Sunday, December 22, 2013

Another episode of random thoughts...

-Exhaustion is my new, old friend.  Nothing is keeping Mom asleep now.  All previous methods are useless.  I am considering an alternate form of therapy, that frankly, would have shocked the Hell out of me a few years ago. But, research (done during the light of day) tells me that it works and it helps.  So, I'm in.

-The exhaustion is making me more emotional than usual.  Sleeping 2 hours here, 90 minutes there, all with one ear on the alert is not conducive to good moods. I don't remember what it is to not be tired. 

-With all of the gadgets, furniture arrangements and special locks around here, the house feels like an obstacle course.  And now add the entire bathroom to the list of things that must be locked at all times.  Mom uses the toilet as a trash can.  As a result, I have been plunging the toilet more often than I ever want to plunge.  Yesterday, I plunged.  And plunged.  I'm still plunging.  At one point, I poured a bubbly concoction into the bowl and let it sit.  This is what floated up to the top (the Qtip is for size reference):

-Christmas is upon us and even though Mom sings with the carols, she has no comprehension that the Holy day is here.  She always made the day special for us and I'm trying to do the same for her.  The thief that is Alzheimer's will surely make that impossible. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The thief...

Mom had a good day.  She found a pen, got out a word search book and looked at it. Often. She would flip through the pages and look.  But, she couldn't quite remember what she was supposed to do.  It was the first time in at least a year that she even showed interest in it. 

Unfortunately, tonight she is counting the tissues in her purse, taking them out and folding them, and then putting them back in.  She then opens her purse and sobs when she finds them there. Apparently, someone has stolen the rubber bands that were supposed to be holding the tissues together. 

This disease is so fickle.  Through the heartbreak, I am fascinated by how quickly it gives and then steals back. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

FAFFL #2...

Mom gave me another FAFFL (file away for laughing later) moment. She was very restless last night. Up and down.  She would sleep for an hour and then get up and start getting ready for work/school/ice skating/whatever.  Because of her wanderings, I have pushed the couches in the living room together at an angle to block Mom from going into the rest of the house.  I sleep with my head at the apex of the couches so that I will know if she tries to escape.

Anyway, Mom finally quieted down  at about 1 am.  I didn't  believe she was truly out, so, I laid there watching for her for another hour or so. I must have dozed off because I woke up at 3:20 with a 79 year old butt in my face as she was attempting to climb over me to get out of the house. If you've ever had a 79 year old butt in your face at 3:20 in the morning, you'll know that even in the light of day, it still isn't funny. But, I don't mind if you laugh.  If it happened to you, I would laugh.

But, what was filed away for laughing later (because I was too tired to see the humor) was that every time she got up, I would take her back to bed, and she would come up really close to my face and gesture at me to be quiet with a finger over her mouth and whisper, "It's okay. I don't have to go to bed because I'm not really here."  So, apparently, I now have a Mother who acts like a toddler that's been drinking. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


During the really bad times with Mom, I turn to words to calm me.  And today has been a rather bad day.  But, there are no words today.  As bad as it is, as bad as it will probably get with Mom, I cannot write anything of meaning.  Today I received the gift of perspective.

Unfortunately, perspective can arrive in very sad and desperate packages.  Mine arrived amid tears and heartbreak... A very dear friend is having the worst day any parent can have.  She is losing her child. 

So, my words, when I can find them, will be for her. 

You can't make this up...

Warning:  The following language is how we actually talk around here.  Advance at your own risk. 

Scene:  I'm sitting on the couch.  Mom is standing over me farting.  A lot.

Me:  Mom, you need to go do that in the bathroom.

Mom:  What?  I'm not doing anything.

Me:  You're farting.  You need to go use the bathroom.

Mom:  No, I don't.  They told me to do it for you.

Me:  MOM.  You're farting in my face.  Go to the bathroom!

Mom:  NO!  They told me to do it for you!

Me:  Mom, you're farting!

Mom:  I know that!  The only way I'm going to the bathroom is if you come with me.  They told me I had to do it for you! 

Me:  That's disgusting.

Mom:  Yep.  That's why it's for you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I just posted this on my Facebook page:  "Some people suck the nice right out of you."  After more than 12 hours of Mom's non-stop negativity and finally screaming at her to just shut up, I want to say that it is true.  

But, wait.  Can someone change who you truly are?  I always go back to something that I heard Oprah say.  I'm paraphrasing, but she said that if you have to try to be nice, then you aren't truly nice.  So, if you carry that a step or two further, if the nice can be sucked out of you, were you truly nice in the first place?  I'm guessing no.  

But, this discussion will have to wait for another day.  I'm not in the mood to be philosophical about this.   All I know for sure is that my nice has done been sucked.

What works now...

What a beautiful sound.  I turned on a traditional Christmas station on Pandora last night.  It was another attempt to soothe Mom with music.  So many of these attempts have failed and I truly didn't expect any success this time.  But, she sang.  She hummed.  She smiled.  She even thanked me several times throughout the evening for playing the music.  It truly was a lovely evening for which I will always be grateful.

This morning she awoke just as angry as usual.  She is furious that I haven't fed her (I have...twice.).  She wants to know where her car is... it's been gone since her diagnosis 7 years ago.  I have turned the music back on.  She has alternated between being angry at "that noise" and singing with it.  As a song ends she demands food and the location of her car.

I once read that if you've met one Alzheimer's victim, umm, patient, that you've met one Alzheimer's patient.   Meaning that every victim of the disease reacts to it in their own way.  But, I take it a little further to include that what works right now for your loved one, works right now.  It might always work, but chances are it will never work again. The challenge is finding what works now.

During the writing of this entry, I have determined that last night was a fluke that may or may not repeat itself.  So, I will continue playing the music... into noise cancelling earphones, firmly attached to my head. That is what is working now.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Appetite restored...

Yesterday, Mom ate eleven meals.  I'm really not complaining.  I know that it is better than the alternative.  But, ELEVEN meals.  She had four breakfasts by 10 am.  Just as soon as she finished each one, and occasionally while she was still eating, she complained that she was hungry.  So, I fed her. I'm not even talking about the snacks that she ate, I'm talking meals.  Thank goodness for leftovers.

Even with 11 meals, she still wouldn't go to bed because she was hungry.  This morning she woke up hungry.  It's 2 pm and she's only eaten 4 meals.  But, she should be hungry anytime and I'm ahead of her... I have a meal ready for her.

I would be a completely happy camper if I could just change two things...

-when she's not actually in the middle of a meal, I would be happy if she didn't accuse me of starving her.  Having waited on her almost once an hour, it's just a tad irritating for her to say, "You want me to die.  You haven't fed me in three days."

-when she is eating practically non-stop, it would be nice if the first words, after the first bite, weren't, "This is too salty/hot/nasty/cold/much."

Okay, so I'm complaining.  But, just a little.