Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     You would think I would be used to the idea by now...  I think I've said it before.  I have a fourth child and her name is "Mom".   As we've discussed, mom has hoarding issues.  A few weeks ago, I discovered someone had given her this bag to hang on her walker.  It is very big and deep.  I am sure their intentions were good.  However, I purposely only provided the "red basket" to minimize how much she could "carry" around.  Reading glasses, mail, keys, tissues is about all she needs.  Now look what needs to be cleaned out every week.  This is one week's worth of "stuff".  Fruit, empty plastic cups, yogurts, brochures, junk mail, place mats, tissues, makeup bag, stuffed animals, etc...  I removed the red basket.  Eventually, this bag is going to have to go.  She will not be happy!!  The bag is also preventing her from taking full "strides" while walking.  If I did not keep up with her place on a weekly basis, I can only imagine the amount of stuff she would accumulate.  Every pill cup times about 3 per day...  Well, there would be over a thousand of them...  Drinking cups...same!!  Place mats...  Those who can't believe what they see while watching the show "Hoarders"...well believe it!!!  I am not a doctor, but I can tell you it is more a result of an illness than a choice -- and not at all funny if it touches someone close to you.  We are also still dealing with my mom's previous residence!!

     Since my last post, I also met with my mom's care manager from the Area Agency on Aging.  We speak by phone at least monthly and then meet every 6 months to go over her care, finances, and general well being. 
     Very recently, a fellow blogger and I found each other.  She also cares for her mom who has Alzheimer's Disease.  While reading a recent post of hers, I was particularly struck by what I was reading.  I took it as a "sign".  Although my mom's mammogram was getting close to the top of my "things to do" list, it was time to move it to the very top.  Truth is, my mom was three years overdue for one.  For this I am not proud.  Normally, I am very diligent about such things.  There are a variety of reasons this got put off which may be difficult to understand.  All I can say is I'm doing the best I can with her care...
     Obviously, I am scared to death just thinking of how I would handle any other medical issue that could come up with my mom.  At the same time, I know knowledge is power... 
     So, after a few too many phone calls and a bit of the runaround and insurance research, off we went for my mom's mammogram.  Thankfully, there were moments of quiet rest on the way...and although very cold, the sun was shining!   
     I think her appointment time fell close to her morning nap time...
and although she made some rather inappropriate remarks in the waiting room, particularly when she saw a man there...  I knew we were doing the right thing and that it was long overdue. 
     Afterwards, it was reward time for mom.  After continually asking for a "slushie" on the way home, I picked up one for her and a Junior Whopper and fries treat to boot!  Over four hours later, I was ready to go home. 
      Today, mom and me are off to her primary care physician for a checkup.  You may recall, I had to cancel a couple of weeks ago when we got hit with an icy snow storm and my kids were off school. 
     I have also been saying some silent prayers for negative results on my moms tests -- we should learn in the next few days. 
     Meanwhile, I am sending positive thoughts, support and prayers out to Kim, her mom, and her caregivers.  Despite the circumstances, I am thankful that our paths have crossed!!



Kim said...

I'm so glad we found each other too. If I had a dime for every time I have said "I'm doing the best I can here...." I would be RICH. I know exactly how you feel. The hoarding....been there. Every time one of Mom's friends would take her out I would find a stash of treasures in her pockets - anything and everything.
I hope the test results come back clear.

Kerri said...

Oh Cindy, I am so happy that you found a fellow blogger you can relate to and share with...your paths were meant to cross for sure. Sending prayers for your mom that she gets good news this week.

Jennifer said...

You are doing better than your best!!! And who in the world gave her that basket??? No No No!

Ramblings of a Suburban Mom

yaya said...

Kim is a wonderful gal..I love her blog and admire her strength and love while taking care of her Mom...just like I admire you! My Aunt turned into a hoarder as her dementia got worse. She was such an immaculate housekeeper and, unfortunately, she had very little support from her children. My Mom would go to her home (across the street from our house) every morning and bring her fresh coffee, oatmeal, clean her up, change her soiled linens and clothes and visit with her. When my Mom went on vacation her children came over and moved her to a nursing home where they never went to visit her again...so sad. Your Mom is very lucky to have you take such good care of her.

Nancy Anthony said...

I'm glad to see the posts, Cindy. I'm sure it helps to "talk" to others going through similar issues. You are my hero, and your Mom is so lucky to have you. Stay strong.