Update on My Mother


photoOne of the first things they tell you when dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease is that the primary caregiver is the person most in danger of having a serious physical and emotional problem.  We’ve been trying to warn my mother about this  – for ages.  When dealing with my mother, forget it!  This has been an avoidable disaster waiting to happen, like model trains set to wreck.

She hovers over my father, who is still in early  Stage 4.  He has his moments, especially late in the afternoon.  Part of it is Alzheimer’s and part of it is the fact that he is a very exhausted 89 years old.  When he gets tired, his condition gets worse.  She waits on him hand and foot.  Does everything for him, and it isn’t necessary.  This morning, when I was working with her, he cleaned the entire kitchen, spotless. He was a little difficult at the hospital, but I’m learning how to handle it.  (Keep food in him).

My mother is worried.  She is grieving.  They will be married 63  years in August.  She is exhausted. She won’t reach out to her friends, who would love to help.  She is so tired, she thinks if anyone comes to visit, she will be required to serve coffee, food, which isn’t true.  It’s impossible to get him to church on Sunday AM.

At least today, I think we finally managed to get her to say uncle about having someone come in every day, for just a few hours.  She needs the interaction.  So does he.  My father does so much better when he has people to visit with.  It makes all the difference in the world.

Her health isn’t all that good.  We’re going to get the results of breathing tests from her cardiologist tomorrow. (FYI, her pacemaker is doing great).  Her blood work-up was good, save for the blood sugar. That’s getting ahead of myself.

She won’t let anyone help her.  She is isolating herself from friends.  It’s just classic.  She can do it all herself.  She can’t.  So, now, she’s not eating.  That’s a problem anyway.  At night, now, she’s too tired to cook, isn’t eating, going to bed without eating, jumping out of bed in AM, and crashing.  This morning the crash was literal.  She fell, hit her hand on her nightstand.  Called me about 8:AM.  (FYI, I arrived home this PM at 7:30 – which tells you about my day).

The day after Christmas she passed out, hit the back of her head, went to the ER.  Did the same thing Wednesday morning.  We’re finally piecing things together.  Her BP goes low.  She’s not eating, has a blood sugar crash, has breathing problems and nearly passes out.

Today, they caught the blood sugar problem – finally!  She’s to have 3 meals a day and keep track of everything, which she won’t do.  I was told if she doesn’t take care of herself, when it comes to eating, then she must have someone with her 24/7.

Her speech was garbled.  She had a TIA around 2002 or so.  This was a little different.  They did a CT scan, and think that she may have had one.  BUT  – it could have been the blood sugar crash.  We just don’t know.

They let her out of the ER about 5PM or so, after a long day and many tests.  Everything points to a blood sugar problem, which is what I have been saying for 7 years, but does anyone listen to me?

I forced her to get a fried chicken thingie at Sonic.  She ate my father’s ice cream whatever on the way home.  I left there a little after 7PM.  She called at 9PM, sounding great!

This food thingie is going to make me crazy!  I am going to force her to deal with friends and people who care about her.  It’s a nasty thing to do, but it is for her own good – as well as mine!  I felt sorriest for my sister, who was in Memphis, following all of this by phone.

My next battle is getting her to allow her friends and people who care, back into her life.  We have so many good friends, people who care, that she makes me crazy isolating herself.