The euphoria over Mom's better vision lasted only a few days, which didn't surprise me. She went back to the surgeon for a checkup and he says her eye has healed nicely. But because she said at the initial appointment with him that she didn't want the other eye done, she will now have to wait for a couple of months to get a second surgery date. She was not pleased. Meanwhile we are still working on the 4X daily eye drops for the first eye.
Captain's Log: Friday, April 1, 2022
(Went to Mom's for her first eye drops of the day.)
Mom: You're up early ... (Questioning voice, meaning WHY am I visiting this time of day?)
Me: Yep! I'm here to do your eye drops.
(I have been here 72 times previously to put drops in this eye.)
(Put drops in Mom's eye for the 73rd time.)
Mom: Aren't you going to put them in the other eye?
(She asks this question 99% of the time.)
Me: No, just in the eye that was operated on.
(Always the same answer.)
Mom: I could do those drops myself.
Me: (Smiles.) (Swears silently.)
Mom: When did we go for groceries last?
Me: We went on Sunday. Would you like to go again today?
(She checks fridge. This is an extended process. Finally she shuts the door and says she needs most everything. I had a look, too, while she had the door open. It's a toss-up: we could go, or wait, but we might as well go before the busy weekend. Because Nova Scotia has lifted its mask mandate and there are lots of un-masked people everywhere. Aaaaaand that's a different post topic.)
Mom: Yes. I don't really need anything. But I like to get out. And I think I need to go to the bank.
Me: Okay, I'll be back at 1 p.m. to do your eye drops. We'll go then if it's not raining.
(For definite appointments, I always print a note for her so she will keep seeing it and be able to get ready more or less on time. Now, thinking to myself, I decide I won't make a note for her about this, because it's supposed to rain and then we won't go, but if there's a note about going, she will get ready to go, and then we'll need to have an extended conversation about whether she really wants to go or if she's just going because the note said we were going. And if there's no note, and she forgets we planned to go, it's not a big deal. If she wants to go, I'll just wait while she gets ready. If you've followed all that, you get a gold star.)
(Went to Mom's for her second eye drops of the day.)
(She was outside gathering up dead leaves and grass from the flower garden she has been unable to work in for the last few years due to her poor vision.)
(She wondered why I was there.)
Me: Eye drops, Mom!
Mom: (Frowns.) You and your eye drops!
Me: Yep! And would you like to get groceries?
Mom: (Frowns.) Were we supposed to go for groceries today?
Me: Well, we talked about it. Would you like to?
Mom: I'm not ready to go. I didn't know we were going. There was nothing written down.
Me: Y- es-s . . . we weren't sure if we were going, because it was supposed to rain . . . would you like to go?
Mom: Well, I have to brush my teeth. And change my clothes. And can we go to the bank?
Me: Sure. Take your time. There's no hurry.
(5 minutes later) (I give her full credit for getting ready fast. Except she hasn't changed her clothes. Never mind. No one will notice. Half the people at the grocery store won't be wearing the ONE THING I wish they would wear -- a mask. At least Mom will be wearing a mask.)
Mom: Are we going to the bank?
Mom: Just let me see if I have any money.
(Mom forages in purse. With some help, she discovers some money.)
Mom: Oh, that's enough. I won't buy more groceries than that.
Me: We can still go to the bank if you like.
Mom: No, that's okay. I have enough.
(Decide not to push the trip to the bank today, because it's Friday and probably busy downtown.)
(Go to grocery story, where she spends all the cash she had.)
(Go to her house to drop off her and her groceries.)
Mom: Thank you. And can we go to the bank sometime? I need to get some money.
Me: Sure ..... but not today. We both have groceries to put away, and I have other things to do.
Mom: When can we go to the bank?
Me: How about the next day the weather is good, okay?
Mom: (Very worried looking.) Okay ....
(I step out of the house to leave)
Mom: When did you say we were going to the bank?
Me: We'll go the next day the weather is good. Would you like me to write that down?
Mom: NO!! I just need you to tell me and I'll remember.
This is a condensed version of the conversation.
Every interaction is something similar.
I realize this is caused by the shrinkage of brain cells. I have seen sample MRIs online of brains of dementia patients. Mom has had an MRI that confirms her loss of brain mass.
But I am so tired. Mentally tired. Emotionally tired. I spend so much energy just on interacting with Mom. And I have to be upbeat or she will ask me what's wrong. I don't want to explain; explaining would be futile. But the effort to be upbeat and to accommodate her memory problems and unfortunately her personality quirks is taking almost all the energy I have. I am not working at my job, I am not getting anything done at home, I am trying not to think beyond the next ten days of eye drops ...... but when the worry about the future gets too big, it's hard to ignore it.
|The sign says: I am NOT dead, just tired & ugly. PLEASE LET ME SLEEP!!!!|
That's all I've got for today.
Better days ahead. I hope.
For all of us.