Wednesday, April 10, 2013

No Pony in the Pucky.....

My last post was on a positive note, which fizzled in no time flat.  I followed up with Memory Matters, taking my mother for a short visit while I talked with the administrator.  They thought she would be a perfect candidate for the program and that she would greatly benefit from it.  I was very hopeful, while trying to seem nonchalant so as not to unduly prejudice my mother against it.  I didn't mention it until two days later, when I asked her if she would be interested in going one day a week.  She was shaking her "No" before I completed the sentence.  When asked why, she said, "Because I don't want to and that's reason enough!".  So, there you have it!

One good thing is the wonderful Alice (aka the miracle worker), whom I found to stay with my mother.  She is fantastic.  If my mother is unwilling to do anything social and therapeutic with the Aid & Attendance Benefits, I'm going to use it to have someone stay with her in order to get out myself.  I would love for her to get out and do something more interesting than sitting here, but I can't make her.  I'm more than happy to get out at this point.  So, I had lunch with Sharon and Chris, went to the Bluffton Farmers' Market, and returned to the Living Liberally group after a long absence.  I was just beginning to feel human again when crisis struck.

Early last week, my mother had sundowners for the first time in some time.  The next day she was totally confused and with complete memory loss....didn't know where she was, couldn't remember how to get from her bedroom to the bathroom and vice-verse, thought other people were here, wanted to know where everyone had get the picture.  I thought a restful sleep would help, but no improvement.  I called her doctor, who was on vacation.  They suggested I either make an appointment for the following week or take her to the ER, which I did. I won't even bother with the ER experience but, again, she was admitted to the hospital....after being assigned a room at about 9PM!!  She was in the hospital for two nights, where there was not much change.......she couldn't remember where the bathroom was in her room!!  The hospitalist suggested an MRI to see if there had been a stroke, which neither my mother nor I suspected, but that proved to be the case.  The only physical symptom was that her walking was a little more unsteady (and I think her vision has gotten worse), but she still gets around pretty well.  It has just fried her brain.  She was discharged from the hospital late Friday and being here in a more familiar setting has not improved her memory.  If she's in the den, she doesn't' know where she sleeps.

Before the stroke....
Before her Palmetto Bluff
So, her mental decline is rapidly becoming more than I can manage and forcing a decision on my part.  She has a followup appointment with her doctor tomorrow and I hope he can give me a better idea of what to expect, though I already have an idea of his prognosis. The determining factor is the sundowners.  Since getting out of the hospital she has had one that lasted well through the night.  On other evenings she has had difficulty settling down to sleep - getting up repeatedly, rummaging through the bedside table, repeating eye drops, nose drops, etc.  Once settled, she has stayed through the night for the last two nights and we both feel better for a few nights of uninterrupted sleep.

We are getting home health services, which are very good, but that means that someone is coming or going all the time.  I'm not sure it will be worth it unless they can refresh her memory in some way.  Both Alice and I take her for walks and that seems to go as far as anything to keep her mobile. So, this week has been hectic.  One top of that, Alice is ill and not able to help.

The saving grace is that Spring is in the air and the weather has been beautiful.  Lots of things have been blooming for a while and the color is beautiful.  Today I was able to get out for a two mile walk for the first time in 7-10 days, and it was soooo good.  My walks really have been my lifeline.


About the only other thing to report is that I had a Letter to the Editor published on Saturday.  You can read it HERE. If you have time, give all of the comments time to load and take a look at them.  There are a lot of hateful (hate-filled, maybe), frightened people out there!!  Even the "handles" they chose to represent themselves are revolting and callous, to say nothing of the disrespect shown to anyone with a differing opinion.  Several other people have written on the same topic since my letter.  The same responders have commented.....with the same tone. I did get several supportive calls and emails from friends, acquaintances, and even a local realtor.  

I was also notified by the Democratic party that I could go to the state convention as a delegate in early May, but I just can't figure out how I can do it.  It isn't likely to be as exciting as those held during a national election year, but I did read someplace that Joe Biden would be a keynote speaker.

It's been a long time since I've written and I'm sure there is more to report, but my brain is fried, too.  I hope it won't be as long before you hear from me again.