Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Love, Mother

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Love, Mother
Okay, so up until yesterday we were still working on completing Chrissy's gifts to her children and grandchildren. I had addressed the envelopes, written out the checks - her gift of $25.00, and laid out eight Christmas cards. Each family has one check, even the adult grand-kids are included. Chrissy's task was to sign each card. She talked for days about what she should write - most would say "love mother" and a couple would say "love mama". I finally began encouraging her to get started - just write a few out at a time. Yesterday morning, to help her along, I wrote on her notepad "Love mother" as an example and as a reminder, "Chrissy, sign these cards today." Know that she usually doesn't respond well with words that lean toward a suggestion, much less something that sounds like a directive - a clear "no" is almost always her response. I have been working for over a year learning how to communicate with her in this Alzheimer's state - much by using touch, facial expressions, and laughter, but more on that later. Chrissy uses a notepad to write reminders for herself, such as "call Judy at 12" or "I took my pills." I know her writing and know that most generally, it is not legible. And, her writing is kinda all over the place and pressured, not positioned or in a straight line. Signing eight cards is not something I can even imagine her doing in one day. So, I just question who the little bird was that helped her out? Not asking around though, just thankful.So, you might wonder why I even give this thought. More and more in my mind I hear Bob from saying let her do as much as she can for herself because once something is forgotten, it can't be relearned. And I know that writing your name is memory from a different part of the brain. I hear the neurologist's words from her last appointment saying there has been a noticeable decline and that Chrissy had scored in late moderate or early severe stage. And that likely in three years, she will not know her children, this according to the neurologist's experience, research, and all. Alzheimer's is an insidious disease. I really thought for the most part she was doing well.Whatever, today I choose to linger in this complicated mental state of optimisim and denial. I really just don't want to lose anymore of my mother.
Posted by Judy at 9:00 AM


ladyd said...
Understand...some the hardest lessons for me to learn as my mother has progressed through the various stages of dementia, have been to accept the changes that go with. The sooner I accept, the sooner I adapt to each change, the less stressed we will all be, the less grief we will all endure at my denial. The optimisim, is gone, hope for reversal of the stages is gone. Her end is too near, but how near is that, appears to be her decision as she is in the last stages of it all.
December 23, 2009 1:37 PM

Oh Dear said...
You have a precious mother and I know she feels the same about you. Love you.
December 23, 2009 10:44

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We have snow, about 6-8 inches and Chrissy is on the phone letting people know! Thursday, before the snowfall, she was focused on the one present under her tree, from her daughter-in-law. Last year she just had to know what her present was, so the gift was opened and then rewrapped; looks like with the snow she now has a new focus. Most days, Chrissy always looks forward to what the mailman might bring and more so with the season as she loves opening Christmas cards. It’s interesting to me that she remembers friends from thirty years or more. She recalled a time when she and two friends were making cream candy and as it was being pulled outside, the dog snatched it away! Chrissy said she just laughed at her friends because they were so mad! Yesterday she received a card that played music and just laughed as she opened and shut it several times. I love love love hearing her laugh!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Slow Learner

While there are many instances where it’s clear that I am indeed a slow learner, the latest with Chrissy only confirms such. Last week after I had gotten home and settled in Chrissy called, frantically saying her freezer had broken and the ice cream was melting. My sweet man volunteered to go over and check things out. He returned a while later with three cartons of ice cream - of all the food in her freezer, the ice cream was her only concern! Seems that the freezer door had not been fully closed and I then remembered several times lately that I had found the door partly open. Chrissy will open the door and not close it completely, if course thinking she has, much like when speaking, she will not complete sentences or even say the entire word and then insist that it's me who can't hear! The next morning when going there before work, I was greeted with “where’s my ice cream?” I told her I had forgotten to bring it; she seemed okay and continued talking about something else. Early the next morning, before I’m even up moving around, she calls to remind me not to forget her ice cream! So now, before going home, I will definitely check to make sure the freezer door is completely closed.
Such is life with my mother!