Showing posts from September, 2019
Win / Win . Last week I received a phone call from hospice that began..."Kristy, this is never an easy call to make but..."  My heart sank because even though I thought I was prepared to let Mom go, I wasn't really.  She continued..."but Flo is doing so well that we have to take her off of hospice." Wow.  That’s great news, right?   Mom had been on hospice for two years because her weight was too  low.   Now her weight was stable so she no longer qualified for their services.   But on the flip side, Mom would really miss her cheerful hospice visitors. The next morning one of Mom's regular hospice workers came by with the contract to end Mom's care.  "Don't worry about Flo.   I still plan to visit twice a week on my own time.   I love her," she assured me.   What a comfort that is. Two days later, another hospice worker e-mailed me to say she had no intention of stopping her visits with Mom because she
Turning the Impossible Into the Possible           Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away.   That’s how I coped with my mother’s issues as I was growing up and through my adulthood.   I didn’t label her.   I never used the words dementia or Alzheimer’s to explain her behavior.   Yes, she had paranoid tendencies.    She accused my dad of bizarre indiscretions.   She heard strangers talking about her in the post office line.   But she wasn’t my problem.   She had my father to deal with her, so it was easier for me to ignore her symptoms.               Then Dad died.   Now she was my problem.   Things were far worse than I had realized.   When I helped her pay the bills she could barely sign her name on checks.   When I visited she had tied elaborate rope knots around her door knobs to keep the neighbors out.   I ran into the same quandary as Dad had confided to me in the past.   She needed professional help but convincing a paranoid person that they need help is an impossible task
Replacing Worry with Peace Sometimes it’s hard not to worry about getting Alzheimer’s when both my grandmother and mother have had it.   When I walk into a room and forget what I came in for I worry.   If I can’t remember the name of the actor in a movie, I’m briefly concerned.   When I wash my hair and can't remember if I put the conditioner on or not.   When I lose my reading glasses I am relieved to find them on the nightstand, not in the freezer or the trash can. My doctor knows my family history and so she tests my memory annually.   She gives me three words to remember and repeat back several moments later.   She has me draw a clock and put the numbers and hands on it.   She tests me on the season, year, month and day.   My recent test went well until the final question. “What day of the week is it?” “Monday, I mean Tuesday, because yesterday was Labor Day, no it was Memorial Day,” I stammered.   I nervously waited for a reaction from her.   Was th