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THE HAPPIEST TIMES
16 August 2016
One of my favorite quotes, at times like this, comes from Gone with the Wind, and it's when Miss Melanie tells Scarlett, "The happiest times are when babies come."
Gabe, the son of our beloved dog sitter and good friend Ashley and her husband Dave arrived yesterday. At 10 lbs, he's a real hunk. He reminds me of David, who was just slightly under 10 lbs and happened to be in the nursery with preemies, so when they wheeled him out so we could see him (there was no viewing window....they brought the babies to the door of the nursery, two at a time) he always looked like a behemoth compared to the wimps that were wheeled out with him.
Ashley has not had the best pregnancy in the world, and Gabe's delivery was long and difficult...and he had to spend a day in the NICU, but he's all fine now and they have gone home to start their new life together as a family.
I told Ashley that with all the problems over the last nine months, I wish for Gabe to be a good baby. "I hope you have a Jeri and not a Paul," I told her! I know the reality of both. Ned, Tom and David were normal babies, and not as quiet as Jeri or as difficult as Paul. It's time Ashley gets to enjoy the fruits of her labor!
Things have not been smooth sailing at Atria this weeks. My mother's had another couple of her spells where she doesn't know where she is or who she is or who anybody else is. It scares her and she just wants to sit in a chair, shake, and wait for it to pass. She doesn't want to leave her room because she's afraid she'll do something wrong, or that she will get lost.
She has cleared all of the shoes and other things out of the floor of her closet, but now doesn't recognize them and is waiting for someone to come and take them away. When I offered to take the mountain of shoes home with me, she was vehement that she had to "go through them first." It was a rerun of trying to get her out of her home in Terra Linda 3 years ago;
And then there were The Keys. She lost her keys. She didn't know she had lost them because she doesn't know what they are or what she needs them for, but I knew she couldn't go to meals without them. I tore that apartment apart, looked in her purse, in the refrigerator, in the linen closet (all places where I have found them before)
It caused her great frustration because she didn't know what I was looking for When I asked her if they were in her pockets she lifted the hem of her slacks to check. She ended up with her head in her hands saying "I don't even understand what you are saying!" I tried asking her if she knew what a key was, and she did not. When I left her, she was sitting in her chair with her head in her hands and I felt terrible. I feel so helpless when she gets like this because it's a real emotional pain for her, but there doesn't seem to be anything that can be done to help her.
After I returned home, I texted her stepson (who is in Alaska right now) and he said that the last time she lost her keys when he was there, he found them inside the grandmother clock. I was hopeful when I went back that evening, certain that I would find them when I returned for dinner (she was so upset, I decided I needed to go with her to dinner).
When I returned 2 hours later, she was fine and didn't remember anything about the keys...or, in fact, that I had been there earlier. The keys were not in the clock. After dinner I ended up leaving my keys for her, telling her over and over again to please remember to leave them on the counter, where they usually are. I knew, of course, she would forget that as soon as I finished saying it...but it's something like $40 to get a new set of keys because they are special electronic keys.
I stopped at the front desk when I left to find out how much it would cost to get a replacement set of keys and the girl at the desk told me that she had my mother's keys there. Apparently she had left them in the dining room (I don't know how she got back into her apartment that day!)
On thinking this all over, I decided it's time to go with Assisted Living. I don't have a clue when or if she is eating, and if she's not eating, that could affect her mental condition. I just can't eat every meal with her, and if she has someone from Atria to check on her a few times a day and make sure she gets to meals, maybe having a regular schedule will work better.
She always says she isn't feeling well when I arrive but if we go and do something, like having a meal (because that's about all I can get her to do), she opens up and is better by the time we get back home again, probably a combination of doing something and getting some nutrition in her. She can't seem to process the information that her feelings might have something to do with not having anything to eat or any water to drink (yeah...try to get her to drink more than a sip of water!)
I have a request in for another meeting with the resident services director to see about setting up assisted living (she won't be in until tomorrow). I took her laundry home to wash and made plans to return in the morning to see how she was today (she usually is fine for awhile after one of these spells)
Today I went back for lunch, after last night's dinner. She was up and looking fresh and well. She did mention that she wasn't feeling well, but then Ned knocked on the door and suddenly she felt just fine and poured on the charm because she had a man to fawn over (she's such a slut. LOL!) Ned is just so wonderful with her and I love watching how he visits with her.
To top things off, we had lunch with Loretta, her best friends who she doesn't realize is her best friend (and who doesn't realize my mother is her best friend). The two of them have been at about the same level of dementia for three years, and are deteriorating at about the same rate. But they love to tease each other and often their conversations don't make any sense at all, but they laugh a lot with each other. I told Ned the only thing better than having lunch with Loretta is having lunch with Loretta when both of them have glasses of wine, which add a whole new layer of silliness.
I will probably take tomorrow off because I have things to do around here (unless the resident director can meet with me tomorrow), but will go back in two days to see how she is then.
I wish I could talk all of this over with her. I miss my mother.
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