As the condition deepens, tugs of war will become more and more a part of daily life.
Over the last weeks, Mummy has been deteriorating noticeably, I think. Of course, I've been away for nearly three weeks, so what I see is a marked difference from what I was dealing with when I left mid-September. In the intervening span of time, that intractability so well known as a part of the dementia/Alzheimer's experience, has set in. I have referenced this before - refering to it in the past as having to say everything twice - but now it's not just a simple case of having to repeat things, we've actually transitioned to simple (and pretty absolute) refusal. And being a little on the passive aggressive side, Mummy simply ignores what you recommend and does her own thing, i.e. nothing.
The reality of this disease is that the point comes when the patient begins to flex some decision-making muscle and this seems to be where we are. I was asked today, "Why do you think you have to tell me to go and take a bath?" She was understandably a little peeved. Heck, I'm peeved that I have to tell you, but if I don't, days will go by before it occurs to you to bathe. These are the realities. From a caregiver perspective, it's unfortunate that there's just enough executive reasoning capacity there to challenge. But that's from a caregiver perspective. From a patient perspective, I would imagine that there is some resentment of my intrusion into her management of her personal care routine. From the patient's perspective, resentment is a good thing. At least she can still feel it. At least she can still feel something.....anything.
While her flexing results in my stressing, it is preferable to the other option, where she is completely incapable of participating in her own care.