Saturday, April 3

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


Anonymous said...

After you left, things did not get any better. She complained about the screen door, the dog eating the cement wall, and the famous weeds that are making her allergies...then the famous dinner plate throwing...

Sandy Kessler said...

Did she enjoy the movie?I watched it but would think it diffcult to get the nuances for her.or was it just the romance she liked in past

Kimberly said...

She did like the movie amazingly enough...

Lisa Martineau said...

God Bless You, Kim.

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