Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


I went to Atria this afternoon to get laundry and my mother was "not good," she told me.  It wasn't a brain thing this time, but she was in great pain radiating down both of her legs.  She could hardly walk.  I gave her a couple of Aleve, hoping that would help the pain, and I called Kaiser.

It was too late in the afternoon for them to give her an appointment today, but she has one for 11:30 tomorrow.  Of course, if things go the way they usually do, I'll arrive at Atria and she will be just fine with no memory of the pain she is in today and then I'll have the dilemma of whether to keep the appointment, knowing that her doctor can't diagnose a no longer existent pain or cancel it and hope the pain does not return.

The other problem is that her pill container has disappeared.

Last week, I brought the pill container that has her doses for each day in the week.  She still had two days left in her old container, so I left that one for her to finish and left the other one as well.
When I returned two days later, all of the pills were gone out of the new container.

But the thing is I couldn't be sure that I had brought a filled container.  She has two of the same color and maybe I had mistakenly brought the empty one.  (With the signs of my own early dementia, it would not have surprised me). So I didn't stress about it because when she empties a container, she leaves the lids open, and these were all closed and knowing how she hates to take pills, I couldn't imagine her having taken them all in 2 days.

So I brought back a new pill container, which I KNOW was filled, but today, when I went to check on whether she had been taking her meds, the container was gone.  I looked everywhere, even in the freezer. I checked every drawer, cupboard, medicine cabinet, linen closet and her purse.  It doesn't do any good to ask where she put it because she can't remember that she takes pills at all.

So I decided that the time has come to have Atria monitor her meds.  I have a note in to the coordinator to find out how we go about getting that started.

In truth, it will be a relief for me and I won't worry about whether she is taking her pills or not.
By the time I had done all I had to do, and had finished checking all the drawers, my mother had gone back to bed, moving very slowly and painfully.  I told her I was going to go and that I would be back tomorrow to take her to the doctor.  She said she felt like she wasn't going to get out of bed.  I told her that was probably a good thing, then she asked "but what if I have to get up?"  I told her to get up, then.

I stopped at the front desk on my way out and explained what was going on and that we had a doctor's appointment, but asked them to check in with her throughout the rest of the afternoon.

I don't have a clue what I will find when I go tomorrow.  If she is still in pain, I suspect I will have a battle on my hands because I will insist that she let me push her in a wheelchair out to the car.

Every day is a new adventure.  I ache for her and it is so frustrating being able to do so little for her.

I also printed out two photos from her birthday to show her, one of herself and Ned with the birthday bouquet he brought her and one with the two of them and Walt making a toast with wine for the birthday.

The first thing she said was "You know if I met her on the street I wouldn't even recognize her."  When I told her that the woman was HER, she didn't believe it.  Then I said something about Ned and she got this blank look and said "Ned?". I don't know if anything clicked when I reminded her that Ned was her grandson.


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