Rehab.

Chrissy seems to be recovering physically from the infection and her week in the hospital.  I know her mental decline is in part due to the infection which weakened her immune system.  I also believe the hospital experience was traumatic and contributed significantly to her loss of mental ground. 

Progress with rehab:  She can sit in the wheelchair and is learning to use the walker.  A couple of times, with assistance, she has brushed her teeth.  She is slowly learning how to master the fork and spoon.  It must be helping more than I realize as a couple of times after I leave she has gotten up during the night.  She awakes from a sound sleep.  I wonder if she is sleep-walking or if it is another example of the body willing but not the mind. 

Her caloric intake continues around 300; about a 100 less than before hospitalization.  They plan to contact her physician for an appetite stimulant.  And, they (nursing director) insists she have her meals in the dining room and that a CNA feeds if needed, thinking she will eat more.  Sounded more like a liability concern but we will try.  Her speech difficulty is new, usually her sentences make no sense.  She doesn’t fully grasp where she is or what has happened.  Her home was her mental reference and here there aren’t enough familiar clues.  Chrissy sleeps much of the day, possibly due to medication that eliminates delusions and hallucinations, which first began while in the hospital.

She doesn’t fully grasp where she is or what has happened, just that she wants to go home.  Her home was a mental reference that kept her sage, even from the pernicious Alzheimer”s.

Now, having said the above, Chrissy’s wit and humor emerges ever so often.  I am keeping track and that will be the next post.  I must think and write about what is going well.

Update

Bleeding – diverticulitis rupture

Emergency Room– I will most likely always regret this decision
Hospitalization

Further decline with mental and physical abilities –  delusions and hallucinations, we now have medication to keep those at bay.

Hearing Hospice say she is in the advanced stage.  She wasn’t she wasn’t in this state prior to hospitalization. 

Skilled Nursing Facility – outnumbered by brothers and sisters, actually 1 to 6!   I have the mindset that it’s just DNA.  I want to keep Chrissy at home and have Hospice.

Friends are helping me wrap my mind around a plan B.  I will feed her breakfast and dinner, and visit during the day, evening, or even middle of the night.  I am to let God work out  this family conflict.  They are His children too. 

When I left tearful, there were little women in wheelchairs traveling in a row.  The first little woman reached out her hand so I grabbed it and said hello.  Same with the next three, they followed suit!   The last one kept her head down and was holding tight to a little doll.

Carol H., this reminded me of the characters in your story! 

 Kerry, I can would love for Chrissy to be as sociable as Lilybird. 

Donna, I sure hope there will not be a Mr. R! 

Margaret, I might have caught a glimpse of how other residents might see visitors when they walk in.

 Dementiaville, I guess I’m about to travel toward that city!

 

Dark Winding Stairs

Alzheimer's Staircase

 Chrissy has plummeted down the Alzheimer’s staircase again.  Two weeks or so ago her abilities were quickly snatched and held captive in that wretched place of gloom.  Her walk is a weak shuffle.  She stares at her food and will only eat a small amount, even with assistance.  At times, it’s almost like she has forgotten the process – from utensil to mouth.  Her few words are broken sentences, whispered with effort.  This weekend, throughout the day, she has had long periods of deep sleep.  I am grateful for the sleep.  She isn’t exhausted or struggling.  Her appearance is peaceful, and not an unsettled vacant expression. This dark place is unlike the others; it is more than an episode, it has lasted much longer, has different symptoms, and profound limitations. 

I have heard other caregivers speak of this type of spiral and amazingly, their loved one recovers to their prior state.  I hope Chrissy does.   

Jesus come quickly. 

Off to the grocery

Recently one morning Chrissy met me at the front door – dressed in her favorite pink blouse, wearing lipstick, and tennis shoes.  She immediately declared she was going with me to the grocery.  Amazed, I quickly loaded the walker, locked the front door, grasped her hand, and off we went.  I hoped to reach the grocery before she forgot where we were going and that she wanted to go!

Tomato and bacon sandwich....

 

Must have donuts!

 

Lunch maybe??

 

Finish shopping - I'll sit right here

 
 
 
 

“That’s What I’m Gettin To!”

Troublesome Goat

 While laid back on the couch and watching one of her favorite TV shows, Chrissy burst out laughing when a rambunctious billy goat eyed a bent over man and then quickly catapulted him over the fence!  Still laughing she recalled as a young girl her family having a goat that caused a lot of trouble.  After hearing those words repeated a couple of times, I thought I would speed up the story by asking what kind of trouble.  Grinning, she held up her hand and said,  “That’s what I’m gettin to –  and stopped there.   A few minutes later she began laughing again, saying they had a goat when she was growing up and it got into all kinds of trouble.  This time hoping to stir up some goat memories I asked what it was like to have a goat.  Throwing her head back and laughing, she said, That’s what I’m gettin to” – still nothing more said.  Later that evening preparing for bed, Chrissy grinned and said,That goat would walk up the steps and onto the porch making all kinds of noise, like it was wearing high heels!”

Mother have you talked on the phone today, ” no, only when it rang.”

Spring Continues

 

Loves beautiful flowers

Chrissy continues with eventful Spring days:  Family visit, trip to the doctor resulting with a medication change, the passing of a longtime neighbor, and Easter and Mother’s Day.  Amidst those days, time was found to perm her hair, which was a stressful three hours for both of us!  Though Chrissy now has tight little curls, I hope to never attempt that task again.

 For some reason I ask her to name all her kids in order.  Speaking slowly and with a look of concentration, she left out three, and just as unsettling, she was unable to recall most middle names.  Since then we’ve been practicing names and birth order, hopeful she’ll start remembering (doubtful this will happen).  This afternoon during an “Andy” commercial I ask about the names and she immediately said, “Silly one, Silly two, and that’s all.  I don’t want to practice!”   Later on Chrissy named all her children with middle names and in order!  So who knows,  again – the Alzheimer’s brain.

 I have looked all over the kitchen and other known hiding places for several of her small Tupperware containers that seemed to have vanished.  Of course she had no idea of their whereabouts.  A few days later needing one of the containers, I began to look around again.  Chrissy casually mentioned, “I burned it up and threw it in the trash.”  Seems she had used the toaster oven to warm up some food and evidently the plastic container was too close to the top elements.  As far as I can gather, this happened before her helper arrived.  Geez, I didn’t even know she could use that thing.

 Chrissy recently astonished me with another complete reversal.  She has a new- found affection for a stray cat that’s wandered to our area.  The cat makes an afternoon appearance on her deck wanting food, to which Chrissy obliges, throwing out whatever and calling, “kitty kitty kitty.”  She has always hated cats and usually shudders at the mention of one.   This is highly out of character.

Chrissy’s Blessing

view details

Within the past thirty days Chrissy has had all seven children, four grandchildren (with one living out-of-state) and one great-grandchild visit.  I know it’s been years, and even then I can’t recall when all came to see her within such a short period of time.   Unspoken, I began to question this and what might be coming up, and then – I chose to see God blessing Chrissy with a special gift, family.

Heart shape gingerbread cookie