An extra year

A correction is in order. Somehow, I have lost a year of this experience of taking care of Mom. I have said to anyone I talked to that she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in November 2006. Well, I am now going through older documents to find things I need to produce for the Medicaid application and I found the prescription pad notes from the neurologist on the day she was diagnosed – Nov. 3, 2005. Meaning she was showing signs of the disease for a good year before that. Meaning she lived in her apartment for almost two whole years before we moved her to assisted living. Those two years were often hard for me because Mom was still driving, not eating much, buying groceries she didn’t need, never cleaning her apartment. And she was somewhat fussy, with good reason, since she was probably afraid and confused and worried and then forgot all that until those feelings started all over again. Meaning I have been generally looking after Mom, first at her apartment, and then in assisted living, for about five years. I cannot believe it has been that long. Though I suppose I feel every minute of it, especially today.

I quit taking the Lunesta. I didn’t have some of the common side effects, like the bad taste in my mouth. But I did have day-long fatigue every day after I took it, even with a solid night of sleep. And headaches. It was sort of as if something was wrapped around my head, sometimes squeezing and sometimes covering my eyes and making them feel sleepy. So the last two nights I have not slept particularly well. I was able to drop off Wednesday night pretty well with the help of a backrub from Patrick. But I woke up very early and just kept my eyes closed, hoping I would fall back to sleep. And then Thursday night, I had trouble falling asleep. I tried to drift off on the couch but couldn’t, and thought the bed would be more comfortable. Got squirmy in the bed so I tried the couch again. Frustrating. The power was out at my office today so I came home and decided to try lying down with the dogs. I think I slept a total of about an hour and a half. I always say when I CAN sleep like that, I should sleep. So I feel better, but have a little of that post-nap fog.

And now I am taking advantage of some open weekday time to look for documents and head to the bank to take care of a few statements there that I need for the blasted Medicaid application. I have begun the process of surrending Mom’s last big IRA fund with a company that makes it particularly hard. One reason, I discovered just this week, is that the account has been frozen because the address was never corrected by Mom herself since she moved from her apartment to assisted living. Every other bank and agency somehow got it figured out, but not this company. I have to send a notarized POA form, plus a copy of my POA form, plus a doctor’s certification that Mom is incapacitated. Hoping the doc can get that done early next week… thankfully a social worker in his office works as a liaison for these kinds of needs.

I am not using this time today to visit Mom. I stopped to see her on the way to work today. She was wearing about half the outfit I had set out for her on Tuesday. She had a different shirt on, and the shirt had a large brown stain right on the front, in the middle of her belly. I hoped that was possibly chocolate ice cream or something. I didn’t investigate. I asked her if she’d like to take a shower, but she declined. But I told her I wanted her to change all of her clothes. I washed her face and underarms. Put her in blue pants, a pink sparkly T-shirt and a pale blue jacket. Blue socks, pink Crocs. She was generally fine, but she was complaining a little bit about her friends. About them taking over. About something changing. I didn’t try to interpret. “Let’s go somewhere sometime,” she said. I told her this weekend we’d go for a drive and to get some ice cream. I sat in the lobby with Mom, Ginny and Alice for a little while. Ginny called me “Sug,” short for “Sugar.” She calls Mom “Bon” sometimes. It’s cute. Alice was very quiet. And finally I decided to get to work. And that’s when I found that the power was out. And consequently discovered the extra year I have been doing this.

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1 comment so far

  1. LnddMiles on

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