I'm back and know that when I return from these trips it's always an emotional re-entry to my daily life. I never feel like I can do enough when I'm back for a visit...enough for Mom or enough for my brother's family who lives in the same town and is on call for Mom at all hours.
Looking back on it, I know my mom was thrilled to get out for a couple of hours each day but it made her incredibly tired (just being lifted from the wheelchair to the car seat was exhausting for her). In the nursing home she was frustrated because she has an alarm on her wheelchair to alert staff if she tries to stand up on her own, which she does quite often and obviously shouldn't be doing at this point.
There was a time that she thought the nurses were laughing at her and there was no convincing her otherwise. She only asked where my dad was once in my presence but she's been asking about him more and more (and worried that she can't find him).
She repeats questions multiple times in a few minutes. Her memory is failing to the point that she simply can't live alone and I have to accept that the nursing home isn't just a place for rehab as was its original purpose. I suppose deep down I've known that but somehow this trip confirmed it on the surface. (Denial, anyone?)
So while I may not be drowning, I can't swim and definitely feel I'm in the deep end.