Monday "Memories" With My Mom

     On Valentine's Day I somehow had scheduled a neurologist checkup for my mom.  I thought well, that will be nice, I can take her to lunch first since the appointment was at 1:45 pm.  Typically I call my mom from my car when I am on the way to get her.  This gives her about a half hour to "get ready".  Unfortunately, calendars and reminders that come much earlier than that she is not able to remember.
     I phoned her around noon and she did not answer.  I tried a few times (she does not have an answering machine - on purpose) and she still did not answer.  The only thing I could think of was that she had gone down to lunch too early (again).  Her lunch time is 1:00 pm.  It seems ridiculous to wait over an hour for your lunch, but many of the residents do as they have no sense of time and/or have nothing else to do so it becomes a social gathering.  (My brother (witty guy that he is) calls it "the holding tank"...the area where they sit waiting for their meal time.)
     So, in the interest of time, I went straight to the dining room to see if she was there...  Sure enough, she was sitting on a bench holding hands with........Don!!!!  She was (as she often is) shocked to see me.  I have to admit, my first reaction was, ugh now it's going to take forever to get out of here, go back to her apartment, get her coat, go to the restroom, etc....  But my very next reaction was....that is so cute, sitting there holding hands on Valentine's Day!  My mom reintroduced me to Don and I told her she had a doctor appointment.  I actually felt bad pulling her away from her little world with her gentleman friend.  I told him we would be back for sure by dinner time.
     Shortly after we got in the car, I noticed my mom acting strangely.  She likes to point out the various stores and points of interest as we drive along.  Sometimes she seems to know where we are, and sometimes not.  For whatever reason, on this trip she was repeating things twice.  For instance, "Oh, there's the mall...there's the mall."  "That would be nice.  That would be nice."  After it happened several times, I became slightly alarmed as I never recall this behavior before.  I decided it was good timing, as I would definitely bring it up with the neurologist.
     By the time we got going we were running a little too late to actually go for a sit down lunch.  I gave her the romantic choices of Arby's or McDonalds drive thru.  She chose good ol' McDonalds. 
    Also, interestingly, on the drive to the doctor my mom also said things like, "he will probably ask me who the President is.  I know...it's a democrat.  I didn't vote for him.  It's Barack Obama and his wife, the first lady, is Michelle."  She is not always able to quickly recall the current president, but I found it more than funny that someone with my mom's extreme memory issues has the wherewithal to anticipate the questions she would be asked by the neurologist.  I teased her and said, "maybe today he will ask some harder questions".  In my mind, my mom was able to "fool" her own doctors for quite a few years by hiding some of the signs of her early dementia.  So frustrating, but that's another story.
     We arrived about ten minutes too early and I remembered that there was a Walgreens in the same parking lot as her doctor's office.  As I did not yet have a Valentine's Day card for my husband, I wanted to run in and get one.  (This is probably the first time I have ever been at a drug store with all of the men, picking out a last minute card...lol!)  I then decided to ask my mom if she wanted to give a card to Don.  At first she quickly said, "no, noooo".  Then, she quickly said, "well yeah, that would be nice...that would be nice".  I told her it doesn't have to be "lovey dovey", and asked if she wanted me to go in and pick one out real quick.  She said, "sure". 
      I really didn't have much time, so I found a nice simple card that said "Happy Valentine's Day....From Me to You".  That seemed pretty non-committal! 
     Off to the doctor.  Had to wait a little longer than usual so I took some pictures to pass the  time.  I gave the doctor the heads up that my mom was prepared for his "who is the President" questioning.  She did know and even knew the date and correct year.  This is very rare.  I think being Valentine's Day tipped her off quite a bit.  After some of my reports of her small seizures, the doctor changed one of her seizure/anti-convulsive medications in light of my reports of a few incidents, including the repetition on the way to the appointment.  We will see how that works out.  Sometimes you just have to change things to keep up with this disease.  The repetition of her speech on the way could have even be anxiety related.
    We got back, and my mom was anxious to sign the Valentine card for Don.  She decided she would give it to him at dinner.  She put the card in the basket in her walker.  I went down to give the Medical Team her new prescription and information.  While I was in the lobby, it looked like they were getting ready to start another game activity.  I told my mom about the activity, and she practically knocked me over to get down there with her walker.  Too funny!  Time for me to get home!
     As if that wasn't enough, when I got home I told the kids about the card I got for Grandma to give to Don and how excited she was about it.  Kristin wanted to call Grandma and ask how Don liked the card.  I said, sure.  Shortly after chit chatting with Grandma, I could hear that Kristin was now speaking to.......Don himself!!!  He was in my mom's apartment when she Kristin called and my mom had him talk to her.  Kristin could barely contain herself.  We all got a big kick out of it.  The kids still can't believe that "Grandma has a boyfriend"!!
Happy Valentine's Day to Mom...and Don!!!

Waiting Patiently

Another tell tale sign... 
 I am told 2 watches is just her desperate attempt at trying to keep track of time.
Kristin is now chatting with Don...


Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

So sweet - your mom and Don :)

Donna said...

Oh my goodness....that was the cutest story ever! :)))

Cindy said...

Thanks Heather & Donna!!

Jennifer said...

I am cracking up! I want to meet Don. Is he hot???

Kerri said...

Cindy- you are so sweet to ask your mom is she wanted a card for Don.

Arlene - Caregiver ordinaire said...

I am always amazed at how focused Mom is on the time.... except in the middle of the night lately! Momma doesn't wear two watches, but I think that is adorable. So sweet that your Mom is feeling so cared for and so confident. I love this story! :)

Tinky said...

How totally fab that your mom has a beau. And can SOMETIMES answer those darn questions. It sounds like a good Valentine's Day for both of you.