November 18, 2012

Suburbia & Dementia - Trying to Keep My Balance While Falling Apart

The journey from nyc2suburbia is not only about my journey. There are two others that have made the move ~ my husband & Mama. For those of you who may not know, I've been writing two blogs for the last few years. Both blogs are very different although there is a consistency to them, after all I'm not totally schizo. It can be challenging, but it allows me to share both sides of my world & I enjoy the diversity of both blogs.

When I first started writing nyc2suburbia, it was intended to be my outlet. I wanted to share my transition of moving from NYC across the country to living in Suburbia. My husband & I also brought my mother with us to Suburbia & continue to be her caregivers. There were many reasons which led to our decision to move from NYC. A big one was that Mama's nursing home was closing, so we decided we'd all move out to Suburbia & live happily ever after... that's the "Movie" version. Mama & I are from NYC & my husband is originally from the town that we moved to in Suburbia. But he considers himself a New Yorker after living there for many years.

Shortly after moving to Suburbia, I started blogging about it. A year later we had an unexpected birth & another blog was born Dementia-Mama-Drama. It's about our journey with Mama (who has Dementia) but with a humorous twist. After all, ya gotta make the best of a bad situation & laughter can be the best "medicine" - along with therapy & medication! We wanted to show how Dementia can be humorous & how we deal with it on a daily basis. Our blog has become a form of therapy for the three of us along with helping to bring awareness to Alzheimer's, Dementia & Caregivers. The Alzheimer's Association has even invited me to guest blog for them this year & has shared many videos of Mama. Mama loves the attention from the blog & the fact that people are reading about her. We've actually created a MONSTER!!! She looks forward to singing on camera & answering our questions, it's become our nightly ritual. We share many of our photos, conversations & her videos on our blog & YouTube ~ she's the Multi-Media-Mama!

Below is a video we put together showing us leaving NYC & arriving in Suburbia. If you're unable to view it, the YouTube link is

On both blogs, I may sometimes write about overlapping themes & situations (like I said I'm not totally schizo.) Plus it can show two different perspectives on a similar situation. When I was finally able to write about my experience with 9/11 on one blog, I also wrote about Mama's perception of 9/11 on the other blog. 

Then there are similarities ... between Mama & me! Oh, did I just say that? Yep... & there's proof (big groan). Since moving to Suburbia my mantra has been "I wanna go home." Mama has been saying "I wanna go home" for years, but that is pretty common for Dementia patients. Does this mean I am headed down the same road or just the fact that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?" Oy, questions, questions & more questions.

Whatever the answer, every day continues to be an emotional roller coaster ride for me. I am trying to make the most out of Suburbia by holding onto my sanity, sense & style while being a caregiver for Dementia Mama Drama. Did I hear the word martini? Or maybe it was chocolate? Or maybe it was breathe? Well, ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. It's been a tough adjustment for me & I am very vocal about it... just like Mama has always been vocal about her feelings.

As I mentioned, Mama & I have always been very similar, which can be pretty scary - especially for my husband! We are both night owls, we love singing, we love musicals, we're very impatient & neurotic, we're obsessed with food & we love to curse. Unfortunately we both share the need to be surrounded by family & friends which has probably been the most disappointing & depressing thing about moving to Suburbia.

Mama hates the isolation & lack of activity at the nursing home. I hate the isolation & lack of activity in Suburban life, so once again we are "two peas in a pod." But we're all getting through the drama one day at a time... by singing, eating, playing cards, exercising & enjoying our time together forming an even closer bond. Okay, that's the "Movie" version again, somedays it's just really difficult & that's my reality. But my reality also includes the patience of my husband who gets entertained & sometimes overwhelmed by the two of us... we are a handful! Writing BOTH blogs has been very therapeutic & I'm so glad we're able to show people that we're all in this together. 

The list of similarities goes on, the drama continues, but I'll end this post for now & you can continue to follow either OR both blogs: nyc2suburbia & Dementia-Mama-Drama. Thanks for your time & your comments are always appreciated... it really helps! For me, two blogs are better than one!

Please note that is you are receiving our blog via eMail, you may be unable to view the videos, so please visit us at & enjoy the videos.