I have been wondering more and more lately – does Mom really know who I am, or does she just, at some basic emotional level, know I am someone important to her.
A few days ago, she was sitting in the lobby of her nursing home. As I approached the glass door, we spied each other, and she waved her hands and flashed a big smile.
While I signed in, the Director of Nursing (DoN) approached Mom and began to ask her the kinds of questions I can’t ask. The DoN gave me a quick glance, and I knew she was doing the questioning for my benefit. In short, she asked Mom who I was – if I was related to her – but the DoN did it in a non-threatening way that would not cause Mom to lose face.
Mom could not tell the DoN who I was.
Now, I can’t say that surprised me – I have suspected for some time that she cognitively did not know who I am, though she very much recognizes me when I walk in to visit her. Neither has Mom recognized the Mystery Guest Blogger the last two times she has gone for a visit. However, after Mom and I sat on the couch to begin the usual session of “wrassling”, Mom triumphantly looked at me and very distinctly said “You are my son.”
She was proud of being able to remember. I was proud for her, but it is painful to have pride in something so child like.
I wish there were more to write about. I know some of you are more than curious as to what she is like these days, but in all honesty, there is little to write about. Her world has gotten terribly small, and it continues to shrink.
Physically, she seems to be hanging in there. While she needs a walker all the time, even to go a few steps, she seems to be doing alright otherwise. By pure coincidence, I was there recently when her physician came in (he is also my doctor), and we had a nice conversation while he checked her. She eats well most days (that is an up and down thing, depending on the whims of the disease), and Dr. Vic said her blood pressure was fine. She may have some trouble with her cataracts returning, but Alzheimer’s may render cataracts a non-issue.
And – life goes on – at least in my world it does.