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obsessing about leaves
Not being able to process when it is right to call the generous neighbor and how many leaves really are a problem probably means MIL is getting close to MC versus AL.
If there is no medical condition, like a silent UTI going on then maybe the siblings will be able to face a decision *has* to be made about their mom. Hopefully the documents are in place.
Facing the condition and taking action won't be easy but this dragging it out can be dangerous for MIL and grinds at the adult children and their families, as you well know. Good luck.
My thoughts went to emotions. For many, transitions in seasons and/or changes in the weather trigger people in different ways. The smells, warmth or cold, etc… may bring on giddiness or dread. Could the leaves be a reminder of something or a feeling in her past?
My mom definitely also had the obsessive thoughts on things out of place. That has diminished significantly as she progresses.
Her reaction to plants without leaves (ugly sticks to her) was a bit frustrating. Can’t explain nature’s prep for the winter season. She has always placed looks ahead of other things, takes me back to my childhood baggage (hate it when that happens). Since she’s on her second fall season here I’m not hearing the same complaints about the sight of the bushes outside her picture window. Yay! but bitter sweet of course.
I can only say, try to be patient, things will change. Some for the better, but probably just replaced with a new problem. Maybe have her sit outside while a pick up lawn mower does its job so she can watch the process?