Posts Tagged ‘Life with Mom’

Dementia and it’s early sign is the topic of today: so I will get the useful link UP FRONT: Early Alzheimer’s Symptoms.

When did I know that my mother had a problem? Many people want to know when it started, and the better question is ‘When did my mother’s memory problems start FOR ME?’

At my sister’s Grad School commencement.

Mom threw a bit of a cake and punch back at their home in Northeast Ohio. Simple. Just my little family, sis and the parents. When it was all over, Mom put the leftover grad paper plates in a paper bag, set them on the dining room table and walked away. Passing back through the dining room, she looked at the bag and said, “What’s that?”

“The paper plates, Mom.”


I didn’t think anything of it until the next time she passed through the dining room. “What’s in that bag?”

“Grad plates. From the cake.”


Third time through. “What’s in the bag?”

“MOM! Plates!” and then it hit me. And I got all cold. And I said nothing. Not until I was on the plane on the way back to Georgia. I said to my husband the fears I had, what I had begun to suspect. I wept about what I remembered happening to my grandmother, about how she forgot me eventually, and then my mother was also lost to my grandma’s mind. How I feared that happening to my child.

When I got home and called dad and relayed the incident about the plates. He said, “Oh, good. One of you girls finally noticed. I thought it was me. This has been going on for a couple of years…”

Years… and he said nothing.

And I quietly got angry. Years. Years? YEARS! and he did NOTHING? (as if there was much he could have done, that he would have known to have done???) I wanted to be mad about it (watch how quick I boulder through the 5 -stages of grief!) and Dad sure looked suitable as a target. Caution: it’s easy to get angry about this when it pops up. It’s easy to want to blame someone. As I said in my first post, when you go looking for spiritual gifts in dementia — you will likely find them. Same goes for blame, anger, resignation and humor in equal measure. What you seek here – you may just find. Careful what you look for.

And then it was real.

That was about 7 years ago.

Next up: What my mother had become since then.


Read Full Post »

Let’s get the pride out of the way first: I’ve just turned 40 and I have moved in with my parents.

*blink* Okay, not so bad. Why? My Spouse and I have parted company, and I don’t have a job, so I can’t get an apartment. It is what it is. Now I am here, just in time to help my folks out.

My Dad has recently been sidetracked with a brain bleed that has left him a bit goofy, a touch wobbly, and with a vision problem that will keep him from driving for a bit. He will recover — likely in full — in 6-12 weeks, so this is going to be okay. It’s not lost on me that just when he needed me, I’m there. My best friend said, “I see the hand of God in this.” I think I do, too, but I don’t know if that hand isn’t to some extent flipping me the one finger rebuttal. But I rather like that God has a sense of humor. Which brings me to my mother.

Mom can’t help my Dad. It’s been years since she could. My mother has mild cognitive impairment. She’s losing her memory. I’m told it’s not Alzheimer’s, but really, it’s a difference without much of a distinction. Her short term memory is nearly gone, and she has started losing some of the older memories as well. Her mother had it and a score of her other family members had/have it as well. The family tree is littered with it and Alzheimer’s. I think some day it may happen to me. My two girls. So, I am going to write about it, because that’s what I do. I’m a writer. Without a job. Who is 40-years old. Living with her parents. Watching her mother slowly become the essence of her nature.

More on that as we go along. But for today – I want to get some links out there:

We aren’t too far from Emory University, a place that is doing ALL KINDS of research into memory and issues with memory. Take a look at their Cognitive Evaluation.

One of the things that I found helpful to me a few years ago when all this started, was a Mensa Annual Gathering talk called Spiritual Gifts of Dementia. I don’t think this slideshow is the same one – but it is similar, and I found that when you go looking for spiritual gifts, you often find them. I will also talk about this in upcoming posts as well.

And we will need to laugh – or we will just end up crying sometimes. Jokes. Bring on the JOKES!

I look forward to reflecting here – I will tag all of these posts with: Life with Mom.


Read Full Post »