Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease:  Night Edition
     There isn't too much going on.  However, in an attempt to "keep it real" here at the ol' blog, I did get a call from my mom that she had run out of some of her "personal necessities" shall we call them, for now.  I went over there within the hour to confirm this (sometimes she just can't find things).  It was true, she was out! 
     This would not be a big deal were it not for a couple of things:  (a) The same thing happened last month -- she ran out early; (b) These personal items are expensive and Medicaid normally supplies them; (c) It means my mom is not doing as well as she was a few months ago; (d) I have to run out and purchase them; and (e) I am not sure what to do about it.
     One advantage to my mom staying with us was that I had more "control" and was able to monitor more closely how my mom was doing and what she was doing.  I do miss having that "control" sometimes.  I knew how much she was eating, sleeping, drinking, and...using the bathroom.  That said, I also learned that being in the bathroom and using it can also be two different things.  If this is "TMI", then you might want to skip this post.

"Alzheimer's kills the brain of the person living with Alzheimer's.  It will also try and kill the spirit of the Alzheimer's caregiver."   ~ Bob DeMarco www.alzheimersreadingroom.com

     I am learning that when dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, you need to spend less time "wondering" what to do or why a certain behavior is happening and more time reacting, putting out fires, and thinking about how you would want to be treated if you were in their same circumstances.  I also try to remind myself "this is not my mom talking, it is her disease".  It can be a big of a waste of time trying to understand why.  Instead, I am trying to focus on "how" would I want to be treated if it were me.  Even the doctors do not always know the "why" as it does not always have a clear cut answer and may never.  Some days, I also need to work on showing her the same compassion as I would for a child, but that one can be hard since she's my mom and sometimes I still wanna be the child and only a mother to my own kids!!!
     I am working on this...  It scares me because I am always looking, yet afraid I won't "see", signs of my mom getting worse.  There are lots of things that can happen.  People with AD can literally forget to eat, forget to swallow their food, forget to use the bathroom, forget to go to bed, think they already ate, think they just went to the bathroom, think thye just woke up, etc...
     Now, on to other things -- the things she can do!
     Interestingly, and in spite of being almost always disoriented as to time, there are things she does know!  This past week she has asked Kristin several times what grade she is in.  Kristin says "seventh" and then, without hesitation, my mom says, "ohhhh boy time"!  Kristin and I giggle.  Then, I wonder how on earth can she put that together (so quickly) and not the simplest of other things!!??  It was, in fact, around 7th grade that I showed an interest in "boys".  Thankfully, so far, my girls are not "boy crazy"....yet (unless you count Megan's infatuation with the boy band, One Direction)!!  But again, here is an example of when I should not "wonder" how she knows this and just be glad that she does!! 
     Here are some other things my mom seems to know, for sure, as indicated by her, recently and repeatedly:
She loves loves loves living at American House
If they sold slurpees at American House they would make a million dollars
Channel 4 is her favorite, she loves it!
She is glad she is divorced from my dad (ha!)
She knows the address of the street she grew up on, 12239 Withorn
Did you know ice cream is a billion dollar industry?
Her blood pressure is good and she is going to call the office to see when they will check it again!!
In the meantime, I will spend less time on the puzzle and more on the person!


Kerri said...

You do such a good job with these posts Cindy. They're informative...you paint such a good picture of what it is like to care and worry about someone with alzheimers. Can't imagine what it's like to slowly lose the mom you knew to the one you care for now. From your posts, I can tell what a strong person you are.

RockinMom said...

I enjoy reading your updates on your mom and want you to know you are in my thoughts. I can not imagine what you are going through but I see the beautiful love you have for your mother and it warms my heart.

Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

It must be so hard for you to not have all the information at hand, but I'm glad that the most important thing is she is happy and she is safe.