May 9, 2016

I think Mom may be palming her meds on occasion.

She is frighteningly sharp this morning, and she stayed alert all day yesterday, too. If I’m out there in the office, she is at my desk every few minutes, and I can’t concentrate on accomplishing anything. It may be paranoia on her part, but it has a drastic effect on her outlook when she doesn’t take her medicine. I’ve been cutting her pills in half because they made her so loopy at night that it’s a struggle to get her to go to bed. We usually wind up turning off all the lights and telling her it’s the middle of the night. By giving her a half dose twice a day instead of a full dose at night, it keeps her on an even keel. If she takes them. She started this morning by going around and turning off all the lights, which is a good clue to a bad mood. I dread the thought of a grumpy day, we’ve been getting along so well lately. Last night she complained about not being able to take a bath when she wants to, saying she ‘is perfectly capable of doing it herself’. And she is capable physically, she just doesn’t do it. I sense another power struggle building up. and here I was, dreaming about her being cooperative regarding the move. The ‘I can take care of myself’ argument will come into play once again, and now if I try to bring up the move, I expect quite a  lot of resistance. The mood swings when she is off her meds are drastic and unpredictable.

Kevin has an appointment this afternoon, and I have M to deal with. I may have to run away. I need about a month of me time. The fact that I’m not going to get it anytime soon doesn’t help either. What I should do today is set up visits to various facilities, and get started on taking Mom around to see them all. Right now I should get her breakfast going and start compiling a list of duties for the caregiver. I wish I could put a wall around my office, so that I could close the door and work in peace. I’ve become so accustomed to sitting cross legged in my bathroom that I actually started to believe I was more comfortable this way. Sure, except that my legs go numb after a while, especially when the words are flowing well and I forget to adjust my position. Plus I tend to slouch over the screen on my iPad, Not the best thing for a bad back. Growing up in a family of six, bathroom time was the only time you could really be alone, and everyone respected that closed door. I suppose that’s why I feel safe in here. Not that she won’t do it, but Mom seldom opens the door when I’m in here. She’s showing signs of hallucinations today, she was heading into our bathroom while I was out for coffee, and when I stopped her she said, “But my bathroom is full of people!” I had to take her there and show her before she believed me that no one was in there.

I hope that her improved sight doesn’t mean an increase in hallucinations, they are confusing and a bit unnerving for her, and I can’t help her with what I can’t see. I think that many of her declarations of independence are rooted in the denial of her condition. She cannot accept the diagnosis of dementia, nor can she explain her lapses in memory, so she gets very defensive. Her mind may be telling her that she takes care of herself, but she certainly can’t prove it. It may come to that, though, as I try to convince her that she needs more assistance than I can give her. Compelling her to stop driving was a long and painful process, and not one that I am eager to repeat. The sooner done, the sooner we will reach the conclusion, and I’ve learned that it’s a mistake to delay the inevitable. Get it over with and start the healing process. The reason that I may have to force the reality on her is that she must agree with the move. She hasn’t been declared unable to make a decision, and she could refuse.

That would leave me in the untenable position of forcing my mother out of her own home. It doesn’t matter that we are buying the property and have been paying for it and all the improvements we’ve made over the last five years. It doesn’t make a bit of difference that my husband and I now occupy the master bedroom. In her mind this is and will always be, her house. And why not? She is the one who paid off the property and managed to retire here comfortably. To me this will always be her home, even though it’s no longer legally her house. It makes the whole ordeal more painful, because I can’t play that card without feeling like Snidely Whiplash. Amend that-I can’t play that card, period. It’s only been easier to let her believe that she still rules the roost, and now I need to get her on board the terrible truth express. No more illusions or delusions until we achieve acceptance, and then she can bend reality and reasons once again. She will eventually think of some justification for her making the decision herself.She has done so with driving, claiming proudly that she knew when to quit, and can’t understand those who don’t. And the only other option, which I also shy away from, is to have her declared not competent. In some ways her thinking has been quite sharp…and then she forgets her own name. I fear that she might see involuntary admission as a slap in the face of her intelligence and sanity. I am trying to give myself a pep talk in the face of this big step, but mostly all I can think of is how would feel, in her place.


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