We have so much to be grateful for. Another night, another day, fond memories, laughter, smiles and a flicker or recognition now and then. Family, friends, hospice and many other Angels in disguise.
Grateful that life hasn’t changed much overall since our last post. Mom’s holding her own. Surprising her doctors and hasn’t gotten to the point of just giving in and giving up.
Her last visit with the neuro left him stuttering. I think after reading the notes from her last visit with her PCP he figured things were really going downhill… as Pallative Care is now on her chart. He wanted to know if hospice was making regular visits. Ummm, no. We’re not ready or to that point yet.
We did talk about having to cue more frequently, change things up a bit to keep the anxiety levels to a minimum and music seemed to be the key in that respect.
There have been several studies recently concerning music and Alzheimer’s. And we have to agree with their findings. Mom loves the music from the 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s. We’ve been able to find several stations that cater to those eras and they bring her lots of joy. She’s able to relax and enjoy the day and evening more frequently. Her appetite increases and she asks for her music quite often now. We’ve noticed that the “picking” decreases as we find she’s keeping time to the music with her hands and her feet. And her hair is growing back.
We’ve listened to audio books and then watched the movie… she prefers the movie to listening to the book. Books and magazines don’t hold much interest at this point in time. She does enjoy looking at pictures and we’ve just learned that some old family albums have turned up in a box and will be delivered this week for her to have at chair side. I think she’ll enjoy that.
We continue to be grateful for each day we have with Mom. She can be feisty when she doesn’t want to do something or isn’t feeling particularly well — but for the most part, she is the sweet, kind, ever smiling woman we all love and care for.
Feeling blessed to have one more day…
Be a part of the magic of the day….
#Alzheimers #nurturedheart #GrowinGreatness
Some days, it’s a chance smile, a sigh, a mimicked wave or an “I love you” said as we touch or share a moment. I’m grateful for each of them and never take a single one for granted because tomorrow, it may be forever gone.
I hope your day is filled with particles of gratitude that will ultimately fill your heart and soul by day’s end.
As I’ve contemplated writing this — for a few weeks now, it’s been very difficult to watch the “declinings” that are now a part of Mom’s everyday life.
The month of May brought changes — Eating a simple meal now takes 60 minutes or so…. not because she’s savoring each bite, but because she’s forgetting what she’s supposed to do with that stuff that’s on the thing in her lap (she prefers to eat in her favorite chair). She’s become a little more compulsive with some other things and those tend to overwhelm and take over at the oddest of moments. Getting her handful of pills to her mouth is sometime lost and there’s that look of what’s the next step? But it is what it is. We give directions leaving her dignity in tact.
One thing I have decided to shift in my own thinking as a caregiver during this process. Imagine. We’re on a staircase and with each step, we can choose to go up or down. Despite the fact that Mom’s capacities are declining, that doesn’t mean we can’t take another step up and support her; encouraging, adapting and honoring all that is still there.
The other day, I read a short book to her. A book about Mothers. We read slowly, reliving memories from days long gone. Laughter, smiles and the “light” was back on, albeit too briefly… she’s still there — just on a different step than I was in that moment, but reaching out a hand to hold on as we move forward in this journey called Alzheimer’s understanding that she’s our guide. We’re all learning from her.
Recently, we celebrated the birth of our 10th grandchild into the family. We waited with great anticipation to meet him for the first time — what happened during that first visit was what I would call an awakening.
What is it about babies that make such a difference? Mom held, rocked, cooed with and loved on H for over an hour. She held him after his feeding and rocked him back to sleep. Earlier, I watched as Mom counted his fingers and toes and rubbed his head to feel the peach fuzz he has for hair. She held him as if she was a brand new mother — close and cuddled. She was very disappointed when it came time for H to go home. She didn’t want him to leave — and she let us all know with a few words about that.
During our bedtime routine a little later that evening — as Mom was finishing things up, we reviewed the day. In most instances, any review would bring a blank stare, but that evening, no. She remembered cuddling with the baby, his name and was pleased as punch at remembering the other 4 great grandchildren who had visited as well that afternoon and evening. The satisfaction and love on her face filled my heart with joy and a question as to what had happened to bring this lucidity to light?
Later that night, we awoke to Mom having a conversation in her bedroom. The “chat” lasted more than an hour. There would be a pause as if she was listening to her invisible friend or friends for that matter and then a flurry of words and laughter as she shared the day’s events. She was sharing her version of spending time with her newest great grandchild and she was looking forward to the promise of his return later that week.
Fast forward to Friday. Dinner held no interest. She wanted to hold the baby. She did and for an extended period of time. While she didn’t vocalize as much this visit, you could see the tenderness and love in every touch and gentle rocking as she held him.
We look forward to our next visit with H and the awakenings it will bring — even if it’s just a brief pause.