I feel like I've gained 100 lbs today. And that's not because I've been binge eating.
It was not a good Atria day and I came home with the weight of the world on my shoulders and did what I usually do after such a day--turned on Criminal Minds, which made me cry, and then took a long nap. But I still felt 100 lbs heavier when I woke up.
I mentioned in yesterday's entry that I had a call from Atria saying she was going to need new shoes. I assumed that meant that her shoes, which have been looking pretty ratty, had finally fallen apart. I sent a text asking what happened with all the rest of the 10 pairs of shoes she moved in with and someone said they would look around.
When I got to the community room, someone greeted me with "Hi, Bev-- your mother needs shoes." She was sitting there, barefoot. That's what they meant by "needing shoes." I took her back to her room to find some shoes.
On the way, we passed Tony (her "boyfriend") walking down the hall holding hands with his wife. My mother put her arms around him and gave him a big kiss. His wife was NOT happy and told her to leave him alone. I grabbed my mother before she could punch someone else.
We got to her room and there were NO shoes there. Not one pair.
I checked all her drawers and found a pair of slippers for her to put on (though the slippers I bought for her were not to be found), but it seems that I am going to have to buy her shoes. Someone told me she "takes them off in odd places" and I asked the memory care director what happens if they find the shoes somewhere and she said they put them in the laundry room and she would have someone look, but since there are several pairs missing I am not hopeful of their finding anything.
I tried talking to her about punching people and as I knew she would, she was very offended because she just never did anything like that.
This was a very, very bad dementia day. It was one of those days where she has to go through grief over the death of everyone in her family. I thought we were OK when she said "Mom's dead, isn't she?" and I said yes, but later she asked "what's Mom doing these days?" and then was angry that nobody told her that her mother died 60 years ago.
She seemed to be talking about her high school and when I asked her how old she was, she told me she was 17. Then she looked at a picture of Tom and said he was one of her classmates and was a very nice boy.
She doesn't talk gibberish, but her conversation has noting to do with anything that is going on and she often forgets words. At one point she asked me how her sister's bombs were going. I don't have a clue what that meant. (It may have been bom-boms, not bombs.)
I talked with the director of the memory unit as we were leaving. I have to say that when she took over, I really liked her, but I have come to not like her much. She never answers e-mails (which she promised would be a great way to communicate with her), never answers questions, and I know she's not going to attempt to find her shoes, like the two pairs of prescription glasses that were lost (one of which labeled with her name). It seems like she just doesn't care, but talks a good game. I get billed $40 every 6 weeks or so for podiatry care, for a doctor who comes to Atria. Her toenails are very, very long and I asked the director to find out what I am paying for. She said she would ask. She never got back to me.
I asked her what about this punching business and the only thing she could recommend was that we hire an outside caretaker to be with her all day long. She is going to check on how much that will cost, but thinks it will be something like $20 an hour. It's coming at a great time, when her long term care insurance has just run out and we have to pay $2,000 more per month that is no longer covered by the insurance.
I was feeling so good after the nice day I had on my birthday and my good experience at the DMV, but left Atria with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was trying to figure out how we could move her here, but the house is just not set up for it. Even if we make the living room a bedroom, which is possible, she would have to go up and down stairs to get to the bathroom, and it's hard enough for me to get upstairs. I don't know that I could help her upstairs too.
I just don't know what to do....don't know what to do....don't know what to do..... the theme that seems to repeat in my head over and over again whenever there is a day like today. And today was one of the worse ones.
In the meantime, I guess I need to go shoe-shopping for her today. But there is no guarantee that if I buy her shoes, she will keep them.