Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     As I prepare this post late Sunday night, I first want to again thank all of you for your kind words and support.  There are a few of you who are walking this walk or have been in a similar situation and "get it".  Others are just nice compassionate people.  I appreciate all of your support as this is definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  Taking care of my mom.  Completely switching roles.  Making decisions for someone who does not know what is best for them.  Taking away some independence.  Getting legal affairs in order.  Applying for necessary medical insurance and assistance.  Being mom to three teenagers at the same time.  The list goes on and on and that's just the stuff we can talk about in one post...
     However, I am happy to report that we stayed out of the E*******y Room this week!!! (insert applause).  I don't want to say the words...that's how nervous I am!!
     I was in touch with Sheri several times, and I visited my mom on Wednesday and Saturday.  On Wednesday, I was greeted by this sign on my mom's apartment complex door.  The dining room was closed as there was a flu bug going around the building.  For one second, I wanted to turn around and pretend I never came, but I had already had my flu shot and knew I needed to check on my mom!!  
    Right after I got there her lunch was delivered at 11:30 am.  Kind of early since she usually goes to lunch at 1:00 pm, but I asked her to come and eat it while it was still warm. My mom does not have a microwave and does not have use of her oven or stove.  It was Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, corn and sherbet and she ate every last bit of it and every kernel of corn!!  The food is so-so and with them having to deliver to everyone it was 70s TV dinner style.  Honestly, if I was not there I doubt she would have eaten it and can almost guarantee she wouldn't have eaten it all.  A week of eating all meals in the apartment had to be a long week!!  They actually extended the closing to this past Saturday, which was the first day the dining room was back open.
     Sheri indicated there was one day that my mom showed signs of a flu bug.  Thankfully, they were moderate and did not last!!  Sheri also had a bug, but came in to help my mom because she said she was afraid they would not find anyone else.  
     Whilte I was there, I noticed my mom's staples had not yet been removed, so I followed up with the Med Team to make sure the home health nurse would be removing them soon.  After a few too many phone calls from me, I found out the nurse planned to remove them Thursday as she did not think they were quite ready on Tuesday when she was there.  Boy, I tell ya you really have to stay on top of all these things!!  

      As I sat with my mom, she was kind of dozing and we were watching TV (Channel 4, of course).  Days of Our Lives happened to be on...  My mom has watched for years and actually got me into Days of Our Lives when I was a teen.  Normally, my mom would be at lunch when it is on at 1:00 pm.  As we were watching quietly, at one point my mom said, "Is that Rafe?"  I said, "I'm not sure, I don't think so" (I always get him and another character, EJ, mixed up because they look similar to me and I hardly watch anymore.) Then, it hit me!!??  How did my mom remember the name "Rafe" (of all names) who is a fairly new character on the show, which she hardly ever sees anymore????  She is just full of surprises sometimes.  I can't tell you how rarely she retains any current information. A perfect example, she still denies knowing anything about a "Sheri" who helps her every morning for four hours seven days a week!!!??  Chalk one up for the mom for knowing Rafe!!!  (Of course, I secretly thought -- she isn't ready for a nursing home!!??)
     On Thursday, the home health nurse called me and indicated she was with my mom and going to remove her staples.  Sheri was also there, so I felt comfortable even though at one point I was going to try to be there with her.  Her head is healing nicely, but I would not say it's competely healed.  
     My mom is soooooooo overdue for a haircut, style and color!!!  She was already overdue because I had not wanted to bring her out in the extra nasty winter weather.  Once the weather gradually started getting nice, well then the "you know whats" happened three times...  I still have to wait on coloring her hair, but a cut and style is definitely on my "to do" list.  As luck would have it, my kids are also on Spring Break this week so it's busy!!
     On Saturday, me, my husband and Jacob all stopped in to check on my mom.  She was sitting comfortably reading something and no TV was on.  We chatted and my mom seemed pretty good.  The repetition has been at a minimum lately.  Really pretty good.  My husband said, "Mary, did you hear the Tigers won today?"  She was happy to hear that.  I talked to my mom a bit, and then told my hubby to stop playing with his phone and talk to my mom.  So, ya know what he said???  He said, "Mary the Tigers won today!" and then she said, "Yeah, I know one of you already told me that!!"  If you knew the usual drill, you would know why this is soooooo funny to me!!!  My mom simply does not usually have any short term memory left.  The Tiger news normally would have been "news" to her.  But not this day!!  I teased my husband for trying to pull a fast one on his mother-in-law!!

     A little while later, I asked my mom if she knew what the date was???  She studied her time/date clock I got for her a few years ago.  After a little effort she settled on April 5th.  I said, right!  Do you know what April 5th is?  She repeated the question and thought for a minute then said, "Grandma's Birthday?"  This, again, was quite surprising!!  I said, "right"!!!  Then, as my mom detected my surprise, she said "What do you think I'm an idiot?????"

     So, here I am back on the roller coaster riding along with my mom through the highs and lows, thrills and spills, sometimes holding on tight and sometimes throwing my arms up in the air just enjoying the ride!!!


Kim said...

This sounds like a definite "enjoy the ride" week. Ahh, makes me happy to read this post.
Sometimes they will pull something way out of the back of their brain that just makes your mouth fly open in amazement!

Shirley said...

I have been trying to catch up with my friends this morning. I know what you are going through and the decisions you have to make for someone Else's life is not fun. You or at least I would second guess myself wondering if it was the right one. Can your mother qualify for any kind of assistance to help with the medical expenses? You do have a roller coaster ride fitting in your teenagers also. I know you aren't ready to make the decision of a nursing home, but trust me it does relieve some of the stress and worry. It is a hard decision to make. Know that you are in my heart and prayers. Try to find a little time for yourself so that you don't get sick. Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend.

Kerri said...

Rafe is HOT...so there's no surprise there! :)
Sounds like one of your better weeks...hope things continue to go smoothly for as long as they can.

Have a great week!

yaya said...

I laughed out loud at your Mom's final comment! Ha! I hope you have many more good days ahead!

Julia said...

I'm so glad that your mom is having more cognitive moments and remembering Rafe.... That's a good one.... She is pulling some surprises for sure.

I hope that you'll have more of those good weeks.
Now that the weather is warming up and the daylight is increasing it will be easier to get around. I sure hope that she stays safe from falls.


Jennifer said...

OMG I am cracking up. How on earth did she know who that guy was? I must look him up myself to see if he is that memorable.

Arlene - Caregiver ordinaire said...

I LOVE LOVE it when Mommas come back, even if it is just for a minute!! How wonderful for you! I'm so so glad you wrote it down so you can enjoy it again later too! It's so hard to know that the flu can be so serious for our folks. Your Mom looks great in pics. You are doing a great job!! One day at a time... a hug for you!

Donna said...

The end made me laugh...Go Mare!! XO

Donna said...

Oh...and PS....Isn't Rafe that cute Hispanic guy that Sammy was seeing at some point way back when? (I haven't seen it in years either). If so...GO MARE, again, for remember a hottie!! hahaha