Monday, January 16, 2012

Holy shit I almost killed my mom

So! I took mom out to lunch and shopping yesterday. If you've been here for a while, you know that my mom has Alzheimer's. It's kind of like taking a zombie out to lunch and shopping - She's not really there, you know? There's something there, a shell of a person, but it's not my mom.

She forgot how to use a knife to cut her food a while back, so I have to make sure when I order our food that I get her something fork-able. Oh, and she can't really read any more - I mean, she can read individual words, but she doesn't understand what they mean, so I just ask her what she'd like to eat (Chicken and biscuits? Spaghetti? Grilled cheese?) and then order for her. She'll drink coffee, but you have to be quick and put the creamer in fast to cool it down, or she'll grab it and take a great big diner-hot swig. Because she's forgotten that she likes her coffee with cream.

You know, I knew that Alzheimer's was a snot, but I guess it never even occurred to me that someone could forget how to eat. Although they say that a lot of Alzheimer's patients die when they forget how to breathe, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

So, anyway, after lunch we went shopping. She can't figure out stairs any more and escalators are out of the question (hoo boy are they EVER), so we usually go to the local mall. There's only one escalator and that's in Sears and who shops in Sears anyway, right?

The red sweater. Every time we go shopping, she wants to get a red sweater. So about the first fifteen times or so, I bought her a red sweater, until one day I was at my sister's house (my mom lives with her) and I asked my sister what mom did with all of those red sweaters. "I don't know," my sister said. "They just seem to disappear." Ha ha here's another fun fact about Alzheimer's patients - If you buy them new clothes, even if they are THERE when you buy the clothes, they don't recognize the clothes as belonging to THEM, so they throw the clothes away. Isn't that fun?

Yeah, so we leave the mall and head for home, and we're doing 65 down Route 17 when I look over and notice that mom does not have her seat belt on. Every time mom gets in the car, I remind her to put on her seat belt, because that's another thing she's forgotten. Every. blinking. time. she gets in the car, I tell her to put her seat belt on.

Except yesterday, leaving the mall, I forgot. Probably because it flustered me when she forgot how to shut the car door, but still, I forgot. So we're going down Route 17, I tell her to put her seat belt on, and

she reaches for the door handle. She was going to open the door. She had no seat belt on. We were going 65.

Holy. f*cking. shit.

I SLAMMED my hand down on the master lock, right before she grabbed the handle.

Crisis averted.

Except holy shit I almost killed my mom.

Are we having fun yet?


~~Silk said...

She needs to be treated exactly like a 2-year-old. Trouble is she'll keep getting younger, not older.

Becs said...

No, you are a good daughter. A very good daughter.

Zella said...

Oooh jesus, I just gasped out loud here on the other side of the Atlantic whilst reading that - wow, that's scary !!

Badass Nature Girl said...

I had a similar incident with Danny when he was younger (old enough to know better though) and I either asked him to put his belt on or lock the door (before we had the wonderful master control system!)and he went to open the door while the car was moving.

So shit, it's like I've got two people with Alzheimer's here. Crap. Well, at least you're helping me see what it's going to be like. I never thought either about them forgetting other things, like, to breathe. Crap.

the queen said...

Miserable.Just miserable. My mom would say it's payback for when you were two.

fmcgmccllc said...

My dad was a chain-smoker and forgot he smoked.

When he started getting worse I had to take my mom's dog, it was too much for her. I had a grandfather clock and she kept for me when I did not have room, when we moved I had the clock moved to our new home. Mom downsized and gave me some furniture.

They visited us one day and dad didn't say much until he was leaving and walking toward the door. He stopped and stared at the clock. He told my mom: They have my chair, and my dog, and my clock.

Birdie said...

It is such a strange disease, this regression. Going back and back until you just forget everything. The saddest part is what it does to you. It is hard to be the parent to our parents. (((hugs)))

rockygrace said...

If we're out shopping and she sees a display of stuffed animals, she'll go over and start petting them. That just about slays me.

This sucks. You know, I think I could handle it if she was deteriorating physically. Watching her lose her mind is awful.

But yeah, she cared for us kids all those years - now it's our turn.

Anonymous said...

I've been in serious denial about my mom's aging process until this Christmas. I saw the vulnerability, the beginning of an inexorable slipping away that just tears me up. We're really the grown-ups now and it sucks to be the grown-ups.
- Bridgett

rockygrace said...

Exactly, Bridgett. And when I see other people in their eighties and even nineties who are still functioning, competent people, it makes me angry. Why can't that be my mom? Why did it have to be her?

Pauline said...

I very much agree with Becs; you are a good daughter.

rockygrace said...

Aw, thanks, Pauline - I'm just muddling through, here.