Thursday, February 16, 2006

Nose over Toes

"Nose over Toes is coming today," Mom told her caregiver this morning.
She is losing touch with the names of people, including her children.
Sometimes she calls me "Mother," especially if some event involves pain.
A few days ago when she had removed her new lower plate because it was hurting her gum, I said, "Let's just put it in and see what the problem is."
"No, Mother, don't make me do it!" she cried, out of some deep reflexive part of her brain.
Today my sister, Emily, came to visit her in the afternoon. Emily is a registered physical therapist and has worked with Mom on her walking over the last few years, often saying "Nose over toes!"
She brought a box of chocolates and two Valentine balloons tied to a weight to hold them down. Mom was sure that the weight, which looked like two bright red hearts, could be opened to reveal more candy.
There was a "Sweetheart Dance" at Ocean View Assisted Living tonight. At first I had to laugh at the thought of a dance with most of the residents using walkers or in wheelchairs.
"We'll skip this one," I thought.
But then I realized that the event was probably just a Valentine's Day party with live music. Mom might enjoy going, watching, and having some refreshments. I made a reservation for Mom and her evening caregiver, who both enjoyed it, but I didn't go.
Our brothers Bill in Washington state and Jim in Colorado are blending together in Mom's mind, along with my husband John and her three brothers. She doesn't often use the names of Bill or Jim, and when she does, she might be talking about her brothers.
Names are fading, but gender is still firmly entrenched. She never uses a male relative's name to talk about a female relative (or vice versa).
[Today was my day off, so today's events are compiled from a call to the caregiver to see how things were going.]

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