Yesterday mom took a step forward in being more coherent at least for part of my visit. She was surprised and happy to see me again so soon.
“You’re here!” as she smiled, her eyes opened wide.
“Mom, I stopped over to bring you more of your favorite warm socks; your other socks seemed to have disappeared.”
“They dressed me,” she shrugged her shoulders as if to say she did not misplace her socks.
“I know I just wanted to make sure you had enough warm socks. When I visited on Monday you had on anklets. I know you are always cold.” Looking at mom’s outfit today was another indication she needed more socks. Her entire outfit was black and tan except for her socks which were pink. When I checked her drawers today before seeing mom, I found that there were only two other pair of anklets in her drawers so I put the anklets in my purse and replaced them with four more pairs of tall, warm diabetic socks.
“Mom, I wondered if you would like a hamburger from McDonalds today for lunch? Ron is in the neighborhood; he can pick up the food and we can all have a picnic in the garden room."
Mom shook her head letting me know that she liked the idea.
“Great mom I will call him and tell him to come right over.”
Her nurse keeps telling me that mom is eating very little each day so I thought eating her favorite meal might spark her appetite.
“Tell Ron cut in half. That’s all.”
Mom said, “This morning was great. The aide was early.”
Mom loves when the aide comes to see her early in the morning to help her wash and dress up. Mom wants to be in the breakfast room when the majority of other residents go. Unfortunately that does not always happen; depending on who is scheduled to help her sometimes she is one of the last residents in the dining room. Mom becomes anxious when she is last. Being last starts mom’s day off on a bad note. Fortunately today she was first.
Mom showed me her nails, “Look manicure.”
“When did Shirley* polish your nails?”
“They look beautiful, mom.”
Just then Shirley* walked by smiling that she knew mom loved her manicure.
“Shirley, thank you for doing mom’s nails today. Did you know that mom was a manicurist for several years?”
“No wonder she loves having her nails done. Gilda, you never told me.”
“Yes, I was pretty good,” modestly smiling.
“Mom was a great manicurist.”
“Gilda, you should do my nails,” Shirley* kidded knowing that would be impossible for mom.
“Too late, no more,” mom said with a smile.
Mom and I headed towards the garden room, but as we passed by her room mom had a pillow issue she wanted me to take care of for her. Mom had five pillows on her bed, but none of them were hers. Come to find out her two pillows were in her closet. So I took off the five wrong pillows and gave them to a nurse and put mom’s pillows on her bed. Mom was relieved to have this taken care of as she said, “I knew this was wrong.”
I always thank mom for letting me know so I can make the situation right for her.
We continued on our mission downstairs taking a break at the cozy chairs by the elevators before continuing. Mom was out of breath.
“Mom, there is no hurry.”
“Julienne, I’m weak.”
My cell phone rang; Ron was in the parking lot. I mentioned we were just about to hop on the elevator. Our timing was perfect. Just as the elevators opened on the lower level Ron was waiting there to greet us.
“Delivery for Gilda Mascitti, McDonalds double cheeseburgers, just what the doctor ordered!” announced Ron.
Mom smiled at Ron’s sense of humor and his ability to make her laugh. We sat at a table by the window. Surprisingly mom ate most of her double cheeseburger, several fries, and a few sips of her root beer. When she said no more, I did not push her.
Ron asked, “Did your cheeseburger taste good?”
“Very good,” mom nodded.
Mom started several conversations; however none of them made sense. When mom becomes tired the dementia overpowers her. Then mom said, “Socks, No, shoes,” she shook her head no again in frustration, “Pillows! Tell Ron!”
Fortunately I understood what mom was trying to say. “Honey, mom wanted me to tell you that on the way down she had five pillows on her bed and none of them were hers.”
“Really, but I found hers in her closet so I straightened them for mom.”
“That’s it.” Mom exclaimed and stood up. Mom was signaling our picnic was over; she was tired and too much talking makes her anxious.
Ron and mom kissed goodbye. “Ronald, I love you very much. Thank you.”
“Mom, I love you too very much. You’re welcome!”
Ron cleared our mess before leaving and I headed upstairs with mom.
Mom was complaining and breathing heavy the whole way.