It's a new month and I must admit; time is going by fast. Having mother at my house brings minutes, hours and days of endless, chores, bewilderment and tons of laughter. I am learning through baby steps, to accept them all.
Basketball season has begun. Knowing that my mother has always catered to this sport, gives me a bit of satisfaction, thinking that this will provide me with an incentive to make her want to stay up a little later at night without begging to go to bed with the chickens. Entertaining a person with dementia for a length of time is next to impossible. For my mother, it's more than that. Along with Basketball season, came the end of daylight savings time. Keeping mother up until 8:30 each night has always been a formidable task. Now that we have moved our clocks back one hour, one practically has to stand on their head and juggle oranges in front of her to keep her from saying those four words; "I'm going to bed!" It's not that I don't want her to go to bed early, it's the knowing that if she does, there's a good chance that her sleep will run out sometime in the wee hours and you will be the recipient of it all.
It's two hours prior to mother's bed time and I have already heard those dreaded words. I start out by asking if she's hungry. Mother has always been a fan of anything chocolate or nutty. Here lately, she will not touch either. I continue down a long line of things she might be interested in. Nothing doing. As I've mentioned before, due to agitation, mother sits and rises at least 10 times within a time span of 5 minutes. She'll get up, walk over to an object and mumble some unusual words that have no rhyme or reason. Tonight, my dog Sophie, lies sleeping in the middle of the floor. Mother gets up, walks over and points. I ask her what she needs. "Well, I just thought that dog needed winding up" she says. To say the least, this brings a chuckle from me and my husband. I coach mother to go back and lie down on the couch til bedtime. She obliges me. Lying there with legs outstretched, she says her knee is killing her. Well, mother does deal with a bum right knee so I assure her that I will give her a Tylenol before bed. She continues on with her complaining, so I say, which leg is it mother, she answers "You, know, my middle one!" Of course I laugh so I say, your middle one, which one is that. She says, "well, I mean the one on the outside!"
It's only a few more minutes before bed and we are all very much thankful. Since mother's dementia, she has a way of making you feel a little bit less of a nice person with her choice words. Before dementia, my mother would have never said a harmful word to me or anyone. Mother's little living space consists of a loveseat, which she sits on, a recliner, which my husband has claimed, and a wooden rocker which you guessed it, is mine. I am sitting pushed back watching TV, when I notice mother getting up. I don't turn, but just keep notice in my peripheral vision that she is walking over to me. I decide I had better take a look, since my husband Bob is stacking "Z's" in the comfy recliner and isn't paying attention to what his mother-in-law might be doing. When I turn, mother is standing before me. She has an unusual look on her face. I ask what she's doing. With a studdard or two, she says she is going to pass..to pass..I jokingly say..."Pass what..gas?" "No" she says..."I'm going to pass you some flesh." Well, as I keep telling you, I am a huge chicken. These words surprise me. I begin thinking what flesh, mine? Just a week prior to this, I had walked into mother's room and she began saying to me that there had not been a killing on her couch. I assured her that indeed she was right about that. Mother's television plays from morning to night, and my husband and I have figured out with all the murders and atrocities that are reported on the news, she must be storing this information and verbalizing it during times of distress.
Bedtime has arrived and no one is more thankful than I am. I, for one do not like the new time change, but as I have come to understand, if we live long enough, we will see that life itself is "full of change" some good, some bad!