Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sleeping All Day

Dementia takes such strange tacks. On Monday night, Lola went to bed. On Tuesday, she seemed to want to sleep a lot. So I let her. I kept thinking eventually hunger would drive her to get up. It didn't happen. Since every time I peeked in she seemed asleep, I finally decided if she wanted to stay in bed all day I'd just let it go. Finally in the evening I woke her up to take her medicine. She didn't seem inclined to get up, was somewhat disoriented, and I feared if she arose at that time she'd be up all night. So I let her lay back down. Around 11 p.m. it dawned on me she hadn't been drinking all day and needed hydration.

I made her some sugar milk, a bowl of peaches and some bread with butter and went in to make her eat and drink something. When I forced her to get up, she commented, "The bed's all wet."

My mother had laid in the bed, peed in it, and was contented to simply lie in a soiled bed. It had never even entered my mind that she wouldn't get up to go the bathroom. I know she mostly lives in the past. I know she sometimes doesn't recognize people. I know she gets confused sometimes about things around her. I didn't know the dementia would make her just pee in her bed and lay in it.

I got her up and cleaned up, change of clothes and bedding. Sat her down to eat and drink, which she did with gusto. Then put her back to bed. When you're not experienced with caring for elders, these things just sideswipe you.

Today she got up at 10:30 a.m. acting as if there had been no day between Monday and today, Wednesday. She's gone about her normal routine of watching TV, eating, and toileting just like nothing had happened on Tuesday and everything's as normal as it can be for her.

The only thing that was striking today was when I served her supper of chicken noodle soup and a plate of condiments she loves (pickles, okra and olives), she commented that she didn't rightly know how to eat that. Somehow the bowl of soup confused her. I explained to her to use her spoon or just drink it, and she was back on track and doing what she's done her whole life.

I've been scrambling to get papers in order, needed information and get ready to file the Medicaid claim.

1 comment:

onwingsofeagles said...

Brutal journey this is. I'm so sorry you have to walk it. "Sideswiped" is a good word. It's impossible to predict or expect -- there's just too many individual specific things that can happen (or not happen).
And of course, what happened yesterday doesn't mean anything about what might happen today.