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We're now within weeks of our appointment with a memory center (after a FIVE-MONTH wait). I'm trying to collect as much information for our visit as I can.
Almost as if to help me out with shareable anecdotes, Mom has been having some weird patterns lately. Any sound familiar to you?
1) Vocabulary. After a few months of doing pretty well, her vocabulary seems to be slipping again. This started with a ministroke back in January (one of at least 3 MRI showed from recent years) but improved greatly in the months that followed. Over the weekend, she had several instances where she called things by wrong name. (Safety pin for scissors, dish towel for underwear and kettle for a potted plant, are a few examples.)
2) Complete time loss. Last night, she asked me what I was going to "do" about college. Mind you, I've been out of college for 30 years. When I asked her what she meant, she said, "You're in high school. You'll need to go to college." Later, she asked me what grade I was in!
3) Mixed geography. She alternately thought we were in Chicago and somewhere in Texas last night. (We aren't in or ever lived in either place!) This, when just hours before, she carefully pointed out to me a turn we would make to go to the old house and was right on all but one turn getting home.
4) Short term shot. We spent an inordinate amount of time in a drive-thru last night, after which I handed her the food. When we got home 5 or so minutes later, I asked if she had the food, thinking she would carry the bag out of the car. "What food?" she asked. I said the food we just got in the drive-thru. "Oh. I didn't know we got food."
I try to just take deep breaths and roll with it. But man. The stuff this illness causes them to come up with!!!
My mom’s time sense is gone, too: she often thinks Dad is alive (he passed in 1996), working at his old job. A few weeks ago mom was talking about something and said to me “well, it’s important since you’ll be 21 soon...” I haven’t been 21 for 30 years. (She’s been legally blind for 20 years, so not seeing well, she probably remembers what I look like at a much younger age)
She also is not oriented to place: sometimes she thinks she’s home, sometimes at a resort (we travelled often to Puerto Rico, and she loved that experience), sometimes she vaguely knows she’s in some kind of medical place.
I’ve learned to “meet her where she is” and yes, roll with it. Meditation has helped me learn to let go and find the space to take a breath to respond instead of react (I love the Insight Timer app)
Tonight we are SUPER moody. Just yelled at me and got all bent out of shape because I asked where her extra pillows were. (Normally has 4 on her bed; tonight there's just 2.) I was in there to watch a movie with her.
Then I remembered caregiver changed bed today. Other 2 pillows were in spare room. Before I could even go to get them she's yelling at me about the pillows don't belong there, never were there and why do I always have to know where everything is. I just got up and walked out.
Can't. Deal. Tonight.
Oh yeah, the food thing! My mom forgets what we order, when we go to restaurants I have to read the menu to her and suggest items (she's vegetarian so that makes it easier)- then we order and by the time the food arrives she points at each dish and asks, "What is that?'. The last time we went out it was sushi- I ordered her two veggie rolls and soup, and green tea- I felt horrible when I saw her struggling for words to describe why she liked the tea.
Good luck with the visit to the MC center, I hope it seems like a good place for your loved one.
Thanks! I'm not going to memory CARE but to a memory CENTER where she can get a REAL assessment/evaluation by people who deal with this day-in, day-out. Instead of doctors who guess at best and literally give me a shoulder shrug when I ask questions!
I'm hoping they can help me with her moods and sleep issues (especially the latter) and maybe I can get a clear idea of WHERE she is on the spectrum. Her symptoms bounce around a lot and seem to overlap with the different phase descriptions, I really can't say what stage she's in.
do feel like we're making a transition of some kind as incontinence (urinary) which has only been occasional for past year or so is becoming more frequent. She's always had bowel issues so not sure how I'd know when that's a factor!
I'm going to deal for as long as I can. Once I have a few more resources to pay for help, that will get a major weight off me. Praying I can get things in some kind of control again in next 60 days.