Friday, September 18, 2015

Who's That?

As mom's disease progresses, her routines and rituals continue to change. One week, we have things figured out. The next week, everything is disrupted. One thing that we have learned with this disease is how to be resourceful. Sometimes you've got to roll with the punches and take it one day at a time.

For so long, mom was so strict on her daily routine: wake at 8 am, take medicine at 8:30, go to the bathroom at 8:35, eat breakfast at 9:00, sit on the bed and wait until shower time at 10 get the point. Nowadays, there's not a whole lot of rhyme or reason to her day. She still wakes in the morning (long before 8 am now) and will drink her "slim fast" and take her medicine. After that, we can't be quite sure what she will do at what time. We can no longer leave her medicines out all day for her to take at the designated times because she'll take them all at once. She doesn't shower unless dad or I force her in. Some nights, she is up at midnight, fixing her sandwich for lunch. Other times (like today) she eats her lunch at 8:00 in the morning and skipped her afternoon meal. Sometimes she'll take an hour nap, other times she'll nap for two minutes and then be up again. We never know what each new day will bring!

One of the things that has been especially helpful for us is mom's love for her computer games. On her old schedule, she spent a few hours a day in front of her computer. Nowadays, she will sit down for a few minutes and then be up doing something else before returning to the computer for another minute. She isn't spending a lot of time in front of the computer, but she is still playing a game or two of spider solitaire each day (I haven't noticed if she still plays the tile game she was playing).

So what does mom do all day? you might ask.

Well, let me tell you.

All day long, she paces back and forth from her bedroom to the living room. She walks down the hall, opens the front door and checks to see if the screen door is unlocked. When she sees that it's locked, she pounds on the door. If there is a passerby on the street, she will call out,

"Hello hello?"

She bounces between the front door and then over to the couch where she hangs over to peer out the window. She notes whether or not "his" (dad's) truck is there. If anyone is outside, she will then knock on the window to get their attention. After doing this back and forth a few times, she then checks the garage door to see if she can get it open. Of course she can't, so then she usually goes back to her bed where she may rest (with the sheet over her head) for a few minutes, followed by a brief trip to the computer and then back out to the living room once again. And this is how she passes her time. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I'm thinking that her short term memory has greatly declined now as well.

On the bright side, she is no longer shutting herself in her room all day; everyone gets to enjoy her presence a bit more! ;)

This picture was one that I took a couple weeks ago when my dad was working in the front yard. Dad was never alone while working! Mom was there, knocking on the window and calling to dad. She wanted him to put out her night time medicine and at one point she even went to the kitchen and grabbed her glass which she knocked against the window! Boy, she is persistent!

In other strange news...we took mom to the lab as part of a physical she has scheduled. She hasn't had her blood checked in a couple of years; we figured we were overdue. We checked on her lab results today, and as far as I can see, all of her numbers are in the normal range (except her LDL was a little high). I thought for sure that her peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich-diet might reflect deficiencies or other health issues (blood sugar, cholesterol, etc) but apparently she is faring well. It's so strange to me that she can be doing so well physically when her mental capacity is severely altered. It leaves me to wonder, how long will she have to live with this disease?

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