Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Going Downhill Fast

Things have been getting noticeably worse in just the past week.

Mom broke down crying with the aide the week before last while I was at the grocery store, telling her "I miss my mommy."

Then she was crying last week when my brother was here during lunch time. I was on a business call, and when I came back out to join the conversation, she was crying but quickly composed herself. My brother told me later that she was worried about her general situation, what would she do if I left, etc. Increasingly, she can't do anything for herself.

This evening, she woke up while dozing on the couch:

Mom: When are we going home?

Me: We are home.

Mom: What are we going to do with all these people?

Me: What people?

Mom: [Pointing to the television.] Them.

I explained that we wouldn't have to worry about the people in the TV.

That was kinda weird but I chalked it up to her just waking up. But then it got even weirder.

Mom: Where's the bathroom in this joint?

Me: Just in there. [I point toward the end of the house. She looks confused.] The bathroom is down there off the hall. Would you like me to show you?

She says no and in she goes. A couple minutes later I hear her rummaging out in the kitchen. A couple more minutes pass and I decide to pay my own visit to the bathroom.

I find Mom eating mini Reese's peanut butter cups. I notice there's white stuff in the cat's dish on the floor at her feet. I ask her about it but she seems puzzled.

It's ice cream. She's opened the carton and spooned up a bowl full into the cat dish and set it down for them. She forgot that she was getting it for herself. I dished up a new bowl for her and got her situated back on the couch watching television.

This is starting to really worry me.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I remember how hard it was on my mom when my grandfather died of Alzheimer's in the late 80's. I know it's no picnic for your mother, but it really is hardest on you and those who know her. You're both in my thoughts and prayers. Take care!

Tilly said...

I love this blog. It's such a good read. And if that sounds heartless, it isn't: I am going through the same with a brace of mothers - one with Alzheimer's (and resisting hard), and the other with Vascular Dementia (dottier, but happier). We are struggling to keep them out of residential care too - and we are trying to keep life as normal as possible, while looking after two young children and clinging onto jobs, that feels like hanging on to a slippery pole.

Your sense of humour is fabulous and it's obvious that you love your Mum.

I don't know if it helps, but I know exactly how it feels.


Margaret said...

Hi, I've been coming here often for a pick me upper now and then and wanted to say thank you.

Elderly friends of mine both now have Alzheimer's and I've been helping to care for them over the past few months. He is 90 and she 88. They both have totally different behaviors and we didn't know the Mrs. had it until 2 weeks ago.

Thankfully nobody has fed the cat ice cream yet - but there has been some funnier moments. I've come to long for those few and far between little twinkles of joy.


Gavin said...

jeremy--sorry on the loss of your grandfather and thank you for your kind thoughts.

tilly--if I didn't laugh, I'd cry. I admire that you can juggle so much at once...maybe the other activity can help take your mind off of things. I'm work from home and am here 24/7 and that gets to me!

margaret--thanks for your comment and support. I only try to post the funny stuff but those are getting fewer and further between. ya gotta keep your humor or the disease will defeat you, too.

Max Ambrose said...

I am sorry to hear that things are getting worse.

The other day I almost lost composure when my wife brought home the Christmas gifts that she selected for my step-mother. (Reminder: Step-mom has Pick's Disease.) She got her lots of very warm and soft pajamas which are very pretty. However, it made me sad that these gifts were selected because she can not go out anymore...

It is just so hard to see one of the most active, sharp, loving people that you have ever known be only in need of warm pajams for Christmas.


Anonymous said...

I love this blog also -- thank you for sharing your journey. I'm sorry that things seem to be getting worse. I'm sure that weighs on you. I have up and down days, better lately, but the sadness of seeing my mom decline really hurts. D

Cuidado said...

I've been coming here for a while and thought I'd comment. I lost my Mom to early-onset Alzheimers almost ten years ago at age 60. My dad cared for her till the end. The hardest part was seeing her cry, which she did a lot. She had lucid moments and at those times knew what was happening. It was extremely hard on the family seeing this vital woman go through what she did and to watch my dad cope. He did remarkably well and you will too. She needs you and has a hard time expressing that. It will be hard for you but in the end you will feel pride that you cared for your mom who at one time cared for you. I wish you strength and hope you have some support in your life with breaks sometimes. Cuidado

proudprogressive said...

Hang in there Y|o|Y

yes it is getting harder and worrisome, heartbreaking. As others have said who have been through it and i will chime in as well , make sure to get support for youself - and keep sharing this journey with us.

much love - p2

A Single Man said...

Adding to what others said.

I'm sorry that you have to see her decline in this way. It is heartbreaking to lose someone that we love slowly and have to watch that decline.

I appreciate your humor in these situations as I have lost much of mine through my journey caring for H.

I do think that there are many gifts in these type of transitions, but they come at a high price for those of us who stand by those we love to their end.

Merry Christmas to you and God Bless for taking care of your mom.

P.S. I'm glad that the cat got a stay. Maybe now he'll shape up!