Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Two Steps Back

Well, today I was the mean son again.  Mom tried everything she could to get me to take her home: guilt, pleading, bribery, persuasion, logic, threats, etc,  She said if I really loved her, I'd take her home.  Little does she understand that it is precisely because I love her that she is where she is. 

She said she could come live with Jonah and me.  When I said that wouldn't work, she said I could just drop her off at her home on the way to my house.  When that didn't work, she said she'd get my sister and her husband to let her live with them.  ---sigh---

She said we were all mean for making her stay there and said she thinks she's just going to sneak out one day.  I told her to please not to and later told the attendant to be warned that Mom was planning her escape.  I'm so glad there are two doors with coded locks she'd have to get through to escape.

Mom says there's nothing wrong with her.  It's so hard to reason with somebody who neither recognizes the problem they have nor has a clear grasp on reality.

She tells me her memory is fine.  I ask her what city she lives in or whether she remembers being in the hospital.  She can remember neither.  I say, "See, Mom, this is what I'm talking about."

When I tell her I'm going back to my home and that my niece and nephew are moving out of the house, and therefore, she'll be alone, she says there are other people she lived with (there aren't.)  I tell her they aren't there either.  She doesn't care.

When she asks how she got here, I tell her about the hospital again.  She asks who brought her here.  I tell her it was my younger sister.  "Yes; she doesn't like me."  I've never heard her say that about my younger sister ever.  My sister adores my mom and has always had a good relationship with her.  But today, Mom seriously thinks she's out to get her.

I play Trivial Pursuit with Mom to take her mind off of escaping.  One of the questions is, "Where was the first atomic bomb detonated?"  The answer is "New Mexico."  But Mom thinks and says, "It's where [your brother] lived, up in the hills."

"Sandy [UT]?" I ask.

"No, it's where he used to live.  During the war."

"What war, Mom?"

"World War II?" she guesses.

"Mom, [Patrick] wasn't even alive during World War II.  You were a little girl when that war ended, remember?"

She looks puzzled.  "Yes, but [Patrick] is older than me," she responds.

I'm feeling very glad she's in this place.

"Mom, [Patrick] is your son.  You gave birth to him.  He came out of you.  You're older than him."

A look of realization comes across her face.  "Oh, that's right." 

By this time she has forgotten what the question even was.

Jonah and I think it would be so fascinating to see the world as Mom sees it.  The thing about dementia is that Mom's reality is just as real to her as mine is to me.

Yesterday was such a good day for her, but today, as I feared, she is not doing as well.  It's good she's where she is.

I talked with the staff today.  We might be able to get her moved to another room.  I looked it over; it's slightly bigger, has a better view, and isn't right next to the kitchen.  If it isn't too much of a hassle and if there's no charge, I'd like to move her.  I think it will be better.

Mom wanted me to take her basket of clothes to her home with me so it will be there when she gets out.  When I again implored her not to try any escapes and said it would be dangerous, she told me she thought she knew how to get home and described the way she thought she would go.  There's no way she'd ever find it.

I can't blame her, but I sure hope she starts getting used to staying.  I hope she starts enjoying it.  She's says it's boring, that there's nothing to do.  She had the same complaints at home, and frankly, I'd rather her be somewhere where she is well-monitored.

I said goodbye for the last time in a while.  I'm heading back home tomorrow.  The weather may be a bit dicey.  I'm hoping not.  I kind of wish yesterday had been our goodbye.  She was much more pleasant.  That would have been a nicer memory to hang on to.

My brother no longer wishes to serve as trustee over Mom's trust.  It's gotten too stressful for him.  I called Mom's attorney today.  He'll draw up a document relieving my brother of his duties and putting me as the new trustee.  I wish my brother weren't so stressed by it.  It would be easier for him to do some of the trust duties in Utah than it will be for me in my state.  But I don't mind doing it.  I'm a bit of a control freak anyway; I think I'll be better suited for it than my brother.

A family advocate put us in touch with a lawyer who claims he can save some of Mom's money from being used before Medicaid takes over.  I'm not sure how this is possible.  It seems those who approve Medicaid are pretty thorough about penalizing anyone who tries to circumvent the system.

I am intrigued, however.  I'm interested to see what he says.  I wish I could stay in town longer to talk to him face to face.

Anyway, that's where we stand.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll share the story of the Miracle of the Elliptical Machine.

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