Long Overdue Update
It's a bit intimidating to try and catch up on absolutely everything here, but I wanted to try and at least hit the high points before too much more time went by.
Nathan, my mom and I made it back to St. Louis just in time to celebrate Christmas with Jack and the kids. After spending half of the fall in Ohio, it was definitely time to come home, but I still worry about my grandmother and how much the responsibility for her care weighs on my aunt and cousin in Columbus.
As soon as we got back, as in the very next day, I headed downtown for my second interview with St. Louis University. I had a great conversation with the marketing department about the integration of photography and video with web marketing and social media and after taking a little editing test, they were able to hint to me that I'd be offered the job in the next couple of days. The tentative start date is January 17 and I'm excited and scared and nervous and elated and a little stunned by how much I have to figure out between now and then.
As far as Nathan, Jack is going to take care of him during the days. I think this will be a good thing for both of them, but this means I really need to get on with the weaning process. I'm a little sad about this part of motherhood coming to an end, but it remains to be seen how graceful Nathan will be about it. I'm going to try and keep it up for a while on a reduced basis, but I'm going to have to do some reading on what works well for other working moms.
And for my mom, this may turn out to be the impetus to try out an assisted living community. As I write this, she is spending her first night at a nearby residence that we had looked into for respite care earlier in the fall. Officially, she is only there for a week, but if the week goes well, this may turn out to be a permanent move. She is very unhappy about this development and is having a difficult time getting past her anger to communicate with me at all about it. I want her to be a part of this decision and be able to share her thoughts on the various other options, but she becomes so overwhelmed by emotion when the topic comes up, it's difficult for her to form any words at all.
And the last bit of news before I crawl off to bed is the new diagnostic analysis we received after our long awaited appointment with the Washington University Memory Center doctors yesterday afternoon. After examining my mom and thoroughly interviewing both her and me, they seem to think that the dementia is almost certainly unrelated to the MS and is probably a case of early-onset Alzheimer's.
I guess in some respects, this is a scarier diagnosis just because of the visceral fear inspired by that word, Alzheimers, but really, in practical terms...this doesn't change anything at all for us. It's progressive, it's devastating, and as my mother says quite frequently, it's really not fair.