Friday, July 28, 2006


Mother hasn't eaten since Thursday afternoon. She keeps throwing up - I don't know what to do. I know it's sinus drainage as she has a dry cough and she says her throat hurts - plus it's mucus that's coming up. She's crying constantly now - I know it sounds selfish but I just want her to shut up! If she's not better by Sunday I may have to take her to the hospital - she's going to scream about that, but I don't know what else to do. To get her into her doctor is a test in torture. I think she needs anti-depressants for one thing. Plus her pain pills are no longer helping her arthritis. She had such a good day on Tuesday, despite falling down. I'm about ready to burst. I'm just praying she sleeps through the night and lets me get some rest before work. She's been up and down out of bed all evening - she doesn't know what she wants. I just want peace.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


(for those of you [Deb] who go to both of my main blogs, this is a repeat since I was going to say pretty much the same thing on both sites)

One and a half hours sleep, a foot doctor appointment and a small emergency this morning has thrown off my entire day. I’ve only managed to get through the “Mi’s” on my blog list, so we’ll see if the internet holds up after mom goes to bed so I can finish.

The small emergency. Well, I was getting mom ready to go to the doctor’s and she sat on the bed, only she sat too close to the edge and slid off onto the floor. You have to understand that my mom weighs around 183 lbs and all of that is dead weight. One hip is immobile and both legs are riddled with arthritis, so she can’t help me at all. Furthermore, the Alzheimer’s prevents her from fully understanding the simplest of instructions, so my getting her up by myself was impossible. I tried the neighbors house as there are two young strapping gentlemen living there (I think Stephen is 16 and Brian is around 20 – I’ve known them since Stephen was in diapers). No go – those two boys could sleep through an elephant stampede. So I had to call 911. And would you think that at least one of those firemen would be young and sexy? No chance. Mom is okay, btw. Anyway, they got her up and I had her rest for a while before attempting the dressing thing again. While they were in the room it became apparent that that dresser has to go – there would have been no way to get an ambulance gurney next to her bed. So, once again, I’ll have to put-off finishing the study to work on emptying out her chest of drawers and transferring clothes to her dresser. Then we have to get that sucker out of there. Doctor’s appointment went well, and she was up for the day. That only left time for a short nap and I am exhausted, so I'm off to bed early.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I’ve got a nice cosy chair to sit in, a personal fan to blow on me and a lamp to read by. Now all I need is a little more space for a table of sorts to set my drink on, a clock, phone, etc. because the cats will have fun with that tray. We’re going to have to take out the dresser you see to the left of the chair, and move things around, but I think we can do it. She still has a chest of drawers which the TV is sitting on – without dad she doesn’t need both, in fact, the chest is full of junk. She’s also given me permission (she won’t remember though) to take down the decorative grouping on the wall behind the TV and put up family photos. Today she finally refused to sit on the toilet – it just hurts her too much to sit down that far. Her right hip is pretty much immobile and her legs are riddled with arthritis. Bebo is going to stop at Wallyworld tomorrow after work and pick up this toilet thing I saw – mom won’t have to sit down that far. It’s a stop-gap until I can get the thing I want – an apparatus that sits over the toilet with bars on the side to help her get up. We’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that she won’t be leaving the bedroom much. I have to see what I need to do to get a hospital bed – she’s having a hard time sitting up and it’s just practically pulling my arm out of the socket to get her into a sitting position. A hospital bed would raise her up and there would be bars to help her get out of bed. I’m hoping Medicare will pay for it, because if it doesn’t then she can’t have one. She’s been eating a little better the last couple of days, so that’s good.

Still having trouble with the internet, so I guess I’m going to have to call them too. It could be the DSL box since it’s one of the first models – you think?

UPDATE: Couldn't post this last night because of the internet, so by this time Bebo has arrived with the toilet thingy and it works like a charm. Yay!!!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

My Kingdom for a Nap

Mother has decided that naps, for me, are a no-no. I lay down and within 45 minutes to an hour she's in my room asking me what I'm doing, not that the closed eyes and snoring are any clue. This wouldn't be so bad if she also didn't decide that I needed to be woken up in the middle of the night. Friday's are hard for me since I close the store on Thursday nights, meaning that my body is wide awake when I get home around 9:30. I'm usually up way after midnight (2:00 a.m. this time) and her waking me up at 4:00 makes the 6:00 alarm clock a scary thought. So naps on Friday is a must - just not this Friday.

THE CHAIR arrives Saturday which means my life shut in mother's room will begin. It's almost half-way that now since she calls me in there every five minutes or so, which makes this week of cleaning hard to do. I've already started ordering season DVD's of shows that she likes because the cable in that room is limited. We have what are referred to as A and B channels, and that TV only gets B channels, like Sci-Fi (not for her) and Court TV (also a no-no), but History Channel, TCM and GSN do help. So yesterday the 6th season of I Love Lucy and the 1st season of The Rockford Files arrived (mom loves Rockford). I have to make sure that I buy things that I don't mind watching.

This week off of the blogs has been hard, but necessary as I have managed to get a lot of organizing and cleaning done. Hopefully I'll finish by Monday (it's been so hot that I haven't been able to clean after noon). I've also got to figure out someway to organize my blogging - since my time away from mom will be limited. Oh well, something else to think about.

That's it - I know, very deep and revealing post, but I'm too tired to think of anything else. Well, there is the Regis Philbin thing - which I'll blog about later.

Take care.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Party On

I’m toiling away day after day (okay, only 2 days – but it feels like forever) trying to get this house cleaned and re-organized for mother. I’m making space in the dining room and den for a walker-friendly environment, and as I move furniture I’m sweeping or vacuuming – tossing large amounts of dust bunnies into the air. I’m sweating my “you-know-what” off. I’m not visiting blogs (withdrawal has been hard) because I’m determined to finally get things done (my study has been waiting to be put back together since it was painted in May). Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with mom? Because after I drag my tired butt to bed, she’s obviously having parties. How do I know? When I went to wake her up this morning she tells me that Regis and his wife had just left. She’s not only having people over, but famous people at that. I’m quite miffed. I wouldn’t have minded meeting Regis and Joy Philbin.

I’m still working on the VCR/TV/DVD situation in her bedroom. Bebo and I bought a chair on Saturday (yes, my friend Susie came and sat with mom while I got out for 2 hours – mind you, about an hour of that was shopping for mom stuff, but hey, I’m not picky) and I’m still waiting for it to be delivered. “They” were supposed to call me today or Tuesday to let me know when. She enjoyed lying in bed this morning and watching “Support Your Local Sheriff” except she just couldn’t understand what Rockford was doing. And I’ve discovered that it’s hard to clean in a separate room while she’s around. Every five minutes she would call me into her bedroom and ask what I was doing. Sheesh.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Good Day

Mom got up Thursday morning, ate her breakfast and then declared she was going to get dressed. After I wiped that surprised look off of my face, I went in to help her. She hasn't changed out of sleep shirts in weeks. But there she was, pants/shirt, shoes and socks. She sat up all morning and then took a bit of a nap (see previous post about nap) and then was up for most of the day. Bebo says that she wanted to go to sleep around 7:00 and that she had to make her stay up until 8:00 - but still, that was good. Of course, that meant that she was down today.

I'm going to have to make some changes though - get out the credit card and buy a recliner or something so that I can sit in her room with her. I know that a lot of times she's in bed because her arthritis hurts her and she's more comfortable there. I'm also going to have to do some switching around of TV's and get another DVD player - maybe some more DVD's. If it weren't for the fact that she does go in to the den from time to time, I would move the recliner, TV and DVD player from in there, but oh well.

Hmmm, not a very enlightening or deep post, but it'll do for today.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm Tired

My mother's lunch menu for the last couple of days: Wednesday - half a ham sandwich and a banana; Thursday - Ritz crackers w/summer sausage and a banana. Why am I telling you this? Each time she said "You give me this every day" - very irritably. Two problems - um, no Thursday was different than Wednesday and there isn't a lot she will eat. So today I gave her a hot dog w/ sliced apples. "You give me this every day" in that same irritated voice. I had to go in to the kitchen and cry. I'm trying my hardest, but when she suddenly declares that she doesn't like anything that she used to, my options are getting low. I've even tried supplements, but this one is either too sweet, or that one is too ucky. This is just a venting post. I know you don't have any magic words, I just needed to get it out.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Nap is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Those who are unfamiliar with my routine (probably most of those who come by here) don't know that I must take a nap on Thursday afternoons or I am just dead on Friday. I work Thursday night and don't get home until after 9:00 p.m. It takes me a while to settle down, usually around midnight, but sometimes later. So I laid down a little before noon, mom went to her room to nap too. At 12:30 she was back up. I settled her in front of the TV and went back to bed, nothing unusual there. It was close to 1:00 before I drifted off. I awoke when her door closed. Laid there and listened to her open the door, go down the hall and then back in to her room. She came out again and went into my bathroom. I looked at the clock - 2:18. Hmmm, not much of a nap and I had to get up by 3:00. She came out of the bathroom.

"What's the matter mom?"

"Someone's going to get killed"

So what have the cats done this time? "Who mom?"

She came into my room and sat on the bed. "Regis says his dad is going to be killed" (she has a fixation on Regis Philbin).

I'm not quite awake yet. "Mom, Regis is close to your age, I think his dad has been gone for some time."

"Oh no, that's not right" she became more agitated.

"Who told you this?"

"He told me when I was downtown."

I guess my disbelief must have shown on my face as she got up in a flounce and left the room as only an arthritic woman can.

So, now I'm worried about Regis' dad.

I'm going to be so dead tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Memories ... Fight the Corners of My Mind

I struggle for words now, simple single syllable words that should come easily to me. They elude me - flitting around beyond my reach so I am often unable to complete a simple question. Names, places of my past are fading. This frightens me beyond anything else. My mother is one of four sisters. The eldest, Alice, has senile dementia. The one right below my mother, Golda, has Alzheimer's. Only the youngest, Lois, has, so far, escaped this disease. My mother's family has other mental disorders. Her older brother Tom is schizophrenic, she has a niece that is paranoid. My brother Howard was bi-polar with schizoid affects; I'm clinically depressed. My brother David suffers from strokes that have ravaged his body. Only my sister Cathie seems to have avoided anything neurological (although that's just a matter of opinion - I've always thought she was a basket case). I fear losing my mind. I know, intellectually, that being a caregiver exacts a huge toll upon the brain. I'm tired, overwhelmed and this can effect the thought processes. I've also read that I'm burning brain cells that will never regenerate. As a writer I worry about my future in the world of words. If I can't remember how to spell something, there's always a dictionary. But not being able to think of a word - I don't know of any book that will help with that. Of course, my mind automatically goes to Alzheimer's. I think that's normal.

I saw on the news one day that people who worry alot have a higher incidence of developing Alzheimer's. Great, something else to worry about.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Well, I Guess I Won't Be Doing That Anymore

I finally got out to the store this morning. Mom was doing good, sitting up in the den and watching television. I had about 6 bags of cans to drop off at the recycle bin at Wallyworld, but hadn't had time. So at 9:20 a.m. after telling mom about 3 times where I was going, I took off. I called mom a couple of times from the store, even had my sister call her. A little before noon I dragged myself in to the house. Mom was sitting in her chair bawling her head off. She didn't know where I was and thought I had left her. I explained to her where I had been, said I had called her twice, but she had no memory of it. So no more trips to Wallyworld, or maybe not even to a regular grocery store. My sister-in-law, from this day forward referred to as Bebo, told me later that whenever she watches mom that's all she'll talk about - "where's Evelyn" (my real name), "When will Evelyn be back." I hadn't known, Bebo hadn't told me because she didn't want to worry me. I knew that whenever I left for work mom would quiz me about where I was going and when I would be back. Now I know.

I always said that I would take care of her here in this house (barring any physical problems) until she no longer knew it was her house AND no longer knew who I was. The house is beginning to fade for her, but I guess I'm still clear in her mind.

So I guess it's time to look for someone to sit with her while I'm going to the store. I refuse to do that on Sunday because when I can get out - that's my day out, not a day to run around doing errands for her.

I wasn't aware of just how much she had become dependant upon me.

I'm Supposed to Take Care of You

I saw my mother today. You know, the one that I lost a couple of years ago? I was sick Sunday night and a bit of Monday morning, although the morning was more exhaustion from the night before. Anyway, I got mom up for breakfast, told her I was sick and she had the choice of going back to bed or staying up. Thankfully, she chose bed. At noon we got up and once again I gave her the choice. I said I was sick and was going to bed. She looked at me and said "I'm your mother, I'm supposed to take care of you". I stopped on my way out of the room and looked at her. Bless her. If she had been in any physical state to do so, I would have let her. But as it is I would have had to stay up and supervise. But just for those few minutes our roles were reversed once more, I the child who was sick; she the mother who would take care of me.

I saw my mother today - and she wanted to take care of me.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Are you my mother?

She looked up at me, blue eyes clouded and confused. I couldn't believe this was happening, not yet. She'd only been diagnosed 4 years prior and I had hoped that memories of me, of our relationship would be the last to go, to fade from her mind.

"No momma, I'm your daughter"

"Well, of course you are." Her blue eyes sparkled as she looked at me, she was there, right in the moment. Mom had come back to me.

The first few years of Alzheimer's, for me, were the hardest. Well, that's not true. The first year was pretty easy as my father was still alive and they spent their days together and not a lot was required of me. Then my father's health became worse and we lost him in October of 2000. It was just mom and I. She was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's in January of 2001. Watching my father die in hospice was a far easier task. He took his last breath and he was gone. Alzheimer's is the death of a soul. Some people argue that point, but that's how I feel. My mother, everything that she was, left me last year. There's a stranger in her bed now, wearing her clothes, sitting in her chair. Alzheimer's is a far more cruel death. That first year after diagnosis there would be days when I questioned the doctor's words. Mom seemed fine most of the time - oh, a few memory lasps, but what elderly person doesn't suffer from that malady? And then, suddenly out of the blue, she wouldn't remember how to start the dryer, her words were wrong - Maloxx for Matlock, for instance - and it soon became evident to me, if not to others, that mom "wasn't right". I think of this as a battle, with Alzheimer's being the Devil. For those first few years we fought triumphantly, keeping him at bay. But in the last few months he's strengthened and we have found ourselves on the losing side. Mom spends most of her days in bed now, confused about even the simplist things like how to stand up. She still knows who I am, but the confusion of our roles comes more often. I know that someday soon she'll look up and I will be her mother.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Word Cloud