My Journal
November 1995


Wednesday,November 1, 1995

I got lucky again. We went back to bed at about 9:30 last night. But we were back up again at 2:30 a.m. I think it was my fault though. I was so sound asleep and didn't hear my mother when she got up. She used her potty, and since I wasn't awake to help her, she got up and went to her chair instead of going back to bed.

The house was so cold then. It's a wonder we both don't have pneumonia. Feels like I'm close to it with this cold I have.

I tried lying down in the next room to watch her as I dozed a little, but as soon as I did, she was up. I took her to the bathroom successfully but she was confused and didn't want to go back to bed. She went back to her chair, but I couldn't keep her covered up. She kept throwing her leg wrap off.

We did go back to bed at 4:00 a.m., but for no longer than five minutes. She was right back up again, sitting on the side of the bed. So I got her robe and shoes on her again and took her to her chair.

At about 4:30 a.m, she started talking to the sofa across the room, asking it who was going to bring breakfast. I told her it wasn't quite breakfast time, feeling that she wouldn't eat it if I fixed it so early. I could tell she wasn't understanding, so I went ahead and fixed breakfast. I got it ready, and she came to the table and ate like she was starved. I guess she was, because she wouldn't eat any supper last night, so all she had was Ensure. She didn't eat a much breakfast or lunch yesterday, either.

Monday, November 5, 1995

At 10:45 tonight I sunk into my bed and pulled up the covers, thinking how nice it felt. Fifteen minutes later my mother was up. I explained to her that it was the middle of the night and that she needed to stay in bed. She went back, but was right up again. We went through the explanation again, and then again she was right back up. So I got her in her robe and house shoes and took her to her chair. She complained all the way about something (Again, I couldn't understand her). If only I could figure out what she really wants on these awful crazy nights. Lately she often can't find the words. The words and phrases she says are meaningless. Somewhere scattered among them are "She said" or "He said"--which must be coming from her dreams.

I'm so tired. And yet I don't want to give up. We had a good evening. At supper she ate well for the first time today, and she enjoyed the movie we watched tonight. I don't want to give up times like that, but I'm just so tired of being up so much at night.

Tuesday, November 6, 1995

We went back to bed for a few minutes. My mother said she wanted to. But then she was back out of bed twice. I insisted that she go back to bed each time. She finally did, but she cried herself to sleep.

A little while later she got up to use the bathroom. She went back to bed, in a good mood now, and said that it was "a good warm place". But then a few minutes later, she was up again, laughing this time. She laughed when I got her into her robe and houseshoes, laughed when I told her it was midnight, and laughed as I took her to her chair.

Saturday, November 11, 1995

What a night! I feel like I haven't slept a wink. I haven't much.

Here's the way it was:

6:00 p.m. - My mother began throwing up as she was having her evening tea after supper.
7:00 p.m. - All seemed well. My mother was in bed asleep.
9:00 p.m. - Confusion. My mother wouldn't use the potty. She fought me when I was trying to explain and help her.
11:00 p.m. - My mother got up again and we sat up until midnight.
1:00 a.m. - She was standing up before I got myself awake. She had been incontinent. She refused to let me change her gown and went to the other side of the house. I called my sister.
2:00 a.m. - My mother was back in bed, asleep, after fighting both my sister and I as we got her into a dry gown.
4:30 - After using her potty, my mother refused to go back to bed. She fought me when I started putting her robe and house shoes on her, and again when I covered her legs with her wrap.

Now at 5:00 a.m., she's sitting here in her chair, wrap thrown off, just starring into space. There's a slight storm going on. It has been very windy and raining hard all night, which could have had something to do with her not sleeping well. Having an upset stomach, I'm sure, didn't help either.

Friday, November 17, 1995

It's 6:00 p.m. now. My mother didn't eat supper. I can't get her to take her medicine. I can't get her dentures out or get her ready for bed. She's not going to bed. She just wants to sit up and sleep in her chair

Tuesday, November 21, 1995

On Friday, I knew I couldn't sit up all night with my mother and still go on my shopping trip and to my support group meeting the next day. So I called my sister. She had our mother in bed by 7:00 p.m., and the rest of the night went fine.

In fact, every night has since then, until this one. This one hasn't gone well at all. It's 2:00 a.m. now. It was another night of needing to use the bathroom but not realizing it and getting angry (and hitting) when I tried to show her what she needed to do. She told me that she didn't want to be with me, and that she didn't like me. The other night she told my sister that I'm just mean and she didn't want to live with me, and yes, she did want to go to a nursing home.

My sister said, well then, that's where you will be going. I guess I'm ready this time, myself. I don't want to, but I guess it's time now and I have to.

Friday, November 24, 1995

We made it through Thanksgiving Day yesterday, although I didn't think at first that my mother was going to go at all. She told me "No!", but along with that she mumbled something about "That old boy!"

So I called my sister. My mother heard me tell her we weren't coming for Thanksgiving dinner. She sat in her chair for about a half hour. When I saw her getting up, I went to see if she needed to use the bathroom. She said no. Then I asked her if she was ready to go to Myrtle Lee's for Thanksgiving Dinner, she nodded yes and asked "Who said I wasn't going? I always go to everything at Myrtle's".

The day went fine except for some indigestion she had after dinner. It went really well when my niece's little dog was lying in her lap. After supper, I got us packed up and ready to come back as soon as possible, because I could see she was getting tired and restless.

When we got back, she wasn't interested in watching TV, and she wanted to go to bed at 6:00 p.m. We were up at 2:00 a.m., but that's understandable after going to bed so early. This time she has already had a full eight hours of sleep. I haven't quite, though, because whenever I'm up with her using the bathroom, it takes me a while to get back to sleep.

At 2:00 a.m. this morning was thinking "that man" was here. When I showed her it was still dark outside and no one was coming, she said "Well, I'll declare," but she's not going back to bed. She's convinced someone is coming.

I was lucky again, though. An hour later, she went back to bed. As she got into bed, I was afraid she wouldn't stay, because she kept talking about something needing to be done. She did stay, though, until daylight! What a wonderful feeling to be still in bed when the sun comes up!

Breakfast brought problems again. My mother was angry with me at breakfast because I wasn't feeding "the others". She said this as she pointed to the livingroom. So I took my breakfast to the couch and left it there. I came back to be with her as she ate breakfast, and then she got upset with me because I wasn't eating. So I went and got my breakfast back. And again, she was angry with me for not feeding the others.

I didn't get her to take her medicine. I thought I had got her to take the coated aspirin she's required to take each day. But I found it in the bottom of her juice glass. I tried later to give her one and thought she got it down that time, but a half hour later I heard something being thrown across the floor, and sure enough, it was her pill.

My sister said I could stop trying with that and the vitamins if she won't take them on the first try (she's supposed to take a Vitamin E each day, too), but I want to at least try a few times. When she goes to the nursing home, though, it will be out of my hands, and I don't know if she will get them then.

The nursing home was the main topic of discussion yesterday with my sister, sister-in-law, a niece, and me. My sister is going to the local nursing home to see if she can speed up getting my mother in. Of course, if there's no opening, there's nothing that can be done.

I want to keep my mother through the holidays--till after Christmas and New Year's. But, as I am told, the family get-togethers only seem to confuse my mother more and get her more agitated. They don't mean anything to her any more, and most of the time she doesn't recognize any of my family anymore-- at least not as who they are. My sister Myrtle Lee is her dead sister Myrtle, and my brother William is her dead brother Bill, when she does happen to recognize them as someone she knows.

It might be best for her to be in a nursing home. Maybe they can figure out how to get her to take her medicine and to eat better. Maybe they can figure out what to do about the indigestion and the swelling. Maybe she's to the point where going won't bother her, because she doesn't know any of us and doesn't believe she's at home anyway.

But what am I to do afterward? How am I to live in this house where everything will remind me my mother? Even the flowers will remind me of her, because I planted them for her. Those that come up in the spring will seem a mockery if she never gets to see them. There are more I had ordered that need to be planted, but why bother? I know I will not want to see flowers again, or hear music like we've listened to, or watch the movies we've watched. Even the singing of the birds will remind me of her, and our little stray cat, Pansy, will bring back the memories. I wish I could just win a million dollars from one of those sweepstakes so I wouldn't have to work and I could just travel and and go far away and stay away for a long, long time.

Saturday, November 25, 1995

We were up last night at 10:00 p.m. and sat up until 2:00 a.m. I'd had a hard time going to sleep, and I think I had just fallen asleep before we got up at 10:00 a.m. When we did go back to bed at 2:00, I still couldn't get to sleep. Around 3:30 a.m. this morning, my mother was sitting on the side of the bed saying "Please give me a place to lie down". I told her this was her bed and that she should lie down and go to sleep. She did, but as she was lying down, she said "Please give me a home. This was mine. It was given to me..." I couldn't understand the rest, but I'm sure it was something about her home having been taken away from her.

Sunday, November 26, 1995

We were up again, same time last night--10:00 p.m. This time I was extremely tired and did get some sleep--about 3 hrs.

My mother fell asleep last night softly talking to herself--nothing I could understand, though.

Yesterday afternoon she got hysterical while my sister was here, and I'm so glad she was here, because I'm just so tired lately. My sister has begun staying after her afternoon visit and through supper to try to get my mother to eat something and take her medicine, and that really has been helping.

Thursday, November 30, 1995

The end has come. It will be either tomorrow, or in the next few days, or just after Christmas. I will be pushing for the latter. I had begun to relax the last couple of days because there were no openings in the local nursing home and no promises for getting my mother in because there were several people ahead of her on the list.

Then my sister-in-law found out there is an opening in the nursing home where she has just started working--about 20 miles south of here. It's supposed to be a fantastic nursing home, really impressive, the way my sister-in-law describes it.

So someone from there came today to talk to my mother and me. She arrived at the same time as the Home Health nurse, and she didn't stay long, because she found out most of what she needed to know by watching my mother when the nurse talked to her.

So now I just hope we can hold off till after Christmas. I need three weeks to get myself ready, to get adjusted to the idea, and maybe even some plans for job-hunting. I wouldn't be able to find a job now, so close to Christmas, so I might as well remain taking care of my mother until afterwards and go ahead with our family get-together as planned.

Copyright © 1995-2004 Brenda S. Parris
Background copyright © 1999 Brenda S. Parris

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