Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mom update

My mom has been moved to a "rehab" facility, which is really a nursing home where they give you physical therapy and other therapies, with the understanding and hope that in the next few weeks, the patient will improve enough to go home. It's been very strange, because on one level, my mom knows that she is there because she was doing strange things (wandering), and she is very afraid that it will happen again. So she gets some peace of mind from the fact that they have her on a "wander alert", which is a little thing she wears like a watch, except on her ankle, and when she gets close to an exit door, an alarm will sound and the door will lock. That gives me peace of mind, too.

On the other hand, well, on all the hands, actually, it's really been a nightmare. My mom suddenly cannot string together coherent sentences. She doesn't know her right from her left. And the worst thing of all, she is so very sad....she just can't stop crying...she's been crying over everything and nothing--because she's such a burden, because she loves me, because her memory isn't too good, because I called her, because I called her last night and she couldn't remember how to answer the phone, because I told her I loved her....you get the idea...and when I say anything, like "Aw, Mom, don't cry, we'll get through this...", she just cries harder. It's breaking my heart.

In the hospital, she had a lot of blood work and a CT scan. She does not have a bladder infection, or anything else that they can see. Tomorrow I'm taking her into town to get an MRI to make sure there's truly nothing unusual there. And more blood work. For Lyme's disease, Lupus, and other unusual things that might possibly be causing these sudden changes. I hope we can get her feeling better.

I am dreading the possibility that she might not get better than this. There's no way she could live in her apartment like she is right now--she'd get lost in her bedroom and it would be terrifying!!! And she's so helpless. The nursing home staff told me that she needed help eating her lunch today. She has NEVER, even when she broke her hip, needed help eating before. It's such a dramatic change. I hope it's the benadryl, but if I am honest with myself (and I know denial is a lot easier), we were seeing some changes before the benadryl--that's why it was prescribed--because we were hoping that the changes were due to a lack of sleep.

I did find out, though (my mom told me) that before Christmas, she fell in her apartment and didn't tell anyone. And it was right around Christmas that we started seeing the changes. I don't know if that fall could have shaken things up enough to cause this....oh I don't know--I'm not a doctor, after all, and I have about as much experience with this dementia thing as I do with bipolar. All I can say is that I hope that she can recover at least somewhat from this, whatever is causing it...

One of the best things about this is, that DH has been WONDERFUL!! He's been going to visit her while I've been working. He brought his guitar and played her some music. And he went over to her apartment to take pictures of her cat, so that she can have that with her. I think being needed like this is actually doing good things for him. (I've always known it would, but there really hasn't been a way to get him to do anything about it)...Tonite he went and spent two hours with my mom. He said she was crying a lot more than she was yesterday, and she couldn't remember how to answer the phone again, but that they had a good conversation. What a blessing!

I didn't think DD should go to see her grandma tonite, as I wasn't sure if DH could handle the additional stress, so I told her I'd bring her up there tomorrow. She made a card for my mom that said "I love you Grandma" and it made my mom cry. Actually, tonite, everything seemed to make my mom cry. I wish I could help.


Anonymous said...

Could your mom possibly have had a stroke? A friend of mine was really confused after surgery. It took the Dr's about a month to figure out that she probably had a minor stroke.

perphila said...

Hey there

I commented on some of your older posts. I had a lot of catching up to do.

Your month has been as great as mine it seems.

Nothing seems to hurt more than the helpless feeling you get when someone you love is crying and sick and there is nothing you can do. Well, not nothing. You are there and that is the most important thing even if it feels like it's not enough. I will be praying for your mom and I hope there can be some kind of answers for you. I am so glad DH is stable enough to be there for you right now. That is a blessing.