11 August 2011

Good days and not so good

It's been a rough month.  It's been up and down, but mostly down.  The shocking thing is how quickly Mom is getting worse.  She makes very little sense.  It's all sentence fragments in a stream of consciousness monologue.  Sometimes there is a theme.  Tuesday was her Uncle Chalmer.  Wednesday was Cousin Debbie.  Today was Lisa and Sybil.  Knowing who she is talking about is helpful.  Makes it a tiny bit easier to follow.

There are some funny things, though.  I mean, you have to laugh or else you cry.  Today she said as I sat down and untied my shoes, "Yes, sit down and take off your trees."  And later she asked me, "How many were staying here while you were dancing on your head?"  I guessed 3.  I mean, what can you say?

My new schedule is this:
Spend the morning, from about 9 to noon, at the parents house.  This gives me time with my mum while she is fairly rested, and importantly, time for my dad to take his morning nap.  It is essential that he stay healthy and rested.  I've been doing this for a week or so, and he looks much better.
Work from about 1-ish to 8 or 9 in the evening.
Go home, sit in front of the tv for a few minutes, go to bed.
On Saturday and Sunday, just take out the work part.

It's not just that her mind is going.  She is also physically very frail.  Some days she can get herself up and walking, but mostly not.  She is pretty teetery, too, so there is the constant fear of her falling.  She has fallen, but so far no serious injury.  One good thing is that they put her on a steroid and it has increased her appetite. She was at the point of eating a couple of bites of toast a day and that was it for her caloric intake.  Now, however, she is eating an entire piece of toast for breakfast and sometimes having part of another one.  Wow!  She will eat a little lunch and a few bites of dinner, but that's about all.  Still, it's keeping her going.

I've told her what a wonderful mother she is, and how lucky I feel.  I tell her every day that I love her.  I can't ask her any big questions any more, though.  Interpreting the answer is so difficult.  One thing that makes me happy is that sometimes, while she is telling some incomprehensible story, she'll shake her head and chuckle.  Laugh at some fleeting memory, and then sit quietly with a smile on her face.  I like that.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you checked in - it's been a while.

You are doing so great. xoxo

Grumpy Granny said...

(((((((((e))))))). This reminds me so much of what happened with my dad. I was happy that I was living with my parents then. Sometimes he would ramble off on subjects we had no idea about, but seemed so vivid to him. It's the disconnection process and now you and your dad are the midwives helping her. It may not seem so now, but later you will look at this time as a great gift.

You know where I am if you need to vent.

Prayers and energy,

the only daughter said...

The beauty in the small moments, the glimmers of joy, keep those close.

My thoughts are with you all.

weese said...

wow.. e.
this is so exactly what we went through. Even the swiftness of the decline.
How is her pain?
Can she still verbalize it enough so you can help to control it? watch her body language and face. we found my mom was not really reporting it well..but the hospice nurses noticed the grimacing - so we were able to adjust her meds.
Its great that you are just wrapping her silly sentences into conversation. its important to make her feel like she is making sense and you are having a good chat. we found if we tried to correct mom it would get her aggitated. the aggitation could last for hours and be very disturbing. happy and calm ...thats how we tried to keep things.
my mom also had a couple falls..and had the same experience with the eating as well.
tho in our case mom had a blockage to deal with as well.
reach out if you wanna chat.
i am thinking of you.

eb said...

Damn, e. So sorry that your mom is on the decline. I wish strength and continued rays of quiet joy to both you and your dad. Giving him a chance to rest is a great gift.

One day at a time becomes one hour at a time becomes one moment at a time, yes?

Take care and keep us updated if you can. xo

Anonymous said...

Your writing expressed your thoughts beautifully. Hugs from us sent to you and yours ... I especially like the last paragraph ...

get some rest time for yourself too!

8thdayplanner said...

What a blessing to be able to spend this time together, for both of you.

Prayers for strength and peace continuing...

KMae said...

I don't know you, but I send you peace & strength. I shall envision you, your mother & dad in Jesus' arms.
Don't worry, I am not a born-again nut. But sometimes, these things help.