Thursday, April 29

The mammogram

Finals are finished and I have two weeks of freedom at night. Hopefully I can finish my son's first year scrapbook and upload my letters for a book idea called Long Distance Memoirs-a story of true love. Maybe I should e-book it one page at a time....Hmmmmm. Anyway, I feel completely relaxed for the first time in a very long time. So much to update even though it has only been a few days.
After that crazy day, my dear brother had to go up to my mothers and work with her. His time was not the easiest, it involved lots of crazy talk, near hysteria, frustration, and yes the dreaded job of cleaning. Cleaning what you ask. Are you sure you would like to know??? Well for those of you not following along, mom went to the Dr.s last week and had three lumps in her left breast, two lumps in her right, blood in her urine, and a nasty bladder infection. So she is on antibiotics and can anyone guess what antibiotics do. You are correct if you answered diarrhea. Back to my first question. What did Kevin clean. Oh it was everywhere-floor, seat, legs, toilet. I believe he even had to clean it twice. I sometimes wish my brother and father would add to this blog so you can see things from their perspective. Maybe they will eventually.
Well on Wednesday, I took my mother to the Imaging center to have a mammogram. Getting her there was fairly uneventful but at the place-oh forget it. She kept talking to the ladies despite the fact that they were busy working. They were so sweet and thoughtful towards her and I am grateful to them. She had an extremely difficult time following directions in the room and I could fill pages on her issues, but they seem redundant now.
I know that many of you may not believe in God or in healing- but what I am about to share has me in almost complete disbelief and if I had not felt the lumps, I would not believe either. First let me say that mom had three very large, very hard lumps in her breast and they had been there for at least two months. There were two minute lumps in her right breast. At the Doctor's office, the Dr. actually prayed over my mother. Now I kid you not, when we get into the room for the mammogram, the tech asks me where the lumps are. I try to locate them but cannot. Now these were the size of grapes, not something that you could not find-you could actually see them. Yet they are not there. No one can find these crazy lumps. The mammogram is performed and there is nothing there. I am not sure what can cause lumps to grow, harden, and stay put for months and then disappear two days after the Doc prayed over my mother. My mother said that she noticed they were gone on Sunday. My true feelings.....Please don't hate me, but I was slightly discouraged. It seemed much easier to think she may die with dignity rather than this terrified, neurotic, miserable person that is unable to do essentially anything. I do trust in my Lord however, and know that He is in charge and has a reason for everything.

Tuesday, April 27

Short lived

Two nights ago, my mother decided it was time for my dad to come home. She realized that she could no longer live alone. So yesterday was moving day for dad once again. Unfortunately, both of my little ones are very sick- running fevers, coughing, icky noses, and general crankiness so Mackenzie's movie night with mom was a no go. That meant Dad had to settle in without anyone distracting mom. Oh the poor guy. The anguish that he had to endure was rather great last night. Considering I was not there, I am relaying what I pieced together from phone conversations with dad and mom.
It all started with meatloaf. That dreaded meat in a pan that wants to be a loaf of bread but never will attain that status. Seriously, who decided to put meat in a pan and call it meat loaf. The very name induces vomit like sensations. I mean meat a la mode sounds better or meat pie. Anyway my mother has wanted some of this disgusting dish and so I decided to make it. Now I don't generally cook meat and have never cooked meatloaf. I tried to piece together a recipe from my mother and father and one hour later, I had a pile of meat in a loaf pan (YUCK) s it turns out, the meatloaf tasted rather horrible and I was quite embarrassed by it. My mother tried it and did not like it (real surprised I bet). This caused my mother to be extremely agitated. Dad spent the entire night being reamed out for one thing or another with catastrophic reactions occurring often. From what I remember, he upset her because he makes noises, goes on the computer, puts the trash out the wrong way, puts the mail in the wrong places (anything with a name on it MUST be shredded). And it is not just a quick comment either. For instance, Frank, why did you do that, why that, I don't understand. No stop doing it and do it right wait that is not it Iahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh help me. You're doing it on purpose. NAAOOOOOOOOOOOOstop and listen I want that there not there. The mail has our thing our ummm you make me go crazy why don't you do it right. You know what I mean and you don't do it. Screams in between and horrific name calling. And it is rapid fire-none stop endless complaining, harping, and negative insults after insults. Imagine four ceaseless hours of this. First the meal (which I must admit she had every right) then the trash and mail, then his feet which caused her to go mental. He did not wash his feet well enough for her so he rewashes and adds baby powder since soaps and other chemically strong cleanser causes an emotional outburst. Sure enough now baby powder is on the forbidden list. She completely melts down and calls me screaming hysterically about how my dad is trying to kill her how he is a bast****, an evil evil man that does it on purpose. Let me remind you this is baby powder we are talking about. After fifteen minutes of rantings, she is calm for the moment. I am sure many more of these moments occurred and I was not privy to them-thankfully for me not so for dad.

This morning, my phone rings at the wonderful hour of 6:40 and I know that it can only be my mother. Sure enough it is and she is screaming. There is nothing better than waking up from a dead sleep to the insane ramblings of an Alzheimer's mind. She is completely belligerent and making no sense. I gather that my dad must have woke up at 6:00 (dad how dare you :) and actually left for work without making breakfast having coffee or making any major noises. When he left he was respectful enough to say bye to her. I can imagine his plight this morning as he was ready to leave-should I leave or say goodbye.....I am doomed either way so i mind as well get it over with. Ever so quietly sneaking up to the door so Daisy will not go nuts barking and gently, quietly saying, Audrey I am heading to work now. BAMMMMMMMMMM let the antics begin. She basically said some very not nice things-just the kind of things that start you out on the right foot...and now for the moment, Dad is back at Grandmas.
I spent the entire morning from 6:40 until 9:30 on the phone with my mom with the exceptions of her calling my dad and reaming him out again. I am also evil and do nothing for her. I am so busy and wrapped up in my life that I don't take care of her. I never go up there and never give her food. I will take care of everyone else and let her die. I explain that she is welcome over any time and I try to reason with her. I finally wake up enough to know that it is pointless and I need to just let her vent. I cut her short when I had to take the kids to the doctors (both are ill and now on antibiotics) It was sad to listen to her this morning because she is in complete chaos and so confused. Luckily, Kevin will be on his way up there at 4 to get groceries and spend the evening with her. Now it is poor Kevin's time to deal with this situation. Ahh I am sure rougher days are ahead and we must be ready to reef the main sail and hoist a storm jib.

Saturday, April 24


Oh I am so thankful that my bed awaits me in just a few moments. Once I upload my final case study, I will be heading into the land of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. My mother had a very difficult day today, probably the worse that I have seen. It started with a trip to the obgyn. What a great doctor. This was our first visit to her-she actually can in for us (she had today off for her daughter's b-day). Anyway, mom was very confused and continuously asked what she was doing. She had difficulty with opening the doors, holding things, talking, understanding, everything. When we arrived at the doctors, she was very confused and did not want to do it. However, as soon as she found out that the doctor was a Christain, she was very happy. In fact the entire staff was. She was called back and talked to the nurse for over 15 minutes about God. The nurse was very patient and very sweet. She let mom rattle on about tongues and her experience with God. When the nurse left, mom got very upset because she was embarrassed by how much she talked. She started pacing and wanted to leave. Then she wanted to find the girl to tell her about tongues (so she would not think mom was crazy) She could not let it go and finally I asked the ladies at the front if they could send the nurse back in when she had some time. Mom kept repeating that tongues is in the Bible but only for God and her. Anyway, the Dr. came in and reviewed her file. Mom got extremely angry when she asked about depression and anxiety. As soon as the doctor left the room for her to undress, mom started to cuss me out saying that I did it, I told them about her problems in some ugly ways. She was ready to walk out of the room and luckily, I calmed her down and got her to undress. Dr found three lumps on her left breast and two on her right. Her last mammogram was in Dec. and was negative (no lumps) So this new set of lumps grew to the size of grapes since December. The emotions that she had were so extreme.

It has been a few days and quite a weekend. I will resume where I left off. My mother is having an extremely difficult time grasping the possibility of breast cancer. Whether it is because of the stress or not, we are seeing her short term memory beginning to go. She will repeat herself often, ask the same questions, confuse the facts...She will also forget something I told her just a few minutes earlier.

Here is the letter I had sent to Social security. Please review it and let me know what you think.

We are here today to present information regarding Audrey and her condition. White it is not argued that she demonstrates a disability, the issue is when the disability affected her life significantly enough to impair her ability to work. Due to the nature of the disease, it took many years of tests, visits, medical procedures, and scans to derive at the conclusion of Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. According to Dr. Kenneth Langa, associate professor of internal medicine at UM in Ann Arbor, said it is not unusual for a relatively young person to have many tests before receiving a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's
"You'd want more evidence that that's what inf act is going on given the rarity of Alzheimer's disease in someone that you," Langa said. "On average, they would have more tests, and more expensive test, and more elaborate testing than an older patient."
Unlike the traditional form of Alzheimer's ,which occurs in the elderly, the early onset type first produces symptoms prior to the age 65. Estimates indicate that only 1 out of 10 percent of Alzheimer's' patients have the early onset form and because it is relatively rare, there is often a delay in making the diagnosis, said Erin Heintz a spoke person for the Alzheimer's Association. Audrey had received the diagnosis of menopause, anxiety, depression, brain aneurysm, asthma, muscle spasms, angina, night terrors, and stress. She underwent multiple MRI's Cat Scans, Pet Scans, Ultrasounds, catherization, which a conclusion of minimal findings. It was not until 2008 that Audrey received her diagnosis, fiver years after he symptoms manifested themselves enough to cause significant difficulties.
"Imagine slowly forgetting everything you learned in life? Imagine not knowing what day, year or season it is. Imagine being angry, afraid, tormented, confused, sad and frustrated most days? Imagine being afraid to do simple tasks like taking a shower, imagine forgetting how to dress, brush your teeth, use your fork, swallow, laugh, and even talk. Imagine staying awake a night even when you are exhausted because your brain won't rest. Image forgetting everyone that was important in your life.. everyone that you ever loved. This is the world of Alzheimer's as seen through one patient. Now imagine being 51 when all this started. This is the world of Early Onset Alzheimer's.
As we discuss her case, I hope you gain an understanding of this disease and the history of Audrey, It is my hope that you will see her years of dedicated work and agree that she should be awarded this aid.
Audrey has worked her entire life; she worked as a secretary in the school systems, a paraprofessional, transcriber, and real estate agent. She received high recommendations and praise in all her jobs for her efficiency and organizational skills. She was employed from 1988-1004 as a Secretary, became a paraprofessional from 1996-2000. She worked as a real estate agent from 1997-1999 as returned to in during 2003. During the one break in her working career, she requested time off from her job in order to care for her mother. During 2000-2002, Audrey opened her home up to her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.She hired no help and worked 24 hours a day providing everything her mother needed. While it was not a paying job, it was more demanding, more exhausting, and more draining than any of the previous jobs that Audrey had obtained. It was because of her caring for her mother that she is unable to receive her benefits now. The unforeseeable result was that Audrey bestowed to her mother the last two years she would have been able to function in the work place. Upon her mother's death, Audrey tried to procure a job. She returned as a real estate agent, but realized that she could not complete the work needed. She had difficulties with the paperwork and understanding contracts. She decided to return to the school systems and applied at multiple job listings. She interviewed and did not receive a job due to her inability to control emotions and her lack of social skills.

As you examine her medical record, you see a change in Dr's notes regarding Audrey. Prior to 2002, her Drs. never mention her mental status or behaviors. In fact during 20-00-2002, which were years of extremely high stress, not once is she considered depressed, anxious, neurotic, etc. Is is not until 0003 and 2004 that her behaviors started to impede her life in all areas.

Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disorder where nerve cells in the brain start degenerating and die. A person suffering from Alzheimer's has problems with memory, judgement, and thinking. As a result, they cannot perform day to day activities which affect their social life and family life. In the rare cases of Early Onset, it is quite common to see the EOAD accompanied by mood problems. Other symptoms include confusion, restlessness, change in personality, and decreased judgment. A normal happy persons may become irritable, irrational, and possibly aggressive with very sudden mood swings. paranoia, jealousy, fear, and delusions are common. Another symptom is called myoclonus, which causes muscles twitching and spasms. This is more common in people with Early Onset than those Who develop the disease later in life. Often these illnesses are not diagnosed for a while due to their age and is often mistaken form depression.The younger the patient, the more progressive the disease and the more fraught with complications. Most people believe that Alzheimer's s displayed by memory issues and that the damage is to short term and long term memory. That is true in most cases; however, damage is done in many areas and affects many aspects of mental function, meaning the difficult cognitive abilities are damaged unevenly. As demonstrated on the PET scan, Audrey's are of damage are in the Left and Right parietal Lobes, and the frontal left lob. Impairment to these areas in the brain result in ability to plan a sequence of steps, loss of spontaneity in interacting with others, loss of flexibility in thinking, persistence of a single thought, inability to focus on a task, change in social behavior, inability to name objects,difficult with left and right, loss of awareness in surround space, difficulty with eye and hand coordination, difficult with drawing objects, and difficulty with visual attention.
Prior to 2002, Audrey exhibited no major health issues or difficulties. Starting in July of 2002, she mentioned having night terrors. She would wake up screaming and would be in a state of horror. She was very tense and upon wakening, was extremely confused. From September2003 until December 2003, she underwent an MRI of the Brain and lumbar/spine, ultrasounds of the pelvic/abdomen, EEG, and nerve tests (sensory and motor) to find out what was ailing her. Her family Doctor ordered an MRI on September 11, 2003 due to a change in mental status. He again addresses it ion the 23rd of September. This is the first indication that something greater was going on. There was something affecting her memory. Nothing presented itself from her testing. She also complained of severe headaches and pain. During 2004, Audrey complained of heart problems, trouble focusing, sleeping, weird sensation in her ears, balance and coordination issues, and having a hard time doing things. She was diagnosed with asthma, but there is a debate on whether it was asthma or anxiety. She also complained of tightness in her chest. In August of 2004, she mentions that her night terrors were worsening. she had trouble focusing, severe fatigue and found her husband to be like a stranger. She continues to complain of chest pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath. her family doctor diagnosed it to be depression and anxiety. Audrey denied it and was referred for psychiatric evaluation. She underwent catherizations, EKG, Ct of the brain, and again there was very little found.
In 2005, Audrey demonstrates stiffness in joints, dizziness, chest tightening, muscle aches, fatigue, muscle spasms (myoclonua), anxiety, trouble focusing, sleep issues, fainting, disorientation, and vertigo. Her family doctor again diagnosis anxiety and depressions. Another doctor diagnosed anxiety and also referred her for evaluation. The doctor described and episode in which Audrey pretend to faint and became very distraught and confused. Yet another Doctor describes Audrey as a neurotic lady. Audrey again mentioned in a vi st to her family doctor that she is very disorganized, loses items, has difficulty with attention, extreme mood swings, accented emotions, disorganized speech, scribbles, worse memory, and issues with spelling. Although all the testing came back negative, it is now apparent to both her family and doctors that she had all the symptoms for EOAD. The fine motor deterioration, behavioral issues, social issues, judgment issues, and processing issues now make sense. IT is hard to determine at what stage she was in, but it is evident that she was impaired mentally and behaviorally. Even if she could have procured a job, it is unlikely that during the 2004-2005 year, she would have maintained the position for any significant time.

Thursday, April 22

Back to Boca

I am getting away!!! Heading down to my old stomping grounds this weekend to visit with some dear friends. I cannot wait. Hopefully, I can escape unnoticed by my mother and not cause my brother or father any distress while I am away. After the day they had today, I do not want to cause any more pain. This morning my father took her to get her teeth!!! Hooray-they fit perfectly (well almost) and she was happy with the product. He took her to eat but she did not like the food. She wanted to go visiting people but unfortunately no one was home and my kids were napping. She did not want to come over while I did some work. So it caused a reaction and Dad brought her home.

Round two came when my brother showed up for his movie night. He arrived at 3 and spent a great deal of time searching for my mother's missing money. You can imagine the state of pandemonium that ensued. Mom running around screaming and moaning at the same time completely freaking out that her money was stolen and was missing. She obviously did not like her previous hiding place and had arranged a new one. During this episode, a new development occurred. She could not remember my brother's name. Now this is not a misunderstanding due to her freaking out. At first it seemed that it was. No this was complete forgetting. She screamed at him saying listen Frank no I mean you what ever the **** your name is. After calming down she asked him his name and continued to repeat his name over a few times to let it sink in. I can only imagine the pain he must have felt at his own mother not remembering his name. It is only a matter of time when it will happen to all of us and as it happens we will toughen our skin and move on. But the firsts are always the hardest. Money is found and all is well for the moment. Then the grocery shopping. Mom overhears Dad talking to Kevin on the phone about meeting him at the store to give him the money for the food. So of course she wants to go. Dad now has to come over, pick her up, bring her to the store, wait on Kevin and her to shop, bring them home again. Mission accomplished and back home at 6:00. Now for supper-they order pizza and Dad leaves to pick it up. After waiting 45 minutes, mom is now extremely agitated yet again and I am sure Kevin is too (especially since it is now hour four with mom in a very agitated state) Dad decides to sit down to eat. Mom was starting to get agitated with his presence and it was when he was ready to leave, she had become calm (since movie night requires only Kevin, she will not start it until everything is the same as it normally is-it messes with her when other situations arise) . Ah movie night finally commences and for now there is peace. My poor dear brother-at least you have a few days break coming up.

A new development in my mother's health and some of you may misunderstand what I say. I am hoping that the message is clear and does not come off in the wrong way. When I spent the night at my mother's house on Monday, she mentioned lumps in her breast. I found two slightly large lumps in her left and two tiny ones on her right. I am trying to schedule her a mammogram prior to her hearing. After she and I talked, she had decided that if her breast cancer has returned, she will not take any treatments or do anything else. I completely agreed with her and sympathized with her. I too would rather leave with dignity than to die without my brain, my abilities, my gifts, and everything else that Alzheimer's takes away. It is my deepest prayer for her that it has returned to save her from the suffering that she knows is and will be taking place. I find it quite hard to actually verbalize this and the realization of this horrible catch 22 hits me. What a reminder of who is in control of the twists and turns in our lives. I am thankful that I have such a personal relationship with my Lord for it is He that helps me through all this. While I may not understand the pointless suffering, I must realize that I see only a glimpse of this tapestry. It may not be pointless after all, but a intricate and beautiful design. There have been so many times in my life that I did not see the reason behind the problem or blessing. It was only years later that I could exclaim Aha-now it makes sense. I wonder if I will ever have the Aha with this one....

Tuesday, April 20

Video of my mother

I spent the night at my mother's last night and it will be one of the best memories I shall ever have. It started off slightly crazy and ended wonderfully. She enjoyed playing with Mackenzie and together they watched A little Princess. At the end of the movie, Mom got rather upset because I was mean. Why am I mean you ask? Because I felt that it was time for bed at 9:30 and did not want Mackenzie to stay up and watch Bride and Prejudice. No that was not a misspelling. There is a movie called bride and prejudice I promise. While I have seen the movie (unfortunately) I do not want my three year old to see it. I could tell my mother was controlling her emotions and let me put Kenzie to bed. She was muttering and mumbling constantly coming in and out of the room to tell me that I was mean. Finally I finished reading stories and instantly my mother changed. She asked if she could snuggle with Kenzie. It was too sweet. Granted, Kenzie did not go to sleep until 10:30, but she was able to fall asleep in my mother's arms. Mom and I spent some time talking and eating and cleaning. finally our movie started. It was Stepford wives-the new version. When the movie was over, I stayed up with her until 3:30 discussing the hearing. We found out that the hearing requires mom to come and I found it scary to talk about her in front of her. I decided right then and there to mention everything that the reports state and tell her about her condition. It gave her peace and helped her feel better about herself. I think my mom becomes better in the wee morning hours. I finally drifted off to sleep at 4:30. Tired and worn out, my heart is singing a little tune. It is short lived though. My brother is currently on the phone with her as she is screaming hysterically since he Will watch my children for an hour before heading up to her house for his movie night. Ah fun times.... Here is a video to give you an idea of the mildest of explosive episodes.

Saturday, April 17

Another movie night that was fantastically successful. What started off to be a very trying and difficult night ended in such a fantastic way I actually felt like I was the movie. I arrived at my mothers house at the same time with food-the menu tonight...You guessed it; chicken, rice, and lima beans. That is my staple dish for my mother, she eats it all and actually smiles while doing it. My father is there and says his goodbyes. I decide to get down to business and address her bathing tonight. She refuses to take a bath stating that she is clean. Her hair is greased over and it has been two weeks since her last one. She is battling a yeast infection and I mention that it will help her. That was the magic phrase and she is willing to clean up. She tries to use the bathroom and I notice that she is now having difficulty as it is in her undies. She also is having trouble wiping as it is still on her. I herd her into the bathroom and she is quiet distraught. She keeps asking me what she is going to do and how do we do it. I calmly explain that we are going to relax in the water. She tries to use the bathroom again and waits patiently as I fill the tub. I wash her hair and her body. She is down to 100lbs not too much weight has been lost and for that I am grateful. While she is bathing she starts to talk about the Alzheimer's. She actually said "I should not be able to talk like this. I am getting worse, I went for a walk and did not recognize my neighborhood. But I am able to talk.." I asked her about how it felt, how she felt, what it was like. She said it is horrible. She bangs into things and cannot walk right, she gets hurt all the time, but mostly it is frustrating. We reminisce about her mother and how it was for her. My eyes tear up listening to her and wishing it was not like this. The bath goes so well and my reward is a simple compliment so rare now a days. She said that I am her best friend and she loves these nights. My heart does flip flops and my face wears a smile that will be there for a while.

Bathtime over and she is complaining of a rash. I look at her rash and realize that we need a trip to the obgyn. Unfortunately, she has not let us take her to the dentist so first a trip to the dentist to get the partial and then to the obgyn. I dress her and I talk her into letting me wash the floor. She does not understand why I need to wash it for it will only get dirty again. I organize the movies with her and finally we are off to watch one. My mother decides that the air is not right and we work on that for another half an hour. This is after my father did the same thing. However, tonight I show her how to have the air blow away from her and she likes it. She really likes it. I am jumping up and down inside my head praying that this time she leaves it alone. The thought of her adjusting and readjusting all the air vents in the house just makes me cringe. She can barely get in and out of the tub and here she is trying to stand on things and use brooms or butter knives to adjust vents.

We settle down and watch the movie. Mom hates and and wishes we would have watched a different one. This always happens when there are two choices of movies like tonight. She wanted either Minority Report or Someone like you. She believes I only like romances and so she picked the Someone like you. Me like romance....Are you crazy. Not only do I absolutely hate movies, but chick flicks are a def no no. The funniest part is this is all I get to watch. Watching the movie was delightful though. She because so calm and relaxed and friendly. I love these moments when I see a bit of my mother. After the movie was the greatest part. For the first time in months, I actually held a conversation with my mom. She was interested in hearing about Mackenzie and Connor and let me talk rather than do all the attempted talking. We laughed at Mackenzie's antics and Connor's stubborn nature. She even agreed to let Mackenize and I sleep over on Monday nights and for me to sleep over on Fridays. As much as I am reluctant to leave my home, I cannot stand the thought of her alone all the time. Unbeknown to my dad, tomorrow Kenzie is going up with him for a play date. She misses Kenzie and wants to play with her. She is hoping to watch Shirley Temple with her. Try as I might to spare my poor daughter the agony of sitting through Captain January or Blue Bird, I realize that it is a right of passage with my mother. Although Kenzie is not old enough to attend to such movies, my mother will not be able to wait for that age so....Shirley temple it is. A great end to such a crazy week. Sorry my posts have slowed down. I have been working feverishly on the social security case and will post our statements this weekend. Please let me know what you think about it or any other suggestions for this upcoming trial. Also, I have finals so I am running.

Saturday, April 10


My heart is torn with the situation surrounding my mother. She is rapidly loosing her basic skills that enables her to stay home by herself. She is also vehemently opposing help from any of us and has cut off my father for the time being. Tonight was a night full of stress, frustration, and overall exhausting evening. She was so miserable and confused that she could not enjoy the evening.

I arrived there at 7:30 and she began her list of items for me to do starting with her bed. I had to flip it and redo her linens. Next on the agenda was figuring out the air. No matter how I tried, I could not explain how the ac works. This is after my father and brother both tried to explain it. Previously, she continually switched between hot and cold moving the "number" as she calls them. This means that in the average day, the air or heat is always on. Sometimes she sets the air to 55 and when it becomes to cold she switches to heat at 80. Now, however, she cannot figure out how to switch between the hot and cold. She lowers the thermostat and cannot figure out how to heat the house after. So she constantly freezes.
As I was there, she closed the air vents to keep it from getting too cold and complained that even though the air was on, it was hot. I tried to explain that the vents had to be open but she did not want the cold air to blow out. Hmmmm I tried to redirect them but she became very upset. The weirdest thing was when the air conditioner stopped blowing because it reached its temperature, she asked how long until it started again and why won't it keep running. She has lost all ability to understand how it works. She also cannot run her VCR tapes or figure out how to open the screen door to the outside.
Next on the list was picking out the movie-I hate sad movies and she wanted to watch From HERE to there. I guess being the stoic that I am, I do not like movies that try to make you cry. Life is difficult enough and full of many sad tales. I am much more vulnerable when I am at my mom's and I do not like to open the door to emotion. It is the stoic nature that enables me to endure what I do and keep my composure. Being logically and not emotional helps me complete the tasks that I have to do. There will be plenty of time for me to let my emotions run wild and at that time I will let loose. This week has already been full of so many trials and more than once my composure crumbled. I head into the weekend feeling completely exhausted but surprisingly at peace. I sometimes feel I over extend myself but I see no other alternative. Being a mother and a wife is difficult enough especially when I am trying to be the proverbial wife (and failing miserably) . The scriptures outline my role perfectly and yet I fight it. I pray for the grace and strength to be the mother and wife that my family deserve. Add to the list a student and business manager/grant writer/publicist/editor/designer, and I start to twitch. Continue with the three dear old ladies (all in their 80's with no one to help-I mean all alone all week long) and I begin to unravel. Complete it with my mother and I become a complete and utter mess. One amazing blessing this week though, a previous student has entered my life and has become a babysitter. She comes every day and although I can only pay her for 3 hours, she works 3-7 Monday through Friday. She is the best and I am so grateful to her. Quite a digression-sorry.

Back to the night. We watch this horribly sad movie and we end early. I cut Daisy's nails and help with the laundry. She is a wreck because it is so early. She has gotten used to me being there until 1 and is quite distraught that I am leaving so early. I mention that she may want to let my brother and I sleep there on our movie nights but her reaction is very agitated. I have some ideas on what we need to do next, but must wait until our hearing with Social Security.

My mother looks so old-I got her on the scale and she is down to 102. Her face is sunken and wrinkled with an eternal scowl. Her eyes are expressionless and vacant, as though there is nothing left in her. This once outgoing, exuberant and vivacious lady is a molted carcass of herself. There is a vague resemblance to the woman I called mom and on a good day I may get a one second glimpse at my mother. Granted she always had some issues but this is unbelievable. While she is able to tell us about herself, I discovered that she has lost the ability to sympathize or understand what others say. She is consumed with her-literally everything is tied to her. She gets jealous if my daughter wants me, if my dad calls me, if my brother works for Murray, anything that is not for her or about her.

I have studied all her medical records and continue to research her disability and EOAD. I am preparing one strong case that I will share with you next week for comments and suggestions. What I have discovered in all this is that there was nothing wrong with my mother all these years. More to come on that in the near future (for those of you involved in our family-you will laugh at that because we have all been duped into believing differently). I also have studied her MRI's and damages to her brain. What makes her alz so unique is the areas of deterioration. As many of you suspect, her behaviors, judgement, rationalization, personality, and fine motor are the hardest hit areas. Those are the areas that are being eaten alive and boy do we and every doctor that has been lucky to have her as a patient understand. It is only now that her short term memory is shot-she only remembers things that she is obsessed about (for the time being, my father). Anyway, it is late and I must head to bed. Tomorrow is another filled day of visitations: great grandma, Ms. Rosemarie, Ms, W, and my mother. Busy busy busy.

Thursday, April 8

So very tired today and so saddened by the quick progression in my mother. I think my entire family is exhausted because of all the stress and caregiving that we are doing. Summary of today is that my mom no longer can use a screen door handle, her dvd is giving her problems, and she is unable to figure out the ac. The phone is touch and go. What will we do??? We shall see. More tomorrow. Thinking about heading to Boca on Saturday for some R & R with my babysitter in tow??? We shall see

For me-a relaxing day

Two great days relaxing: Why? Because I have the most amazing young lady helping me out with my children. I never realized how much help having someone around can be. I feel so refreshed. My heart goes out to her and her situation and I pray for strength for her. Today has been so positive-my Lord is watching out for me and for that I am grateful. With the non-profit, Jason and I have budgeted our money to the last dime. I do not go shopping (ever) buy the bare minimum for groceries, have no sort of entertainment (yes that includes no cable T.V), and live week to week not knowing what we will do. I put my faith in our God that He will touch people's hearts to give to our organization. Amazingly it has worked. I am a control freak and like routine, including a budget. Forfeiting that has been the most difficult part of the non-profit-trusting completely in Jesus is easy in theory but much harder in reality. A lesson that has taken a long time to learn. We are blessed by great family and friends that help out and when I splurge like today and buy McDonalds, I feel guilty. I only wish we could do more for the people we help. While we have little, we have resources and options. Most of our clients have nothing-imagine being 78 and having to work a full time job to survive (just barely) or 87 and having to live with your home at 56 degrees because you do not have enough money to run the heat. The stories we hear on a daily basis now just tear at my strings and makes me give even though it means we might go without. I would rather my house be 56 and do without if that means she will have the heat. God has called us to be good stewards and use our gifts whether it be financial or physical to bring Him glory. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue on our grant journey. I am submitting them next week -wahooooooo.
My mother to day has not called me but twice. While she was difficult, I know not the details. I do know that she is very confused with the phone and the ac.... Time is growing short before she will have to let my dad move back in. As it is, she wants him every night and gets despondent when she does not see him. That is a good thing-as she realizes that she needs someone, she will be ok with him coming back. I feel for my dad though because I know it will not be easy. I can only pray that we get the SS in May. Speaking of which, time to go work on some letters. Night Night.

Tuesday, April 6

Broken Dentures Take 4

Hello my dear friends and welcome to the craziness of my life. It seems that things are progressing even quicker than before and it is taking all of us to maintain my mother. Yesterday was one of those horribly confusing days where nothing seems to get done. My mother called rather early stating that I was wrong about the weather because she froze the night before. Now along with being unable to work the phones the right way, she also does not understand how to work the AC. The AC was down to 47. I had the unfortunate task of telling her that it is because her Alzheimer's is getting worse. Of course she became rather angry(who wouldn't) and told me that she does not want to hear it. She never told her mother about her condition so why am I. I try to explain that her mother did not live alone and it is important to ensure that she is aware when she no longer can live alone. It is no wonder why I am the anti-child. I guess I should try to pamper her but I fear for her. Since she is able to understand her condition, I feel like she needs to know what is happening to her. Dad headed up there briefly to explain the ac and the phone to her and then off to Murray's to teach my brother the ropes.

I made Mom some food and headed over there around 4. The kids swam (the pool was freezing) and Mom ate. I can tell she is losing weight and I am worried. She ate the entire meal (two days worth) and played with Kenzie. I happened to mention that my cousin was in town and that motivated her to get dressed to visit. An hour and a half later, she was dressed and ready. During this time she freaked out over 10 times, cussed me out at least five times, and decided not to go 4 times. We get to the car and drop off my son since taking all of them is too difficult. My mother composes herself the entire time we were there and I bring her back home. She is exhausted but still wanting my dad to come for 2 episodes of the office. I head home and Dad goes over there for his two shows. I can tell the moment Dad leaves because my phone rings. It saddened me to have the phone ringing since my brother and I were enjoying the company of my cousin and actually enjoying ourselves. Even more unfortunate is that she called to scream about Daisy eating her dentures yet again. I offer to take her up to the doctors tomorrow and all is ok for the moment (this is after 8 or 9 phone calls to both my brother and I). I head home and get ready for bed after such a long long day.

Today I wake up bright and early and call to wake up my mother. I head up there and she is fairly docile considering she stayed up all night getting her outfit ready and preparing for today. She is giddy because she managed to paint her toe nails (I did not have the heart to tell her that she missed most of her nail and it is on her toe). I am proud because she only takes twenty minutes to get out of the house which is a record for her. We drive up to the doctors and about five minutes from our destination, I receive the dreaded phone call. Dad called up there and they will not take my mother. This is a walk in clinic type place and they are sooooooo busy that the cannot take the time to see her. I cannot tell her that my dad is talking to me or it will make her upset so I mention to my mom that the snow birds are heading back up north and the place might be so swamped that we may not get in. I pretend to call them and get the information. I rely what my father said to me and tell her that we can have an appointment on Monday. She still insists on going in. The funny part is that the people were not prepared and in fact, the moment we walk in I overhear the receptionist saying "I told him to bring her on Monday Thank God" The look on her face when she saw my mom was priceless. The other three mouths a quick profanity OH **** and ran to the back. I almost began hysterically laughing but managed to compose myself. Ten minutes of listening to the woman explain it to my mother and we finally leave. I wanted to say-my dad ordered two one of which you did not finish and asked for her to come back to finish it. We are here and you will not see her. It would take fifteen minutes to finish it but they won't. It is unfortunate that people do not see her as a person but as a wreck. It saddens me but what can I do. We make it to the car and she is a mess. I get her home and talk her into coming to my house. It takes an hour to convince her that she will enjoy it and off we go with her dog. My house now becomes a zoo with two kids, two dogs, and a mother that is trying to eat her breakfast on my couch. Both dogs want the food, both kids want the food, and the one holding it is continuously about to drop it. Craziness. This continues until around 11:00 when I drop her back off at her house. Thank goodness tonight is Kevin's night and I can just relax. Even better: I had a wonderful babysitter come over and she was amazing with the children. I feel so blessed and thank God for bringing Stephanie into our lives!! What an amazing young lady. Tonight I relax!!!

Sunday, April 4

Easter-another dreaded holiday

Oh how I hate the holidays. It just seems to be a time of stress and very little relaxing. I am not a fan of Easter any more than I am a fan of Christmas. While I truly believe in the reason for the holiday, I do not agree with how we celebrate it. Can anyone tell me how searching for hidden Easter eggs and baskets reminds us of Jesus and his sacrifice. Here is a perfect being, with no sin no evil in His life. It is not His death that touches my soul, however, there are others that have suffered worse fates than He. What is so unbelievable is that He took on all the sin at one time. I can not imagine what it must feel like to be responsible for a child abuser or rapist, or any of the other sins. He was perfect and suffered my sins so I could live in eternity. How do we thank him??? Not by continuous worship and praise, not with giving to others, not with honoring the Lords Day and spending time in fellowship with Him. We thank Him by chasing little children dressed in beautiful clothing collecting eggs, the symbol of fertility from the pagan gods. Maybe an hour sunrise service and a quick recollection of the three days.

Typically my Easter is like that described above. This year however, we did not have a plan. With mom in her sporadic ways, we could not finalize any ideas. I made a ham that Jason and I do not eat, butter beans, mash potatoes, glazing, and of course the Easter baskets. We have quite the day of deliveries ahead of us so I prepare the dishes, one for Grandma, one for my mother-Gigi, one for Murray, another for Ms. W, another for our adopted great grandma, some for my dad and the remainder for my children and brother. I head over to my grandmothers to deliver the first round of food. Children in tow, the plan is to go to Ms. W and then to my grandmothers but one phone call alters it. My mother is having difficulty with the phone so a quick detour is planned. She is upset at my quickness but I reassure her that we will see her when we get together to eat. I spend some time at grandma's and off to the house to prepare for the rest of the day. Jason heads out to Ms. W and brings her some food. During this time, my mother has called numerous times to myself and my brother. She is greatly upset because my father was supposed to drop off her dog at 11:30 and he was late. She also gets upset with me for no apparent reason. She informs me that she wants the Easter baskets back from the children since we are not all getting together to eat. I continue to invite her over but she refuses to leave the house. She tells my brother that she is going to Bakeract herself (I believe it is because she saw one get bakeracted and they had lots of attention bestowed to them) Phone calls in between the deliveries-back to my grandmother's to give my dad food for him and Murray. It has been decided that we will eat our own meal since the day has become to chaotic. One more meal to deliver and back home in time for a meal and bed. Phone calls continue and she has become much calmer. In fact, again she amazes us. She decides to walk to Murrays to check on him. Dad is over there and is able to walk her home and spend some hours watching the Office. The night ends rather peacefully and I may get to sleep before 1:00. I would have been asleep two hours ago but I had to finish a huge assignment. After I submitted it, I looked at the time stamp and realized it was not due until next Sunday... This week should be a bit easier with no school work to do. Sorry so non descriptive and weak. I can tell I am tired so off to bed I go.

Saturday, April 3

The fall of the golden boy

So I spoke too soon. Little did I know that the adventures of the day were yet to begin. I made it home for the nap time, both children slept. Dad went over to Mom's and it seemed like I would have a mellow afternoon and evening. HAHAHAHAHAHA the joke was on me. Phone starts ringing. Mom is going ape because, are you ready for this, my dad fell asleep after watching the sixth episode of the Office. Explicits and aggression all over the place and resulted in her dish being thrown and shattered on the floor. Epic development of the year. This golden boy that you see to the right of the screen is now no longer golden. He has been demoted to the lowest of lows-part of The dreaded D's. He is now one of us, his father's side of the family. Why you ask, well because he nonchalantly stated that she fell asleep during movies too. Many more explicits and aggressive mannerism. Next in line-phone call to me. Even more explicits. Multiple and I mean 15+ phone calls between everyone and I manage to get Dad the approval of Mom. He is allowed to go back over to fix the phones. She gets upset all over again because he did not bring her some ham and because the phones do not work right. We knew that this would happen when we exchanged phones despite the fact that they are identical. 9:30 Dad gets booted out again and another barrage of phone calls. Finally at 10:30 the golden boy and I travel up to my mother's to fix the phones, feed her some food, and create a phone list. Mission accomplished as we tag team back in forth trying to remedy the situation. Phones fixed-check, list written-check, food made-check, and we even fit in a waxing. Back at home by 11:45 and I still have school work to complete. So why am I here instead of working on school. HMmmmmm well because my brain has shorted out and I am recharging. Happy Easter everyone. It is when I think of Jesus on the cross enduring what he had to that I realize this is just drops in a bucket. My pain and exhaustion is no where near His.

Kimberly the Barber

Movie Night Take 3

Ahh amazing what a cup of coffee will do for the sleep deprived. Running on an hour and a half sleep right now and feeling rather well considering. Another movie night and what a horrible movie it was. For anyone interested, Kate & Leopold was another romantic movie with an attempt at a bizarre twist-one from the past and one from the future merge together and must decide what to do to make it work. I have never been one for romantic comedies and unfortunately that is all my mother thinks I like.

Yesterday was such a busy day and it did not end until 2:00 am. I awoke with the children and had an hour to run around to different doctors obtaining medical records for our upcoming hearing in May. I was successful and found the jackpot of all records. This record helps substantiate my diagnosis of extreme anxiety and depression manifesting itself prior to more obvious symptoms in my mother's Alzheimer's. I rush back home, giving my husband a few moments to gather his stuff before he heads out. After the little ones take their nap, it is off to visit Mrs. W, an 84 year old woman that has become very close to us. We spend a few hours conversing with her and get her grocery list. On our way home we stop to pick up some potatoes so I can make my mother's old favorite-Shepard's pie. I have one hour to boil potatos, fry some hamburg (which we don't eat since we stay away from pork and red meat)combine it all together with some green beans and cream corn , bake it, feed the children, and travel to my mom's for movie night. All gets accomplished and I am en route to dear mother's house.

What a roller coaster of a night-so filled with strange emotions, detachment and frustration, love and empathy. My mother is very distraught and exhausted when I arrive. I give her the food and she begins to blot it with multiple paper towels. I watch her put food on the counters, trying to sort the meat from the food which is a difficult task considering they are all mixed together. She eats two bites and decides she does not like it. I make her a PB& J and watch her eat a sandwich in the most bizarre way-jelly is dripping down her face and all over her pjs. Her pj's have become PB&J pj's hahahaha.

But I digress. I begin the tedious task of reprogramming new phones that we got-her old ones have worn away because of being thrown and banged so often that they no longer work right. Dad had spent many hours searching our little town for the exact model and resorted to ordering them directly from Uniden. I make sure the speed dial is the same despite the incessant pleas from my mother to change them all. I tried that one weeks ago and she could not dial anyone. I leave it alone and distract her with my own pleas of a shower. I have not been able to get her to bath in a few weeks and it is noticeable now. Her hair is caked with some food and grim, her skin is oily. She vehemently opposes the idea of getting clean. It is only when I agree to cut her hair that she is willing to bathe.
Now some of you know that I do not cut hair EVER. In the past, my mother has tried to get me to trim her hair and I always get yelled at. Try as hard as I might, I cannot convince her that I do not cut hair, am not a stylist, and do not do a good job. At this point, however, I realize that her perception is not what it once was and if I can get her to bathe, it will be worth the attempt to cut hair. New vocation in my array of new jobs with her. She strips down and I am now uncomfortably used to her walking around naked. Into the bathroom with scissors and comb in tow. She tells me to cut it past her chin and I disagree. I will not cut it that short. I cut a little off and she takes the scissors from me. Remember this is a woman that put chapstick on the mirror the other day. Her perception and vision is very distorted and she still believes that she can use scissors to cut her own hair. My heart is in my stomach and I watch her try to manipulate the scissors. She manages to hack of a clump of hair and it is much shorter than my attempt. She becomes frustrated as she grips handfuls of air and cuts at it. She returns the scissors and tells me to cut faster. She expects the hair cut to take 5 minutes. HHMMMMM. Chop chop chop and she shuts down.
Screaming and crying she runs into her room. I let her be as she lays on the ground. All of a sudden it is quiet-she has fallen asleep, naked and in a fetal position. The logical part of me is tempted to take a picture of her for our hearing because it would the most stoic person succumb to emotion. There she is huddled and curled in the most infantile position, her body looking so strange. So skinny, so delicate, so old looking. My heart breaks and I let my emotional mind resist the picture. That image will never be erased from my mind and I do not wish to share the pain of it with anyone. I am reminded of some pictures of the holocaust-she looks so different from my mental image of my mother. I gently awaken my mother and she returns to the bathroom from round 2 of haircut. This round goes better and I am able to finish my horrid job (actually it looks pretty good for a person that is not a stylist)
It is only 8:30 pm.
Next task: Dye her hair and take a bath. Sounds simple in theory, but reality is much less kind. It takes 1/2 hour to get her seated. I mix the dye and begin applying it. Thankfully, she is completely immersed in Fox news and throughout the hair style appointment, there are little murmurs of agreement and the occasional frustrated grunts. 9:30 Hair completed, timer set, and mood is pleasant. 9:50 Into the bath we go. We start with the shower and rinse the dye out of her hair. She has no concept of directional or positional concepts so I have difficulty getting her under the water and her head up or down. She loses her balance often and gets "lost" Finally get it out of her hair and sit her down for a luxurious bath in some warm water. I wash, shave, and condition her. At one point she puts her head down to rinse out the conditioner and ends up under the water because she is completely unaware of her relative to the water. She comes up grasping for air and choking on the water that she swallowed. Finally she lays back and rests for about ten minutes. Then it is time to get out. She does not know how to raise up to her knees anymore and any attempts at helping her up results in screams of pain at the slightest touch. I wait patiently offering my arm and hand for her to hold herself up. It takes awhile but she manages to get up and then out of the tub. I dry her off and dress her. Clothing drenched- so I go to change into my spare clothing. Unfortunately I only brought two shirts so I use one as a shirt and one as a skirt. I am styling. It is now 10:30.
My cousin has mentioned buying some dvd's for my mother to watch and I mention it to my mom. She decides that she needs to talk to her right now. I text my cousin and give her adequate warning. As she rings my cousin, she runs over to me and gives me a hug. She is talking to me instead of the phone and telling me all the things that are meant for my cousin. She kisses me over and over again and gives me more hugs. She does not realize that she is hugging me-she thinks that she is able to hug through the phone?? Strange indeed. Phone call over and on to the movie.

The movie time is and always has been the best part of the night for me. We laugh, we dance, we hold hands. It is the only time when for just a few moments, my mother is my mother and I am her daughter. I would not trade that for anything. The movie finishes and I am on my way home. My night is far from over however. Four phone calls later (mind you it is 1:30 am when I leave). She is unable to work her ac and needs me to tell her how to cool her house (3 times). She calls me the fourth time to let me know she is ok now. My daughter has awoken at this point because of the phone calls and is such a silly nut. She finally drifts back to sleep-time is now 2:30. Off to bed I go and not 30 minutes later my son awakens. Why I have no idea but he always picks those nights when I am tired. He is also a silly nut and in a great mood. Only problem is he is wide wide wide awake. I leave and shut the door behind me, but unfortunately he is now able to open the door. It is not until 5:30 that I finally hit the ground and am in a deep sleep. 7:20 little girl awakes and little boy too. Looks like sleep is not the option today so up I go. My husband graciously offers to let me sleep but I have this unfortunate curse that when the children are up, I cannot sleep. Just hearing their voice makes me wide awake arggggg. We had fun going on an Easter Egg hunt and then stopped at Gigi's (my mother) to eat lunch and style her hair. She was completely oblivious to my son and was only focused on Kenzie. She was easily agitated and had a few melt downs so we headed out. Children are now asleep and I am finished

Thursday, April 1

What an interesting day. It started with its usual craziness of a home with two little children. The phone began ringing around 10 with a distraught mother over her bed. This bed is a source of extreme agitation for all of us involve. She spent all night trying to fix the bed the way that it is supposed to be. The unfortunate thing is none of us know the way that it is supposed to be-it changes daily it seems. She calls crying and begs me to describe how to put the bed together???? :{ How in the world am I to do that? I quickly get out of it by saying that I can show her but cannot describe it to her. I tell her I can come up She does not want them there because they are too noisy. Rather she does not want my son to come up only my daughter. I explain that it is impossible and I only can come if I bring both. She hangs up in distress and rings back a few seconds later. After fifteen minutes on the phone, she wants me to come up. Now the fun begins. She will get very upset if I take too long so I have to figure out how to get two little ones ready to go up to my mothers in less than five minutes. Frantic shouts to my daughter to use the bathroom, get her socks and shoes, gather the toys, pick up her mess, get the juice cups, and she is taken care of. Now for my son-pick him up strip off the clothes, change the diaper, redress while he wiggles (forgot his socks and shoes-important detail for later), wash his face, grab a few snacks and juice, and we are out the door. Opps run back in for diaper bag and back out I go. Total time lapse is running at about 6 minutes. As we drive up to my mothers, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have vowed not to bring both children up since it is only a recipe for disaster.
I get slightly irritated and vent to/ at my dad (thanks by the way and sorry) for not having a schedule in place for who is on what days. Get up there and mom is freaking out. She does not greet the children-she is too fixated on her bed. She wants to explain what she has tried that does not work and it takes her over 10 minutes to say this simple statement: I put the white quilt on and then the blue blanket followed by the green comforter.
What she said was:I took it that white one the Amish thing be quiet daisy be quiet kids, stop and listen wait that thing I mean the Amish put on first. I then put the other one not that one but that one on you know what I mean the green no the blue wait the soft one argggggggggggggg I mean I put the white Amish on but it was no good but I did it and then the blue thing-or the green no the blue then the green.oh forget it-screaming and crying banging the bed. You get the picture.

All the while I gentle move around her holding one playful kid and quietly whispering-be patient to the next playful kid, meanwhile placing the blue blanket on the bed and securing it with safety pins, then the green one and hide the white ones (there are two) over in the corner . My mother sighs a breath of relief and says that is it. Thank you.

On to making lunch. At this point my children need to eat so I begin cooking some quick meals. I ask my mother if she wants something and she directs me to some frozen lasagna. I begin to prepare it and she starts freaking out. She runs to her room and gets upset because she does not eat this early. She tells me I am trying to control her and I ruined her food. she keeps going back and forth until she gets upset that my daughter is no longer waiting to play but watching the tv. She starts to cry because she thinks my daughter no longer wants to play with her, not realizing that she keeps leaving Kenzie to yell at me. At this point, my son Connor screams out in pain. Forgotten shoes come into play. I use shoes because of all the stuff she has broken-I am never sure if the floors are ok. Ironically, today is the day I forget the shoes and also the day my son steps on glass. Quickly I remove the glass and thankfully it all comes out. Food fiasco forgotten, daughter and mother go off to play, I finish cooking and Connor keeps playing. Gather everyone to eat and Mom is upset because I interrupted their play session. I explain that we were not here to play but to fix the bed. She starts crying. The kids eat, mom cheers up, I clean up and off to our home for a much needed nap.
Best part of the day. Half way into the nap my mother calls me crying hysterically. She tells me: Two men came they took it. They took that thing. More tears more screams. I ask her what thing thinking a car or something. I ask her why she let them in. She says they just did for Dad they came and took it. My favorite, its gone gone gone. I ask again what thing. She says the Ding ding ding ding ding thing. Totally confused I ask her again a few objects. Finally it dawns on me -Oh the piano, I say. Yes-the piano they took it its gone. At this point I tell her I need to go call 911 thinking this is theft happening and I am about to wake both kids. I run to get my keys, my purse, and gather the stuff for the kids when I hear a faint chuckle and she says hahah it is that day. My mouth drops as I realize that I just got fooled by my mother. Nothing can take the smile off my face today. April fools day was always a day my mom had fun and it has been three years since she has tried and only one other time in the last year has my mom shown any understanding of humor. Thanks to my uncle for letting her know it was April Fools Day. Since his phone call, she must have spent that time figuring out something to do. Classic-truly classic.