It has been quite some time since I wrote last and not because I didn’t want to but because I wanted to have enough that it was worthy to speak!
Last time it was Christmas and everyone was worried about grandma and how she was going to react to dinner, four kids running around and the rest of us talking, loudly, sometimes.
She did well. She sat and opened her gifts and there were very few issues.
Since then, she has continued to decline. I have seen her on several occasions since then and it’s always been interesting.
Once more, in January, and the worst snowstorm we’d had in a while, grandma ended up going to emerg. The home staff thought she was having a stroke. She’d had difficulty eating and walking. Mom texted me at work, then, eventually, picked me up. “Here we go,” was all I could think.
Once in emerg, she was totally ignored! Talk about a let down! She was on a stretcher, in the hallway basically ignored considering the fact that she had come in for a stroke! I was there until a little after 4:00 because my brother came in to see how everything was going. He drove me back to work so I could get my car. My mom didn’t get home until about 8:00 I believe it was. A doctor finally showed up, said that nothing on initial exam indicated a stroke but that he wanted her to have a CT done… the next morning.
So mom had to go, pick her up, take her down to the hospital, sit in emerg again and wait… at least it wasn’t quite as long. So they went, she had the scan done and went back to emerg where they were told that she’d had a stroke and she’d had many before.
A new course of medications were prescribed and, so far, she hasn’t seemed to have any further problems.
We went one Sunday evening and my parents have become accustomed to taking their now single dog along to visit. So we took grandma into the library where we were alone and we could close the doors and let puppy off her leash.
We talked to grandma, as best we could while puppy sniffed around the room, came back to make sure we were still there, let grandma pet her and then carried on… for 20 minutes. That’s all it lasted! She got up and she wandered to the door and she said that she wanted to see what was out there. So my mom took her back to her room. That was the end of that!
The last time I saw her was Easter Sunday. We’d had our Easter dinner on Saturday to accommodate schedules and my mom was even more hesitant about having grandma because of the kids and her recent behaviour.
So she decided to bring her home on Sunday instead when it was just the five of us. Much quieter for her. Mom had signed her out for 3:00 however someone let her go to church which let out around 3:20. They were back by 3:30.
My daughter and I, while we waited, sat out on the deck because, despite the ice storm we’d had three & two days before, it was all gone (including the tree in my parent’s backyard) and was a glorious 17 degrees (C). That’s where they found us when they arrived.
Chairs were brought out of storage and there we sat. I don’t know if she knew me at all… I never really get to know that. She acts like she recognizes me but it ends there.
On the other hand, she knew my daughter but asked five times where she went to school. She couldn’t place the school any of the times she was told and couldn’t remember the name of the school she went to either.
Not even an hour after she got there she got up and said she better get home. Her parents would be looking for her. Mom had to tell her that she was staying for supper. She was concerned that her mother didn’t know this.
I had to pretend that I called and told them. She was happy with that for a while and my mom got her through the cooking of food by bringing out an album she had put together of many of my grandmother’s (likely my great-grandmother’s) old photographs.
We made it to supper and through supper and mom sat her back down to finish the album. Though it was only 6:00 and mom said she’d bring her back at 7:00 it was time to go.
That was the last time I’ve seen grandma, again. My mom gets there as often as she can but it’s depressing for her too. Grandma only seems to know who she is when my mom and dad go together, otherwise my mom is my grandma’s childhood friend.
She is also obsessed with the fact that her parents won’t come see her and she can’t seem to find a phone to call them.
I don’t think there is ever a dull moment with a dementia family member. It’s always concerning though not knowing what’s going to happen next.