Saturday, July 14, 2012

Week in Review (with pictures!)

I'm still pinned to the wall, a bug squashed against the windshield of life.  And yet I want to check in here, to let you know...

Some things this week went right:

Ethan & friend preparing to launch on camping trip
Ethan had a great 3-day overnight camping trip with his day-camp. He's been watching the older kids do this for years, and now he finally IS them. Perfect weather. Good friends. Kid food galore. And he came home only slightly sunburnt. Total win.

Jake asked for and got a haircut Friday, and is very happily telling everyone about it.

Before the cut
Haircut! (Handsome boy)

I had a lovely, long visit with my mother Thursday. I gave her a manicure, a lenghty process as I have to do one hand at a time and let it totally dry before doing the other one.

This is because she has a need to blow her nose. A LOT (she has a two tissue box a day habit). And so if I do both hands at once, one gets ruined in the nose blowing/wiping process. She just can't help herself.

Mom, showing off manicure

I went to dinner with her, which was a good thing as I found out that in spite of my talking to the nutritionist at intake, she was getting food she really dislikes. No wonder she isn't eating enough and is losing weight.

I looked at the tough hunk of "pork loin" on her plate and asked why she had chosen this for dinner, as I knew it was not going to end up crossing her lips. "I don't choose, they just bring me food." was her reply.

"Mom, you fill out a menu choice form." I remind her. "No," she says "I don't. They just bring me food. I don't like a lot of it."

So those menu things they bring each week that she's supposed to be circling her choices on? She was just adding them to the pile of papers on her dresser. Had no idea what they were for.

It seems no matter how many times you tell people your mother has cognitive and memory issues, because she is so bright and with-it in the moment, they treat her like she is capable of a level of self-management and decision making that she really just isn't.

You can't just hand her a menu and tell her to turn it in later. You have to sit with her and ask her questions. Fill it out for her. Really. 

I had a long, possibly LOUD talk with the head of dining and now *I* will get the weekly menus to make choices for her.

After dinner (a nice piece of fish was hastily procured for her, and she ate a good half of it!) I took her outside into one of the courtyards. It had been too hot early in the afternoon when I had arrived, but by six thirty was delightful.

Mom loves flowers so. It lifted her spirits immeasurably to sit in a garden, even a somewhat scraggly one. And it was the perfect place for me to give her a good shoulder / neck / back massage (as I try to do every time I visit).

I left her in her room, digging in to the new puzzle book I'd brought. She had been awake, alert and lively for the entire visit. A vast improvement over past weeks, and even just this past Tuesday. Step by step. Bit by bit, coming back to life.

And then I was on to see my aunt, uncle and cousins, not even a mile from Mom. We sat in the yard and drank in each others company and cocktails (virgin for me, drive home ahead).

Flower in my aunt & uncle's garden
How much I love my family can not be measured. How they are circling round the wagons, all come in to care for and spend Eva's last significant days with her, so beautiful to see.

Greta, 14, borrowed my iPhone to take "selfies"
And Eva herself had a bit of a rally. Was asking for food. Small bits, but still, strawberry ice cream, blueberries, tiny bites of all sorts of treats were being gobbled up.

I left late, after dinner and many laughs and hugs.

Passed yet another major accident on the highway. Grateful, again, that it wasn't me. Grateful for so much, as I wearily made my way home.


  1. Lovely post. Your mom looks so much better, it's great to see. xxx

  2. Your mom looks pretty great. You must be relieved about the improvement.
    She is such a cute lady.


  3. Oh, mama. This is so hard, what you're going through. You're so wonderful, though, because you're finding so many beautiful things to be thankful for. I'm so glad your mom got some food she likes. :)


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