Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
**From the Week of March 9th**
     I had a busy week as my husband went to Charleston, SC on a golf vacation and my kids had an extra busy week with Cinderella musical, golf tryouts, soccer tryouts, music festival, state competition practices, etc...  I finally got over to see my mom....  Our big "meltdown" has been in progress in Michigan this past week, and we really have made significant progress.  However, memories of year's past tell me it's never over for sure until May....  I parked near a sign that cautioned about ice, a piece of sidewalk that seemed to retain water and probably went from freezing to a puddle back and forth depending on the day...  This sign was a nice welcome!?

Once inside, I went in my mom's room to check on things.  I saw this cute little bunny sitting on her nightstand.  Another little collection of stuffed animals has started, much like she accumulated to her assisted living apartments, but not as many.

    Speaking of stuffed animals, I think someone was recently asking about Muffin...  My mom does not seem as attached to Muffin lately.  I have not heard her ask for her in a long time, and when I went to look I found one Muffin in her closet and the other here...

in the commons area. (Remember, we had two "Muffin" dogs so that if one was lost or in the wash, we would still have one.)   I would like to think that my mom is feeling more secure in her skilled nursing environment in recent months, and, perhaps, she does not "need" Muffin as much.  However, it is possible that she has kind of forgotten about Muffin.  I may see what the staff says about that. 
     I also went and looked by the blankets to see if there was another "fidget quilt".  There was, so I brought it over to my mom and while she was watching the movie, we talked about each item on the quilt.  There was a part of her that wanted to remove that little puppy from the quilt, so if any of you are ever thinking about making a fidget quilt, use strong thread and sew everything down well. 

It seems that my mom's love of television is back in full swing.  Many times, especially recently, I see many of the residents sitting near the nurses station by the bird cage, or the sun.  However, my mom was alone down by the television near her bedroom watching Father of the Bride 2.  She was awake...and watching.  She seemed pretty good and even stayed awake for the majority of my visit which was over an hour.  She was having what those familiar with Alzheimer's would call a "good day".  Her sense of humor was intact and when I commented about how funny Steve Martin was, she wholeheartedly agreed. 

While we were sitting, a man in a wheelchair (who can move himself around with his feet) kept stopping by and seemed to be doing "laps" around the floor.  His speed wasn't bad either, so every once in awhile he would stop and say something to us and then he would move on.  My mom was trying to understand him, but we could not and once he left my mom looked at me and shook her head to let me know she thought he was crazy!!??  It may not have been appropriate, but it made me laugh for a second because I knew that was a true reaction from my mom.
     I told my mom about the music competition my kids bands were participating in over the weekend and how both Megan and Jacob had solos during their performances.  She seemed impressed and asked how they did.  I said they did really well and that seemed to make her happy. 
     Then, as the movie was coming to an end, we were watching the scenes where the daughter and the mom both have their babies.  I could tell my mom loved seeing the close ups of the little babies and because one was a boy and one was a girl (like my twins, Jacob and Kristin) I said, look it is like the day Jacob and Kristin were born and we were all at the hospital.  Do you remember that?   She nodded and kept watching.  I could tell she remembered it, and I know it was one of her proudest days.  A minute later she repeated "there's Jacob and Kristin".  After some of the sleep, more quiet visits we've had lately, I felt good about this visit.

     So, although I did not come armed with a photo album as I intended, we did have a nice visit and was thankful my mom was having a "good day". 

Later, when my brother and niece visited, this is what she did when he said "smile"!!??
  She will do anything for a laugh, and she knows the grandkids sometimes think the more "inappropriate" the better....



Kim said...

Awwww, you made me smile. Those kind of days are just the best. I am so glad you visited on that particular day and Momma delivered some of her spark.

Julia said...

Good morning Cindy, I'm so glad your mom is doing so well. It must make it so much easier to leave knowing that she's happy there. So many are not as lucky. I think that you made the right choice when you placed her there.

Hopefully the snow will be all gone for good very shortly.

Your family and you keeps very busy and a good little vacation is always a good thing.

Shirley said...

Good Morning Cindy, It is so wonderful when we have a good day when we go back to visit. It is hard when we have to have them there, but in the long run we know it is for the best. Hopefully you have Spring soon. Ours is like a yoyo up abd down. I watch our temperature drop 10 degrees while I was at the nursing home yesterday. Many Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend Shirley@shirleystitches

yaya said...

I'm hoping by now your snow is just a memory! Your Mom looked really good and I'm glad you had a nice visit. I hope you have many more in the future. This facility seems to really be a good fit. It's good to hear from you and get an update on your Mom. Take care!

Arlene - Caregiver ordinaire said...

Cindy! This is an AWESOME post! I love it when Mom's remember little snippets and you can tell. I love love the funny pic of her 'smiling'. You are doing a great job! One foot in front of the other... You couldn't be a better daughter to your Mom if you tried! :)a

Kerri said...

I smiled through this whole post! Yay for a good visit with your mom!! She is so proud of you guys.

Donna said...

That was so nice to read....I'm glad you've been too busy to write, because I've been too busy to read!!! X's and O's to my wonderful friend and caregiver!