Monday, May 17, 2010

who do you think you are

Mom went to the doctors today. We stopped so she could check in with the receptionist; who asked, "And you are?"
Mom gave her full maiden name.
A name she hasn't used in fifty-three years.

I gulp, I close my eyes, I wait. I was speechless. I couldn't correct my Mother, to let everyone around know that she doesn't remember her own name.

I couldn't think fast enough.
"You might have her under ___ in your records."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

the bum's rush

Today I went to do errands with Mom. We got the mail, she read it, we discussed it, and then for the next two hours she asked me five more times to stop and get the mail.

I have the feeling that she is still upset with me for... for what... making her stay in the hospital... hiring more daily home aides to help her... doing the laundry the wrong way... taking away her car... being my meddlesome self...
Yes, even now she still comments on EVERY Subaru that we see. "I miss my car. I never had an accident. You took my car."

When we got back to the house, she really wanted me gone, she really wanted me out of her house. I still had a few chores that I needed to do, but she was after me to get done and get gone.
I wanted to mark the large stones in the field, so that the man I hired to mow wouldn't ruin his equipment on them.
"Do what ever you want, you're taking over everything."
Yes, she's upset with me.
She really has no idea how much I have "taken over" her life; much more than just throwing away the moldy food from her fridge and hiring someone to mow.


Mom's younger brother does not understand. He doesn't realize that she can't live alone any longer. He only sees her for a short visit every couple of months. All he sees is a woman who repeats herself. He doesn't see that she has worn the same clothes for the past three days. He doesn't see her neglecting her home.

I don't need arguments from him, I need his support.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a mother's day to remember

My quiet Mother's Day breakfast was interrupted by a call from someone at Mom's church. She had passed out and was being taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Mom spends the next few days in the hospital, being tested, questioned, and tested some more.
No, she can't tell them how tall she is or what year it is. She can't remember the names of the nurses or even the name of her primary care doctor.
Tuesday I had to make a decision, does she go to a nursing home or home? I scramble around with the help of the hospital staff to find more support services for my mom, and I take her home. More support for her daily living - more "strangers" coming into her home to pester her to eat and bathe.
Dementia is a horrible disease.

When she gets home, she is so excited to see her cats, she cries and hugs them. "I've missed you so much, you are the only family I have."

My heart aches. Who sat with you in ICU for the past three days? I'm the meddlesome woman who makes you do things you don't want to do. I am your nemesis.
I'm the one who cleaned your kitchen and bathroom, did your laundry, listen to you tell the same story over and over, bought you groceries, fed your cats, made sure that support services were coming, listen to you tell the same story again, filled your pill boxes, talked to nurses, doctors, and social workers, renewed your prescriptions, listen to you tell the same story again, paid your bills, went to the dump, chiseled six piles of cat-sick off the floor, watered your plants, found books for you to read and puzzles to put together. I am nobody I am invisible.

Dementia is a horrible disease.

Mom keeps saying "that will be a Mother's Day to remember", but will she? Do I have to?