10.29.2012

Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     My mom had an appointment with her primary care doctor last week.  It is about a 40 minute drive. 
     I start our little days out with a positive attitude.  A day with mom.  Make the most of it.  If the doctor doesn't take too long, maybe we can go to lunch, too.  Afterall, it's only one day. 
This particular day "our" topics of conversation were: 
      Did you know the Tigers are in the World Series?
Are the Tigers in the World Series?
      Are you a Republican or a Democrat?
Who are you voting for?
      Do I get a slurpee? 
     I brought magazines for the car ride for my mom.  I recently subscribed her to Martha Stewart Living (it was a free subscription) thinking she would get "mail" and could add the magazine to her collection.  In the car, she held the magazine in her lap, upside down, and read the mailing label several times during our car ride.  It has her current address on it.  She does not know her current address and asked me several times if the magazine came to her address.  I told her it did and that she must have received it in her mailbox.  Even while "reading' the label, she would sometimes insert her previous address instead of the label address.  It was a sad and exhausting ride.  I try to change the subject and distract her.  It doesn't really work.   She likes to ask questions.



Believing in the Tigers
     We got to the doctor's office 15 minutes early.  Then, he was running 30 minutes late.  In the waiting room, she asked many times if I was a Republican or a Democrat.  There were others in the waiting room.  I would rather not share my politics with the waiting room at the doctor's office.  I had my iPad with me.  Thank you for having wi-fi, doctor's office.  Finally, I pulled up an email from my mom's cousin -- it contained a newsletter on all of their travels.  My mom loves reading those.  It is from the same cousins who visited her recently (as posted here).     Finally, it was our turn.  My mom got a flu shot, a pneumonia booster, and blood drawn.  She asked the nurse and doctor if they knew the Tigers were in the World Series.  She also asked the doctor if he was a Republican or a Democrat.  My mom has known her doctor for years and years.  We just laugh.  He commented to me, "boy, she is very perseverative  isn't she"?  Truer words were never spoken.  Then, the doctor said "can you name one of the Tiger players".  She paused.  He said, "past or present".  She said, "Verlander"!  I was surprised.  Thought for sure she would name a past player.  Rest assured, then we were back to the Tigers/World Series/Republican/Democrat. 
     I asked the doctor if he could prescribe another round of physical therapy for my mom.  Her walking has slowed down again, her balance is a little questionable, and with her recent mystery "falls" that seem to be occurring, I thought it would be good for her.  So, she should soon be having some more physical therapy.  They come to her at the American House and she can only benefit from it. 
      A couple of hours later, we finally headed back.  My thoughts of stopping for lunch were almost gone.  My bestest friend works right near my mom's doctor.  Visions of me and my mom stopping for a visit were not to be.  I wanted to get her home.  Most of the ride home, my mom asked for a slurpee.  Even when I asked about lunch, it was clear the slurpee was all she was after.  Ultimately, I took her to Burger King (again) and got her lunch and her Icee drink.  Lunch and a doctor's appointment is just too much for one day.  At least it is for me, and it may be for her, too. 
     On the way home, I took a different approach to the same questions.  If she said, "are the Tigers going to the World Series"? I would say,"what do you think"?  She would say, "yes".  In fact, when pressed, she did indeed know the answers to her questions.  As for me, I need to stop trying to make sense of a disease that makes no sense!!
     Over four hours later, I had again reached my limit of directing mom, answering questions and driving around.  I try to be grateful that she can still walk...and talk.  I am told the time will come when she will not be able to. 
      So yes mom, the Tigers were in the World Series, but now, sadly,it is time for you and the Tigers to focus on something else!!!

 


Studied and Read That Newsletter for a Long Time


Lots of Waiting



 

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

It's bad that I laughed when you were happy you brought your iPad right? It sounds like she needs one!!!

Kerri said...

I think anyone would be drained after having the same conversation go on for that amount of time. I hope you never feel guilty about not having the energy to stop for lunch and wanting to get your mom back home. You are normal...and a wonderful daughter.

Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

I agree with Kerri - you do a great job with your mom. We are only human and can only do so much. She is happy, safe and loved. You are an angel my friend.

Debbie Dankelson said...

God bless you and your Mom. You are both beautiful and she is so very lucky to have you!