Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

The new hottie

I visited Mom today before lunch. I returned the clothes I had washed to her closet, where I saw she seemed to have more pants than on past days. A comfort to me. I went straight to her room to do this when I arrived because she was sitting in a circle with a group, bouncing around a beach ball with an activities staffer. Music was playing, and Mom was clapping her hands. She looked very content.

I then walked toward the circle, and Mom spotted me out of the corner of her eye. She got up and walked toward me, saying, “Emily, Emily.” She hugged me. And then she went back to her chair, and I sat behind her, just outside the circle. A few staffers and volunteers said Mom had been dancing earlier. The activities director also said Mom had been among a group of residents who had gone to the daycare center the day before to “babysit.” And while the activities director tried to encourage kids to lie still and take a nap, Mom confessed that she had told the kids they could talk and read books. I thought that was funny. Kind of like a grandma, letting the kids get away with something a parent might discourage. It didn’t seem to bother the activities director that Mom had done that.

After the activity ended, Mom started talking about a man across the way wearing blue. She was pointing him out to me, but I wasn’t sure what she was trying to say. She walked toward him, and I just watched her. She put her hand on his shoulder. He just looked at her and didn’t say anything. And Mom walked away from him, toward me. “He doesn’t like me,” she said. I have noticed this man. He appears to be fairly young for an Alzheimer’s patient. He wears jeans and plaid shirts a lot of the time, and is a resident who, I guess you could say, could “pass” as a visitor based on his current appearance. Once, he and Mom shared a table at lunch, but he didn’t say anything. I think I even asked his name to see if I could find his tray, and he just looked at me and did not respond.

Today, Mom seemed to have him on her mind. She would keep an eye out for him. And she said several times that he does not like her. I said he might be shy, or having a bad day. Or that maybe he is playing hard to get, which made Mom laugh. A little later, a visitor brought him some McDonald’s food. I told Mom that maybe he was just waiting for his family member. “I don’t know why he doesn’t like me,” she said. I was concerned that she was a little obsessed.

We had moved to a table and were waiting for lunch to arrive when Mom said, “I hope I don’t have to get pee pee.” I suggested she go to the bathroom, and we started walking toward her room. I was ahead of her, and when I got to the door of her room, I looked back to see Mom approaching another gentleman who was sitting alone on a couch. They were holding hands. She was saying, “I should go now,” and he was saying, “You don’t have to go anywhere.” He stood up and hugged her, and planted two substantial kisses on her lips. “That was nice,” she said, and then she walked toward me. It appears that Mom is enjoying attention from men these days.

After she peed, we returned to the table, and her tray arrived. I noticed there was a piece of fried fish on her plate, and wild rice. I had told the kitchen when Mom moved in that she doesn’t like fish. But she took a big bite and didn’t seem to mind it at all. I told her it looked good – that I like fried food. She was concerned that she wouldn’t like the rice, but she took a bite and liked it, too. She pointed to her apple pie and said, “I like that.” I kissed her goodbye and said I’d be back in a few days.

On the way out, I chatted with a few staff members. I told the activities director that Mom seemed very interested in the new younger male resident. “I hope she doesn’t pester him,” I said. The activities director said that he will let her know if she’s bothering him. I hope he lets Mom down easy if he does do that. “He’s the new hottie,” she said.

A year ago

I’ve hit a few milestones lately, and have thought about writing about them, but I have been slow about doing so, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s avoidance – of revisiting how I felt a year ago, when I was at a very low point. Though it sure is nice to be able to revisit it in thought and words all the while knowing I do not have to live it again.

Jan. 14 marked the one-year anniversary of this blog. The time surely does fly when one writes a blog. I read a lot of blogs and marvel at anniversaries of four, five or six years. Just how long have blogs been around? And what took me so long to start one?

I also have “graduated” from therapy. My last session was Jan. 19. I was anxious before the appointment because I wasn’t sure what I would talk about – which seemed like a sign to me that I was ready to stop. I had really resolved issues that led me to start therapy, and I felt that some of the worst of my pessimism, and negativity, seemed to be behind me. So my therapist and I agreed to end the session without setting a date for another. I of course can go back anytime. And who knows, as Mom gets sicker, I might need therapy more than ever. But for now, I feel that I can go on without it. I do sometimes have this tendency to think, with regard to Mom: All the hard work is done; I have no “excuse” for feeling low, or worried, or sad, or anxious, or whatever I might be feeling. My therapist reminded me that after five years of worrying about and taking care of Mom, it is perfectly normal for me to need time to, basically, recover from the long-term tension – she called it burnout or compassion fatigue. So I’ve graduated from therapy for now, but I haven’t yet managed to put every bit of worry and anxiety behind me.

Both the blog and therapy were associated with the difficult time I was having a year ago as Mom’s caregiver. I was suffering in a variety of ways, and it was as if I became aware of them all at once. I had a fair amount of work to do FOR Mom while she was still in assisted living, and the list of things to do seemed to be growing all the time. One cat had died in December, leaving Mom first horribly sad and then more confused than ever. Managing Christmas felt like nothing but a burden for me. Mom’s finances were running low. I knew lots of change was on the horizon with regard to her living situation, and that made me very anxious. And I felt so alone, and strangely almost neglected, and I didn’t even realize it. People would ask about Mom, and I would give the standard report: She is hanging in there. But I recall breaking down in tears while at lunch with friends, admitting I was devastated that people rarely asked me how I was doing.

That was a turning point – I needed outlets for those kinds of emotions. And I heard some interesting feedback about my needs: I needed to talk about them, to make them known. Because sometimes, a friend told me, with caregiving, people who aren’t doing it just don’t know what a caregiver endures. That made sense, and it was something I hadn’t considered, being so wrapped up in myself at the time. But I was also afraid to express my needs at first, for fear that I wouldn’t get what I was hoping for in return. And it was embarrassing to admit that one thing, a major thing, that I needed was for people to ask me how I was doing. It seemed so selfish. But it was important.

I am rich now in expressions of support for what I do for and with Mom. And I appreciate it so much. And the writing of the blog has functioned as additional therapy, as a way to process events and reflect on time I spend with Mom. And that has given me the chance to undergo a whole different kind of recovery. When Mom was first showing signs of illness, I was so angry, so full of resentment, so obsessed with my perception of her shortcomings as a mother – all because I could see that taking care of her was in my future. And all I could think about was how she didn’t do a very good job of taking care of me. At least, that was how I remembered it. And it’s true, we had some tough times.

And then we started the Alzheimer’s journey with frustration, as Mom was irritable (surely, she was terrified about what was happening but couldn’t say so), which made me irritable. It has only been through regular reflection on all of this, and writing it down, that I have developed a whole new appreciation of her as a mother and a person. And I have realized that forgiving her for the painful times is much more important, and ultimately better for me, than holding onto feelings of disappointment about my childhood that I held onto for quite a long time. The Mom I have now, with her hugs and kisses, and expressions of gratitude, and funny jokes, and peaceful demeanor, and pleasure in something as simple as clapping her hands or a cold glass of Coke – well, she is lots of fun, and she is an innocent victim of a terrible disease. But she is also the only mother I have. So why be mad at her? And how could I be mad at her? It just stopped making sense to be resentful. And now I am free to just love her instead.


Today has been all about comfort. I skipped my morning exercise class and enjoyed hanging out longer than usual on a Saturday morning. I decided to take Mom to lunch, meaning I didn’t have to leave the house until about 11 a.m. I maintained a leisurely pace, read the paper, had two cups of coffee instead of one.

When I arrived at the Alz center, Mom was lying on a couch in the lobby. When I got around the couch to look at her, her eyes were open. She sat up. “It’s a miracle,” she said. I hugged her. She seemed like she might not be completely with it, like perhaps she had momentarily opened her eyes but could use more sleep. I sat next to her and said I wanted to take her to lunch if it sounded OK with her. “I want to,” she said. I took her to her room to put a long-sleeved shirt on her and some socks and to get her coat. While I signed her out at the nursing station, an aide buttoned up her shirt and coat so she would be warm. On our way down the hall toward the lobby, another aide stopped to give Mom a hug. This staff, I tell you, they express so much affection for the residents. I said to Mom, “There seems to be a lot of hugging go on around here.” And she said, “Just the normal amount.” And that was probably true. The normal amount is a lot.

We went to Bob Evans. Mom didn’t seem interested in eggs, so I suggested meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans. I told her I was going to have chicken pot pie and a salad – comfort food with a small side of greens. That seemed interesting to her. So I ordered chicken and noodles and french fries for her. She said she didn’t like salad. And a Coke. While we waited for lunch to arrive, Mom occasionally got a little confused about the pictures on one remaining menu and her placemat, thinking they might be the food she was supposed to eat. I kept telling her we had to wait until the food was ready. My salad arrived first. I didn’t want to eat before she could, so I offered her a cherry tomato. She bit into it and grimaced. I’ve said this before – Mom used to love tomatoes. Just loved them. I offered her croutons instead and she seemed to like them. “They’re loud,” she said.

When the food arrived, her chicken and noodles were in a bowl on a plate, the french fries were on another plate, and I put a biscuit on a third plate in front of her. I think this arrangement was confusing for her. She would pick up a spoon, and then a fork, and not be sure what to do. She’d pick up a french fry and put it on the chicken-and-noodles plate. Eventually, she got the hang of it. I put ice cubes in her chicken and noodles because it was hot. She enjoyed the french fries. She said, “I hope they don’t mind I’m using my hands.” I told her that’s how everyone eats french fries. She used a fork to take a bite out of her biscuit. “I forget how to eat,” she said. I told her that wasn’t true, that she was doing fine. She picked up her chicken and noodles bowl several times to drink the broth. I considered that successful problem-solving on her part. She drank almost two Cokes and burped several times. Dog/cat was with us, and on our way out, a woman passing by started teasing her about the puppy – in a very playful and gentle way. “You can’t have that puppy,” she said. “It’s too cute. What’s the puppy’s name?” “It’s adorable,” Mom replied. I always appreciate strangers who regard dog/cat as a perfectly normal thing to see in the hands of an elderly woman.

We then went to K-Mart because I was obsessed with getting Mom some more pants. We found two pairs of cotton pants with pockets, one gray pair and one bright magenta pair. I picked up some fuzzy socks for her and a brush and comb set. Mom complained that her back hurt – something she had said was bothering her earlier, while we waited for our table at the restaurant. I massaged her back a little bit while we were waiting at Bob Evans. I used to give her shoulder rubs all the time when we lived alone, during my teen years, and I thought about that while I gently pressed on her lower back. I asked her if it felt OK. “Yeah, I like this,” she said. So at K-Mart, since it was hurting her again, I decided we ought to just get back to the Alz center.

When we returned, we went to her room and Mom plopped onto her bed immediately and kicked off her pink Crocs. I wrote her name on her new items and removed all the tags and hung up her new pants. We had been together for two hours. She was exhausted, I think. I was a little tired, too, but feeling good about our visit. “I’m too old,” she said. “I am so old.” This was because I was remarking that she must be tired. She didn’t seem upset about this – just stating a fact. I kissed her goodbye. “I’m ready to sleep,” she said.

Community service

With the three-day weekend, I have had in mind since Friday, my last visit, that I would visit Mom today, Monday. I considered taking Mom out to lunch, but didn’t get my act together early enough to do that. I also wanted Patrick to come with me, to see if we could either fix Mom’s little chest of drawers or replace them. It was not a huge project, but I wanted him to come. It looked this morning like he might not make it, and I was trying to go with the flow, but he could tell I was disappointed, I think. He decided he’d come with me and then have me drop him off at a park so he could get a good run in, running home from the park. I was glad he did that. I can’t articulate why I want him to come with me sometimes, but I do. I think it takes the loneliness edge off of the visits. Even though I am surrounded by people when I visit Mom, sometimes I still feel like the act of visiting itself is a lonely endeavor.

Mom was sitting at a table with a few unfamiliar faces – young people, most wearing red shirts. The activities director told me Ohio State students had come to visit residents as their community service project for Martin Luther King Day. I wanted to hug all of those students. Community service wasn’t as big a deal when I was a college student as it is now, but I am fairly aware of what kinds of things students do now as part of my job in the university communications area. But even after having promoted these student service activities at OSU, I don’t know if I would have realized that visiting Alzheimer’s patients might make the list. I went up to a group of about four kids and said, “As an OSU employee and a daughter, I want to thank you for making this your service project.” One young man said to me, “It’s been great.” I also thanked the student sitting with Mom, and apologized for taking Mom away from her. She had plenty of others to talk to. She was very sweet. I wanted Mom to come into her room with Patrick and me while we rearranged her stuff.

Mom sat on her bed while I emptied the drawers in her room. I bought two clear plastic bins to replace them. I’m through with drawers, between the buffet falling apart and this small chest of drawers also proving defective after just a short time. The buffet frame is still in Mom’s room, serving as a surface for photos and stuffed animals. Underneath, where there used to be two large buffet drawers, there is a big gap. And now the bins are under there. It doesn’t look as bad as it sounds. And it doesn’t look as bad as it did when the buffet drawers were off track and falling apart. This is an old piece of furniture that I guess still has sentimental value for all of us kids, though I am losing affection for it these days…

I also took a box out of the bottom of Mom’s closet, which was full of clothes. And I brought those clothes home to wash because they have never been picked up off of the floor. It is quite possible Mom was responsible for the mess. Probable, really. But it has bothered me that the clothes were never hung up or washed. So I am finally fixing this thing that has felt like a problem to me for awhile. I also noticed, with chagrin, that Mom has very few pairs of pants hanging in her closet, and only one pair was among the pile of clothes on the floor. I forgot to put her name on the two pairs I got her for Christmas, and they were gone. I was getting fretful during this part of the visit. Patrick was encouraging me not to worry. And Mom said, “I’ve told you before that I don’t have enough clothes.” And I said, with a frown, “I know.” And she said, “I’m just kidding.” Patrick really liked that, that she joked with me about that topic at that time. I wasn’t as tickled by it, but it was interesting that she was aware enough to make the joke. Most of the time, she doesn’t even know that she has a closet full of clothes or a room of her own in the building.

Mom was in very good spirits. When I arrived, she came up to hug me and said she was so glad to see me. And then she said, “Give me another hug,” and we hugged for a second time. She was also chipper on Friday, when I visited shortly before lunch. She was sitting in a large circle in the program area, where an activity was just finishing up. The activities director and a volunteer both told me that Mom had been dancing a lot earlier in the morning. I sat next to her in the circle, and music was playing more loudly than usual. Mom clapped her hands, and so did I. She has become fascinated with clapping – I think she likes the tingle that it makes in her hands, and how certain claps are louder than others. I should consider this a life lesson she is teaching me: there is pleasure to be found in something as simple as clapping my hands.

The financial fun never ends

Let’s see. Today is Jan. 14. And I was told today, by the pharmacy that provides Mom’s drugs at the Alz center, that Medicaid is not covering her prescription medications because she is not enrolled in a Medicare D plan. This is the first I have heard about any such requirement. I applied for Medicaid on June 22. I was in touch with the case worker on a regular basis until Mom was approved in, god, I can’t even remember anymore, I think October. Mom has been receiving meds from this company since the end of August. As far as I know, the pharmacy that provided Mom’s meds at the other nursing home, for just the two weeks, was paid by Medicaid. The word has always been that Medicaid covers prescription drugs in nursing homes. And today I’m told something different. I realize Medicare D exists, but I never enrolled Mom because her retirement insurance provided good prescription drug coverage while I was paying those bills. I don’t know, I hate to be cynical, but it strikes me as a racket that one government program won’t cover medication unless the recipient is enrolled in another government program.

The pharmacy has continued to send me bills for the drugs, after I left a voice mail two months ago and then sent a letter last month indicating that the company should bill Medicaid at the number I provided. My efforts to correspond have been ignored until today, when the company decided that the balance is too high to ignore any longer. It’s $4,450.84. The woman I talked to when I called the company back actually said: “The balance is $4,400, and if it goes any higher, I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Is that some way of threatening me? My response was: “My mother does not have any money, as you might be aware since she is on Medicaid.” The woman advised me to work with the facility to see if I can get Mom enrolled in a Medicare D program. Then she transferred me to the voice mail of the employee who handles this account, where I informed the voice mail machine the same things I told the woman who answered the phone: This is the first I’ve heard about any Medicare requirement; I’ve corresponded twice with your company to tell you to bill Medicaid with no response; Mom does not have the money to cover these costs, as you might have guessed already. And then I called the business manager at the Alz center to let her know what’s going on and see if she has some insight into what the hell is going on and how to connect Mom with Medicare D, stat, even though it is not currently an open enrollment period.

Ironically, today is my blogiversary. I posted my first entry on Jan. 14, 2009. I’ve been reflecting on the past year a lot in anticipation of writing a post about how much things have changed regarding Mom. And how steady things seem to be now. I guess that’s what I get for becoming complacent – a call from the pharmacy company trying to collect $4,500 from me. Lesson learned: If I decide to relax about caregiving and find myself worrying a lot less about Mom, something will surely come along for me to worry about.

A funny little thing

Tonight at my support group meeting, I began talking to a woman sitting next to me about her mother, who also lives at the Alz center. It was a marathon night, with lots of newcomers with difficult stories to tell and in need of advice. So the four of us whose moms are at the center spoke just briefly, since we have many of our hardest decisions behind us – taking the car keys away, gently fibbing to get around some of the harsh truths of the disease, moving parents or spouses to a higher level of care. Those kinds of things. I did a lot of mindless nodding tonight, listening to and relating to what people are going through. And I am so glad I am not going through it, too.

So this woman and I were talking about our moms after the meeting. “I know Bonnie,” she said. I unfortunately don’t think I know her mother, or at least not very well. But I will look for her now, and always greet her by name. I like for the residents to think they have lots of familiar and friendly people in their lives. Apparently Mom always greets this woman as if she recognizes her. For all I know, she does. She visits her mother frequently, so she is at the center almost every day.

She went on to tell me about the first time she met my mom. Mom was sitting next to a much older resident on a couch. Mom is only 72, and she is indeed much younger than many of the center residents. And she’s very mobile. Plus, on this day Mom had her purse with her, and several bracelets on her wrist. “I was sure she was a visitor,” this woman said. “So I asked her if she was here visiting her mother.” Mom didn’t seem to understand at first. “Isn’t this your mother?” she asked, about the older woman sitting next to Mom. And Mom replied, “Not as far as I know.”

That struck me as very funny. She repeated it for emphasis: “Not as far as I know,” slowly shaking her head. I can just imagine Mom saying that. And not being upset by it in the slightest.

Words and pictures

Mom is officially enrolled in a new research project, her first in about two years. She participated in two drug clinical trials, one of which ended early for her when the nurses at the assisted living facility neglected to administer the experimental drug for more than two weeks – a bummer for the doctor running the study. But it’s water under the bridge now, the result of a misunderstanding. I later learned by reading a news article that the drug in the second trial was determined to not be helpful to Alzheimer’s patients. Sad news, but still important to know.

This new study is very different. I will assemble two memory posters that contain pictures of important people from Mom’s life, including Mom herself. One poster will have photos only. The second will include text that accompanies each picture – more than just names, but a little sentence describing the role the photographed person/people had in Mom’s life. The researcher, from Ohio State, aims to find out whether the added words contribute to dementia patients’ understanding of what they’re looking at. In Mom’s case, I really don’t know what to expect in terms of her comprehension. Even though she still talks pretty well, she doesn’t really seem to have much understanding of what is going on around her, and she certainly seems to have no solid memories from any part of her past.

I sat in on the researcher’s first meeting with Mom. I missed part of it while I ran to get Mom a jacket because she was cold in the Alz center conference room. When I got back, the researcher was asking Mom to read a sentence on a piece of paper and then follow the instructions implied in the sentence. “Close your eyes,” Mom read. But she could not comprehend that she should close her own eyes. The researcher showed Mom a drawing of two interlocked boxes and asked Mom to draw the same picture. Mom drew a single box. She asked Mom to describe what she saw in various pictures. “A house,” Mom said. “I don’t know her,” she said about the next one. “It’s a woman,” the researcher said. At one point, the researcher asked Mom to read something on the page in front of her and Mom said, “Goodbye.” That is not what the paper said. I think Mom was just about fed up with the questions. In fact, Mom was just a little disagreeable throughout. She has never liked the mental testing that has gone along with her illness. The researcher said that is common. She knows not to take anything personally.

The researcher then just tried to chat with Mom a little bit. She asked Mom if she had any children. “I don’t think so,” Mom said. She pointed to me and indicated she knows I belong to her, but she has not really understood our relationship for some time. “Did you go to college?” the researcher asked. “No, I don’t think I did,” Mom replied. “Did you meet a sweetheart at some point and get married?” “No,” Mom said. I was squirming with all the inaccuracies. Mom has a bachelor’s in social work. She was married for 11 years. I am one of her three children. But the researcher said Mom’s responses were not really important – she was just gauging whether Mom can converse and understand that questions she was being asked were intended to have a response of some kind. “Did you have any brothers or sisters?” “A sister and a brother,” Mom said. This might be the closest thing to correct. “You have a sister and a brother-in-law,” I said.

As part of the study, Mom will be asked to discuss the photos and captions, and then she will be distracted for a little while and then return to the photo discussion. The researcher asked if Mom had any hobbies. I misunderstood at the time that she was trying to come up with distraction exercises for this portion of the study. “She was a big reader,” I said, forlornly; the fact that she was such a big user of her brain makes me sad sometimes. “An intellectual, really, who just liked to discuss things.” But then I realized what she was getting at, and I apologized for getting off track. For the study, I suggested puzzles might work, or a discussion about cats of some kind. Maybe pictures of cats. And perhaps a coloring book.

A nice thing about this study is that Mom will be visited a few times by a young student who will tape-record her discussions with Mom about the posters. The tape recordings will be analyzed to determine differences in Mom’s comprehension of the pictures. Mom will enjoy the visits, I’m sure, as long as they don’t feel like tests.

Beautiful Bonnie

A coworker told me today I had gone too long between posts on this blog. What a lift that was, to know someone is actually looking for my updates. I’m going to see Mom tomorrow morning – I’m enrolling her in a new research project, but very different from any drug clinical trial. I’ll explain more once I know more after I meet with the researcher and her student.

For tonight, one of my favorite photos of Mom. When we moved her to the first nursing home in August, we came across lots of loose pictures and photo albums. Mom has one scrapbook that contains several old 8 x 10 black-and-white photos from her youth. We all admired this one – my sister and nieces, brother and brother-in-law. I can only guess what Mom might be looking at in the picture, and what year it might be (early ’60s?). I feel safe in assuming the photographer was my dad. I’ve always imagined it was taken in the morning.

I gave my brother and nieces framed copies of this for Christmas, and have one for my sister. And I keep one on my desk at work, so I can pause and admire the beautiful young Bonnie from time to time, and be reminded that she has had a good life.


The holidays are over, and it’s time to establish a new routine for visits to Mom. I haven’t taken advantage of extra time on weekends for the past several weeks to visit her because I devoted that time to shopping, or knitting a gift, or writing Christmas cards, whatever. I was able to keep myself on a pretty comfortable holiday schedule that way, which helped me enjoy the whole season more than I did last year.

My brother visited Mom on Tuesday. I thought that today I ought to check in on her, just to see how she was doing. I arrived shortly before lunch. I chatted with the receptionist for a bit, but felt an urge to get back to the program area since the lunch hour was closing in. I walked back and looked around. She wasn’t at any of the usual tables, with her usual lady friends. I spotted her slumped over in an easy chair in the lounge area closest to her room. I stood and looked at her from a distance for a moment to make sure she was breathing. I have found her asleep before, but usually stretched out on a couch. I had never seen her like this.

I put my coat and purse on another easy chair. I found an empty chair at a table and pulled it over so it was right next to Mom and I sat down. I pulled myself a little closer and just looked at her. She had on her pink Crocs with no socks – on such a cold day, I was surprised by this. But it is not cold inside. She had on blue pants and a blue turtleneck with little flower decorations on it. She was wearing her usual collection of bracelets, including some that had gone missing for awhile. She was no longer wearing the rosary she had been wearing on the day we gave her gifts. That had surprised both Jeff and me, but then again, nothing is a surprise. But Mom is not Catholic, so the rosary was a little more unusual than most unusual things.

I put my hand on Mom’s leg, gently. She didn’t stir. I took it away and just sat. I touched her hair, and stroked her head a little bit. Nothing. It occurred to me that if she woke up from sleeping this deeply, she’d probably be very confused and disoriented by my presence. And with lunch on its way, I didn’t want her to feel rushed, or discombobulated. So I got up to leave. I felt sad about it – a missed opportunity to have a visit. I thought to myself that I would like to take her to lunch sometime in the next week or so, when it’s not quite as cold outside. But mostly I would like not to find her asleep like this again anytime soon. There’s no reason to make a big deal of it. She may never fall asleep in that chair again. But slumped over like that, she looked more like an advanced Alzheimer’s patient than she typically does. And I didn’t particularly like that.

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