Monday Memories With My Mom

A Daughter's Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer' Disease
The Sleepover
     First, let me say thanks for the continuous support I receive from my bloggy friends.  It is hard for me to share some of these details, and I do not share to solicit your support, but it is certainly a nice bonus so thank you! 
     After last Monday's post, I received another call from my mom on Tuesday that she again needed more supplies!!??  Let me break it down, that means 35 briefs were used in about 3 days -- not good and not "normal" for her.  Luckily, I was going to visit on Tuesday anyways, so I restocked her supply and then me, Kristin and her girlfriend hung out there for a couple of hours.  I was trying to see what my mom's habits were...(i.e. "where's the briefs" ...pardon my Wendy's joke).  Unfortunately, I did not learn too much but decided to have the Med Team take my mom's temp so I would have an idea if there was any sign of an infection.  I also told them what was going on and the girls laughed and told me that my mom changes those things even when she does not need to.  They do their best to discourage her.  I have also now made a sign for the bathroom in an attempt not to waste these things.  Ugh!!  Not surprising...just a new/costly behavior.  She did not have a fever.  She also takes a preventative medication to alleviate the chances of any bladder infections, etc...
     I decided to try to relax and keep monitoring as best I could. 
     Then, Thursday night I received a call from the Med Team staff that they noticed some bleeding when she was gettng ready for bed...  I'll leave it at that.  After some discussion with the family, I decided maybe this was going to have to be the time I spent the night to see how my mom is doing.  I thought of urgent care or the ER, but decided it may not be necessary and those places are a nightmare when you go late which would translate into no sleep for me or my mom. 
     I quickly packed some stuff and went over.  My mom did not even question us being there a little late.  I talked to the Med Team and decided my strategy was going to be to monitor through the night and make some calls and appointments in the morning.  It was a little surprised how "awake" my mom seemed to be.  She was not dressed for bed either.  It was after 9 pm. When the Med Team staff came in to talk to me, they said, "Mary, how come you got dressed?"  Apparently, she did have her pajamas on earlier and then got dressed.  Ugh!!  No sense of time...
     I kept tasking my mom to sit down and relax...it doesn't work very well but brought back memories of her living with us and her recent sleepover with us.  My mom loves our local NBC station, Channel 4.  It is the only channel she watches as changing channels does not usually end successfully.  After watching some Olympics...and watching my mom read one piece of paper for over an hour, I decided I would set the tone and at 11 pm declared I was going to bed...(I hardly ever go to bed before 1 am).  It wasn't long before I realized my mom was not going to follow suit.  Not only that, but I decided she probably did not remember I was even there or surely she would have burst into the bedroom to chat or ask what I was doing.  Instead of scaring her, I decided to wait her out since I was there to see her routine, not make her follow the one I would like.  Midnight, my mom was still on the couch scratching notes in a calendar the Olympics on loud and clear.  I set my cell alarm for an hour later and she was still on the couch, but appeared to be asleep with her reading glasses on and reading materials still on her lap.  (By the way, if you ever send my mom a card -- you get your money's worth as she reads them over and over and hangs them on the wall, too, even if it is a year old!  In my mom's defense, I think the Olympics may have her sleep patterns extra messed up as she would be more likely to go to bed if the 11pm news and Jay Leno were on at their normal times.  My mom is a very light sleeper.  I did not dare turn off the lights or tv, but wanted to very badly. 
     I checked on her every hour and she was sleeping in a sitting position.  At my 5:30 am check...the news was on tv and she was awake and watching!!  So much for either of us getting much sleep.  However, I think that my mom takes plenty of naps on a typical day.  By 6am mom was in her room and dressed and ready to go by 6:30 am.  Go where is the question.  Breakfast starts at 8 am.  I was able to sneak in as if I had just come for a visit.  She has no idea I spent the night!!!   I felt more like a spy/private investigator than a daughter, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!?  I will have to do another check, though, after the Olympics are over...
     After making some calls, I learned my mom' primary doctor is on vacation until the 20th (of course!).  Eventually, I had my mom tested for infection and by the end of the day Friday the results were negative.  She does not indicate any pain and is not acting much differently.  I am sleep deprived, crabby and exhausted but I'm home.  Coincidentally, today I am meeting with my mom's case manager from the Area Agency on Aging for her yearly evaluation.  I hope we are able to come up with some type of system that would get my mom in a bed and a decent night's sleep at least few days a week.  Then again, I bet ya she would just get right back up!!   
     Meanwhile, I will evaluate and figure out how to proceed with my mom's problem...perhaps following up after her doctor returns from his vacation!!??  It is very difficult to give a medical history on my mom to "new" doctors, so I may just wait and see.......

My mom has had ths little plaque for quite some time and loves it -- perhaps never were it more true than now

Might have to buy stock in these....

Laundry Day is Wednesday

My mom read/stared at this sheet of paper about blood pressure for at least an hour...  She is currently fixated on getting her blood pressure checked.  Hers is fine....they check it every Tuesday
The Don is back out of the drawer...she admitted she was just mad at him and laughed

Bedtime on my spycam/cell phone


Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

Wow - I'm sure the olympics are really throwing her routine off! It's great that you decided to stay the night with her, because now you at least know what she's up to and now you can try to address it with the caretakers there. Good thing is, she seems to be ok (health wise).

Kerri said...

Did you ever figure out why she was beeding?
Can't beleive your mom didn't even realize you were in the next room spending the night! I think if I was alone and watching t.v. late at night, I would fall asleep more often on the couch. Hopefully your mom takes lots of little naps during the day to catch up on some sleep...although I know it's not as good as that deep sleep you get at night. I'm suprised she doesn't dose off after looking at that same piece of paper for an hour! :)

Kerri said...

Hi Cindy- have you read Still Alice? Just saw this book recommended by another blogger...it's written by a woman who is in the early stages on alzheimers. It's supposedly a really great book.