Monday Memories With My Mom -- with VIDEO*

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     Last Tuesday night, my mom called me.  I was actually working on the computer and had time to listen (usually she calls at dinner time or when we are on our way out) so I made a conscious decision to just keep letting her talk for as long as she wanted.  Here are the topics of our 30 minute "conversation":  She asked several times how old I would be at my next birthday.  When I told her (it's a big birthday, but I will keep some of you in suspense....since it's not until June) she said, oh Social Security.  Unfortunately, I will not be old enough to collect Social Security!!  Here are some of the other things that were discussed repeatedly:  She loves the American House where she lives, wants to make sure I do her taxes, she wants to vote Republican, she loves the watch I got her, she wants to know how old Lucky (our dog) is, asked if my dad moved again, and said she is thankful for all my help.
     For the most part, this was what was discussed during our 30 minute conversation.  These same eight or so topics, repeatedly.  In spite of that, my mom seemed pretty good, which is rare for an evening conversation.
     Coincidentally, I had scheduled her neurologist appointment for last Friday, a/k/a World Alzheimer's Action Day.  When I picked her up, she was just getting dressed after being helped with a shower.  (Her shower schedule is not carved in stone, so I just take my chances when I come to pick her up.).  Unfortunately, there was no time to do hair or makeup* before we had to leave for the doctor.  The car ride there was full of numerous questions about where we were going and why.  .  
     We stopped and got my mom a 12 pack of pop on our way to the appointment.  Then, we went to the doctor's appointment.  I don't know why, perhaps as more of a distraction to myself, I decided to capture part of our day on video.  Rest assured, these same things were discussed repetitively during the three hours I spent with my mom.  I hope you can understand me (and her).  Part of the time, I was trying to speak quietly since we were in the doctor's office.   

     I am not sure if you can understand, but she says several times, "I can tell you right now I only change when I have to".  This is in regards to our recent incidents where she was running out of her disposable undies way too quickly.  You may recall, I put a sign in her bathroom reminding her to only change when necessary.  Well, apparently, for better or worse, that sign is "stuck" in her mind.  Once settled in the doctor's office, I had another little chat with my mom...

     I don't know if you can hear, but my mom says "mm hmm, mm hmm" repeatedly also.  I have only noticed that in the last six months or so.  Did you notice here she recalls that we just went and got pop...and even the store we went to.  Ten minutes earlier on the previous video, she asked me to go and get her some pop. 
     Next, here's a glimpse of what happened once we left the doctor's office.

     I don't want this post to go too long.  However, I will tell you that it was a verrrrry long three hours for me.  I tried so hard to patiently answer questions and change topics and make the most of our time.  Truth is, once we got back to her apartment, I could not wait to leave.  I can also say for sure, my patience is sooo much better than it used to be, although it may not seem like it. 
     I did have to get to Kristin's first volleyball game and then Megan was marching in her high school football that night.  I have to tell you, even though I was dressed in some pink for the "pink out" football game honoring breast cancer awareness, that night I became  emotional during the game reflecting on my day with my mom and just wishing and hoping that someday there would be the same awareness for what those with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease and all they go through as well.


*In fairness to my mom, I will have to do another video where she has her hair done and at least some makeup on!!  (Sorry, mom!)



RockinMom said...

I tried to view your videos but they are showing up as private.
You are such a blessing to your mother.

The Pawlak Family said...

Oh Cindy. You are an angel. I'm thinking she thought she was there in regards to not remembering when to change. She sure was hung up on that. I feel for you both.

Donna said...

I hope you will come take care of me someday, if I need it, too! You are an angel, my friend! XO