It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings

On my last entry, I mentioned it was one of my worst days in a while. Well, “it ain’t over till fat lady sings,” and I’m not singing yet. 

On Monday I took my mom to the doctor’s, all her tests came in, and as expected everything was within range except her vitamin B-12. My mom suffers from pernicious anemia; her symptoms are weakness, feeling tired, lightheadedness, pale, losing weight (eight pounds in the last seven months) depression and dementia. 

During the visit my mom was having difficulty with her ability to understand and stay on track with questions the doctor was asking her. She also would roll her eyes and shrug her shoulders whenever I would speak. She called me a liar when I explained she was not eating, and said I was never home to take care of her. When her doctor questioned why she has not come for her B-12 shots she replied that she was told by him that she no longer needed them. She was then asked why she had lost more weight; she tried to explain that he was wrong she had gained not lost. 

I explained that my doctor was concerned for my health, he agreed that I needed help. I told him that my husband and I were planning to go with our kids to Hawaii for two weeks but that I have been unable to find someone to do my mom’s catheters. He at that point called for a social worker to get involved. He explained the progression of dementia and that I should realize that at some point changes will have to be made. He also prescribed medication that might help with her depression. 

As we were leaving his office, he explained he would be away for three weeks on vacation. I asked if he was going anywhere special, yes he was going to Japan. At that point my mom joined in by saying when she was growing up she had a Japanese neighbor who had eyes like his,(OMG), and her sister when growing up had fat cheeks so even her eyes looked slanted. I just smiled and shook my head, he smiled back, different generation, and in my mom’s case different world.

Two days later, I got a call from our Social Worker, she had arranged for a nurse to come out and evaluate my mom; she would be there later that day. Soon after I received a call from the nurse, she scheduled us between one and two. 

The nurse was wonderful, her voice and demeanor was so caring, I instantly felt relaxed, we talked for about twenty minutes, and then I brought in my mom. She made some small talk and when my mom felt comfortable started asking questions.
 
“How old are you.”
“Eighty seven.”
“What year is it?”
“Nineteen eighty-eight.”
“How long were you married?”
“Eighty years.”
“What month is it?”
“October.”
“What day is it?”
“Saturday.”
“What is the date?”
“I don’t know.”
“Who is the President of the United States?”
“Oh, I know this one; it’s on the tip of my tongue.”
“His first name starts with a B.”
“It’s on the tip of my tongue.”
“It’s Barack.”   
“Oh yeah, Barackus,”
“Do you know his last name?”
“It’s on the tip of my tongue.”
“It’s starts with an O.”
“Oh, I remember its Barackus Overstreet.”

Every answer was wrong. 

“Mom, you need to watch the news, read the paper and talk so you can keep up to date with everything.”
“I am up to date.”
“Mom, all the questions she asked, you got wrong.”
“I knew the answers; I just didn’t want to tell her.”
“Keep playing that game, you’ll find yourself in a home.” 

Its evident today was not going to be a good one. The nurse said she would come back next week. She wants me to concentrate more on her caloric intake then protein. So my mission is to feed her fifteen hundred calories a day. Shoot that should be easy, I can do fifteen hundred by lunch. But, with my mom let’s just say Mission Impossible, I’ve been able to get her up to thirteen hundred, then she stops, she cannot or will not eat anymore. 

“Mom, you need to eat, if you lose more weight, you’ll have to go to the home so you can get proper nourishment.”
“I don’t have to do anything, or eat anything I don’t want to.”
“Mom, you’re losing it.”
“You think I’m losing it, maybe your losing it.”

Maybe.

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2 Responses to “It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings”


  1. 1 seniorsafari August 4, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Nancy!!! I’m back online!!

    I’m so glad your Doc got the Social Services to help you. I hope the nurse can figure out your Mom with your help and find ways for you to handle her easier.

    My Mom and I are doing great so far. We do so many things the same way that Mom says it’s scary! hahaha!! I’ll have more about her when I post next week!
    Luv ya,
    Barbara

  2. 2 Nancy August 6, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I’ve missed you. Hurry up and post, I need a Barbara fix.
    Hugs Nancy


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