Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just when you thought...........

Last night, Mummy went to bed without medication.  This will happen from time to time when something in the night time routine changes.  Last night, it was that we were having pizza for dinner.  Why that caused me to forget the drugs I'll never know, but so it was.  Funny thing is, she woke up this morning crystal clear (mind wise).  Oddest thing.  She got up early (I didn't have to wake her) and she went downstairs and got herself her first glass of water. 

Now, you have to understand that with my mother, the first thing she will usually reach for, is a cup of tea.  The thing has no nutritional value, but she's got some kind of addiction to it.  At any rate, this morning, she gets up and gets herself water.  And this after not having had any meds?  Oddest thing.

Anyway, we had a pretty good day but tonight the curtain fell.  First there was the matter of the reorganization of her drawers, one of her favorite time stuffers.  Then, there was the matter of the medication.  The meds were proffered but, thinking that we were still in the 'normal' zone, no oversight was provided.  When I turned to her not too much later to ask her to put in her eyedrop, she got up from the table, went to the sink and spat out what she had in her mouth.  After a couple minutes of investigating, we determined that she thought that she had put the eyedrop into her mouth.  Turns out, she had actually taken the second of her tablets and spat that out, thinking it should have been put in the eye.  I had noticed this kind of confusion before but never really worried too much about it.  The notion of eyedrop is for eyes and tablet is for the mouth, is breaking down.  These things are, after all, conventions, learned behaviors and Mummy is unlearning everything.  Clearly I should be concerned.  Mummy no longer knows the difference between an eyedrop and a tablet.  I'm guessing that going forward, I'm going to be putting those drops into her eyes myself and standing at her shoulder as she swallows the tablets.  So it is.

Friday, May 14, 2010


No matter how hard I think I have it, there is always someone else who has it harder. I have support - moral and physical; and we were smart enough (or lucky enough) to get long term care insurance which helps with the financial challenges, and finally, we are lucky enough to have other options and resources to help keep this whole crazy thing going. At the end of the day, I think we're managing to plod through this messy bog without the usual amount of destruction being left in our wake. Trying to see upside here. Trying real hard.

Being unemployed (scratch that, 'between opportunities') has a real benefit here. Surprisingly part of that benefit is financial. Don't have to pay for services if you're at home to provide them. But there are other challenges presented by the jobless state, not the least of which is the damage to my longterm professional prospects. I try not to think too much about these things. There's a whole lot I try not to think too much about.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day. Whose Day?

Mummy had a call from home today, from someone with whom she has a long and complex history of about 30 years. He called to say Happy Mother's Day. She wasn't available to take the call (sleeping) but my sister later relayed the message that he had called. Her response was the standard, "Where is he?" I now know that her whole sense of place is completely topsy turvy, so this response isn't really a surprising anymore. More than that though, I'm starting to think that this response is a delaying tactic as she tries to pull up some memories related to the name. The next part of her response gave me pause and I'm still in "pause" mode. Finally she admitted that she could remember the name, but not his face. This is big.

I know that this is the way of things, but I have to admit that I'm really hoping that tomorrow, if I mention his name, she'll be able to remember his face. I'm thinking it may be time to start whipping out the pictures and going through a daily exercise of talking about the people in those pictures.

One more thing lost, hopefully to return tomorrow. Or not.

Wishes, Horses, Beggars

This morning I had to give up part of my workout. I woke up early but didn't jump off the bed. I decided to have a little lie in and read my book. Well that may be OK for other people, but not so much for me in my current situation.

About an hour later, I finally decided that I wanted to exercise. Under different circumstances, I might have been able to swing it. If I were responsible for only me, I definitely would have been able to get it all in. But that is not how this works.

I go down to the basement and start doing my thing. Next thing I know, I can hear my niece coming downstairs in her shoes (a sure sign that she was ready). Oops! Trouble! Gotta adjust my plan because Mummy wasn't awake yet. She often has to be awakened if you want her up at a reasonable hour. So, I had to quit my workout, mid-exercise, bc my responsibilities beckoned.

Sigh. Upside: I workout 5 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour each time. So one shortened workout will not hurt me. It may fret me, but it won't hurt me in the long run.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, and my workout would never be interrupted.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Morning or Evening?

Several months ago, quite by accident, my sister and I discovered that giving Mummy her medication at night led to better mornings. Unfortunately, with the disease progressing, we're having fewer and fewer good mornings.

This is par for the course I imagine, but it's a little sad that something so simple that had yielded such a good result (for her and us), now seems to have lost its efficacy. What this is going to mean going forward is that I'm going to have to insist on the exercise. We have no proof that it works, but there has to be some benefit to moving the blood around in her body more efficiently.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I'm leaving early to get to church in the morning, so I have to go set things in place from tonight. This requires me to be more responsible than maybe I want to be, but so it is.

Ran down to the basement, got out Mummy's dress for tomorrow and the selected my own garments for church. Now I have to figure out how to get Mummy up and at least in the shower before I leave in the morning. If I don't at least get that or the breakfast done before I leave at 8:30, my sister will have it all to do and it's tough enough for me to handle Mummy. If I don't get my part done in the morning, she'll be trying to do the 7 year old and the 74 year old. My guess is, she'll get to church, eventually, but probably without either a bath or breakfast or both.

Stay tuned.

Made it. Took a bit of doing but we made it. Critical to the success of this morning's mission was getting Mummy up early and in and out of the shower before I came down to have breakfast. It's like performing delicate surgery. The slightest miscalculation can throw the entire operation into peril.