Mom continues to gain strength, and has actually gained around 15 pounds as near as I can tell. Over the last several weeks, when asked about her weight, Mom would reply that she weighed 112 or 127 or 119 — all within the same conversation! My sister and I were concerned because Mom’s weight is relevant due to her Congestive Heart Failure. My sis has since bought a small dry erase marker board which sits right by the bathroom scale. Mom’s daily journal seems to confirm the 127, give or take a pound each day.
However, it is complicated because now that the Hyperthyroidism is under control, of course, she is gaining weight. Her appetite is back, and she is eating well again. I try not to take offense to “the eating well again” comment when my sister says it. Hey! I was feeding her well when she lived here. But, seriously, 85% of the time Mom was with me, she was a very sick woman. And with the thyroid out of control, it didn’t seem to matter what she ate, she still lost weight. I haven’t opened any of Mom’s cupboards in the new apartment, but my sister says she tends to gravitate to the candy aisle whenever they are out shopping. That, too, could be responsible for a few extra pounds. She also has dessert choices at every meal in the dining room — she does love her some lemon pie! That’s okay, eat whatever you want, Mom. At 84, some habits are just not going to change.
Since I posted last, I have seen Mom a couple of times. She has been fairly reserved and quiet. She will talk when asked direct questions, but she rarely begins any conversation herself. I think that is the biggest personality change I see. She doesn’t seem mad anymore, just not herself.
I hate dementia. What an awful disease. There she is right in front of me. But where is SHE really? Like many other daughters around me, I have cried myself sick over my mother. (The hour and half drive home serves me well that way.) Grieving…
Our family worked like crazy over the last year to get Mom healthy again. We fought the doctors at every turn when they gave up. And we were right when we said, ‘something isn’t right; you are missing something’. After eight months, the doctors landed on the correct diagnosis, and here we are two and half months later, Mom is certainly healthier — she has gained back strength, stamina, and weight. She looks good. But, I can’t help but think all that havoc on her body accelerated the dementia. She is a different woman than she was — even 9 months ago. Sure, we saw the signs, and we knew things we a bit amiss, but the rate at which her mind has stopped playing nicely is alarming to me. And it grieves me.
I think it grieves her too.
Does she hear the repetition? I know she hears the repeating stories in some of her fellow residents, and it drives her crazy. (smile) Yes, that does make all of us kind of snicker. Oh, Mom…
Does she know she is confused?
I think she knows. And it probably scares her death.
Maybe that’s why she’s quiet. The less she talks the less she reveals to us … and to herself.
3 thoughts on “Maybe That’s Why She’s Quiet… I hate Dementia”
Thank you for your candidness. Your writing draws me into your life and emotions. We are experiencing the care of aging parents as well. Thank you for sharing the journey.
thank you for your encouragement. It is a bumpy road, this taking care of aging parents. Wow. Best wishes to you!
I often wonder this of MIL – she never lets on that she has any insight into her illness at all, quite the opposite, but that surely can’t be true, at least not all the time… Can it…??