Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Long and Winding Blog...Part Two...


After spending a more restful night (I have to hand it to Mom--she has great DVDs--I watched "A Hard Day's Night" and had a few good laughs), I went in on Sunday morning. She still quizzed me about various family members, including grandma again (she didn't cry this time) and her friend Valita, who just passed away this past winter. She had an inkling that Valita was gone (she was 92 years old), but didn't remember the actual passing. She asked me about a few other folks, and I tired of being her Harbinger of Death. I decided to let her watch "Sanford and Son" on TV Land for a while.

She has quite the imagination, my mom...she said that we'd gone to church Saturday (we hadn't--although there was a service offered at the home, we didn't go, and Mom's a fallen-away Catholic so she doesn't attend services anyway), she and I had gone to see my Dad (uh-UH...he's remarried and no way would she set foot in his house--she's never lived there), and my cousin Hank had been to visit (no, although he did come to the hospital when she was there, and his sister came Saturday and yesterday with her son). I started to realize that there's a blurry line between what she remembers and what's her imagination. My favorite moment was when her friend Kathy from work was visiting Saturday and Mom remembered she and I planting some seeds in the yard and once they grew (beautifully, as she remembers) we got high together. I can categorically state that this did not happen. I would certainly remember if it had!

My second favorite moment was last night when I went down to the dining room to get her some tomato soup (she didn't want to eat in the dining room). As I was walking past the rec room, there were a bunch of old ladies in wheelchairs, and one of them was snapping, "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!" I happened to look over and realized she was addressing me.

"Pardon?" I said.

"Pardon your left ass!" said the old charmer.

"Up yours, lady," I replied in my best, breaking-point-trying-my-hardest-not-to-throw-a-wheelchair-like-a-shotput voice. And continued down to the dining room. As I passed by on the way back with the tray of tomato soup, I heard her again: "Hey! Hey! Hey!" I flipped her off behind my back and kept walking.

Now, you're probably saying, "That was mean, Aaron. That old lady probably had Alzheimer's and didn't know what she was saying."

Well, then she probably didn't know that I flipped her off, either. Everybody wins.


I stayed through her physical therapy session today. They helped her stand and take some steps hanging onto the parallel bars. They let her rest for a few minutes. The second time, she got up a little easier, and the female physical therapist (I think her name's Tracy or Stacy) just held her lightly by the belt that they put around her chest. Brad (the other one) followed her slowly with the wheelchair, just in case...Mom held onto the bars and took very small steps down the length of the bar. With very little support.

I smiled REAL big this time.

I'm not sure what will happen with the memory thing...some of it may come back, some may not, it may all come back after some while. She just started the Ritalin Friday, and they said it takes about a week to really start working. But I think what's happening is that she's getting bored or tired and her mind wanders...that's why she has these funny fuzzy false memories. Now she has to do the hard work of concentrating and locking these things into her mind. They'll also be working with her on her memory.

I've asked them to bring smaller plates of food, too...I think that will be less intimidating to her and she might finish more of it.

I'm going back every two weeks or so...I'm expecting that the next time I go, she'll be walking. Clearly, her not eating much over the weekend hasn't hurt her strength. So I'm not going to fret about it anymore. I'm going to tell Fay, too, so she doesn't worry about it.


Blogger Stephen Rader said...

You are an amazing son and an amazing person.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Even though I flipped off an old lady? Bless you for not judging me! :-)

And thanks for your kind words.

11:24 PM  

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