7.30.2012

Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     So, if you've been following along, you know we just returned from a week's vacation in Maine visiting family.  This is something we could not have easily undertaken last summer as my mom was living with us.  While I am soooo glad we were able to sneak away this summer, it still was not worry free for me when it came to my mom.  Particularly in light of her recent fall and her just seeming a bit (extra) "off" lately.  Being that I was going to be traveling by car for a good 15 hours, I wondered...would my phone always have a signal and even if it did, how would I get back if something happened to my mom?  Couple that with the fact that my brother was going to be up north about 2 hours away, I was a little anxious, but trying to stay positive.  I, of course, reasoned that she was in good hands where she is living, but there is still a part of me that always thinks to myself "ya better not go". 
     Enough about that!  We went anyways!  By all accounts it appears my mom was just fine.  Of course, I checked in with her at least every other day.  One day, while we were in Acadia, she had not answered her phone in the morning or afternoon when I tried.  I decided to call the Med Team and they confirmed that she was fine and told me she was in the dining room.  (She keeps going to her meals waaay too early.  Oh well.)
     My sister-in-law (brother's wife) was in town, and I believe also visited my mom while we were gone.  I finally got over there yesterday to see her.  Kristin brought a friend and they went to "find" grandma when we saw she was not in her apartment.  She was due to eat lunch in a half hour, so she checked there and sure enough, as reported by Kristin, grandma and "the Don" were sitting and talking just outside the dining room.  Hmmmm....  The girls also said that "someone took all of their picture together" (probably staff from the facility).  The girls are hoping to be in the next monthly newsletter!!?? 
     While grandma and the girls were away, I did my "ten second tidy" in her apartment throwing away my mom's various "collections" of "stuff".  Some of it, I just leave like her "office" which appears to be the counter space between her kitchen sink and stove.  (No worries, the knobs are removed from stove so no paper fires should be starting.)   My mom remains in desperate need of feeling in control of her calendar, her addresses, phone numbers, her shopping needs, etc.  Sooo, I just leave a lot of it there.  Her scribbled handwriting is sad to see.  It looks like so much work and I can't read most of it to save my life and neither can she.
"The Office"

          After tidying up a bit, I went to leave my mom's apartment to catch up with her and the girls and was startled by my mom in the hallway!!??  It was 1 o'clock and she should have been eating.  I asked her about it and she said she already ate!!??  I wasn't so sure as there are assigned meal times.  The girls confirmed for me that they never saw my mom actually sitting at one of the dining tables.  I decided to wait until 1:15 pm to see if any of the staff would come and get my mom for lunch.  (I do these things to "test the system" to see what happens if I'm not there.  Will someone realize she is not at lunch?)  Nobody came.  So, I went down to the Med Team people and asked if my mom's meal time had changed.  They said it had not.  I told them that I didn't think my mom had eaten lunch, but rather had simply gone down to the dining room (they are supposed to escort her there), sat and chatted with "the Don" (who, remember, now eats before her) and then got back up and returned to her room when he left...thinking she had already eaten!!??  I was quite sure that's what happened, especially since my mom used to have the routine of eating with "the Don".  Ugh!?  Does this make sense?  In the end, I was by no means "blaming" the staff and I made sure they knew that.  I just know how sneaky and convincing my mom can be (i.e., I already ate), and wanted to call it to their attention.  They got a carry out lunch for my mom and I brought it back to her room.  (She ate it after picking out the asparagus - ha!?)
Even Though I Just Told You I Already Ate...Put a Meal Before Me and I Don't Question It!!!??
     Then, in other news, I was cleaning out the little basket my mom has attached to her walker where she transports numerous things back and forth such as her mail, photos, and even sometimes brings cups of juice from the dining room back to her room!!??  While throwing away many things in the basket, I came across this napkin....


     Ha!  I had to laugh!  I told you it is a land somewhere between elementary and middle school.  Apparently, "the Don" was inquiring as to what floor my mom's room is on.  His printing is commendably much better than my mom's.   Funny how he even knows to sign "the Don".  It appears that again....they have found each other!
     Am I romanticizing....or does my mom seem to have a bit of her "glow" back????
Stay tuned.............

My Mom and Her Longtime Pal, "Muffin"

3 comments:

Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

I'm glad you mom seemed to be good while you were gone. I imagine it's stressful on you to leave her.

Glad her and "The Don" are seeing each other again. She does have her glow back ;)

Kerri said...

Your mom looks great. Glad everything was fine while you were away. I was wondering if she had nice handwriting before? I would have been concerned too about the whole eating thing. They need to know if she isn't staying to eat and should come get her.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad her and the Don have been reunited!!!! Love always wins!