looking for the light
This post may be a bit ragged, as I am feeling that way today. Mom had a rough night most of last night, arguing about her pills, which ones she takes when, and whether she had taken them. She did that thing again where literally as the pill is going down her throat, she denies she took it. It’s hard to conceive of how her memory can so totally cease to function.
She finally went to bed in a huff, turning her back to me. I sat down on the opposite side, setting the alarm on my phone to get me up this morning to start the regular round of chores again. After a minute or two I heard her say, “Where’s Lisa?” in a tone most unlike the agitated and angry one from the previous two or three hours. “Right here,” I sighed, not willing to hope for anything. “Where?” she said. Remember, I’m behind her at this moment, and a symptom of dementia that a lot of people don’t know is the narrowing of the visual field. As the condition progresses, the person doesn’t consistently acknowledge or respond to anything not directly in front of them. So I leaned over her and she turned her head toward me. She smiled sweetly and said, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re still here.” The remainder of the evening was smooth as butter, including her taking her blood pressure pill that, no lie, three or four minutes before, she had raved that she would NOT take.
Sad to say, this morning started out like the worse part of last night. There was more taking pills and then not remembering them. Then she started the thing of wanting to take pills whenever she wanted them. “No, Mother, you take those two pills at 3:00 this afternoon, you can’t have them at 9:45 in the morning” does not register when she’s in one of those states. After a couple of hours, she was so beside herself I thought maybe I’d better take her blood pressure, and sure enough, it was elevated. Now, her doctor has said in those cases, she can take an extra pill; they’re teeny things. So this gave me a logical resolution. “Okay, okay, you win (heh). Here’s a blood pressure pill.” She calmed right down, whether because the pill has a bit of that effect, or whether simply because she got her way. After she ate a bite of lunch, I took her back to her room, and by the time I made myself a sandwich and returned, she was already snoring!
What I hate is, in a little while I’m going to have to wake her up to go to the doctor. She really needs to go in and have her bladder checked, but she’s going to be a pain when I wake her. Some days, there’s so much going on the downward side, it’s very hard to see any upside. But I keep looking. I have to.
A couple of nights ago, after another rough several hours, mom suddenly announced she wanted ice cream. It was late, after 10 pm, so the Dairy Queen just over the hill was closed; but she actually prefers the dollar soft serve cones from McDonalds. So we drove through and sat in the parking lot as we usually do. She’s been having some trouble getting her partial plates to fit (another medical trip in the future) and been fixated on her throat being swollen or frozen or whatever word she wants to use at the moment (you’d think with a speech pathologist for a daughter, she’d have thought of something other than my specialty to complain about, wouldn’t you?) so she hasn’t eaten a lot the past few days, but sitting in the car she decided she wanted, get this, a sausage biscuit and some French fries. LOL. Well, she got it, because who am I to argue when she finally voices a preference? Sitting there with her munching and listening to the radio was one of those small moments of upside.
There’s a Mexican ice cream parlor right at the top of the hill above my house, and I took mom there yesterday. She loves caramel so I got her a cup of cajeta ice cream (the Mexican equivalent). I got this crazy thing called a mangonada! It’s mango sorbet dressed with fresh squeezed lime juice, chili powder, and a red sauce made from pickled plums. It tastes sweet, salty, sour, and spicy, and collectively does this insane cha cha all over your taste buds. If you can find a place near you that makes them, get one. I do not joke. As a matter of fact, half of mine is in the freezer and I’m going to go and eat it now. Talk to y’all later. Bye. #carpeicecream