Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday routine

I am up early...drinking tea, eating cereal with some of the last fresh raspberries of the season. One of life's joys....quiet time in the morning having a great breakfast.

Today, I will go to take Mom to lunch and do some shopping. I am worried that Mom's ability to cook for herself is diminishing. She often "forgets" to eat dinner.

She spent yesterday watching TV...Ted Kennedy's funeral, the U.S. Open, the news. The television has become her daily contact with the world. She oftens mishears things and misinterprets information. Often when I leave, to make it easier, I put the TV on and she becomes totally engrossed in it as I lock the door.

Mom definitely has some kind of dementia going on. When we meet her new doctor at the end of September, I hope she can do some cognitive testings. Not that it will change anything...I just need to know what I am dealing with when I am with Mom.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Drape drama

Mom and I have been working on a drape project for over a week. I took her shopping for drapes last Saturday....that was 5 long hours of going in one store after another looking at drapes. Her world view of drapes is that they are lined, have little metal hooks and a drawstring. Custom made drapes are not in her budget so we have settled on a less expensive alternative.

I found some drapes and valances on sale at Sears. After several trips back and forth, we finally have all of the necessary pieces of hardware and software. I hung one set last night in 86 degree heat. Drilling a few holes and hanging a drape with valances should be easy...but it really isn't. After an hour and a half of drilling and figuring, I had the first set up.

Mom was actually pretty good during this process...sitting in the chair watching without too much back seat driving behavior. She could see that I was tired and sweating like a pig. She really liked the look of the window after I got everything installed and the drapes hung. This weekend I will do the second window.

I have to say that I was dreading this chore. Mom tends to "supervise" in a way that drives me wild. I was glad that she held back this time and let me just do the job on my own.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Their anniversary

I took Mom and Pamela out to dinner tonight at Anthony's on the waterfront downtown. Mom has been struggling this week with the fact that today was the day that she and Dad got married in 1947. When she mentioned that their anniversary was this week I asked her what she was going to do on the 8th of August. She said she was going to cry all day. Well..that didn't seem like a great way to spend the day, so I suggested we all go out and have a nice meal.

She had a great time...watching all the people out the window and in the restaurant. Mom ate a good meal of Willipa Bay deep fried oysters and fresh peach crumble that we all shared for dessert. As usual, she was dressed to the hilt and looked pretty good. She isn't able to walk much now, so we brought the transport chair to get her in and out of the restaurant and back up to her apartment.

She has lost more weight. I think part of it is poor eating habits and part of it is that it is hard for her to prepare food for herself. I asked her what she had for lunch today and she said "two cookies". I wish I could convince her to go into assisted living, but that is never going to happen.

Pamela and I put a vinyl cover on her mattress when we got her home. She goes to the bathroom at least 3 or 4 times a night now, wears adult diapers, and still worries that she is going to wet the bed. Now she has the vinyl mattress cover, so hopefully she will stop being so worried during the night.

When we left, Mom thanked both of us for a nice evening and said that I had been a good kid all my life. I often don't feel like a good kid with her. I feel angry and overwhelmed and that I am struggling to hang onto some shred of empathy for my Mom and her situation.

I am starting to think Mom has some form of dementia..she told the same story three times tonight. Her short term memory seems a little shaky.

I am doing the best I can.