Saturday, February 9, 2008

My Mom

Finally got over to the nursing home my mom had been sent to, just haven't had the time or energy to get over there. She just had a jaw infection but we can't get anyone to say why they sent her to the nursing home for physical therapy afterwards.

When I got there I leaned over to gently yell in her ear to say hello, her hearing has been going steadily for 40 years. When I'd last seen her she didn't even know who I was at first because she couldn't hear me and her macular degeneration had gotten so bad she couldn't see me, either. So I knew I had to yell in her ear, as soon as I did she started hitting me and yelling at me to get away.

“Who are you! What are you doing here! Get away from me, get away from me!”

The level of hostility was startling but I figured she was just scared and didn't know where she was or what was going on, when someone can't hear no one at the hospital bothers to try and make her understand they just keep doing things to her. So I tried her other ear in case she could hear better in that one, nothing, she kept yelling and hitting and pushing me. So I stepped back, with macular degeneration she can still see around the edges so I thought if I stepped back she could see me.

And she did, she stopped for a second and said: “Kevin?” Then started yelling again: “What are you doing here?” Over and over, like she thought she was some place I couldn't get to. Then she yelled: “I don't believe it, you aren't Kevin, go away, go away!” While continuing to push and hit me. So I went and talked to the nurse since I only seemed to be upsetting her, the nurse didn't have much to say except that she had been like that since she had come in.

It looks like her hearing is gone completely now, but worse, that her mind is gone too. It was only a few weeks earlier that I'd seen her last and she had trouble focusing and kept drifting off and repeating herself but was otherwise perfectly coherent for someone 91 years old. And I've never seen that much hostility from her before. She had been getting more hostile in the past few years because she was in such bad shape she couldn't do anything any more and was pissed as hell about it, but nothing like this.

From what I understand Alzheimer's shouldn't come on that quickly, but hostility is one of the signs of it. I've been prepared for her to die for a while, even wanted her to because she was so miserable, but I wasn't prepared for this. I immediately went home and had 2 beers to calm down, and I drink so little these days that 2 beers is two months worth. I wouldn't even have the beer if Rod hadn't come over 2 weeks ago and I had gotten beer for him. But for the rest of the day I've been shaky and very nauseous. Monday we'll have to try and get in touch with her doctor and find out what is going on and see what we need to do. Maybe I'll go back with a large note pad and marker to see if I write things - very large - if she will respond to them. Maybe if she just knows what is going on she'll calm down some.

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