Monday, March 26, 2007

Step One, Two, Three

Last week when Mom had her fainting spell in the shower, I mentioned that she had hopped in without me knowing. If we have an appointment listed on the calendar, she is really good at remembering that she has to go somewhere. She doesn't always know when, where, or with who, but it does get trapped in her mind.

I have the showering down to a dance. I failed this last time around because I didn't know she was in there. First thing is to remove any cleansing products that won't be used to reduce her confusion. That means an all-in-one shampoo (shampoo and conditioner), a body wash (she likes St. Ives Apricot scrub), and a bar of soap.

I turn on the water and get the temperature right, then I leave so she can disrobe and get in. Once she's in, I return to the bathroom and orchestrate the production from the other side of the shower curtain to maintain her privacy. Telling her to start with wetting her hair, use the green bottle with shampoo, etc.

Last week she was doing this on her own. She used the body scrub for her hair. After her spell I got her on the bed so she could lay down and get her bearings and that's when I discovered what had happened. I brought her to the kitchen sink to rinse the goop out of her hair and wash it with the shampoo.

This experience has helped me realize what things we take for granted. Like knowing what shampoo is. Mom can still read — she reads the newpaper daily and a little booklet I get about her daytime television programs. But she doesn't put together that the shampoo bottle says shampoo on it. And you would think that the grit of the body scrub would alert her that it isn't shampoo. After all, she's been washing her hair all her life. But her brain doesn't make those connections.

The brain is a wonderfully complex thing. Living with mom and seeing her troubles makes it easier for me to really understand the phrase, "Stop and smell the roses." Oh, and I'm looking forward to the five rose bushes I planted last summer to bloom so I can do precisely that!

1 comment:

ArichNY said...

What a wonderful post! I enjoy reading this blog! You have my admiration for your patience and loving care!