Friday, March 3, 2017

{a typical morning}

Have to call my mom's aide today. We're waiting for her to get recertified for 8 more weeks of physical therapy and help with bathing, but someone first has to come and interview us again. Have to be okayed for payment, either through Medicaid or Medicare, can't remember which one covers this. Anyway, the aide asked me to text her today if I've not been contacted this week, so that's on my agenda.

My mom. I roll my eyes. She just sits. Seems everytime I walked by her bedroom yesterday, she was sitting and staring at her hands. Not moving, not reading, not exercising, nothing.

You might ask...why don't you engage her in conversation, take her somewhere, blahblahblah. This is the challenge with apathetic stroke survivors. They need prodding, but as with anything, you sorta get tired of the effort of trying to inspire them. It's like step one everyday.

She would rather keep the same shirt on because it's difficult, but not impossible, to take her arms out of the sleeves. She would rather keep on a wet adult diaper because her shoes have to come off in order to change it. She resists my efforts to wash her sheets and clothes, maybe from guilt on her part, but the smells have to be controlled.

She's like a dead weight to get out of bed, but we've perfected a way to get her upright on the side of the bed without pulling our backs. Finally after she's sitting with her walker in front of her, she has to gain purchase on the floor with her legs against the bed as she stands. I rarely help her with this, knowing she'll eventually get up. She dawdles though. Getting her comb out of her bag that's tied to her walker, checking her phone...I leave to make her coffee and fix her breakfast. I get back in five or ten minutes and see her heading for her toilet.

I leave again.

Get back and she's sitting on the toilet, but has issues with getting her night pants and diaper pulled down far enough and they get caught against the edge of the toilet. Up we go. Those adult diapers tear and explode just like an overfull baby diaper. That gell filler is horrible to clean up.

Change clothes, time to stand. This is generally a time she needs help standing. Just the effort of getting up from the bed, using the toilet and getting dressed tires her.  Not that she's making much effort at dressing herself. (Holding up your arms for another person to thread your arms through ain't like walking on a treadmill.) I tend to wait there, waiting for her to stand, but she made me laugh the other day. She says, "I could really use some help here!" I told her I'd rather she at least try, because if I always help, she'll always need it. That sort of comment just flies right over her head.

Pull up pants. Off she goes to her chair. Slowly. She eats breakfast in her room with a special tray that fits over her walker. Cool tray. Spends the morning in there, hopefully doing her exercises (ha), but generally talking on the phone, reading her current Janette Oke book (which is hard for her to stick to) and re-reading the cards folks have sent her that she stashes in her walker bag. It's scary-full of stuff.

I put the cloth liner back in her hamper yesterday and as she watched me do that, she said I needed her dry mop, meaning her Swiffer. I turned to her and asked her why. She said I needed it to clean the cloth hamper liner. Huh? She said I could run it over the liner to get the fuzz off of it. I told her I just popped it in with her laundry. That didn't make sense to her. Something about the liner looking like mesh seemed to have made her think of Swiffer covers. Mind-boggling.

I could hear middle daughter in the girls' room saying softly, "Stop. Just stop."  She was warning me to not try to understand my mom. It's just madness here. I left my mom's room then, after saying, sure, we need the mop, and went into the girls' room and gently banged my head on the side of their bunk-bed. 

Repeat this scenario all day long, adding requests for her to take a walk around the house, drink water, and use the toilet. Nononono.

Be thankful she goes to bed early, and is generally headed that way by 7 each night.

Amen to that.


Gloriade said...

Ah Melissa, I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. You already know that this will pass one day but that doesn't help with what you are facing today. Just know that God often places you on my heart to pray for you. May the Lord bless and keep you and give you what you need to get through the challenges of each day.

Charm and Grace said...

Oh, bless you. Just praying for you to get through each day at this point. I KNOW it has to help to have this place to vent. I, too, am praying and thinking of you even when it's been a while since I have visited (at least it hasn't been 3 years like in the past! Ha!)