Mom’s Trip to the Doctor

young_pretty                    doc_office

Oh what a day it has been! Mom has out done herself today. Dementia patients have a hard time handling change of any kind and even though I know about that, it is always hard to deal with. Today’s change of routine was in the form of going to the doctor. I scheduled a vacation day so that I could take Cardine, her home aide, and my mother to her doctor appointment. Cardine arrived at 7:30 as usual, and we right away started waking Mom up so that she could get dressed and ready for her doctor appointment. Not sure when it all started going south, but from the moment she opened her eyes, she had decided that she was not going to the doctor both ignoring us and being very uncooperative. Cardine and I both looked at each other instinctively knowing that it was going to be a hard day ahead.

By almost 10am I had pretty much come to the conclusion that there was no way…negative…no way she was going to get dressed and leave the house for anything or anybody, so I reluctantly called to cancel the appointment. Not more than 5 minutes after I cancelled the appointment, she went into the bathroom for her morning routine and agreed to get dressed…and who knows why or what changed. I ran to the phone to call back and grabbed back her appointment hoping it wasn’t yet filled. Success, still open, so Cardine dressed her and we made our awkward way down the steep driveway to the car with the mother in tow each holding her up under her arms. I could hardly believe it…she was seat belted in and we were on our way and on time. We got to the doctor’s office, dropped her off at the front door and I went to park the car while Cardine and Mom went in. Although she had to wait quite awhile in the exam room, pictured above, she compensated by ignoring us and falling asleep on the table, obviously not happy with either of us or the situation. I look at the 2 photos above and wonder how can life look so beautiful and hopeful at one time and so sad in another. But apparently, for the most part, aside from the side effects of her meds causing an induced Parkinson’s disease, she is healthier than any of us with a good pulse and blood pressure. Considering how many sweets she eats, I am amazed…and a little confused!

Appointment went well after all the stress of the morning and we got home in one piece, gave her lunch with a bath chaser! I can tell you that she was none too happy about the bath! What is it about dementia patients that make them hate being bathed? Even so, at the end of the day, I have a somewhat healthy, clean and fed mother for the day. Tomorrow is another day. Let the weekend begin!

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People with Dementia Love Sweets.

cookie monster

Caught Red-Handed…Evidence in Hand!

Funny how much a dementia patient will love sweets. It’s the highlight of their day and they will sneak around the house trying to get them at any opportunity. Yesterday was Saturday and I was home for the day having finished all my errands and supermarket runs. Took a break after lunch to sit and work on a gift that I have been making for a friend when who do I see shuffling by through the living room? Yep, you guessed it, my mother! I didn’t even ask what she doing or where she was going because I knew exactly what she was up to. She was headed in a straight bee-line for the kitchen as she does everyday as if she was on a mission…one foot in front of the other taking baby steps, not turning her head to say hello, not stopping for anything.

Tonya the dog is slowly walking behind her knowing what she was up to. Of course Tonya knew there was something in it for her so she stayed close-by. I just sat there and said nothing, just watching. I hear plastic noises in the kitchen so I figured I’d go in to monitor the situation. There she was, cookie in hand, waving it proudly for my photo. What the heck, she had her lunch so why not a cookie? She loves cookies and sweets of all kinds as her mother and father did and their parents before them. Not sure if it is just a trait of her family or if it’s magnified by the dementa. Her father had dementia and he was a sweets monger also. My grandmother was a grand baker of cakes, cup cakes and cookies so there was always something sweet in the house. She made the best chocolate ship cookies that I have ever had.

This morning after doing her morning routine, she follows me into the kitchen to watch while I make her breakfast, then usually she follows me back to sit down at her table to eat. This morning, while I was making her breakfast she seems distracted, moving over to the left to stand directly in front of the cookies, giving them a stare as a bird dog would stand in position when pointing out a bird in the field. I looked over at her and all she could muster up was “oh boy, look at that”. Since every day is a new day for her, every day is also a newly discovered box of cookies! All I said was ooookay…if you still want one after you eat your breakfast, you can have one for your morning snack…of course a few hours later she was ready for her morning snack and had her cookie! Funny how they forget almost everything else, but they always remember to get their sweets.

So why not a cookie? At her age and with what she is going through, every day should be good for her. After all, today may be her last day so who am I to say that she can’t have a cookie? At this point, I am thinking quality rather than quantity. As long as she still knows what a cookie is, she is welcomed to have one if it makes her happy. The Cookie Monster Strikes Again!

So, why not a cookie?

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