Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mom can seem completely normal then out of nowhere will come a question or a behavior that reminds me of her memory loss. Like today, I called her from work to see how she was, and we were talking when she said "where are you? Who else is in the house?" I thought maybe she was confused thinking the cleaning lady was there (she actually was there yesterday). I reminded her that the cleaning woman came yesterday and that helped to orient her. Most of the time I will see a glimmer of my mom, as I knew her before ALZ, and it feels nice. Other times she is dependent and helpless. She does not take care of herself hygenically anymore, her clothes and hair are unkempt. Before, she would not leave the house without lipstick. She is slowly slipping away. She also thought that her sister had called and wanted to "meet us halfway" between here and where she lives (she lives in Michigan). I checked the caller ID and there was no record of her sister calling. And if someone calls for me, forget it, she can not remember what they called for, or if she does take a message and write it down, it is garbled. Who would have thought that those games of verbal charade would lead to this. But that was probably the first sign of trouble. That is hard.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I refuse to kiss anyone's ass. That can be detrimental in some arenas. When the emperor has no clothes, I don't ignore it.

Today Mom and I drove up to see her old house. The thing that really stood out for me is how different that neighborhood is from our current neighborhood. The area around there is pretty rundown. No one was out and about in her old neighborhood. And it sure is far away! But it's a beautiful day today so it was fun to go for a ride.

My poor brother. He is traveling to their new home in MO with two overly emotional women. I hope that he survives.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Terrible tornadoes and damaging hail rampaged across southern Minnesota yesterday. It was awful. I feel so bad for the people who lost so much. Hopefully they still have each other.

Took Mom to the doctor today. Doc does not think she has NPH but she definitely has some balance issues. Doc recommended physical therapy for Mom. Hope it helps and I hope Mom isn't difficult about it. I'll just have to remind her that as long as she is mobile I can take care of her pretty much myself.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It was a good day today. Came home to Mom in a good mood, sitting at the table coloring in the books I got for her. She said she loved coloring. I'm so glad.

Tomorrow Matt leaves for college. I can't believe it. It doesn't seem possible that he could be old enough to go off to college. I hope that he studies hard and that he has a wonderful college experience. He's a good kid.

Doug and family are packing up and moving to MO this week. I know it's hard for my niece to do this her senior year. I hope that she survives and chooses not to put her life on hold for the next year. I hope that she makes every effort to enjoy her senior year and to make friends yet keep the ones she has close to her heart.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mom is upset because she thinks that she is becoming a burden to me. I feel so awful for her, that she has to go through this. I hope I am not making her feel burdensome. Her happiness and comfort are very important to me. Her moods seem so changeable. One minute she is laughing and the next she is teary and crying. I think it's the dementia, but we can't just mark everything up to the dementia. We have to make sure there are no other reasons. That's why I'm taking her to the doctor, so that the doctor can observe her.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mom always asks if the actors on programs are still alive. She can remember the programs that she used to watch when we see them again as re-runs.

Today we went to the dentist to get Mom's teeth cleaned. It turned out that they weren't as bad as first thought. That's good.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mom closed Stinky into the bathroom. I figured something was up when I didn't see her this morning. I opened the bathroom door and there she was. Mom was very upset about this, calling herself 'stupid' and crying about it. I really think she is depressed. I'm going to talk to the doctor about this on Friday. I hate this illness so much.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Something is off with the guy who has confessed to killing JonBenet. I think he's a wannabe. And that makes me sad because I've been hoping for some closure in this case for the Ramsey family.

The weather is beautiful today, sunny and mild. Heaven.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Country music 'star' (I put it in quotes because I've never heard of him) Troy Gentry allegedly killed a tame bear who was penned up. What a loser! First of all, I am totally against hunting animals, wild or otherwise, unless you need food and second, you don't kill a tame animal, who is penned up. This guy and the dude who 'sold' the animal to him, deserve to be convicted and either go to jail or pay a heavy fine. I don't agree with killing anything for sport, it's just not right. Does it make him feel macho to kill a bear named Cubby?? Get a life, loser!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The days are getting shorter; I notice a difference in the daylight and the angle of the sun in the morning and the evening. In less than a month I will start using my lightbox each morning to help stave off SAD. This summer has flown by way too quickly. I need it to last longer.

Mom went to bed at 8:00 pm tonight. She said she could barely keep her eyes open. She is having trouble walking so I have made an appointment for next Friday with her doctor so that she can observe her gait and try to determine if there is something treatable or if it's the progression of the dementia. She seems beaten down and defeated sometimes. And she is lonely all day when I am at work but she refuses to have anyone come in or to go somewhere. So I just let her be and try to make her happy. I feel so badly for her because she realizes that she's not herself. I try to be reassuring and comforting. She does seem to perk up when I am home. And we do get out a lot so that she isn't so isolated. This is a difficult period according to many I have talked to who have experienced this miserable disease. I hate it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Do you know how weird it is to hear someone call my brother, the troglodyte, 'Dad'? It's very weird!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

How do you tell your mother that she needs to bathe without hurting her feelings? Or making her feel like a child? It's not easy taking care of someone with dementia.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The terror alert is at Red. The highest level. I'm glad my niece is home from the UK. I've turned off the news; won't listen to the latest litany of violence and terror. It's just too upsetting for me to think there are individuals out there who feel it is OK to kill so many in the name of a god, when in fact I think God is not happy with this. Unfortunately I think our government has encouraged more violence and terror by declaring war on them, liberating (invading) Iraq and supporting Israel. Violence begets violence and terrorists don't need much prodding. Isn't it ironic how Bush's 'axis of evil' are the very countries who have chosen to step up their testing of nuclear weapons et al??

In the meantime, I've been working on my family genealogy. I seem to have uncovered a long lost relative; the brother of my great grandfather.

Went to therapy, took Mom for her INR and took my car for an oil change/tire rotation. Saw a VW Beetle convertible in the showroom. Cute.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

One of my favorite blogs to read is Rosie O'Donnell's. She has so much insight into politics and the entertainment industry. She makes it interesting by writing in an interesting prose. Check it out at

Today is Lily's birthday. I can't believe that she has been with me for 7 years. She is the sweetest, most gentle friend and I love her.

Tomorrow I get shrinked and then Friday I go to therapy, take Mom for her INR and take the VW in to get the check engine light looked at. Funny thing is though that the engine light went off this PM....maybe VW had a planned outage; seems like so many people I know are having problems this week with their VWs...

Monday, August 7, 2006

I have been having such a great time researching my family's genealogy. It's fascinating to find information about relatives and meet people who are connected to me through the generations.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Five meerkats were put down and tested for rabies last week at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. The exhibit allowed children to climb up on rocks so that they could get a closer look at the meerkats. Unfortunately, one little girl decided to go further and wedge her hand into the exhibit giving the animals a clear shot at biting her. Her family refused to have her get shots for rabies so, stupidly, the animals were destroyed so that they could be tested. I am infuriated by this and believe that the child should have been forced to have the shots. It's not a decision that parents should be allowed to make when 1. they are not watching their child closely enough and 2. animal life is at stake. Shame on this family! And for the most part, most Minnesotans appear to agree with me. As you can imagine, the family is reluctant to identify themselves.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Several months ago I learned about a program called Safe Return through the Alzheimers Association. For a small fee, you get an ID bracelet and you can register your loved one in a database in case they ever get lost. Of course, the hard part for me would be to actually convince Mom to wear the bracelet...

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I am very sad to learn that Julie Webster, from Deephaven, MN has been found dead in Wyoming. It appears that her car became stuck, she got out and began walking only to slide down an incline and land on a ledge where she died. This is devastating news and my heart goes out to her family. This story hits so close to home for me. On April 30, 2005 my mom set out from her home to come visit me. She ended up lost but I am thankful that she had the faculties to stop at a fire station and call me so that I could come pick her up. I was scared out of my mind for the hours when she was missing and I am so thankful to have her with me today.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

It's August and I'm already having unconcious tinges of dread about the oncoming winter. In one month I will begin using my Go-lite every morning for 30 minutes. Summer is flying by way too fast for me.

Julie Kay Webster, a Deephaven, MN woman with early onset Alzheimers, is missing. She is driving a blue 2001 Chrysler Sebring (license plate HDK 733). This is one of my worst fears. She drove to the airport to pick up her daughter and grandchildren. She made it to the Humphrey terminal where she asked for directions to the main terminal. But she never made it to the main terminal. After several days, someone tried to charge gasoline on her credit card, which had been cancelled by her family for fear that she had been abducted. After examining a security camera, the family learned that their mother was the person who was trying to use the cards so they reinstated them in hopes that they could track her better. Here is the scary part: somehow she had become so disoriented that she drove from the airport and was now in WYOMING! I hope they find her soon, she must be so frightened, not to mention how her family must feel. She is 58 years old.

Finally our weather has cooled down and we are getting rain. It has been horrible these past few days of 100 degree weather. A woman in my vanpool said she doesn't know how she survived this kind of weather when she lived in India.

Nine Years and Counting

Mom has been gone for a little over nine years. This blog was a huge mechanism for helping me cope with her illness and daily downfall. I...