Thanksgiving 2016 ~ Day One
Mom dozed 80% of the drive home. Before falling asleep, she asked if my step-daughter, Chloe, was in school. Chole graduated from college 18 months ago, and mom, of course, can’t recall this. I caught mom up on Chloe’s current stats. Surprisingly, Mom dozed off mid-conversation. 20 minutes later mom woke up as a red light slowed me down. She asked all the same questions regarding Chloe. There was zero understanding she was hearing this information for a second time. This was a predictor of our day…
Mom asked where we were as I pulled into the walk-in clinic. I reminded her that she’d asked to see a doctor, as she was concerned about having a bladder infection. Mom said she was feeling much better, after admiting she’d forgotten about wanting to see a doctor. As we drove away from the walk-in clinic, I quizzed mom about her symptoms. While I am unconvinced she has a bladder infection, I wish she’d peed in a cup, just to be on the safe side. We spend Thanksgiving with my RN daughter, who can spot elderly illness-provoked delerium in 12 seconds.
We dropped mom’s suitcase at her house, and immediately turned around to do some grocery shopping. I was looking for a prime veggie to take to Thanksgiving dinner. Mom wanted breakfast fodder. While at the store she went round and round about what meals we’d have together, and what meals she’d need to shop for. She was unable to hold onto the simple fact that she’d only need to lay in provisions for breakfast for Friday and Saturday. Our schedule for the holiday weekend simply didn’t compute, much less stick.
We arranged for Chinese dinner delivery to mom’s house. This worked out really well given that our house is still mostly packed into two rooms. The dynamic was also really good, and we had an enjoyable meal. We’re taking brunch to her house tomorrow morning.
A myriad of memory foibles aside, the one that struck both my husband and I most profoundly was mom suddenly asking, “What are you going to do with this place when you move back into your house?” This came about as we described that we are living in the downstairs of our house, while our upstairs floors are being redone. Despite each careful attempt at redirecting her understanding, in her mind, mom thought her house was our house. We were both dismayed at how difficult it was to dislodge this notion from her mind. We can think three contributing factors for this discombobulation: 1) We were having dinner at her mainland house rather than ours, for the first time since my father’s death, 2) Two martinis, plus wine, 3) My mother seems to be sliding further down her disease path, as was evidenced by the myriad of other memory foibles and their ‘flavors’ (Unlike in the past, she never once said, upon hearing the same information repeated, “Oh, that’s right!”),