My experiences while living with my mother and her Alzheimer's Disease.(her birthdate = January 2, 1925)

Friday, November 08, 2002

When I got to the house yesterday afternoon, Bandit was the only one present. It was really strange. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I tried calling Penny to make sure everyone was okay, but she has misplaced her cell phone. I was about to go looking for them when they pulled up in the driveway. What a relief! I got a feel for what it will be like when Mama is no longer at home. Not a happy feeling.

Penny told me that one day this week a Highway Patrolman had stopped her on the way in to Bay City. He must have been bored because she said she was going 65 in a 60 mph zone. Anyway, she had Mama in the front seat wiggle-waving her fingers at the cop saying, “Hello, hello, hello. I love you. I love you.” Meanwhile Madison, her three-year-old, was in the back seat saying, “Hi, hi, hi.” Penny said she was trying really hard not to laugh. I am afraid I would have been rolling out the door. The cop decided to just give her a warning ticket. I guess he decided she had enough to handle already!

Mama has been more confused lately. On Thursday morning she was up early since it was her day at the beauty parlor. She kept asking me what day it was. I kept telling her, but she didn’t seem to understand. Finally I was able to get through to her that it was Day Four. Last night she had gone to get ready for bed. I was sitting at my computer in the dining room. She came in with mail in her hand and asked, “Who is Connie?” I am sure the look on my face was priceless. I said, “I am Connie.” She said, “Where is Connie?” I told her again that I was Connie. She finally realized who I was, and then she giggled, hugged me, told me she loved me, and gave me my “letters”. I must admit that yesterday was filled with hints of what it will be like in the near future. I am NOT ready for that phase of this awful disease.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Mama has been sleeping better. Thank goodness since this means I sleep better.

She is having trouble making it to the bathroom in time. She will be sitting in the living room, turn to me, say, "I need to go to the bathroom because it is coming out." I yell, "GO! NOW!" Think Penny asks her if she needs to go every so often. Every time I try this, she tells me she just went and doesn't have to go right now. Then a few minutes later, she tells me she needs to go. Guess I will just have to keep asking.

Any suggestions from you guys who have gone through potty training?????? All suggestions appreciated!

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Sunday at Golden Corral Restaurant was a real trip. Mama always greets everyone as we walk through the “chute” to the register. Sunday, she stood by the tables with her hand stretched out until the people shook her hand. I tried to get her away from them as quickly as possible, but she was on a mission that day. We finally made it to the counter to order and she, of course, had to shake hands with the workers, tell them, “thank you thank you thank you.” and “I love you.” She was so busy greeting everyone that the waitress carried her tray to the table. This is very unusual, as Mama always wants to do this herself.

There were quite a few people in the restaurant that knew Mama so they came up and spoke to her and hugged her. This really got her on a roll; she stopped everybody who went by to hug them—even if she had already hugged them. There were some people she must have grabbed at least five times. Now that wouldn’t be so bad except Mama likes a LOT of butter on her rice. She puts mountains of butter on her plate, and then proceeds to use her fingers to shovel the rice and BUTTER onto her fork. She ends up with really greasy hands and her face it a bit slippery, too. Every week I watch people shake her hand and then go to the nearest napkin dispenser. This Sunday, I almost started handing out napkins myself!

Mama grabbed one black lady on her way to the restroom and planted a huge kiss on her cheek. I said, “Mama, not everyone wants your lips on them.” The lady replied, “I am truly blessed today.” I am sure she had to wash her face before she returned to her table.

As we were leaving, a lady who had been watching us during this whole process got up and she and Mama were like magnets. They came together in a bear hug. The lady was crying and hugging Mama. Mama was overjoyed to have someone hug her so willingly. The lady said Mama reminded her so much of her mother whom she had recently lost to Alzheimer’s. I finally drug Mama away from her and toward the door. She had to stop at several other tables to spread her slippery hugs and kisses before I could drag her out. We were definitely the center of attention.

When anyone asks me how Mama is doing, my answer has become, “She is just fine; it is me tha

Monday, November 04, 2002

Saturday, November 2, 2002
I needed to run a few errands in town. Mama was happy to go with me. She grabbed her plastic grocery bag filled with all her "meeting" information. She used to go to so many meetings that she still feels like she always has somewhere to be. Now, sadly, her meeting bag is filled with newspapers and junk mail (what little we let her have--another story in itself)

Anyway, I stopped at Eckerd's to pick up a few things. Mama wanted to stay in the car. When I came back, she told me that a nice lady had waved at her and then come over and hugged her. I have no idea who this "nice lady" was.

Next we went to my 'temporary' storage unit. Have only had it since I moved from Corpus Christi four and a half years ago. Anyway, it is almost empty. I was busy loading boxes into the car. Mama was sitting quietly in the car. I asked her how she was doing. She said, “I need to go to the bathroom.” When she says this, it is past time for her to be there. I rushed her into the office and got her situated. Don’t think there was too much damage.

Headed home for lunch and a nap. I got up before Mama to make her cookie recipe. She is having trouble following the recipe anymore. She gets ingredients mixed up, and she loves adding BUNCHES of vanilla (think it makes it easier to mix in the four cups of flour!) Every Sunday she takes cookies to our preacher and either “the man who sits by us” or “the man who sings”.

Saturday night I didn’t get much sleep. Mama kept “hearing” someone out there and would run to the door to check. As soon as she got settled and I started dozing, Bandit would start barking. I would get him settled down, and Mama would pop back up. Needless to say, I had a bit of trouble staying awake during Sunday School and church!!

Sunday morning, Nov. 3, 2002
A family joined our church, and Mama was ready to bolt out of the pew to give them cookies. She wanted to take them out of the baggie, but I wanted her to just give the whole thing to them. We argued through the last hymn. I won this round. I was REALLY glad I had made the cookies—not that I am such a great chef, just that I did follow the recipe!!!!

Next story: our trip to Golden Corral!

Sunday November 3, 2002

Wrote this on October 30. Just didn’t have the disk with me when I had time to post it.

Sorry for the delay. I have heard from several of my readers. Am glad you are signing on to check up on us.

I was not feeling well on Saturday (Oct. 26). I had an upset stomach and was achy all over. Mama used to be so attentive when we were sick. Now she was more concerned with running o the front door every two minutes because “she heard someone out there.” I was trying to rest on the couch in the living room, but every time I would doze off, Mama would go flying to the door. I was afraid to go back in my room in case she decided to walk around the house to find “that man.” I wanted to be able to catch her before she walked through the mud.

About three o’clock I could not stand it any more. I drug myself up and took her to town to buy groceries. She loves to go to David’s Food Basket in Bay City because all the workers hug her and make a big deal over her visits. We were tooling up and down the aisles when a lady with two children wandered into range, and Mama was off like a shot. As I rounded the corner, Mama was trying to hug the lady. The lady was leaning away trying to avoid Mama without running away and screaming. I said, “Mama leave that poor lady alone.” That didn’t slow Mama down any, but it did seem to make the lady relax a bit. I guess learning that Mama had a keeper and wasn’t really an escapee from the mental institution, kept her from panicking. I am not sure if she took the cookies Mama was offering, but I saw her pointing us out to her husband as we were checking out. I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders. When Mama is on a mission, it is hard to hold her back!