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Short Changes

It's inevitable. There just aren't enough hours in a day. At least not when you are making an effort to get somewhere close to seven hours of sleep a night. I'm envious of those Bill Clinton/Martha Stewart types who are able to be productive on four or five...I'll be THEY manage to keep THEIR blogs consistently updated.

The fact is, no matter what I do, someone gets the short end of the stick. Sometimes it's my mom, when I skip a visit after work so that I can pick up Nathan from daycare when one of the other kids has a school event that Jack needs to attend. Sometimes it's Nathan, who gets fed another nutritious Happy Meal (not that he's complaining) after a ten-hour day in nursery school while dementia patients hover and coo around him. Almost always it's Jack, who as an able-minded adult has to fend for himself while his life partner attends to everyone's needs but his. And of course, I don't usually take very good care of myself either, despite constantly renewed vows to start eating better and exercising more regularly.

For now, in lieu of more excuses, I'll try to hit the highlights of the last few months:

My mom enjoyed a few visitors towards the beginning of the year, including her sisters and Tom and Judy Ordens, dear old friends from our time in Wisconsin, who had last seen her about eight years ago on a trip to see the Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water house in Pennsylvania. They were wistful about not making the trip to visit a year ago, when my mom was more cognitively present, but you can only live in the present and they were grateful for the change to spend a little time visiting with her and connecting with her as best as they could now.

Tim was also in town for about a week in February, which gave me a longer break and we were able to deal with some of the legal paperwork that this kind of unexpected medical situation brings.

As far as my mom's health goes, her cognitive decline seems to have stabilized somewhat and her weight is stable (she lost a fair amount over the winter), but her emotional health is a bit more of a roller-coaster. The last couple of weeks have seemed bad to me, with increased paranoia and agitation, but the regular nurses and aides tell me that she's generally pretty calm and acts happy. I guess it's a sign that she still recognizes me, that she reacts so strongly during my visits. I guess my presence stimulates an emotional reaction and she just wants to communicate about what is happening to her. She's not necessarily clear on WHAT bad thing is happening, but she's definitely able to express that she's not pleased about it!

It's something I need to have a conversation with the geriatric psychiatrist about and maybe they'll try adjusting her medications.

As so many of the other residents are much, MUCH older, it's inevitable that I'll be witness to their passings as time goes by. One of my favorites, Dolly, recently died of heart failure, even though I would have said she was one of the healthier ones. She was a small woman and wore her hair pulled back in little girl braids and had particularly child-like mannerisms and during almost every visit we would discuss how her mother was coming to pick her up and take her to Webster.

In contrast, my mom's first roommate there, Millie (who everyone calls Grandma), is now almost 105 and I'm fairly convinced that she is NEVER going to die.

I'll go ahead and post this is hopes of writing more soon.


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Comments (1)

Anita Mitchell [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Today I am remembering a happy day in your mother's life and mine. We were in each other's weddings that year. We had enjoyed sharing our first apartment as we both experienced our first full-time jobs. Hers seemed to be fun. I remember being a "chaperone" (at age 22) for a dance at OSU that she organized. You are such a blessing to care so lovingly for her. I really appreciate your blog posts. Anita

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 2, 2013 3:26 PM.

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