No Pedicures For Us Today

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…    bobbinYep,  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.

 

 

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The Pill Box

I need to head to Mom’s today.  Her pill box needs attention.  We had a little bump in the road last week.  The doctors have changed her meds several times over the last month.  I’ve taken away all pills that she no longer needs.  I don’t want her to take any by accident.

Her pill regiment had been the same for years, but last month, after she got really sick, the doctor stopped two of those meds.  He put her on a different regiment.   It was confusing — even to me.  As we sat there, figuring out the dosages and dropping them into her new pill box, I knew she wouldn’t “get it”.  So I took one of each of the two pills that were stopped and actually taped them onto her hospital discharge papers.  ‘See, Mom, these two pills — you are no longer taking them.  I am going to write that here underneath them’.  DOCTOR STOPPED THESE TWO MEDS — I TOOK THEM WITH ME and I signed my name.

The next morning, she called, ‘did you take some of my pills?  I can’t find them.  They are not here’.

Last week, after she was feeling short of breath for several days, we realized that she had set one prescription bottle up high in the  medicine cabinet, thinking she wasn’t suppose to be taking those pills.   I hadn’t filled the box that last time.  Things had settled down a bit.  She had been on the same pills for a couple weeks.    She told me she could do it — by doing it before the boxes got completely empty.  She would just follow suit.  Well, that didn’t work.  Lesson learned.

It’s hard to tell right now how much of this is forgetfulness or just not listening or the “confusion” .  I just know that I have to do the pill box.  It is important.  She is taking meds for three different “ailments”, two of them are life-threatening.

And I pray to God every day that the pills themselves cause no harm.

God, help me help her.  Amen