Apologia for these journals:
They are not about taking care of a relative with moderate to severe Alzheimer's/senile dementia.
For an explanation of what these journals are about, click the link above.
For internet sources that are about caring for relatives with moderate to severe
Alzheimer's/senile dementia, click through the Honorable Alzheimer's Blogs in my
links section to the right.
Something Significant. Maybe.
But first: Yesterday was an honest-to-god sleep day for Mom. She hasn't had one of those since she was at the rehab facility. She was up all of 5.5 hours. Dinner consisted of a light snack during the one hour she was up between her nap and night sleep. She took it in her room, on a TV table while sitting on her bed. I "made" her go to the bathroom for to change into night clothes and fresh underwear. The sleep day did her good, I noticed this morning, although I wasn't concerned about its possible effect, nor whether it would be "good" or "not good" for her. She looked great when she awoke today, felt great, had no trouble moving and was legitimately thirsty and starved. I have no idea whether these will become more frequent. Seems to me we used to have one of these sleep days about once very six months, "rain" or "shine". If they happen more frequently, well, I think that's fine.
So, regarding the "Something Significant": When Mom awoke from her nap, after a bit of chatting she announced to me, "I think this week is the last time I'll be doing this."
I was confused by what she meant. "Okay, but, just so I know, what, exactly, do you mean by 'this', Mom?"
"You know. This." She spread her arms to indicate what I assumed to be her current life. "Everything."
Hmmm, I thought. This is going to take a little investigative work. I was particularly curious about her use of the phrases "this week" and "last time". Lingering in the back of my mind was the thought that maybe this was her way of announcing that she was ready to die. My mind flooded with images, which I quickly shoved aside in favor of asking her, "Well, then, what are you going to do next week?"
"I'm going back to school." She looked at me as though this should have been obvious to me.
"Well, that sounds good," I said, continuing to think furiously. Then, it occurred to me to ask, "Will you be going back to school as a teacher or a student?"
"As a student," she said.
That's when all my disconnected thoughts fell into place. Although my mother absolutely refuses to talk about her impending death, earlier in the day, in fact, she informed me, in what context I now forget, that she'd be alive for "a long, long time", maybe, whether or not she will be dying soon, her personal metaphor for death will be connected with school. And, of course, since it will be a new experience for her, she'll be a student, not a teacher.
Whether this is something that will take place "next week" is debatable. We'll have to wait and see. I can't detect that she is any more tired than she has been in the last some years, but maybe yesterday's sleep day is an indication that she is. Her appetite is not abating. She is no more or less indignant about exercise routines than she has been. She continues to want to attempt to move on her own, even when she's having iffy moments. Her interest in the the rest of the world remains. She was rapt, this evening, as we watched back-up recordings of Naked Archaeologist, talking back to the screen and engaging me in "I wonder" conversations about points being made. Maybe, though, she's aware that something significant is slowing in her physical processes and she's about to embark on some new type of existence, which would surely involve her being a student.
Whatever. We'll see how this plays out. At any rate, I guess the next time she develops pneumonia, I'd better ask her if she wants treatment, rather than try to guess.
All material, except that not written by me, copyright at time of posting by Gail Rae Hudson