Saturday, August 28

First day of School

One thing that this disease has taught me is the necessity for change.  My family constantly reinvents the wheel.  As one thing alters, we must adapt and remain completely flexible.  With Kevin working 5 days a week with mom, Dad and I notice great difference in the daily activities.  we are able to accomplish so much because she is not on the phone with us or finding things to get upset about.  Amazingly, she has been rather calm since he has been with her -only a few episodes of freaking out.  Being off all medicines has actually been therapeutic for her and helpful to us.  We can truly assess the problems that Alzheimer's is causing in her life.  The greatest change in my mother is her short term memory. She definitely is starting to forget conversations or tidbits of information.  She has greater difficulty recalling words or replacing words for other ones.  She also is getting a bit more delusional.  For instance, she believes that when she uses the restroom, it is her feet's fault that she sometimes misses and gets it on the floor.  It actually is quite a funny thing.  She now believes that she must stripe down completely before she goes to the bathroom.  Then the entire floor must be clear of anything, towel, socks, her slippers, her clothing, hair or whatever else might have gathered.  She plops down on the toilet and proceeds to lift her feet up off the ground.  In her words, "I lift them since it starts there and when I lift it, they start to go, Sometimes they do not help me and won't let me pee.  Sometimes, it is their fault, they pee on the floor and get me wet" I ask her who they are for clarification and she says her feet.  Her feet control her peeing.  I suppress a smile as she gets up, gets dressed, and five minutes later, starts the process over again because "they" forgot a little.

This week has been a bit easier as well since my little one has started VPK.  I have four hours to play with my son, run some errands, train my son in behaving outside of the house, do some school work, apply for grants for our non-profit, visit with clients, visit grandma  or my mother, and basically take some time to relax with only one child.  The weird part is that I thought I would enjoy the time without my little girl-not so much noise.  But I find it horribly quiet and I long for 12:30 to come so I can bring her home.  She is learning so much already and mking sure to teach it to me. 

The other night I was over there and my mom wanted some oreos.  She wanted to do what the kids do.  It took me a few minutes to figure out she wanted to dip her cookie in milk.  I get some milk and she asks me what now.  I tell her to dip the cookie. She looks at me confused and I demonstrate.  She takes her cookie and throws it into the cup and then looks at it and asks me what to do.  I tell her to reach in and get the cookie.  I cannot describe the scene to you but trust me it was quite humorous watching her try to get the cookie out of the cup.  I reach in and put it up to her mouth.  Since it was soft, it fell apart and really confused her. 

She went to her doctor this week and he gave her a pill to increase her appetite.  The weird thing is that it is for breast cancer as well.  I have felt more lumps in my mother's breast and cannot help but wonder if he thinks it has come back.  My mother has decided to have the MRI that her obgyn has suggested that she have after the results of her last test showed something.  The question is do I tell her the results of the MRI no matter what??? Hmmm decisions decisions. 

One thing that this disease has really altered for me is my relationship with others.  I have watched so many of my mother's dear friends disappear one by one until she only has one left. These were her childhood friends, family members, and best friends that spent many years in our lives.  My mother was there for them when no one else was, she was a great friend and a wonderful support person.  I see how these "friends" have turned their back on her and have left her alone.  This once friendly, extremely outgoing person has no one to take her out or spend time with her.  It has made me evaluate my friends and look at my relationships.  I realize that a friendship is not necessarily about spending time or building relationships.  It is about being there for one another through thick and thin.  To shoulder the burden with and help ease the pain.  With all that is happening, I have weeded out those people in my life that are not a support to me.

  Life is so fleeting and so difficult sometimes that I want to spend my energy and love on those that I can trust and rely on. Those where I do not have to guess or deal with games.  I must say that of all the things that this disease has done, the biggest thing is the change it has made in me.  The veil has lifted from my eyes and I have realized much more about people than ever before.  I am much more outspoken and unwilling to be taken advantage of.  I realized for the first time ever, that so many have used me as a mat and that is not what God has intended us to be used for.  Yes, I believe that He wants us to serve others and help others as Jesus did for us.  I do not think, however, He desires us to be in situations that are not edifying to Him or giving Him the glory. I am thankful that God is in my life and I can count on Him or lean on Him.  I also am grateful to Him for all that He has given to me.  He constantly blesses us and I walk with the light of Jesus in my life.  The greatest blessing He has given to me is the closeness of my family.  Although this disease is cruel, it has created a bond between my brother, father, and uncle/aunt, that would never have been possible.  We work as a team and it is refreshing to have them near.  I fear the day when my brother leaves us.  I know that it will happen as he finds a career upon his graduation in December or when he finds that special girl.  I will miss him  terribly though.  Anyway, I have rambled enough tonight.  Night!!


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