When last I reported, Mom had fallen and broken her left hip. Surgery fixed her up, and she was recovering in the hospital, then she was moved into a rehabilitation facility. Fortunately, the place commonly cares for Alzheimer’s patients.
Well, this is Week Two for her to be in the rehab center. The obvious question is: “How’s she doing?”
The answer is not so obvious. She is still very confused. Any conversation with her is an attempt to make sense of what she says. That does not mean she doesn’t know who I am, nor that she doesn’t know she isn’t home, but her thoughts are not joined together in any coherent way. She complains about the place a little, but not a lot. She isn’t crazy about the food, and I do wish she would eat more. She does not like the lady physical therapist, but really likes the “nice young boy.” I noticed the first small signs of depression when she said that she wondered if she would ever walk again.
Physically, she seems to be doing okay. They keep her in diapers because she cannot get out of bed by herself and she forgets to use the call button. She has no pain, but of course, her body has deteriorated somewhat from inactivity and laying in bed. She gets physical therapy every day except on weekends. They work her hard, too.
I thought this photo of her reading the art work from some of her great-grand kids would tell you something about her.
I asked her to smile when I took the picture, but before that, she had opened the envelope and I asked her what it was. Her reply was “just stuff.”, then she started to put it back into the envelope. I don’t think she was able to link the contents of package with the pictures of her great-grand kids that is on the wall in her room. Once I made that connection for her, then she took interest in the art work.
Do not interpret what I just wrote to mean that she does not enjoy mail – she does, and does very much. In this instance, it was her inability to link unusual mail with people she knows and loves. Regular letters are recognizable to her so she is able to connect a letter with a person, and she talked for some time about letters from two of her friends in Florida.
I will end with a story to illustrate her mental state. A few days ago, she told me that “the man” had her walk to the nurse’s station and back three times. I’m thinking that this is excellent progress in using her walker – the nurse’s station is about four rooms away. However, there is a different real story. I was talking with my friend Michele, a lady at church we’ve known since we came to South Texas. Michele is wheelchair bound herself, and was visiting a friend across the hall from Mom’s room. Yes, Mom went to the nursing station and back three times - - - but she did it in a wheelchair accompanied by Michele.
But she still tells me I am a good boy, so I’m happy.