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

Friday, January 16, 2004

EEEWWWW! Evening before last Mama had slept from 11 to 3 so she was up and raring to go when I got home from work. I kept trying to stall her as I was ready to prop my feet up for a few minutes before heading off into the Wild Blue Yonder. She headed to the bathroom and came back with three Poopy Cookies. Before I could grab them, she popped one into her mouth. EEEWWWW!! YUCK!! I quickly took the others away from her as she said through gritted teeth, "I will give you one!" EEEWWWW! I really really really didn't want one! I gagged and ran to get the toothbrush. I put a BIG glob of toothpaste on the brush and rushed back to try to get that yuck out of her mouth. I cringe even now as I think about it. EEEEEWWWWW!! I ran back to the bathroom to wash the toothbrush off, got another BIG glob of toothpaste and ran back to brush some more. EEEEWWWW! I finally got most of it, and then I threw that nasty toothbrush away!!! EEEWWW! YUCK!!!

I did a bit of exploring on the internet for information about late stage Alzheimer's patients and realized that we have been doing too many things for Mama. I told the "girls" that I wasn't criticizing them or me, I was just tossing out ideas. Mama is used to being busy all the time; we have made it where she doesn't have much to do. She fills up her day making plates and poopy cookies. So we have put our heads together to come up with some activities to amuse Mama. Of course, some of the ideas we have tried have backfired with hilarious results. I must stop for now since my next group of students will be bouncing through the door any minute now. I promise to get back to my story sometime this weekend.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Dear All,

Well Michelle came Friday night so I could get a good night's rest. Beverly came in Saturday morning and shuttled Mama between here and her house until Sunday morning. I was able to do a few things around the house before I went to Lake Jackson to do a bit of shopping. I wanted to see about finding something to keep Mama occupied. I found some flip books and some paper dolls. I put Beverly's eighth grade daughter, Susan, in charge of showing Mama how to work everything. Am not sure if she messed with them any of them because I left to meet my friend, Betty, in town.

We went to see the new Jack Nicholson movie. It was kind of funny, but a little on the wild side. We got to talking about Keanu(sp?) Reeves and I mentioned the movie Speed. Betty had never seen it so we stopped and rented a copy. While we were there we picked up a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean. So we watched three movies yesterday. I got home around 1:30 AM--haven't done that in a while. Beverly and Susan were napping in the living room, and Mama was conked out in her bed. Think she was up until around 11:30 so Beverly certainly earned her paycheck.

Today Mama was up by 7:30 this morning. I was able to take a quick shower and get ready for church without too much problem. I kept Mama out of her car until a little after 9:00. Since it was too early for Sunday school, we took a ride to the cemetery. I had to straighten up Liz and George's flowers. Daddy's are still gone; they must have blown away in one of our storms. I will work on replacing them this week.

We made it to the church in plenty of time. Bless Dan and Charlean's hearts, they are still coming to Mama's Sunday school class. It is getting really rare for her to get any words pronounced correctly so they have my total admiration for sticking with us. They really are sweet people. Mama was packing her stuff up before the preacher was through with her sermon (Pastor Linda, it was a good sermon.) Don't know how much longer Mama will be able to sit through both Sunday school and church, but I have no idea how to make any change. When we walk into the church, she hugs everyone, and then gets ready to teach her lesson. She would miss the hugs before, during, (we have a greet time) and after the church service. Our church people would be really upset with me if I didn't bring her, too, so guess we will just continue to play it by ear.

The afternoon, I was ready for a nap. Mama went to bed around 2:00 so I grabbed the chance for me. I was almost asleep when Tommy called. Mama was still snoozing so I tried to snooze a bit myself, but she was up and down, and up and down, and up and down. So I just gave up and got up. She must have eaten at least 8 times between around 3 and 6. One of her times in bed, I heard water running in her bathroom (through the baby monitor). I went to check on it, she called me over to her bed and tried to hand me a "poopy cookie". I wouldn't let her touch me. She was trying really hard to grab me and pull me to her. I ran to the big bathroom and grabbed a washcloth to clean her hands. That was when I discovered she had several more of the lovely delicacies in her other hand. The fight began with her trying to hang on to the poopy cookies and me trying to get them in the washcloth. It took four wet washcloths before I was finally successful in getting her hands clean. My stomach churns now as I write this. That is not a fun part of living with Mama.

I thought she had finally relaxed enough to go to sleep as it was quiet between 6 and 6:30, but I just heard her call for me to "Come to me." Am not sure I want to go back there without a gas mask, plastic gloves, a full protection of armor, and whatever else I can find to cover me up. Just hope she doesn't have any more surprises in store for me.

Need to go. Hugs until next time.