She tries to comb her hair with her toothbrush and brush her teeth with her comb. That’s pretty much a metaphor for where my mom’s mind is. And this is my 3rd day here with her and my brother, trying to ignore his rants against my caregiving “techniques” while keeping my spirits up so that I can be of best use to my mom.
Every once in a while she does have a lucid moment. Soon after I arrived, she looked at me, smiled, and then started to cry “I’m so happy happy to see you!!” Several minutes later she asked me “What is your name?”
Sometimes she calls me “Pani,” which is the Polish equivalent of “Mrs.” In those cases she knows I’m someone who helps to take care of her but forgets who I am. Sometimes she calls me “ciocia,” which means “aunt” in Polish, and she thinks I am one of her many aunts (all long gone) whom she knew as a child. Sometimes she hugs me and says “You are my mother.”
But mostly she vocalizes quick pants of “a ah, a ah, a ah….” for hours on end, refusing to take even a tylenol.
I am only here for a while once a month. My brother, who has CONTROL but no real self-control, keeps her with him and does the best he can by himself. They both need more help, but he won’t bring any in.
I’m doing my best to keep my reflux and back spasms under control. How long I last here depends….
I keep reminding myself that she won’t live forever, even if right now it sure feels like it.
While she’s napping, I’m going to wash my hair.