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

Monday, September 20, 2004

Sept. 17, 2004
Dear All,
(I may be repeating some of this info. Sorry, but wanted to make sure I got it all down)

Well, I signed us up for Hospice care. I really like the lady that came out to explain everything. I asked her about giving her fluids through an IV, and she said they do not like to do that because, many times, the fluid goes into the lungs. Certainly wouldn't want to drown her!!

If anything happens to Mama, we will call the Hospice people instead of 911. They will help us make decisions about how to treat Mama. They will even talk with the doctor if we request it. I feel like a great big load has been removed from our shoulders.

We asked about Mama's tummy--it was rounded and hard. We told her the other nurse had tried an enema, but that hadn't taken care of the problem. She felt of Mama's tummy and immediately thought it was accumulated urine. (Sorry, but several have asked for details!!) She said I had to decide if we wanted to go with hospice or stay with Angels in order for her to know who could put the catheter in. I told her I was comfortable with her. She had a catheter with her; she put it in; urine started pouring out. She stopped it after about a liter had filled the bag worried that Mama might get cramps. When she started it again, another liter filled the bag in just minutes. Well, no wonder Mama was not feeling well!!!! By this morning, Michelle and I had dumped out 500 cc and 900 cc. Makes me want to go to the potty myself just thinking about it! Her tummy is once again flat-I asked the nurse if she could make my tummy flat, too. She laughed and said it does not work that way.
Penny and I sat Mama in the chair around 7:30 for a change of pace. By 9:30 she had scrunched down to a position that didn't look too comfy. Penny had left to put her daughter to bed, so everything was up to me. AAAHHHHH!!! I patted the bed and asked Mama if she wanted to move there. She smiled and said pointing to the bed, "You want me there?" I almost fell over since she had not really spoken that much since she came home. We managed to scoot-shuffle her from the chair to the bed without too much trouble-the catheter made the journey a bit more interesting, but we managed.

This morning Michelle said Mama had slept some, but was awake by 4:00. When I left a bit after 7:00, Mama was snoozing so deeply that my kiss on her cheek did not even phase her.
Michelle called a bit ago, and Mama seems to be doing okay. I guess she just needs to give us a scare every now and again, so we can really appreciate her.

thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming.