Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Goofy Day

Mom had three appointments today, quite a big day for someone with Lewy Body Dementia.

First was the dental appointment at 10 am to have a new partial lower plate made. (See blog entries for last December when she lost the plate by placing it under her pillow sometime in the night.) Yes, all efforts to locate it had failed.
Both the dentist and I were apprehensive about making a new plate. Would she be able to tolerate holding cement in her mouth for two minutes to make an impression of her gums? And then again to make an impression of the teeth above? After all, last spring she had swallowed a tooth while sitting in the dental chair.
The whole event was by definition embarrassing to me, but I survived. She began by telling him that she didn't really want a new lower partial plate. "I'm doing fine without it." But he knew we had made the decision to do it, so he pressed on. She did pretty well with the sticky compounds in her mouth, cooperating but complaining all the way.
The worst moment was when she asked Dr. Feder if he was Jewish.
"Yes," he answered.
"Oh well, you're a nice man," she said, forgiving him.
After we returned to the waiting room and were paying the bill (a mere $1755), she was talking again, out of his hearing, about Jewish people and hooked noses and how she would never have married a man with a hooked nose etc. Absolutely mortifying, but I think no one but me heard her. Note: I never heard her say anything like this during the first 80 years of her life.

Second was her appointment for physical therapy for the first time since her mild sprain of the left ankle in mid-December. Emily came to relieve me shortly after 2 pm, so we were both present for the beginning of this appointment.
The worst moment was when the therapist was trying to get Mom to push herself to standing from her wheelchair to a walker. She was taking Mom through the various steps involved--scooting her seat to the edge of the chair, pulling her feet under her, putting her hands on the arms of the wheelchair, and next--.
"What do you do with your nose?" Suzanne asked, trying to help Mom remember the next step, putting her "nose over toes."
"You clean it if it's not already clean," Mom answered quickly and contemptuously, moving her hand up to pick her nose. She knew the answer to that one.
Emily and I broke into hysterical, embarrassed laughter. I went home.

Third was her trip to the lab to have her blood tested for its clotting time (because she is on Coumadin). Fortunately, I wasn't around for this one. For full details, check the comment from Emily soon to appear on this blog entry.
Anyway, Mom was chatty and on edge. If she had had a diagnosis of manic-depressive disorder, I would have classed her as manic all day long.
Somehow, as she was finishing up after having her blood drawn, she was talking about an interesting event (if it happened) from her childhood when her grandmother had chickens and was trying to increase egg production, or perhaps from living on her uncle's farm during a couple of summers.
"We would take the males and stimulate them and then place them on the females," Mom was saying. But she didn't say the word chickens anywhere near this sentence.
Emily recognized what was coming, grabbed the wheelchair, and pushed Mom out the door just as she was getting to this point, leaving the phlebotomist standing with shocked look on her face.

Just another goofy day in the life of someone with Lewy Body Dementia.

No comments: