Parental Journal 36 from Planet Elderly: End of Christmas 2015 Christmas Visit. Happy New Year? Meh.

Monday, December 28, 2015 6:30 a.m.

Winter storm warning in effect for today…mostly icy rain/sleet and strong winds.  We’ll sit tight and stay at home.

Been thinking about the “volcano of delusion” Mom experienced the other night.  In terms of cognitive functioning, such episodes would probably be considered “sundowning” (sundown syndrome).  Certainly glad these are not nightly events.

Yesterday we brought Dad the last piece of a pumpkin pie I made.  He loved it, and when he saw Mom enter the room, he had a big smile and said, “Well, there she is!!  Hello dear!”  Mom was thrilled.  Nice moment.

A quiet day overall yesterday – and evening.  I showed Mom the profile of a female internist and the comments people wrote about her.  All systems go.  I will call the doctor’s office today to set up an appointment and inquire about transfer of medical records.  I’ll make the appointment for a few weeks from now.  That will give me time to return to MO for a couple weeks and then back to IL…weather permitting.  At least when I return to IL, I’ll have snow boots and a winter coat with me.

Friday, January 1 2016  afternoon

A new year ahead, and I’m sure it won’t be dull.  Crazy and frustrating at times, but never dull.

Nice New Year’s Eve luncheon at Victory Lakes yesterday.  They had hats, balloons, noisemakers, and bubbling juice with the countdown at just before 12 noon.  It was fun, but then we heard a very sweet recording of “Old Lang Syne” and I ended up weeping.dad123115

Each day I have had my daily coaching reminders with Mom about bankbooks.  Wednesday she called Wells Fargo  and told the advisor that she didn’t have any money, so he sent a check via Fed Ex.  I took her to the bank and she cashed it yesterday.  I tried to tell her why she didn’t need to go into stock funds, but she just blew up at me and cried about being so worried about having money for food and gas.

I shut up and gave up.  Fine.  Found myself explaining less these past couple days.  It’s the same conversation over and over and over. The same tearful outbursts.  I need to just let it go.   I’ll just explain things again when I return in three weeks.

The next visit will include a meet and greet visit with Mom’s new primary care physician.  Mom gave the okay to set it up, and so I did:  Monday, February 1 at 2 p.m.   I was in a different room when I called to make the appointment, and the staff member assured me that it would be okay for me to send the doctor a confidential note of concerns about Mom’s cognitive functioning.  Fingers crossed that she will find a gentle and effective way to assist us in finding out what, exactly, is going on with Mom.  It may not be early dementia, as I’ve read.  But I know that I, her neighbor, and the staff at Victory Lakes who see her every day…we are all concerned about her confusion, forgetfulness, and daily crying spells.  It’s going to take a skillful doctor to guide her into a thorough check up.  I want to be hopeful.  Instead, I can just hear her say, “Leave me alone!  I’m fine!”

Side note:  Mom tells people about the police knocking on her door and how it scared her.  She is still angry about not knowing who called the police, although she said they were very nice.  Of course it was scary for her.  She’s lived here all these years and has never had a “wellness” check.  The other night she told me the police officer asked her who was president.  “I was just so flustered.  I could not tell him it was Obama.”

I return to Missouri tomorrow.  Need time to recharge the battery, do some planning, write to Mom’s new physician, and practice lots of deep breathing before I head back up Jan. 23.

 

 

About jjmummert

Just another voice in the wilderness from someone who's lived on this planet for over 60 years and faces permanent residency on Planet Elderly. Update: As of March 2, 2017, I turned 70. I'm now an official resident of Planet Elderly. Dad passed away September 22, 2016. I view the Parental Journal entries as part therapy, part family history, sort of a case study of what our family experiences with one parent in a memory care unit, another living independently with short-term memory loss, and me, the only child daughter who lives 400 miles away. It's quite an adventure. Recommended readings for others who have loved ones who live with some form of dementia: The 36-Hour Day, The Myth of Alzheimer's - What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis, Alzheimer's Early Stages.
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