Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I am in so much pain tonight. It hurts to lie down. My arms feel like something is crawling through them. Fibromyalgia sucks!

The nurse called and said that Mom and Sophie the new nurse's aide were getting along well. I'm glad to hear that. I've upped Mom's citalopram to 1.5 pills per the doctor's instructions. She wants to make sure that Mom's depression is alleviated before she considers putting her on seroquel. Mom does seem to be doing better on the citalopram. I hope it continues.

Monday night Olivia awoke us screaming and howling. There was a cat sitting on the sill outside the den window and it was driving her crazy. I thought someone was getting killed. It scared the crap out of Mom and me. Even Lily was standing on the stairs trying to see what all the commotion was about.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mom's bathroom was a mess this morning. I try not to make a big deal about it but she still gets upset. And there's no hiding the clean up from her. She notices when I am in her room/bathroom and then asks 'what are you doing in there?'. Today she stood at the bathroom door and cried while I told her it was no big deal to clean up. Her catastrophic reactions are getting more frequent; she has one at least daily it seems. And the carpet from her bed to the bathroom is being destroyed. It has stains that no matter how hard I try I cannot get out. The maple floors are all scratched up from her walker, they will have to be sanded down sometime in the future when the threat of scratching is over. The carpet in the den is also looking old and tired. She has a few stains on that too. At least the living room still looks nice. I don't know if I should buy a carpet cleaner or have someone come in and clean it. Someone is going to have to either come up with a cure for dementia or a dementia-proof house in the near future.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It is a glorious, sunny day today. Went to the nursery down the road and bought some more plants, a pink geranium with white lobelia. They have some really nice plants there. Am trying to find a table to replace the tile one. The tile is coming off.

Mom is like a kid sometimes. She has been asking the same questions over and over. How did Diana die? Is Nancy Reagan still alive? Why won't you let me get out and walk when we go somewhere? (actually she says no when I ask her if she wants to walk). Gave her a shower today. The amoxicillin she is taking is giving her diarrhea (like we need more of that) and I woke up to a mess in the bathroom that I was lucky enough to get to clean up. Her wound, which I suspect is a cat bite, looks 1000 times better today. We have been putting a warm compress on it. She has been using her walker now instead of her cane. I guess she figured out finally that it helps her walk better. Now I need to figure out how to cut holes in tennis balls so that I can put them on the back legs of the walker.

Mom is reading the Reagan Diaries, a book which I purchased but she confiscated. She will read a line and then ask me what the heck it means sometimes. It must suck to lose one's mind.

We are watching the Indy 500 though it is in rain delay right now. Danica Patrick is in 3rd place.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The nurse's aide asked to be replaced. The one we had said she doesn't want to come back because Mom was 'mean' to her. I glad, because I didn't really think the woman was the best. She complained about injuries and such to me on the day that I met her. She also complained about the low pay of the job. Hopefully they will find someone better.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A sent me pictures from her prom. This one is my favorite. I had a meltdown tonight. Mom had an accident so I suggested that she get in the shower and clean off. I must have been extra tired or something or maybe it was from gagging on the smell. I don't know. I just started crying and I couldn't stop. Which upset Mom. I try so hard not to make her feel guilty or bad about the accidents and this didn't help. UGH!

After being told that they wanted a person with strong project management skills for the open position, they went and hired someone who is not, but technically this person is good. I just have to stop caring so much and just go in and do the best job that I can do and leave everything at the door when I leave at 4:00 PM every day. I feel like I'm being punished for being sick but I'll try to convince myself that they have my best interests in mind. Even though that is so hard to do.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Several people have recommended talking to Mom's doctor about putting her on Seroquel. On Wednesday when the aide came, the nurse also stopped in. Mom was very teary and confused they said. The nurse called today to recommend Seroquel again. I will try to talk to Mom's doctor about it next week.

Today Mom had her teeth cleaned and then we went out to breakfast to The Original Pancake House. It was very busy but Mom still enjoyed it. Later this afternoon I met with the director of the study for adult caregivers of parents with Alzheimer's. I also snuck in a trip to Archivers. It was nice to browse the store.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Our lilac bushes are blooming. They smell so good! A graduates tonight. Seems pretty early for high school graduation doesn't it? It's very cool outside today after the record setting temps of Sunday and yesterday (it was in the 90s). Mom allowed the nurse's aide to help her with a shower yesterday. Woo hoo!! So far things seem to be going well with them. I'm glad. Mom was very confused today when I came home. She kept asking me when I was going to work and I told her it was evening and I was home for the day. It's got to be hell to be so confused. I feel so bad for her. I dread the progression of this disease.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It was 92 degrees today! Wickedly hot. I think that Mom had a nice Mother's Day. She got flowers from everyone. It made her cry. The bouquets are all so beautiful.

We had a busy weekend. The dentist appointment went much better than I thought it would. The dentist, a male, was very good with Mom and she accepted him without too many issues. We go back for a cleaning on Friday. Both Friday and Saturday were gorgeous days, sunny and mild. Mom lost an earring and of course she needed to find it right away. When a complete search of the house did not turn it up, I had to go to the store to buy her a new one. She is really having problems with grasping the correct work for various objects (she will call her 'socks' her 'shoes' and so forth. It's very hard to interpret what she is trying to say. That is very frustrating to her.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The hardest thing for me to deal with is Mom's bowel incontinence. Tonight, as I was getting ready for bed, she called me to say she'd had an accident in her bed. Yuck! I feel so bad for her and I feel bad for me. No wonder I turn to food for my emotional healing. That is going to be a tough habit to break because what else do I have to make me happy? There is nothing else in my life except Mom and work. I can't depend on my family, they are uninvolved. And who wouldn't be? Who would want to deal with this? Mom doesn't want to deal with this any more than I want to deal with it, but this is the hand we've been dealt so we deal with it as best we can. Tonight we sat on the patio but when it came time to go inside, Mom couldn't get out of the chair. Between that and the bowel incontinence, those are the things that are the hardest. I try to be patient and supportive, and most of the time I am, but sometimes I am so tired after a long day that I become impatient with the confusion, the incontinence and other behavior issues. Now might be the time to try the adult day care center.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The nurse's aide came again today. Mom still doesn't remember. The cleaning lady also came. I feel better knowing that someone is checking on Mom during the day and that she is being taken care of. It was a beautiful day today and Mom and I sat on the patio. We met a new neighbor who was out with her new puppy, a Shirmanian (pomeranian and shitzu). It was adorable and very tiny. It was licking Mom's ankles. Mom liked it too. As much as I dislike it, I'm checking Mom's depends periodically and making sure that she is keeping clean. The aide says that she 'refused' a shower today as well as a sponge bath. Stubborn!!! I talked to the nurse and she said that she checks in on Mom every other week. This is a good thing. These are all things that, hopefully, will keep her healthy.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The nurse's aide came today. Mom doesn't remember it though. From what I can tell, she made Mom lunch. She is supposed to leave behind a report I think. Mom was not wearing her depends when I got home. I think she may have tossed out the old ones but she could find the new ones. She did make a point of telling me that she was not wearing underwear though so that is good. She was very confused when I got home. She has lost her sense of time; she gets confused about the time of day. For example I came home today and she wondered when I was going to work. She is messy, she's never been messy, but quite the other extreme. She throws used kleenex all over the car and the house. She thinks it's OK to wear soiled clothes. These things are totally not her.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

I just read that using Seroquel for dementia patients is not approved by the FDA therefore is contraindicated. Interesting. I would have to think about this carefully before trying this with Mom, even though I have read several success stories of patients who have used this drug and have reversed their behavior issues.

It's windy here and cold. Mom had a shower this morning. I think that the bowel incontinence is the hardest thing for both of us to deal with.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Several people have recommended that Mom be put on a trial of the medication Seroquel. I searched the Alzheimer's forums and it seems that many loved ones with ALZ have been put on this and that in many cases it has helped with the outbursts and tears. I'm not sure what to do. Mom is sleeping right now, at 5:00 pm. I was exhausted and achy and had fallen asleep in my chair which made her angry. She said that she might as well go to bed so she did. I don't fight it, it's just not worth it. It's getting harder to understand what she is saying, she cannot articulate her thoughts or the wrong words come out. Her speech can be very cryptic. I think a lot about whether moving her to here was a good idea. She is trapped in the house daily. But if I had moved in with her I would constantly be worried about her going out driving and possibly getting lost.

Today it rained in the mid afternoon but now the sun is breaking through. That is a good thing. There was the most beautiful kitty up for adoption at the PetsMart. A snowshoe with seal points and blue gorgeous eyes. What a beauty! and very sweet. It said the kitty was a stray. Who would let such a beauty wander off? It had to have been a pricey cat to purchase. Some people are really really stupid.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Today with the nurse's aide seemed to go fairly well. The nurse was there too and she was surprised that Mom was so accepting of them after her reaction from last Friday. Mom even said that she remembered who she was from last Friday. I left at 9:00 and returned how at about 11:00. They were chatting and watching TV. Mom seemed fine, though she was rolling her eyes about having to 'have someone there'. Then we went for her blood draw and that was that! It is raining today, but we need the moisture. It's been dry. I had fun this morning; getting out and doing some shopping without having to worry about anyone but myself was nice. Mom got her hair cut last night. Kelly blew it dry and used a round brush on it and it looks nice. I need to do the same thing when I dry her hair, Mom doesn't like the frizzy curls. Tonight she was sundowning big time so I got out her scrapbook from high school and after and she looked at that. It seemed to calm her. I hate this disease so much. I miss my mom. Not much else to report.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

There is a baby bunny living in one of the window wells at work. There were 4 babies originally but 3 of them died from starvation we think. We've been feeding the last one grass and dandelion greens and so far it is still alive. It is very cute!

I woke up to a mess in Mom's room and bathroom. The carpet from the bed to the bathroom is going to have to be replaced, but not now. Tomorrow the aide is coming. The nurse called me today to talk about some strategies and to tell me who was chosen. She thinks this women will be a good fit for Mom. I hope so. It will take a load off to know that someone is helping Mom while I'm at work. Tonight I am taking her to get her hair cut. Hope she doesn't smell too bad.

I moved the appointment with the neurologist to a different day because I thought it might be too much for Mom to have all of this in one day. Plus, I made and new appointment at a closer clinic. Got the report from her last visit. Doctor wrote "possible dementia". She has really progressed quite a lot from 2 years ago. It's very sad to see this progression.