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

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Yesterday I took the day off to check out Nursing Homes. Cindy, the Social Worker at the Legacy, had meetings all morning so we agreed to meet on Wednesday afternoon. Since I hate to ask a sub to come for part of a day, I decided to run a few errands. I headed for Lake Jackson first thing and stopped at Wal-Mart to get my tires rotated and the oil changed. They took so long that I had plenty of time to look around the store. I found all kinds of things I couldn’t live without. The lady who checked me out told me they had left me in the store too long. I kind of agreed when she totaled up my purchases!! I then splurged on my calorie intake and grabbed a hamburger. It was so tasty! I went to Dillard’s and looked for some shoes, but they didn’t have any narrow sizes. Oh well, will just have to go somewhere else to look.

The people at the Legacy were really nice. The facility is also very nice. It does not have that “nursing home” smell. It would actually be cheaper than having someone stay with Mama for the entire 24 hours. That would include her meals as well as the activities, baths (she missed her bath last Saturday when she got her days mixed up. Maybe that was her plan! She hates to take baths.), and any other necessary assistance. Tenants must be ambulatory to be in this unit so will have to time her entry just right.

I guess I will talk things over with Tommy, David, and Linda over Thanksgiving. I feel less frazzled after a day off. So my viewpoint is a little less extreme than it was last weekend. My brother, David, is also supposed to come stay with Mama this weekend so I am able to look forward to that! I am not sure if Mama is better or if my attitude is better. Maybe a bit of both.

Need to go teach.

Hugs to all,

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Penny has offered to work on some Saturdays. That might help Mama understand that it is not Sunday after her Saturday afternoon nap. That would also postpone any decision about Mama's living situation. Some days are just too hard.

My afternoon helper didn't work out. Am not sure why, guess I need to call Shirley and find out what happened. Maybe she just doesn't like us anymore!! Nah that couldn't be it!! We are just so loveable!

Will probably still check into Nursing Care Options just to have the information.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.
Need to go teach. Later.

Monday, November 11, 2002

I guess it is finally decision time. I really hate to admit that Mama’s disease has gotten the better of me, but it almost did me in this past weekend. Friday night wasn’t too terrible. Mama did get up several times because she “heard” someone out there.

Saturday I decided to take Mama to town. I had filled up my car last weekend with stuff for the Recycling center and hadn’t had time all week to take it in. I also had a box of things to donate to whatever agency was open. Salvation Army won this box of goodies. I decided it was time to finish cleaning out my storage unit. I know I was rushing things since it has only been in storage for four and a half year!!. I put Mama in the office to visit with Mrs. Tate. I worked up a sweat cramming what was left into my car, but I was successful! The storage space is now empty. Of course my car and the room addition at home are now full! Will probably spend Thanksgiving trying to decide what I can’t live without. Going through those boxes will be just like Christmas since they have been packed up for so long.

We came home, ate lunch, and Mama went down for a nap. I hurriedly mixed up a batch of Mama’s famous Brown Sugar Ice Box Cookies so she would have some to cook for the lady that teaches and the man who sits with us. Then I crashed. We got up about the same time. Mama cut the cookies and put them in the oven. Then she told me she was going back to bed. I thought that was strange, but what do I know????? I guess she took her timer with her because she got up to take the cookies out of the oven. Then she went back to bed while they cooled. She got up to put them in plastic baggies, and then started getting things ready to eat. I told her it was only 5:00—we usually don’t eat until after Wheel of Fortune. Then I see her getting out the Raisin Bran. She said, “We will go in a little bit.” I told her it was still Saturday. She told me it was Sunday. I told her it was Saturday afternoon. She told me it was Sunday. She ate breakfast for the second time. We continued to argue about what day. I thought I would have her watch the news and The Wheel. Surely that would convince her. NOT! She fussed about me taking her to church. “Let’s go up there now!” she said through gritted teeth. I gritted right back at her, “No! It is SATURDAY!”

Around 8:00, I finally convinced her it was Saturday—morning. She sat and watched television until the news came on at 10:00. She then waited for The Wheel to come on, but it didn’t so she fixed her supper around 11:30. She fussed at me for not eating with her. She took her time eating, then washed the dishes, then went to bed. I think she was just going to take a nap because she slept in her dress. She never put on her pajamas. She got up a few times because she heard someone outside, but finally settled in around 2:00.

Sunday—yes, the REAL Sunday morning, I woke her up from a dead sleep at 8:00. Then I had to start the process of convincing her to get dressed in clean clothes. Thank goodness it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. I don’t think I would have had the energy to fight her. We even made it to Sunday School on time. Church was fairly uneventful. Golden Corral was about normal. She did startle a few new hug candidates, but not too many.

I was almost afraid to let her take a nap, but I was exhausted. It worked out fine as she slept well and knew what day it was when she woke up. She knew she had not been to Sunday night service, yet, therefore it must still be Sunday.

I called to talk with someone at the Legacy. They have an Alzheimer’s unit. I kept getting transferred from one person to another. Guess I called too close to the lunch hour. Will try again later. Am just not sure how many more Saturdays I can take like the last one. I don’t know why she won’t believe me when I tell her something.

Journal writing time is almost over. Guess I had better stop for now. I am sure there will be more later!! (sob)