Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Any Time Family is Together, We Are Blessed...

Another difficult night.  This was the third in a row.  Pam went to bed about 9:30 in the evening.  She woke shortly after midnight and remained up much of the night watching TV.  Sometime she was falling asleep.  Repeated attempts to get her to go back to bed are met with angry resistance.  When she is reluctant to go to the bedroom I will try to get her to move to a motorized recliner gifted from our youngest.  Once she's seated in it, I can raise the foot support and lower the back to put her into a position where she can't fall out onto the floor.  

This morning was another interesting morning.  Technically it was morning, it was 2 am.  Pam got up and dressed herself and came out to watch TV.   I made myself some toast and sat down at my laptop.  She asked if I had any for her.  I volunteered to go make it but she insisted that she would.  A few minutes later I go to the kitchen to check on her.  Her loss of cognitive abilities is very evident.  Instead of toasting the bread and then applying the butter, she had it buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar before going to the toaster.  I intervened and started again.  While I was doing that, her pants started falling off, revealing a second pair of jeans under the first.  Those are only two examples of her cognitive loss.  Dressing herself affords several.  More often than not, her shirts or pants are on inside out.   Almost always she has two different shoes on her feet, usually on the wrong feet.  And sometimes one of the shoes has a sock over it.  When I make cookies, she will remove four or five from the bin, take a bite, and then return them to the bin.  Sometimes she will come out with a watch on her wrist.  One on each wrist.  She likes to drink Crystal Light.   Often she will dump a load of sugar in the cup before adding the packet of the mix.  Last week she pulled the top off the salt grinder that we've had for several years and dumped the salt onto her food and then began eating it.    Little things that we don't even think about during our day become a major appearance or safety issue.  Which is why she can not be left alone anymore.  Sad.

Now that our family gathering for the Easter buffet is over, I will note that Pam did pretty well.  She was up early.  Her clothes were soaked and she was very willing to have me change them.  She was awake and alert the entire day, but she did not speak much at all.  I had spent all day Saturday cooking and with the help of daughter Allyson, we finished up the cooking and everyone sat together to eat.   Pam ate very little.  That was funny considering that she was always trying to raid the cookies and muffins that were made on Saturday.  And once the cinnamon rolls came out of the oven, they became the focus of her attention.  Most of time she sat in a chair and looked at everyone around the table.  At one point, I lost it and had to leave the room.  Kendra and Pam were sitting next to each other at the table and Pam didn't recognize who she was.  I was in tears. This is such torture watching this happen.  But in the end, the family was together.  There was love and laughter in the air and a ton of good food shared on the table.  We are blessed.  We all hope that you had a blessed Easter as well.

While it actually might be a year or two away, we have begun the end of life planning.  We have decided to do a burial at sea, like her mother.  We have chosen an urn made for that purpose and selected a maritime operator.   The immediate family will be joined by her sisters and my sister.  Her family used to rent a cottage near York Beach, Maine for vacations, so we will head offshore of York.  Before the burial we will have a celebration of her life at our condo clubhouse.  I have already begun assembling pictures of her from our collections to run as a slideshow.  Planning these things feels so creepy.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you have family and friends to help with some laughter through the tears. We're all thinking of you and sending love, Bruce.