tea time, and other ramblings
Mom was being rather introspective earlier today. Still confused as heck, but introspective. She was asking questions like "Do I do anything all day or just sleep?" and "Why do you do all this?" Of course, she was also asking who pays me, doesn't putting plaster all over you clog up your pores, and where do the other girls go. I try to be as serious as I can in answering her, but if something is funny, heck, I'm going to laugh. Sometimes she does too. Not as often as she used to, but sometimes. I have an old stuffed ghost, she bought me years ago, which she uses now as a back support in bed. We have a running joke that no matter how drastically she wets the bed, Spooky NEVER gets wet on. That almost always makes her laugh.
Since my last post things have gone up and down. Tuesday before last, she was feeling really good. I had to go pick up my one medication prescription and she wanted to ride along. She even picked up her new AARP magazine from the table to take with her and read in the car. She so rarely initiates any kind of activity, including reading, that I did a small double take. After I picked it up, I got gas, and dared ask if she felt like a quick stop at Goodwill. Thrift store shopping used to be one of our favorite pastimes. She considered it for a minute and then said yes! I parked and was about to help her out of the car when I looked down...and she only had her house shoes on. Then I remembered her saying she wasn't going to bother putting her shoes on because she wasn't planning to get out of the car. I offered to run into the thrift store and buy her a pair of cheap sandals or something, but she laughed and said no.
She did feel well enough for me to make a couple more stops on the way home though, and she was so sharp! We talked about the weather, and current events, and she talked about relatives who had passed away and remembered what they died from, including one who I'm pretty sure died from grief after a child's suicide. After we got home, she napped for an hour or so, and woke up--confused and angry again. I almost hate to see her doze off if she was feeling well, because she usually does not wake up well.
Over the past week or two she's been having a lot of what I call Jack in the box nights, up and down every thirty minutes, 45 minutes, hour or so. When she is in bed she is upset and complaining about hurting, or reads her pill schedule over and over til she gets herself all mixed up and then gets mad at me about it. Sometimes it's hard to be the duck, but I keep paddling.
The other day, my uncle stayed with mom while I ran to the drug store, Wal Mart etc. She had had a Jack in the box night and it was carrying over into the day; she was confused about her pills, kept insisting she had not taken them, didn't know who I was, but knew I knew nothing about her pills. I hated to walk out and leave him with her, but didn't really have a choice if I wanted to get anything done. I was barely gone an hour and when I got home I thought my poor unc would pull out what hair he has! He kept saying "it's god awful, I don't know how you do it" and the like. I just shrugged and said "I do what I have to do".
At least, thank heavens, my family knows exactly what I'm dealing with. Some of the folks in my facebook dementia caregiver group are wrestling with family members who don't believe the loved one even has dementia, minimize the problems, dump on the caregiving one, and other assorted crap. They aren't in a position where they can leave that denier in charge and leave the house for a couple of hours, to give them a taste, but that sure would be the way to go, IMHO.
Anyway, for some positive things. I think I've mentioned I write articles and lessons for an online educational service. I've been writing in my area of training of course, healthcare, but recently I got an email that they were in need of people to write in some other departments. Psychology was one, and I minored in psych, so I asked if that would qualify me. They were happy to say yes! In fact, a few days later, they asked if I could take on a high priority lesson that needed to be done within the week...on research procedures in industrial/organizational psychology. 0_0 Nope, I know nothing about that. But I know the basics of scientific research, and statistics (even though they are gross) so I pulled something together, with help from a kind editor who as it happens is ALSO a caregiver. Wasn't easy, but boy, after that, writing about anoxic brain injury, or self-esteem in autistic teens, is like falling off a log. haha!
I guess it's like the old saying says: Women are like tea bags, you never know how strong they are till you put them in hot water.
Promise I will get back to weekly rants. One thing I can't wait to write about is the upcoming solar eclipse! I bought glasses for mom and me, and on one of her recent good days I shared a little booklet I bought and told her about it. She was glad to hear we will have one of the best seats in the country, out in the driveway. LOL.