Sunday, January 23

Dad's birthday

Today is my father's birthday and thanks to my brother, he had a good time.  Kevin went up to stay with mom for a little while so dad could get out and about.  This week has been so busy for all of us and I was able to stay home tonight and rest.  Between Dad's trip to new orleans, difficulties with my group of pregnant teens, baby showers for one of them, Mrs. Fischer, Mom, and just the craziness of life, I have not been home to put my two little ones to bed all week.  Last night was the first night and I loved it.  Jason and I actually got to settle down around 9 to watch a movie together.  So relaxing.  The sad thing is tonight I was also getting to stay home.  As I tell my oldest to go pick out books, she asks me if I am going to Gigi's.  With all the enthusiasm of a school girl, I shout  out No I am staying here to read to you and put you to bed.  Out of her mouth comes a sad response-oh ok.  I wanted you to go there so you could bring me home a surprise...I tried so hard not to laugh as I realized that already she is ok with me not being home and would prefer it if it means a delightful surprise sitting on her pillow ready for her when she wakes up...I may have to stop the surprises for awhile, a whole week of them seemed to have slightly spoiled her. 

Thankfully this week is slightly less busy.  All I have on my agenda is to observe a child for tutoring, A meeting for my teen mothers, visit my grandmother and Ms. Fischer, rent out my friends house, go to church, and spend time with my mother.  Hopefully of course I will get the delighted visits of both my brother and father. I love slow weeks.

Ah as far as mom is concerned...It seems she has taken a step down on her "stairs" of life.  Despite dad being back, she still is not able to do some of the most basic functions.  Her short term memory is going-I will tell her something and a few minutes later she does not remember.  When she is interested or focused, she still remembers rather well.  She remembers my cousin visiting, she remembers getting upset over a lamp, she remembers what she watched on Alli McBeal.  She may forget if you tell her new information like what happened at the Dr.'s office.  She expresses more difficultly recalling words and it is getting more difficult to understand what she wants.  She still fixates on it and will not let you distract her until she tells you what she wants you to know.  She has a general knowledge of what is going on in the world but her interested in Obama and Fox news has decrease significantly.  My mom also has a hard time with loud noises, more so now then before.  When both children come over, it is too much for her and she short circuits.  She also has become very possessive of time, people, and items.  Mackenzie wanted some orange juice the other day and my mom would not let her have any until she realized that there were three little containers of it left.  When I slept over, she did not want me talking on the phone even if it was to Jason.  She gets jealous of the attention that the children give my dad and does not want him even talking to Mackenzie when she is around.  IT makes for pretty stressful encounters when he is there since Mackenzie wants to be with Jeep as well.  She is jerking much more with her arms and legs, trembles occasionally, and loses her grip with things. She cannot understand depth changes and directionality.  Trying to get her in the tub or shower is very difficult and even harder to get her out. She also does not know how to use the toilet, eat her pills, drink from a cup, or follow basic directions.  If I tell her to sit down, she cannot.  It takes her a few minutes.  If I tell her to come to me, she says where and looks confused. She no longer grooms herself at all, no brushing teeth, no wiping up after she uses the rest room, no washing hands.  We have to remind her to wash her hands and then she gets upset because she thinks she does it all the time.  She cannot work her dvd player or tv anymore, cannot answer the phone or call anyone.  She cannot run her washing machine or dryer, and cannot put away dishes.  She is losing the ability to drink through a straw.  Another weird thing is that her vision seems to give her difficulties.  She  will ask for something that is right in front of her and does not see it.  It seems that although the risperdol is working as far as keeping her calm, it is definitely affecting her ability to function. But without it,we could not take care of her at home....
Dad has started treating mom a new way and she is responding to it well.  I am proud of him for understanding and figuring out some of the difficulties she had with him.  One of the greatest things that we all share with one another is communication.  For example, my brother never had any confrontations (or relatively few) with my mom.  For months I told him it was because he did not go up as much as I did and once he did, she would react more aggressively.  Well after five months of Kevin going up there, she still did not act any different with him around.  It made me observe him and what he did and realize all that I did that was wrong.  I was able to share it with my dad after I tried some of the things that Kevin did.  It worked.  He had an understanding with mom that could not be matched.  It took Dad a while to understand what we were trying to say, but he never got upset with us for telling him how to do something. He was open to our suggestions especially since they work.  I was open to trying something new as well.  we all realize that we may not know everything and it is important to let another person give a fresh perspective.  Each person and family is different and what works for us may not ever work for another person.  But we have learned (mostly from watching Kevin) how to handle mom and what we need to do.Keep us in your prayers.  Nite


Astra! said...

Hi I found you on yahoo group.And i am so sorry for the anguish you and your family are going through.
I am being assessed for Alzheimers at the moment myself and i am looking for answers.I have written a piece about myself on the group under "Memory Loss".I have all my faculties at the moment, but know theres things not quite right,several things have been happening to me which i've hidden over the years,but not for much longer.sometimes i feel like i'm not there or vacant,but aware of things around me and many other symptoms.Deep down i do beieve this is Alzheimers.My daughter is the only one who knows about me,i only told her by mistake just before christmas,but she already had an idea about me as shes worked with people who have Alzheimers.I had a bad experience in 1989 which i wrote about in my blog (Blogger)Astras Thoughts and Feelings.
Again i'm so sorry for what you and your family are going though God Bless X Astra!

Kimberly said...

Hi Astra, I cannot begin to understand what it must be like for you. I plan to get tested in the next few months and plan for a time when it may be me. So far it has hit both my grandmother and mother-seems to run on the girls side...I would love to read your blog to gain some insight. I will keep you in my prayers and am here if you need someone to vent to.

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