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

Monday, December 23, 2002

Mama was up and down off and on all night long! At 5:30 A.M. I heard her put the foot rest up on her LazyBoy Chair. I went to check on her. She said she didn't want to miss any visitors so she was going to move in there for the rest of the night. I whined, "Go back to bed." She didn't want to, so I ground out, "Do whatever you want!" and I went back to my bed. In about five minutes, she headed back to her bed. She was up and getting dressed by 7:00. Penny said she didn't rest too well today. Just hope she will sleep tonight.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Addition to Friday, December 20

Since I have moved back home, Mama has sent cookies to all my students several times each year. She sent them to this group once before, and I asked her to send them again on Friday as a Christmas treat. Don't think she realizes it is Christmas, but she loves to send the cookies. The kids wrote her thank you notes, and she has pulled them out over and over this weekend to giggle and tell me that they loved her cookies.

One of the seventh grade teachers told me that her students asked when her mother was going to send them cookies. She just laughed, and said her mother had never sent cookies to her students. They said, "Mrs. Ratliff made cookies for us." Students from four years ago still stop me and ask how mama is and if she is still making her cookies. She makes them feel special, and they return the favor. I must admit that even my little devils are sweet with her.

Sunday, Dec. 22

Mama must have gotten up around 5:30 this morning. She didn't want to be late for Sunday school and Church! She started fussing at me to get up and get dressed about 6:15. Now anyone who knows me understands that I am not at my best that early in the morning. I kept telling her I would get up in a minute. She kept coming and fussing at me to get up. I finally gave up around 7:15 and stumbled out of bed. She started fussing that we were going to be late. I took my shower. She came by the bathroom with her scarf on and said, “Come on. It’s time to go.” I told her I was NOT going to church without any clothes on. She said, “Come on, it’s time to go.” I just closed the door and went on getting ready.

As soon as I was dressed, she decided she needed to go to the bathroom. So after making me rush to get dressed, she made me sit and wait on her. We still made it to church in plenty of time.

This evening the Cedar Lane Baptist Church held a special Christmas service at 6:30 with scripture reading and singing. It was supposed to end in silence with the preacher lighting his candle and then passing the light to another who passed it to another until everyone’s candle was lit. This was to symbolize the spread of Christianity to light up the world. I went with Mama to try to make her behave. She began fussing at 5:15 for me to take her to the church. I told her we had already done this, and I was not in the mood to argue about the time. She said, “Let’s go.” I said, “It is not time yet!” She said, “Let’s go. It IS time.” We bickered back and forth until I told her that I would take her when it was time. She kept on, but I rose above it all—of course, it was probably too late for either of us to claim to be mature about this scene!

At 6:00 we headed for the car. I decided to drive by the Post Office to mail a letter. I thought Mama was going to have a conniption fit. I calmly told her I needed to mail some letters. She finally accepted it and settled down.

We pulled up to the church and there was no other vehicle in sight. I tried to tell her that we were too early. She said that people were probably parked over there (pointing to the back of the church.) I drove there, no one was there either. She said she was going in with or without me. So I parked the car just as someone else pulled up into the parking lot. We went into the church. Trauma number uno: Mama always sits on the right hand side of the church. Everyone was to sit on the left. It took both the preacher and me to get her to the correct side. Then the preacher told Mama she would have to be quiet since this was a special service. She just smiled. She was pretty good until we were passing the fire from candle to candle. She yelled out, “Connie and I went….” I put my finger over her mouth and told her to “ssshhh.” She knocked my hand away and said, “Don’t do that. Connie and I….” I put my whole hand over her mouth, she pushed my hand away and said, “Stop that.” She finished her sentence, “connie and I went up there and I gave some to the lady and she liked it.” Translation: Connie and I went to the Methodist Church, I gave cookies to the preacher and she was glad.” The preacher said it was okay. I mean what else could he say? Then he said a few more words; said a prayer; and then directed the people in the back of the church to leave quietly.

Mama sat down and started pulling on me to sit down. I told her it was time to leave. She loudly whispered, “Sit down. He is going to talk.” I said, “Look,” pointing to the back of the church, “everyone is leaving.” She hissed, “Sit down. He is going to talk.” I hissed right back at her that it was time to leave. The preacher then came to my rescue and told her that it was time to go. She then looked around and saw that no one else was still there. Then she got up.

She hugged her way out of the church, and we came home to eat our delicious meal. She only picked up the phone once to have a conversation with the recording. Now she has gone to bed. Am sure she will get up several times because she "hears" someone outside. Just hope she goes down without too many trips to the front door!

Saturday, Dec. 21
Well just as I thought this morning Mama fussed at me to get ready or we would be late. I told her that it was Saturday, she didn't believe me. I told her to remember that I had gone to work yesterday. She didn't believe me. I went out and got the paper. She looked on it to see what day it was. She believed the paper, thank goodness! Actually I was kind of proud that she knew to look at the paper to see the correct day.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. She decided to take a nap in the living room since she thinks people come while she is resting in her room. I tried to give her the couch, but she refused to use it. So I stretched out on the couch while she got cozy in her Lazyboy. I am kind of surprised she didn’t have a crick in her neck the rest of the afternoon.

Friday, Dec. 20
Well, I can see I am in for an interesting holiday. Friday night I told Mama to go to the bathroom: she took a bath. She only takes a bath on Saturday night. She made cookies and wrote notes to put with them this afternoon; she only does that on Saturday to take to the preacher and "the man" at church. Am sure she will not believe me tomorrow morning when I tell her it is Saturday.

Will keep you posted!

Hugs for the Holidays