Ups and Downs

Update from Laurel:

I arrived this afternoon shortly after Larry had left, but Mom had already gotten out of bed, once again refusing the opportunity for a rest. I found her in the nurses station, and walked up to the door and said “Mom.” I was very happy that she quickly turned around, gave me a big smile and rolled up to me to say hi. We went to her room and had a really nice chat, the best one I’ve had with her since this incident. It was nice to hear her speaking loudly, clearly, and even offering appropriate questions and comments. At one point, we were talking about Christmas movies that we could watch. There is a joke in our family about Mom and the movie “A Christmas Story,” as for two or three Christmases in a row Mom claimed she had never seen the movie, and then we’d rent it for her and 5 minutes in she’d realize that she had seen it, and then the next year the situation would repeat all over again. During our conversation today I sarcastically said that we should watch A Christmas Story as she’d “never seen it,” and to my surprise Mom actually laughed and sarcastically offered “Oh yah, I’ve never seen that one,” shaking her head at herself and seeming to have remembered the family joke.

Cam joined us shortly after and Mom was very happy to see him. She had us both laughing multiple times, and she seemed to enjoy Cam’s use of her old wheelchair. Eventually we had talked Mom out, which even she realized as she made comments about “losing [her] voice.” We had a Skype session scheduled with Mary/Gaga however, so we called her up and Mom was able to partake in the conversation, although much more quietly and with more time spent listening than earlier in the afternoon. Eventually, I was able to convince Mom to rest in bed for a little while before dinner and watch some YouTube clips with me.

Although the rest was meant to give her more energy before dinner, it ended up appearing to disorient her. Mom was quite angry when we arrived in the dining hall for dinner, and eventually I was able to discern that she thought she had already had dinner and was very upset that I was trying to make her eat a second dinner. Mom initially refused to eat anything at all, though with some time and a little coaxing and reassuring she ended up eating all of her soup and most of her fruit and yogurt. Heidi joined us during dinner and Mom appeared to enjoy her conversation about Christmas and family. We ended our visit with Heidi giving Mom an early Christmas gift – a very pretty pink hoodie. Mom was visibly happy and appreciative of the gift, rolling forward to give Heidi a big thank you hug.

I got Mom back into bed and she still seemed a little confused, asking me if we had to have breakfast. An obvious sign of fatigue setting in. We ended the night doing some stretching and then listening to Stuart MacLean Christmas stories. Mom had her eyes closed and I thought she had fallen asleep, but then at very appropriate times she would laugh out loud at the story being told. Another reminder that Mom may at times struggle with being confused, disoriented, and/or forgetful, but nonetheless she really does comprehend so much of what is going on around her and is still so very intelligent.

So thankful to have started off the Christmas holidays today with Mom.

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