When I picked her up for church last week the staff told me she had had a bad night. But she wanted to go, so we did. On the way she told me she had had chest pains.
“Did you call someone to help you?”
“Yes. No. I think so. I don’t remember.”
She was tired, so I took her back after coffee hour.
I got two calls this week from WP, one telling me their concern that she seems more confused and in need of assistance, the second on Wednesday afternoon to say she had more chest pains, but was resting comfortably after the usual (minor) protocol to get her down and relaxed. Based on that, I canceled plans to take her to a concert last night, because she had a dentist appointment this morning and I knew two events back to back would exhaust her.
While I was in the waiting room, I overheard her telling the hygienist a long, complicated story about how she had just moved to a new place yesterday, that she didn’t know her way around, or where her room was. Did they remember to bring her clothes? Did she have her own bathroom? How was she going to know when to get up for breakfast?
She was really worried. In the car on the way to Chick Fil-A, I gently told her that she was in the same place and the same room she had been for the last year and a half.
“Then why does everything seem so different?”
I explained that part of memory loss is that sometimes her mind plays tricks on her.
We ordered our usual lunch, which includes splitting a cookies and cream milk shake. She had so much trouble with it—would put the straw only part way down, think the cup was empty, and try to tip it to the point of spilling it in her lap. I figured out it was the clear domed top that was confusing her and removed it. She did better, but still couldn’t get the straw down to the bottom. I finally suggested that she pick the cup up off the table and hold it closer to her mouth. Oh! That worked!
The dentist says her teeth are fine except for one spot where she needs to floss more. She used to floss after every meal, but I hadn’t thought to ask if she still did. I know she brushes frequently.
When we got back to her bathroom, I found the four unopened packages of dental floss that are still in the baggie I had moved her in with. She remember how to open the container, but not how to tear the floss off on the little hook.
I am wondering how long she will be allowed to stay in a personal care home. The only nursing home I would consider is half an hour away, which would severely restrict the time I could spend with her.
Her decline seems more and more pronounced.