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.


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