Sunday, July 19, 2009

Could the Meds Be Working?

Yesterday I hosted a 10th birthday party for my nephew at my place. Mom and Dad were there, and I was very anxious to see how Mom was going to do at the party since the last time she was over it didn't go so great. The past two weeks have been relatively quiet. My Dad hasn't called me with any "stressed out" emergencies. I was actually starting to miss them because they were the only time I could get up to speed on how things were going with Mom.

I emailed him a few days before the party to ask how it was going, and he said that it had been going quite well. He had moved some of her medications to the evening, and this made it easier for him to control them and watch her taking them. This is really the first time she has actually taken the Aricept and Namenda consistently for more than a few days. And I think it might be having some positive effect.

The party ended up going really, really well. I was amazed at the enjoyable time we had with Mom. Usually she has a sort of dazed, sour look on her face like she was unhappy all the time. This day she was smiling and cheerful, and really carried on some good conversations. She repeated herself a few times, and forgot a few things, but otherwise it really went great. I don't know if it was the medication working, or if it just turned out to be one of the really good days.

Here's another thing. After dinner, I went outside to relax and I heard dishes clanking, like someone was cleaning them. My first reaction was to run in and insist that Mom sit down and relax, and that I would do them later. But then I remembered that she had asked me several times if she could help and I said no. I wasn't really thinking when I said no, I was just rushed and didn't feel like delegating a task to her. So I decided to just let her do whatever it was she was doing, figuring if she was putting the plates in the fridge and the mayo in the cabinet, I could just put it all back the right way later.

I came in later and saw that she had cleared all the plates and had all the silverware soaking. That probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but I had not seen my Mom complete a task like that in FOREVER. Usually she starts, then gets sidetracked and forgets what she was doing. Again, I wondered if it was the medication starting to help.

For a split second I regretted setting up the meeting with the Memory Care center tomorrow afternoon, but then I remembered the purpose I was going was just to gather information and get help for my Dad. So we are still going. I am very excited and nervous to see this place and what it has to offer. Seeing Mom do so well really threw me for a loop. Now I can see the roller coaster that Dad is on. When you see these glimmers of the "real" person there, it does make you want to set everything aside and to convince yourself that things are "better" and you can put off addressing things that need to be dealt with.

My Mom announced that they were going on a long weekend trip to Florida next weekend... on an AIRPLANE. Mom is scared stiff of flying, and hasn't flown since BEFORE 9/11. So this was a shock to me to hear. I know that my Dad wanted to go down to their condo to get a few repairs done before the fall. Looks like Mom asked to come along, and he decided to try it. I think he is as amazed as I that she doesn't seem to be afraid at all. Maybe she has forgotten that she is afraid of flying. The whole thing makes me really nervous, though, because I worry about Mom changing her mind at the airport, on the plane, wherever. The last time she flew you didn't have to go through all those x-ray machines, have them poke through your purse, take off your shoes, etc. That is going to freak her out.

That's the one thing that I feel my Dad is not coming to grips with. When she says "Yes" to something she usually forgets what she later, and then an argument ensues. This isn't a normal, rational person he's dealing with, but sometimes he still treats her that way. And if she changes her mind, or next week insists that he never told her that they were going, he's going to get all upset and say "But you SAID you wanted to go." I hope that doesn't happen.

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