I went to see Mom yesterday. I intended for us to go for pedicures. My sister had mentioned a couple of times that Mom’s piggies could use some attention. Sounded good to me… who doesn’t love a pedicure? Well, Mom, evidently. There was no persuading her otherwise. I tried. I really really tried. I texted my sister, ‘unless I tie her up and drag her to the car, there will be no pedicures today’. Ok then.
Mom has gained almost 30 pounds in the 8 weeks she has been at the assisted living facility. My sisters think she is feeling better and eating too well. (I could write a whole blog about my skinny sisters, food struggles, and my weight, however, my anxiety level is high enough today) ‘They give her dessert at every meal”. Well, yes, but 30 pounds?! She isn’t chowing down and bingeing on bowls of ice cream every night. Of course, there will be some weight gain as she was down to 110 pounds, but this much, this fast, isn’t a normal, healthy weight gain. No, I think maybe the recent downward swing of that thyroid is still playing havoc with Mom’s body. Doctors have adjusted her meds again. Recent doctor’s appointments have yielded praise of Mom’s rebounding health, and frankly, no doctor is concerned about her weight. Seriously? I’m kinda concerned… and I don’t think its the Moose Tracks.
She called me on Monday because she was frustrated with a sewing machine someone gave her. The bobbin thread was in a tizzy. Anyone who sews knows that messed up bobbin thread can make you crazy. I told her I would bring my extra machine. “I’m not using it. I can help set it up. I’m coming tomorrow so I’ll put it in the car right now”. She called me again on Tuesday morning before I left. …the bobbin thread on that machine was in a tizzy. Anyone who sews knows… Yep, a repeat of the conversation from the day before. Oh, Mom. She called me twice more as I was driving, remembering things she needed me to pick up for her sewing tasks. Setting up the machine and filling extra bobbins of various colors was a fun, normal thing to do. It was so good to see Mom in this setting. It would have been “just like old times” if it wasn’t for the repetition. I think three times, she said, ‘I wanted you to pick something up. What was it?’ “Pins, Mom, you asked me to pick up straight pins. See, here they are.”
I am still a little shocked at the repeat questions. It may be something I never get use to. How does the brain work? Why do those recent words not stick? I want to take her face in my hands and say, listen Mom, listen to what I say. As if only listening were the answer. Remember. Please, remember, Mom.
She hears the repetition in her fellow residents… she says things like, “they are like my Mom was…” I just nod, and my heart is sad. Very very sad. Dementia is a cruel disease. It is stealing my mother.
She doesn’t even know she’s leaving.
I hate dementia.
I fear dementia.