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.