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.
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.