Feb 27, 2010

Philly Cheese Steak and Potato Chips

Just the other day I wrote about how my mother was like a Zombie. She could barely walk, had that nasty dull Alzheimer's look on her face. The "not there." Wasn't saying a word.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Philly Cheese Steak and Potato Chips

Next morning she was bright eyed, and bushy tailed. Well in relative terms.

Today we get to shower time. I say, time to take a shower and then we will have a nice lunch. Mom says, OK. Good day.

We get there and she tells me, she has to pee. I suspect its more than pee. I say, OK, pee and then when you are done I'll turn on the shower. I start to lay out her cloths.

I go in the other room for about five minutes and then come back. Peak in the door and she is still sitting on the pot. More good news. Can't get any better than this.

I leave room for a while then think, I better get back there. As I get close I think no way. My ears must be playing a trick on me. Is that the shower running?

I get there, peak in, holey moley. Mom is in the shower. The water is on, she has the wash cloth in her hand. This has not happened in years. Several years.

I have to peek in just to make sure. Wow. Mom is taking a shower.

Now this is no easy feat in our shower. First, there is one handle for hot and cold water. Mom doesn't really know how this works. Second, you have to pull it out to turn it on, and push it in to turn it off. No small feat for someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It is more complex than you think.

I wait. Finally mom gets out of the shower. Holey moley she turns off the water. This alone, all by itself, would be an excellent accomplishment.

Mom puts on her underwear. Mom puts on her cloths. Mom puts on her shoes. I pinch myself. I am not dreaming, this is really happening.

Mom gets lunch. Mom gets olives. Mom gets a mound. I am so happy, I am ready to hand mom the whole bag of potato chips and tell her to go to town.

The life of an Alzheimer's caregiver -- wild and crazy to say the least. But I am not done. Mom has not said a single time today -- I'm hungry, I'm starving.

Mom read about people potentially losing their unemployment benefits in the newspaper today and told me we are going to have a depression. Well she read the story three different times and had the same comments to me three different times.

What a day. If I didn't know any better I would be thinking its the year 2000. But mom just score a 12 on the MMSE. She is in the moderate to severe stage of dementia.

Wonder if I can explain to mom what a tsunami is? Doubt it.

Ok I decided right here and right now. Philly cheese steak and potato chips for mom tonight. Same for me.

Tomorrow is another day. But I am not going to worry about that until I wake up tomorrow. In the meantime, PARTY on.

Also see part two of this story -- Party On, The Moral of the Story

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Bob is a recognized Influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room