My Mom talking to me after work yesterday...
a few short days ago, she was out of it, pooping herself, not talking, not eating and not responding.
I believed that the end was near.
Several weeks ago, the nurses and aides at my mom's Day Care Program and I started a "Communication Book."
In it, we write notes back and forth. I report on my mom's night; did she sleep, have a bowel movement (BM), cognition, moods, behaviors... it's our way of passing the torch from one Care Giver to the next. It's been working out great.
We have less night bowel issues where my mom poo's on the floor. I now KNOW if I need to be on alert at night; guiding her to the porcelain throne. Clean up has been minimal, which I'm truly grateful. Poo sucks and I will do anything to avoid cleaning it up off the floor or carpets.
The Communication Book works well.
Before my mom's hospital stay, the notes home would tell me when she had a BM, the size which we categorize as small, medium, large, extra large and MASSIVE.
Communicated in the notes was her level of agitation, wandering behaviors or if she was having a fairly OK day. Good days were becoming fewer and fewer. She was losing her ability to communicate. I began to worry that a bed in a home would not open soon enough.
My mom was hospitalized. Touch and go for awhile, I wasn't sure what to do. Pull the plug or put her in a home and let her suffer with this illness? I was uncertain. I knew in my heart that I couldn't take her home and care for her if she couldn't walk or talk to me.
A nursing home could have been in Mom's future yesterday but, Clonidine worked to lower her blood pressure and the side effects helped her cognition issues. I thought I'd give her time to visit her "work" friends and say a proper good bye before moving to her new "job." Our plan is to ease her in to the nursing home with a smooth transition; my attempt to make the move as pleasant as we can. I feel in my heart that this is the right way to go with my mom's nursing home placement.
Yesterday, Mom was very talkative. She was very pleasant. She danced with me when she got home.
The notes from her Day Care were amazing.
Yesterday, my mom was able to do the following...
1. Spell her entire name. It's not an easy name with a first name with 9 letters and a last name that has 11 letters. The Nurse's Aide was amazed; I could feel the enthusiasm in her choice of words.
2. She remembered that she had 5 kids. 3 girls and 2 boys. She remembered everyone's name but one. She just couldn't remember. My mom hasn't been able to remember ANYONE'S name for quite some time.
3. She confiscated my light blue L.L. Bean hooded sweatshirt with $2 bucks in the pocket. Wearing it made her so happy that I told her that she could wear it to work. I told her the 2 bucks was there in case she needed it. Boy, did that make her happy.
I didn't put her name on the jacket, it's mine, she was just using it. I did write her name in the jacket when my mom got home, she insisted that I write her name on it so I did.
The Aide wrote home and told me that my mom insisted it was her jacket. My mom told her about the $2 bucks in the pocket. My mom came home with the jacket on; the aide didn't believe her and asked me to send it back if it wasn't her sweatshirt. My little mom was RIGHT!
4. Mom sang the entire alphabet yesterday!
It was awesome to read about my mom's accomplishments. Last night, my mom laid in bed and told me that she has been trying hard to remember and yesterday, it all came back to her. Mom went to bed happy.
Off today at 7AM, toileting... done. Lunch... made. Now, I wait for more notes from Mom's Day Care.