I have just spent two days with my Mum. I don't know about her mind but mine is turning to mush. I'm finishing her sentences and finding words for her when she says, "Oh you know".
I watched her take one and a half hours to write out her shopping order and it was hard to sit back and not take over. She wrote everything down then checked the pantry, wrote some more on a little piece of paper and then copied it out again but not on one large piece of paper but two more pieces of paper exactly the same size as the first. Even with that she couldn't ring the order through without losing her place and ordering some things twice, until I gave her a pen to cross out each item.
I'm beginning to feel like a mind reader although it wasn't hard to figure out what she meant when she wanted to know the name of the brown shoe polish you put on toast. Round things with the flag on them meant English muffins. Soup was confusing because she didn't want the large tin nor the small tin but the in between tin which is soup for one. I didn't have much luck explaining that you couldn't get anything smaller than soup for one.
The Brick Outhouse has finally grasped the fact that he has to think about what she's saying and while she isn't lying, if she can't remember then she'll make up whatever sounds best. Yesterday he went looking for his lunch which he'd left in the fridge. I'd put the groceries away and I hadn't seen any vegetable patties so he asks Mum. Mystery solved, she'd eaten them but she said that because that's what he asked. When he found them in the bin, the story changed and yes, she had thrown them out because they were soggy. It's hard not to put thoughts in her mind which she then trots out as truth half an hour later.
It's not Alzheimer's, it's more like a short circuit. She'll come out with half a sentence because she's been thinking of the first half in her mind but doesn't realize she hasn't spoken it. Changing subjects in mid-stream is another problem but I'm getting quicker with that. With other things she still functions okay. She now has full control of the DVD/Video player after a few hiccups. She can still talk about politics and how she's going to vote. No trouble with showering, washing clothes, dishes or cooking. There's just this little cog slipping out of sync between thought and mouth.
When I come home, I can't think for myself. I've been sitting down and picking up needlework or some other piece of craft, just for an hour or so until the brain settles down and the blood pressure. Now I understand why basket weaving used to be given to long-term patients in hospitals. Doing work with the hands and watching what you're doing seems to use one part of the mind while the other part runs around patching up the holes. Even blogging doesn't play the right part, the last post shows that because I have no idea how I ended up with three different fonts.
The next crunch to come is allowing her to have some Christmas lights but not the full house set. That involves about 6 powerboards and numerous timers and she won't remember what she's doing and we are a bit worried about her burning the house down. It's not like we haven't worried about that in other years but now it will be worse. My sister says I'm thinking too far ahead but it's already the 3rd of November and she's drawing up plans including me doing all the work. That's not going to happen, I've resisted for the last four years and I'm still digging in the toes, no lights, no dolls, no Christmas window. I know what the trade-off will be, I'll be spending Christmas Day with her with no escape clause. That's not mean because I would rather remember last Christmas Day as the best one we'd had for ages.