• Lisa

Interesting times...

This past week has been an interesting one, with 'interesting' being like in the old Chinese curse. Mom had a 'jack in the box' night last Friday, up and down 30 minutes, 45 minutes or hour at the most, in the bathroom. Confused most of Saturday, and lost her freakin' mind Saturday night. She was running around the house looking for the other people who live here, thinking it was the home of an aunt who died some years ago, and trying to put her stuff in bags and find Lisa to take us home. She’s only had one other incident of waking up in the middle of the night in a frenzy and wanting to leave, and believe you me, if you have never experienced anything like it, I pray you never do.

In the course of things, she dropped her cell phone and parts went everywhere. Sunday morning, after she calmed down a bit, she sat on the floor by her bed to look under it for some of them. Yes, at 80 years old, she can get down to sit on the floor, and fairly easily much of the time. I said “Okay hon, sit there and do that, I need to go outside and water the plants”. I was out five or ten minutes, and when I came up the porch to come back in, I saw her sitting on the living room floor. Which I knew immediately meant she had fallen someplace and scooted on her butt to the door to look for me. Actually, that was saying something because half the time she doesn't even remember I'm outside after five or ten minutes.

Anyway, she had banged one knee up pretty badly and scraped the side of her face and head. It took us fifteen minutes or so to get her from the floor to the couch, and that much longer again to stand her up and get her to bed. She walked on the knee okay, so clearly nothing was broken, but she said it hurt. I said I'd take her to the hospital, but she said no, she wanted to lie down. By the time I ate a sandwich, she had decided she wanted to go to the hospital--but not before she spent an hour in the bathroom washing up. LOL. Remember, this is the woman who argued all the previous night that she had never lived here and anything I said to the contrary was a damn lie (her words)

At the ER, she was relatively sharp almost the whole time (showtime!) but got confused again by the time we got back home with her knee wrapped. The one good thing was, between her regular meds and the pain meds they gave her, and probably too the previous 2 nights rants, she slept like A ROCK. I think it was the first time this year I'd gotten more than 3 hours consecutive sleep.

By Wednesday, she only vaguely remembered falling, and by Thursday she didn’t remember it at all. Oh, and somebody broke into the house and stole her cell phone. Since she really doesn’t need it the way she did when I was working full-time, and she can use the land line for the rare times I’m gone and she is alone (which is less than an hour at all times) I’ve decided for the time being that the thieves can have the phone. She doesn’t have to know it’s hiding at the bottom of a yarn basket.

Yesterday, she was up from 5:15 AM on, following me around and reading her pill schedule aloud over and over. Again. Sigh. She isn't capable of understanding it, as simple as it is, or even telling time anymore, apparently. She raved wanting her 3 PM pills till she got her blood pressure up so high I had to give her an extra half one at 11 AM. She hoped I didn't come to take care of her again tomorrow. It’s very difficult to keep being the duck on 3 hours sleep a night. However, if I can just hang on long enough, she usually forgets what she was bitching about (forgive the language) and she did. Took her 3 PM pills on time and finally laid down and started snoring. I got some things done and sneaked in a nap too. It's like having a baby, you have to sleep when they do.

Best thing about August is, the pink surprise lilies in my front yard pop up! They are so pretty. If you've never seen any, they grow green foliage in the spring, then die back, and about the time everybody forgets about them, here they come. literally springing up overnight. Hence the name. Well, I don't forget, and I watch for them to emerge, and have to bring some in to enjoy.

A few hopeful developments: I signed up on a couple of web sites to find out about respite help. I do need to get out of the house more than a couple of hours a month, I guess, even though I love my mom and my house and love to do things around the house. Also, I got a flyer in the mail from AARP about a class next Sunday afternoon for caregivers, with networking, education, snacks and such. My aunt is going to mind mom so I can go. My only concern is that it will be the first time in months that I haven’t been home to give mom meds. I’ll have to get her 3 PM ones out (there are only two) and probably leave her a note, and go over them with her and aunt together, and hope things go well. Mom will not be happy I’m leaving, but I’m telling her it’s a class to help me with her medicines. Hopefully, since she thinks I’m a dummy half the time anyway, putting it on me will do the trick. Haha!

Stay tuned!

#caregiver #dementia #selfcare

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