Reality Sets In

Jane hasn't seen Mom for three weeks. In those three weeks, the dementia has progressed-A LOT.

This morning, I got a call from the nursing home. Once again, Mom was throwing things and disrupting things. As her blood pressure is below 100, they couldn't give her Ativan. The doctor called in a different prescription, but it wouldn't arrive until the afternoon pharmacy delivery. Could I come and sit with her for a while to get her to calm down?

Sure.

The reality is that I had a physical therapy appointment and I'd only be able to be there for twenty minutes. Realization struck-perhaps part of the problem is that she hasn't seen Jane. I called Jane and explained what was going on-would she visit with Mom while I was at PT for the hour?

Sure.

I brought her over there and when I walked in, I got a "Hey, Sweetie", but she told Jane she didn't know who she was. At the same time, she told her that she should have called to let her know she was out of the hospital. Mom complained that they were pinching her and abusing her. She's always bruised very easily, so she could have bumped something and bruised herself.

That was an opportunity excuse myself to go visit the charge nurse and talk about what's going on. Nurse Giggles had mentioned recently that nursing homes keep baby dolls to calm agitated patients, so I asked if they thought was a good idea for her. Strangely, she keeps telling us that they won't let her have THE BABY, but hasn't said a single word to them. The plan formed-hit Target before heading back there.

On my way out, I popped over to Jane and Mom, Jane looking extremely shell shocked. She knew things were getting bad, but not this bad.

When I returned, I dropped the doll off at the nurse's station and then brought Mom a Milky Way. She grabbed it out of my hand and flung it down the hall-I don't want that crap. More of the same ensued for the remainder of the time we were there, until she wore herself out and we left.

Jane and I had a rough conversation on the way home. She blames herself for this, but honestly, her health has suffered because she takes care of Mom's needs first. Even today, Mom would refuse the nurse giving her assistance in the bathroom because she felt Jane should do it. It's not an easy situation all around.

On the way out, we were approached about giving Mom a feeding tube because she refuses to eat. I let Jane make the decision, and she wants Mom to have it. The warning I gave her is that Mom might pull the thing out and if she does, to accept the fact that Mom was giving up.

I think we're in for a very bumpy ride. A month into a placement, she should be making friends and participating in the many activities they provide. The fact that she isn't is telling.

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