'm probably going to shatter at some point in the foreseeable future. I can hide pain almost as well as Dad. I have a very powerful subconscious, with a lot of poni in it. Also, I hate myself, so suffering isn't something I tend to feel bad about. I'm used to it. It's second nature to me. I've also made peace with the eventuality of Mom dying. Mom will always be inside me (I mean that non-sexually, just to be clear) and I'll find her in bits and pieces in my friends and the people I work with, wherever I see Kindness so deep it would make Fluttershy herself feel inspired.

That said, even if I don't admit it openly, I'm going to be hurting pretty bad for a while as she hurts and Dad hurts and Jewel is unfortunately affected. I'll feel their pain and that will be the totality of the pain I suffer. I'll be able to bury my own pain regarding this while I deal with their pain, and maybe someday I can deal with that, but it's not urgent. I don't know how this is going to turn out in the long run, but I'm stuck on this mortal coil for at least as long as Dad and Jewel are around, so I just have to stick it out one day at a time. It's just like Applejack says in The Giving Mare: it's easy to do something when you have no choice. You just bite the bit and go through the motions, because you have to. That's a blessing.

Thanks for listening. Oh, Mom was an amazing cook before the dementia robbed her of that, by the way. I'm a good cook myself, having learned a great deal from her. She was an artist and a craftsperson, like her father, and this was passed on to me. You can see it in my writing and in the art I used to do but don't post anymore. She taught me a lot about myself and about the world, and all of these are things that I'll always have with me, at least until something like what's happening to her happens to me, which I hopefully won't live long enough to have to suffer through from the other side.

If you'd ever met her, you would have loved her, no matter who you are. Her smile would light up a room and she would talk your ears off to cheer you up. It only hurts so bad because she's so good; because the love we have is so great. It's worth celebrating how awful this is, in a way. It's a testament to what an awesome person she is.

I love you so much, Mom, and I always will. :fluttercry: :heart:

Comments ( 22 )

I have no words to share. Not any worth it, any at any rate. Not any that, I feel, would help as much as I want them to. But I'll still write some, to let you know that I read, and I feel, and I hope knowing this makes it a little bit easier to shoulder. It's... the best I can do.

I'm so sorry.

Hugs
There isn’t much I can say to ease the pain you’re feeling, Trixie, or to comfort you. I’m glad you have good memories of your mom and I hope that those do help. Please remember that I’m here, as we all are, to listen and to be here for you. Blessed be.

Watching someone you love with all your heart slowly become almost unrecognizable to who they were before I think is one of the hardest things a person will ever face. I lost my mom to cancer about ten years ago and watching her body, and at the end her mind, deteriorate hurt a lot. During the last few days the painkillers made her unable to understand what was happening. When she was in hospice there was a night where I had to keep her from getting out of her bed. Her body was in such a weak state that she would have seriously hurt herself if she got up. She was a teacher and she kept insisting she needed to get ready for her class. I held her down gently and just told her it was ok and to get some sleep. The worst part of prolonged diseases is how helpless you are to do anything for them. Your mom sounds like she's an incredible person. I truly am sorry to hear you and your family are having to endure all this.

I am very sorry to hear all of this. All I can offer is virtual hugs, or maybe physical at an upcoming con. :fluttershyouch:

I don't necessarily recommend you watch this, at least not right now when you're already stressing about it. But maybe send it to your dad. It's very good information from someone who's actually dealt with it.

I'm sorry for your pain and pain of your family. :(

5595642
Yeah, we've sent him a bunch of information on it recently, which he found useful. I think he's still in denial about how well he can manage her care. He's tough as nails but I'm sure there are limits approaching that not even he can overcome.

5595636
I mentioned it in the post: he's my husband. Jewel is known under another couple of names in this particular fandom (Tala Tearjerker is his account here, which he doesn't use except maybe when he looks at something I post). He's infamous among bronies due to his widespread commissioning of disturbing FiM artwork. His fantasies are strictly fantasies, though—he's attracted to none of the same things in real life, outside of roleplay.

My sincerest condolences. I hope the word vomit here helped at least a little.

I am sorry to hear of her dementia and what your father is going through. I hope you can one day stop "hating yourself", too, because it's just not healthy to think that way... Although I understand why you feel the way you do.

*Hugs Question:applecry:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Saying goodbye before they leave.
That’s a painful thing.

I can hate myself plenty as well . It’s not the best way to live, isn’t it? I know you manage your own psych matters quite well, but we are all still human.

Just as you have dropped helping posts around the place and generally been there for people, I hope the rest of us can be there for you - even if it is just to listen to an emotional dump.

May your spirit stay strong.

Oh Trixie, I'm so sorry,

I wish I had words that could ease the pain or give more comfort and support.

I hope talking here helped, even a little.

I'm so sorry for you, your parents, and your husband. Glad you wrote about it here. Whenever there's anything we can do--Fimfic at large or me and Skywriter specifically--do be sure and let us know.

:pinkiesad2: I'm so sorry about this. I don't know what to say. Your parents sounds like amazing people. I'll never stop being angry at the universe for so often doing horrible things to the best people.

I'm so sorry.
For what it's worth, good luck; I'm not sure what I can say to help. Probably not anything, really, but... yeah, good luck.

I've worked with people who have dementia a long time. It always hurts to see them slowly lose themselves to it.

I'm so sorry! I met your mother only the one time, and briefly. You yourself stand as a legacy of your parents' upbringing, and it's easy to see their tolerance, basic decency, and strength of character shining forth through you. Best wishes to all of you.

I’m sorry, Trick, about your mother getting dementia. I really hope she gets better. 😔

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