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5 June, 2018
I didn't see my mother all week last week. When this -- whatever it is -- started on Monday and I was coughing and blowing my nose, I decided I probably shouldn't take germs to Atria.
But then it got worse, not better, to where I could barely move around the house for the coughing spells, which sometimes had me gagging. Don't you hate it when there is phlegm in your lungs that you can FEEL but you can't bring up...and you can't let it sit there because it's driving you nuts?
So I spent the week coughing and feeling rather weak.
But on Saturday, I decided the coughing had subsided enough that I probably wasn't contagious any more, so off I went to Atria.
When I got there, I couldn't find my mother. She wasn't in the dining room or the common room, or in the little library at the end of the hall, or on the bench at the opposite end of the hall where she sometimes sits. She wasn't in her room, and she wasn't out on the patio.
So I asked one of the aides if she could check and see if she was in someone else's room.
I sat in my mother's room and waited and could hear them coming, the aide telling her I was waiting for her.
When she entered the room, she looked totally lost and didn't even see me, though she was looking at me. The aide told me she had been sleeping in someone else's room.
She just kept looking around waiting for someone to tell her where to sit. I told her she could sit in the chair or on the bed, her choice, but that was too complicated.
She just said "some days are good and some days are bad and today is terrible," but didn't elaborate on what was terrible about it. She just climbed into bed and went back to sleep.
I haven't actually visited with her in about a month because if she's not sleeping, she gets up and leaves, telling me she's going to the bathroom, and then disappears, presumably into another apartment.
I sat there for awhile, hoping she'd wake up, knowing she probably would not and then just left.
I think that with the increase in her anxiety med, because she was becoming a behavior problem, she is going to be sleeping more. I wonder if I have had my last visit with her.....
When I left the Life Guidance Unit, I stopped at the deli to get a fruit bar and some water and some guy came along and let me know there would be an ice cream social at 2:30, so I stayed to get a dish of ice cream with some caramel sauce on it, then came on home.
They tell me she has been fine this past week. I'm thinking of just seeing her twice a week now, since she doesn't really know whether I've been there an hour ago or a month ago, and "visiting" with her is so difficult.
Jeri is coming for a brief visit later this month and it will be interesting to see if she can elicit some sort of better response than I'm getting.
I told Walt that the worst thing about all this is
that there is nobody in the family, of my generation, that
remembers our grandmother in her last days. My mother told me
tales of having to commit her to Napa Mental Hospital because she
was difficult to manage in the facility where she was.
Facilities were different then, of course -- probably 60 years ago.
But I wish I could compare notes with a cousin. But those that
would remember are all dead.
I watched an interview with James Patterson and Bill Clinton on their unlikely pairing to write a book ("The President is Missing"). Since I have the option of downloading a sample onto my kindle, I did and found I wanted to buy the book.
James Patterson is perhaps the most prolific author in the country but lately always writes with a co-author and the quality of his work varies. I read all of his stuff in the early days. But now he says he is simply more proficient at dreaming up plots than crafting sentence after sentence. Still he is the highest paid writer in the country.
The Patterson-Clinton book is interesting because there are spots where you can tell it's all Clinton.
Californians -- Don't Forget to Vote today!
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This is entry #6645