Mom’s words on Sunday are the title of this post which made me as happy as you can well imagine. She was sitting on a couch in Mary B’s (what Memory Care is called at Bickford, and so shall I) dozing when I came in. I sat down beside her, and as always, she was SO happy to see me. Hugs and kisses ensued, which I returned with love. This is one of the special gifts of this phase of Mom’s life. Monday I came in the room, and she was lying down, as she almost always is. She patted the bed, indicating I should lie down with her. So I did, putting my arm around her, and she nestled into my embrace, head on my shoulder. Mom lay that way, her arm across me, as I visited with her dear companion. It was peaceful and pleasant for 20 minutes or so, and then we needed to move on to something else. As we sat up she patted my breast; “this is nice,” she said. “It’s soft,” I replied. I was reminded of the delight I felt when my children lay next to me, snuggling, safe and sound with me; there are more and more reminders Mom’s increasingly childlike.
This also applies when she gets angry; today she turned on the Dear Companion, telling her to stop walking behind her. “You think I’m a baby, don’t you! You think I can’t walk by myself!” Mom then refused to let her aide accompany her to the bathroom, so D. C. “stood outside and prayed.” When I got there, I was informed of the tantrum behavior. I went into Mom’s room, and she was happy to see me. I mentioned that she’d not wanted any help, and pointed out that she would fall down at some point if she refuses help, and that I didn’t think she liked falling. No, she didn’t. So, you ask, why do I even say this, knowing she’ll forget, and that this tantrum is not something she can really help? It even shows some spirit, fighting against the “dying of the light.” Dunno. I just do, sometimes; perhaps I can’t help it. Mom hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, and it was nearly 1:30; she was refusing to eat. I wondered and wonder about blood sugar–which she used to blame our cranky behavior on near mealtimes. Who knows? But the aides will try a cookie about 11:00 and see if that helps. Can’t hurt, and she DOES like cookies–perhaps a win-win?
Dad was enjoying a Tiger game (they won!); when I appeared from behind him, I startled him, and he was rather upset. I realized that since he couldn’t see OR hear me, that my appearance was, to him, as though I had arrived in a puff of smoke. I’ll try to make sure he can see me from now on.
A little fun: there is a resident who speaks some German, I discovered, so I offered him what little I know: “eins, zwei, drei, vier” [1,2,3,4]. He grinned and clapped with delight. I remembered the rest of the rhyme: “Let us have some German beer!” He loved this, clapping and laughing. Later I tried the rest of my German, and he responded a number of times with “Ja wohl!” I was pleased with this exchange, because he is so often unhappy, calling for help. A sweet man.
Mom’s breathing becomes labored so easily now, that we are going to have a respiratory evaluation. Could a little oxygen help her have more energy? Can a cookie make her easier for aides to manage? Stay tuned…as we continue to stumble down this road without a flashlight.