September 13, 2009

It's Grandparents' Day (or It's Hell Getting Old)

Yesterday, I got the following email from my brother:

Mom was again in the hospital this week. Her diagnosis was another Urinary Tract Infection and she also has fluid in her left lung. Her symptoms are that she is coughing a lot, she is weak and she has some tremoring.

She also showed a spot on one of her lungs, but didn't have any previous x-rays to compare against so they will re-check in 3 months.


She still recognizes me. She doesn't talk much. Her hearing is much worse.


She w
as moved back to a skilled nursing facility to give her physical therapy until she has enough strength to walk again.

She will be re-evaluated once they complete her antibiotics and clear up the urinary tract infection.


I will keep all of you posted!


Love,

Gary


My mom is 85, and suffers from Alzheimer's. One thing Gary didn't mention (my brother Stan says Gary is in denial) is that my mom now wears a diaper.

She will continue to deteriorate. I haven't seen her since Christmas 2004 (when she was still in her home and working fulltime). She went into a local nursing home later that year when she was unable to be trusted to care for herself in her home (I was the last child to be in the area). Gary later moved her to a facility near his home in AZ.

To say my mom and I have a rocky relationship wo
uld be an accurate assessment. I know that she did the best that she could do as a parent, but sometimes, that wasn't very good.at.all. It was sometimes tough being the only girl in a house full of males; I often felt like the house slave/scapegoat/disappointment.

But I worked through those feelings, and I appreciate my mom for who she is. I moved back to PA in 1998 to help her. I left in 2004
after I could not find a job there.

The last time I spoke to her on the phone (right before The Boy's birthday in July), she was in good spirits. She still had her sense of humor. But I could tell that her short term memory was just about non-existent. Within a period of a few minutes, I repeatedly told her how old The Boy was, where we l
ived, and the marital status of my daughters.

This current decline in her physical and mental status has been quite sudden. I have not read about the prognosis for Alzheimer's patients, nor about the timeframe she may have left.

Maybe being in denial is a family thing.

Major digression ahead...

Anyway, it's Grandparents' Day today. Spend some time with your grandparents if you still have them around. If not, visit a neighbor who may not have family nearby.

Our granddaughter, Desiree, is currently sleeping on the couch. She's 12 (and in 7th grade) - still young enough to think we aren't
totally out of touch (though she thinks The Mister and I need a book of Teen Terms regarding male/female relationships).

Did you know that "going out" now means that a teen couple doesn't actually go anywhere together? It means that the two parties agree to like each other, and maybe notes and text messages are exchanged.

In the dark ages, when I was her age, that type of behavior meant you were "going with" (or "going steady with") someone, even though you didn't actually go anywhere with the person, unless it was a school dance. Notes were exchanged, and the girl might receive a ring that was too large for her finger, so it was either worn hanging from a chain around her neck, or half the ring was covered with angora until it fit the girl's finger. It was quite a status symbol to wear a guy's ring.

I found this picture online...see the girl with the rollers (curlers) in her hair? Check out her hand!


I'm really workin' the denial thing today.

3 comments:

  1. I do try to keep up with the new terms, I can remember telling my mom we were "going together" and she kept saying where are you going? I think she did it to frustrate me!

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  2. I'm sorry about your mom. It cant be easy knowing her health is worsening, even if you're not on good terms.

    My husbands grandmother is getting worse day by day also & she swears she can still take care of herself though. Luckily my mother in law is an RN so she helps her out a lot (the only reason she's not in a care facility right now).

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  3. Alzheimer's is such a cruel disease. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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