Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Last Supper

Well, it wasn't really the last supper and it wasn't really supper, but I took my mother to lunch in the big dining room today, hoping to see my favorite server, Piyush, and maybe the woman we ate with all the time, Margaret.  I was in luck; we saw both.

When I got to Atria at 11:15, they told me they thought she must have been awake all night because she was sound asleep.  I guess sometimes she spends the night walking the halls (I wonder what she'll do at Eldervilla).  I managed to wake her up and she was quite verbal, but making no sense.  Talking about "she wanted me to it but I didn't think it was right."  She couldn't say who "she" was or what "it" was but she certainly was emphatic about it all.

I tried to get her dressed and put her in the shirt she wore yesterday, but she told me it didn't fit, so I put her in a different shirt and when I tried to get her pants on she said she had to go to the bathroom to pee.  I said "OK...go to the bathroom" but that was entirely too confusing for her.  She kept asking what she was supposed to do and when I answered "go to the bathroom" she accused me of trying to confuse her.

Anyway, she finally disappeared and I assumed she was going to the bathroom but when I went to check, she wasn't there.  I had visions of her wandering the halls in her shirt and Depends.  I got Ali, one of the staff, to look in other people's rooms for her and she finally found her--in the bathroom.  I don't know where she had been when I looked there.  Maybe her roommate's bedroom?

I tried to get her to put on her shoes.  The new shoes I bought her are too small and the second pair I bought has disappeared, along with the framed photos of seven of her siblings and several photo books I had made for her.  I wonder what we are going to find when we start packing up the place!  I finally got her to understand she needed to put shoes on her feet (which was also too confusing for her to understand) and as soon as she had completed that, she took them off again because I hadn't explained that she should leave them on.

We eventually were able to leave the memory unit and go to the main dining room, where she ate 3x a day for 4 years, but she didn't have a clue where we were.  Even seeing people being served food she didn't know what kind of place it was.

We both had chicken soup and then fish and chips.  The chicken soup came with visible herbs in it, which she was convinced were bugs.  She took the "bugs" out of every bite, but managed to finish the soup, leaving a pile of herbs at the bottom of the bowl.

Piyush came to say hello and I told her it was the last time we would be there at the dining room.  Then I saw Margaret leaving the room.  I called to her and she came over.  Margaret is someone my mother ate with every day for about 2-3 years and it's weird her reaction to my mother.  She acts as if she is not there, never looks at her and didn't say anything to her, but did ask me about her.  My mother, of course, had no clue who she was and just kept eating and picking "bugs" out of her soup.
The strangest, most surprising thing about Margaret is that she mentioned that Robert, a veterinarian we used to eat with, just celebrated his 102nd birthday.  She said "He's just doing great.  I'm 79 and not nearly as good as he is."  I always assumed Margaret was in her 80s and I still can't believe she's Walt's age!!!

My plan had been to take her to SuperCuts after lunch because she sorely needs a haircut and I wanted her to look nice and tidy when she moved into Eldervilla.  But I left my purse in her apartment when we went to lunch and I didn't think she could make it all the way back to the memory unit and then all the way back to the car...and even if she could, I wasn't sure I wanted to.

When we got to her apartment, I sat down to call the Atria beauty parlor again (there was nobody there yesterday) and found out they have an opening at 2 tomorrow, so that took me off the hook for SuperCuts.  When I turned around to look at her, she had taken off her shoes and was back in bed, so even if I wanted to try SuperCuts, she wouldn't have wanted to go.  But this will be better.  The timing is perfect and they can get her all fixed up and she won't sleep on the hair until that night, so it will be fresh for Eldervilla.

I was glad we didn't have to go to SuperCuts.  Days like this just take so much out of me, trying to deal with her dementia.  I had planned to go the CVS and buy toiletries for her but didn't have the energy.  I'll do that before I go to Atria.

When I left the memory unit, there was one woman letting us out the door whom I recognized and I told her that we would be moving her tomorrow.  She asked where we were going and when I told her she said her husband works there occasionally had has nothing but good things to say about it...and he loves Simba (the dog).  Another good review for Eldervilla!

When I got home, I had a call from Sandy about her arrival.  He's a like a few other people I know (like Mark, the guy who has helped us find this place) who won't let me finish sentence because he has to interrupt to give me his opinion but I got most of the information I wanted from him.  I'm so excited for this new adventure to start and sincerely hope that she will adjust.

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