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Today in My History

2000: Bev Loses Her Cool
2001:  Nightmares
2002:  Friday Five
2003:  The Changeling
2004:  If They Asked Me I Could Write a Book
2005:  The Die is Cast

2006:  I Feel So Much Better Now
2007: Everything Old is New Again
2008:  We're Better Than That
2009:  Kick 'em While They're Down
2010:  An Embarrassment of Riches
2011:  A Day Without Shoes

Bitter Hack
Updated: 4/3

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 4/3
"Travels with Alice"

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My 70th Year

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My 70th Year



6 April 2012

I said in yesterday's entry to check today for how the morning went.   When we last left the intrepid dutiful daughter, she had been roused from a sound sleep and accused of breaking the television while she slept.  Fortunately, that matter was rectified.

When Peach and I are there for Cousins Day, if my mother wakes before we do, she quietly goes out the door, gets the paper, turns on the light over the table and sits there reading until we wake up.  The table light is low level and has a shade on it, so it directs light down on the paper and that works fine.

At 5:45 this morning, after not having slept until 2 a.m. since being roused for breaking the TV, I was rudely awakened by all the lights in the kitchen coming on as my mother started making coffee and noisily unloading dishes from the dishwasher.   I awoke with a start and when I mentioned her having awakened me, she said "Oh?  I didn't realize you were asleep."  I said "You mean that the fact that I was lying down with my eyes closed wasn't a hint?"  Strangely, she then started doing other things in the house, leaving the dishwasher opened in the kitchen with all but the silverware put away.  This may be normal behavior for ME, but it is highly unusual behavior for my mother.  I was glad that we were seeing the doctor this morning.

As I have mentioned several times, many of us have noticed a decline in my mother's short-term memory.  I finally wrote to her doctor about it, because I realized that based on what goes on between them at her appointments, her doctor doesn't really have a clue about it.  The doctor called me, we had a long chat and she suggested that it might be a good idea to do a baseline memory assessment. She also wanted to check my mother's reflexes to see if she felt that my mother was still safe to drive.

Initially, I told my mother that I had read about this test and thought it would be good for her to take it, but after she asked me several times why I thought it was a good idea, I finally told her the truth--that many of us had noticed a decline and that I had spoken with her doctor, who had suggested it.  She was quiet, but didn't protest.

The doctor, bless her, was very discreet.  She didn't mention having spoken to me, so I offered that I had told my mother the truth, which made this all much easier.

She passed the reflexes test with flying colors, though the doctor suggested that instead of our driving her places, we let her drive US so we can have a better sense of how safe she is on the road.

As for the memory test, she could see that she definitely has short-term memory loss, which she assured both of us was not all that unusual for a 92 year old.  It doesn't seem to cause her any impediments and I am aware that she has already made accommodations, whether she is aware of her memory loss of not (e.g., she can't remember how to cook anything any more, so she only eats TV dinners and salads, or cereal for breakfast, so concern about her leaving burners lit are slight, since she almost never uses her stove).  Now that there is a baseline in her records, the doctor wants to test her again in 6-12 months to see if there is a rapid decline.   She also talked with my mother about thinking now about moving somewhere in the future and perhaps making arrangements for that, for when/if that becomes a necessity. 

We talked about her memory loss on the drive home and I mentioned specific things that I had observed or others had observed.  I know she is terrified of losing her mind (as she puts it), since her mother had dementia at the time of her death and her sister died in an Alzheimers facility.  She was quiet on the ride home.   I think we have discussed this enough and won't bring it up again, until it becomes a greater problem, but I'm feeling very good about having had the baseline done.

I didn't stay for lunch but got on the road, eager to continue my Diana Gabaldon audio book.  It was such a gorgeous day to be driving.   There were beautiful cumulus clouds all across a clear, blue-blue sky and, as it had rained recently, the drive through American Canyon was as gorgeous as it is every spring, the hills a deep green, with the blue skies above, and here and there a horse in a pasture. 

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I  was sorry that there was never a place to pull off when I found a patch of golden poppies, the official flower of California, but they were there, thick in spots.  It's like this for only a couple of weeks a year, it seems, before the vegetation grows tall and begins to turn "brown" (Nora, from Ireland, saw it as "golden," which shows you what a difference a perspective makes!   "I'm so tired of all that green in Ireland," she said more than once!)

I got off before our usual exit into Davis because it was so beautiful, I wanted to drive out through the fields and through the University agriculatural area, where some of the orchards were filled with trees in blossom.  I came across a bunch of trees that looked like this:

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There seem to be little bags made of newspapers wrapped around the branches.  I'm sure someone involved with agriculture can tell me why.  But they looked very odd indeed.

So I am home again, the tests have been done, all is better with the world than it felt 3 days ago, and life is good.  We also decided that since we have spent 2 days together and eaten 3 meals together, and that since Easter isn't a major holiday for our family, she doesn't mind if I go to Walt's brother's instead of to her house on Sunday, so I am going to do that.  It will be nice to be with the larger family on Easter, I have to admit.  I have skipped that dinner for the past 3-4 years now, due to my mother's unwillingness to socialize with a large group of people who are mostly strangers to her.

PS.  My mother called.  The lab wants her to come back for x-rays, which she never got.  She told ME she never got blood work and all they had done is x-rays.   Now she can't remember having X-ray OR blood work.  She told the lab I had gone back home and she wasn't going to come just for x-rays and she would "live with the pain because it won't kill me."  I have sent another letter to her doctor!




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