Thursday, August 6, 2009

Living With Alzheimer’s 2

It was New Year’s Day 2004. Off to my mother in laws to have dinner with her at her home. My husband was excited to know that his mother was making one of his favorite childhood meals, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, pork chops and sausage. Upon entering her home, I noticed it was very tidy. Christmas decorations as she had always displayed them. Her table set with her good dishes placed upon the clean, pressed table cloth. Meandering to the kitchen I noticed nothing on the stove. Peering inside the oven I saw several casseroles dishes inside. I remember thinking, “Mom never used to cook her sauerkraut in the oven.” I immediately dismissed it and asked if I could do anything to help. Pour the milk, she said. Opening the refrigerator I was startled to see the iron sitting next to the milk. “Why is the iron in the fridge?” She turned around and saw in her eyes an empty blank stare.

As I escorted her to the table, she took her seat. I acted quickly to get the meal on the table. My husband helped himself to the food and was the first to take a bite. By the look on his face, I knew something was really wrong. Timidly, I took the first bite. This was nothing like my mother in laws’ dishes from throughout the years. She forgot how to prepare a dish she made for the past 50 years. All she did to prepare the meal was to open the package of sauerkraut and put it in the a dish.

IMG_1645

There were other signs we completely missed. Often, I would take her with me to Sam’s club. She would buy the normal things, tissues, orange juice, tuna and of course, her 48 pack of Klondike Bars. Less than 2 weeks later after our trip, she was out of ice cream and wanted me to take her to the store again. My belief was that she ate these for sustenance.

By the first of February, she was living with us.

There are signs that everyone should be aware of. Forgetting someone’s name of people you rarely see is normal, however forgetting names of those you see often is a sign something is wrong. Having unpredictable mood swings when not provoked is something that causes an alarm to go off. Forgetting names of everyday items. Repetitive questions or story telling is something when noted, should warrant a doctor’s visit.

Thank you for your kind response from last week’s post. Just knowing your support from my beloved blogging friends made this past week a bit more bearable.

13 comments:

Daryl said...

It cant be easy to see someone you care about disappearing before your eyes ... and maybe worse to think that she may know she is losing it but unable to say/ask for help. (((Deb)))

Laura ~Peach~ said...

hugssssssssss

Mabry's Gamma said...

Wow Deb, you are so awesome it has to be hard for all of you. My mom needs some help (she still lives in her own home) and my sister and BIL are so good to be there for her since I am 13 hours away but I know it is hard for them, so I can only imagine how hard it must be for all of you.

Hugs,
Cheri

Journey said...

I walk in your shoes and understand. Hugs!

Ellen said...

I can appreciate what you are going through to some extent. My father-in-law had the early stages of Alzheimer's when he passed away two years ago. It was horrible seeing this extremely intelligent man deteriorate. Fortunately for him and for all of us, he passed away and was spared the worst of the disease.

God bless all of you for taking care of her.

Country Girl said...

And I thought I had it hard. I don't, really.
You are always in my thoughts.

Mental P Mama said...

It is amazing how fast it can start....and I still wish I could help you. She is lucky to have you all.

jojo said...

I can't imagine how hard this is for you but I thank you for helping all of us to understand. Blessings to you and your family..

Linda said...

Well, I think I have the beginnings of Alzheimer's. I was going to tell you where I came from, but I can't remember, and that was just a few minutes ago. Anyway, my mom died in 2002 from Alzheimer's but she started disappearing at least 8 years before that. The first sign we noticed was her inability to say the words she wanted to say. She got so frustrated, she quit talking. She lived on the east coast, and my sister and I live in the mid-west, so we only saw her once a year, but we noticed before the family that lives close to her.

My thoughts go with you.

If I can backtrack, I'll let you know where I came from.

Linda said...

I found you from Mental P Mama! By the way, where did you find that neat paper cutter? What kind is it?

Linda said...

Thanks for the advice, Deb, but I don't really think I have the beginnings of Alzheimer's...at least not yet. I'll ask the DR when I see him next, but at the health fair, I passed all the tests! I can still draw a clock with the hands in the right place. I'll keep you posted.

Come visit my blog sometime.

imom said...

She is so lucky to have you to take care of her. I know it's a tough job, but I also know it's appreciated even though she probably cannot communicate that to you.

I keep you in my thoughts!

rendev said...

Good work, straightforward, & fantastic work!
Your information is inspiring to me and these things did help to others.

Thanks for sharing!