Mondays With Mother: An Alzheimer's Story

In 2002 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is a hard road, and we live it one day at a time. This is a chronicle of her disease and my Monday visits with her.

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Name: Anne Robertson
Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
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Thursday, April 07, 2005

April 4, 2005

I'm late posting this week, so I come into this knowing from David that when he visited on Tuesday and asked Mother if I had been there on Monday, she said no. But of course I was least in my reality. She was pretty out of it, however.

In fact, everyone seemed a bit out of sorts on Monday. They are preparing to replace the rugs, so furniture is not where it should be and strange workmen are roaming the halls. Marek could not come this week, so I ate in the dining room. This time we were back with Harold, who was chattier than he has ever been. His condition is much more like Mother than Russell or Frances. He doesn't make much sense when he talks. But he was full of words about the trucks he could see outside his window, which he seemed to have watched all morning. He was worried about them and about all the strange people, but I couldn't seem to get him to grasp what replacing the rugs meant.

I still have not asked what happened to Carl, but his name is now gone from outside his room, and the room is empty. His wife is still there. Russell was having another troubled day as well. When I arrived he was at the door...I mean the outside door. He is very clever about hanging out near the alarmed doors and walking through with someone else who can punch in the code. The receptionist was trying to get him to go back in for lunch, but he was bound and determined to go to see Helen. As I went through the second door and headed for the Courtyard, I could hear her say to him, "December 30, Russell. You went to the service."

There are some new residents. The aide serving lunch asked one woman what she would or chicken. "Lunch," she answered. Conversation at all the tables seemed to be pretty agitated, and those serving lunch were not the usual staff. I guess all the changes had people on edge.

Mother was very quiet and more disoriented than usual. I kept losing her, going from one place to another. I asked her if she wanted to do anything after lunch, but she didn't and lay down for a nap.

It all feels very strange. There are major parts of my life I can't tell her about now. I am changing churches...moving from Dover, NH to Westford, MA. That's a big deal in my life, but I don't dare to tell her I'm moving for fear of creating anxiety. My new location is not going to affect the frequency of my visits, but she might not remember that and become anxious. Or maybe I'm just worrying for nothing. I certianly don't want to add any more burdens to her.

And so life goes...sometimes anxious, sometimes peaceful, sometimes confused, sometimes cogent. Her and me both.


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