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

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Thursday night Mama decided to start her Friday early. She tried to get dressed around 11:00 PM just as I was about to go to sleep, but I got her to go back to bed. This lasted until about midnight. She was up and running to the door, looking for all those hoards of people who come to our door! I made her lie back down several times during that long, long night/day; she would stay maybe five to ten minutes and be up and running again. She was determined to get the front door open. I moved into the living room for a while, but finally moved back to my bed for short periods of time. I would put Mama back in bed, crawl in bed myself, almost doze off, wake up to Mama leaning over my bed waiting for me to open my eyes, listen to, "I love you. I love you. I like you. You are so nice. Do that thing!" (translation: I want the door opened and will say anything to get my wish granted!) I guess around 6:00 I unlocked the door. She shot out of it and went to look in our cars for people. No one was there (duh!) so she walked around the house. Luckily no one was there either!!

Around 7:00 AM she decided it was time to go to bed. So she handed me her bag of cookie crumbs (that was all that was left of her cookies since she had played with the bag all night!!), and she trotted off to Sleepy-ville! I wasn't sure what time Pearl Ree was coming to clean so I stayed up and tried to put a few things away that were not in the proper places. I had to keep moving or I would have crashed! Am too old for these all-nighters! I really am way too old to pull two in a row!!

Pearl Ree came to clean. Penny picked up Mama. I tried to stay awake. After Pearl Ree left, I called to see what time the lady was coming to put up our new blinds. (Thank you, Tommy!!) She was supposed to get here sometime after 3:00. There wasn’t enough time for a nap, bummer! She got her closer to 3:30 and the blinds are really nice. I can’t get over how different everything looks with shaded windows.

While she was installing the blinds, Penny brought Mama home. She left and a few minutes later, Michelle came to discuss staying with Mama at night. She seems really nice. She had stayed with an Alzheimer’s patient before, and she was impressed with how much Mama still does for herself. I told her that some nights there would be nothing for her to do, but listen for Mama. Other nights would be very active. We are going to try her starting Sunday night from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Those would be good hours for when I start teaching again. If all goes well, then we may be able to keep Mama at home a while longer. If not, Tommy, David, and Linda will take her to the Legacy on Friday.

I have mixed emotions about which one I want to happen. I really think Mama would love being at the Legacy during the day since there are people around all the time. I just think she would rather be in her own home at night. We will just have to see what works out. I am keeping an open mind for both options. I just can’t be responsible for her on school nights. It is just too stressful. I need my sleep!!

Tommy will be here on Wednesday. I plan to head for Corpus Christi on Thursday. Then on Saturday, I will go to Bebsy’s nephew’s wedding near Goliad. That should give me time to get back here on Sunday to visit with Tommy before he heads back to Memphis.

Until next time.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Well, the cookie run for the mowers llasted all night long. Mama was running to the door all night long. She would then come to my room, stand over me until I looked up, and then she would say, "Go open that thing." She worked off and on aaallllll night long to open the deadbolt.

She is with Penny now. I may go take a nap.

Until next time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Last night or I guess I should say early this morning—1:30 AM—Mama came into my room, kissed me on the cheek, and tried to put something in my mouth. I took the “something” away from her as she told me, “I love you. I love you. I like you, too.” I turned on the light and found that she was trying to feed me a chex from some trail mix I was snacking on. She had put the trail mix in with the cookies.

This morning I took Mama's car in to get the tires rotated and balanced plus the state inspection done. I took Mama with me since Penny is still caught up in swimming lessons for her little girl. I planned to hook Mama and Penny up and then I planned to meet Betty for lunch and a movie. We stayed in the lounge at the car place until I figured Penny was finished; I couldn't get in touch with Penny so I called Betty to come pick us up since Mama was getting restless. We couldn't find Penny so we headed for Betty's house. I figured Penny would call to find us. She did; she had gone from the swimming pool to a Parks and Recreation activity for Madison. Anyway, we all ended up where we needed to be.

Betty and I ate Chinese food and then went to see "Legally Blond 2" It was cute and funny. Afterwards she took me to pick up the car.

I came on home and took a short rest. Penny brought Mama home; we visited a bit; she left; Mama heated up supper; Mama went to bed; all before 6.

Around 7:00 Elgin and a partner came to mow our yard. Mama heard the mower and got up so she could pass out cookies. She went outside in her jammies, stopped Elgin to give him a baggie of cookie crumbs (she plays with the cookies so much they are all crumbs before too long). She gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Then she headed for the back yard with me chasing after her. She wanted to give his helper a cookie, too. He couldn't hear her due to the mower. She finally caught up with him and tapped him on the shoulder. He jumped about three feet before he realized it was Mama. She gave him a bag of cookie crumbs and we headed for the front of the house. I tried to get her back in the house, but she wanted to give Elgin another cookie. I tried to tell her she had already given him one, but she didn't have her hearing aids in--not that she would have listened to me anyway. Bless his heart, he stopped the mower and gave her another hug for another bag of cookie crumbs. She finally came back in the house. I tried to brush some of the grass clippings off of her slippers as she scurried back to bed.

Within five minutes she was back heading for the door. I tried to catch her; she was too fast for me!! She headed straight for Elgin to give him some more crumbs. He tried to dodge her, and then he tried to pass her off to his partner. Mama was kind of running back and forth between the two of them. The other guy (I need to learn his name!!) took the cookie, the hug, and the kiss. Mama lit out after Elgin again. I steered her into the house telling her she could give him something when he finished. She kept trying to get up; I kept telling her, no. She pointed into the kitchen and told me to get that thing. I went in the kitchen; she shot out the door to catch the guys! They were finished by this time. Elgin walked over to get his hug, kiss, and crumbs, saying he wouldn’t have to eat supper. She wasn’t satisfied until she gave his partner his hug, kiss, and crumbs. They really were sweet about the whole thing.

Mama is still coming in about ever fifteen minutes or so to see if anyone else is here for her cookies. I am cooking some more cookies as she gave all her crumbs away.

Sure hope she stays asleep now as it is almost time for me to go to bed.


Sunday, July 20, 2003

Mama did get up Saturday afternoon around 5:30. We ate a few times, and then she took her bath and went to bed. Thank goodness she slept all night long.

I tried to tell her we were going to church this morning, but she wouldn't listen. Of course, when I drove up to the church, she started fussing at me, "You didn't tell me we were coming here. Why didn't you tell me?" So I am once again the big bad daughter who keeps things from her.

After church, she drug me out to the car. I guess she was afraid we would stay for the Board Meeting afterwards. I didn't even ask if she wanted to go out to eat. I just headed for our house. She was fine with that. We ate twice. She went to bed at 3:45. I decided I had better nap a bit in case she got up before morning. Good plan as she got up around 5:30 PM dressed for a new day.

She got her breakfast out and fixed a bowl of salt for me to eat! Guess she couldn't find the cereal or else she was just helping out my sodium levels!!

She has paced the floor between her chair and the front door many many times. She has walked outside around our cars and the house numerous times. Once she was gone longer than usual. I went looking for her and could not locate her. I was about to panic when I saw her walking back from the highway. I asked her what she was doing, she said, "I was looking for someone, but they didn't come." Guess I will have to watch her more carefully from now on.

It is after 10:00 PM now, hope I can get her to go to bed pretty soon. Will keep you posted.

Oh no, she is setting the table again. I am going to weigh a ton before this is all over. She must eat three meals every one of her days, and she wants me to eat with her. She fusses when I refuse. Life is just too much fun!!