Visiting a Grandma with Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Yesterday while my two youngest children were asleep I decided to take my oldest to visit her Grandmother.  I sadly have not been able to visit my mom twice in one week in quite some time and figured it was the perfect opportunity.
On the way I picked up some ice cream for the three of us to enjoy together.  One thing my mom has always LOVED is ice cream.  My daughter and I have also seemed to have inheretated that gene.  🙂
Before arriving at my mom’s facility I had a little talk with my daughter about Grandma.  It had been a while since it had just been the three of us and since I didn’t have her brother and sister with us, I knew we would be spending more time with just my mom.  Usually “the talk” involves me telling her about how Grandma is sick and may act different, but that we still love her very much.  I have no clue what to say and honestly never thought in a million years I would have to have this talk with my 3 year old child!
My daughter was initially all about Grandma.  Interacting with her, hugs, kisses and singing her songs. As the hour or so wore on Addy started to become afraid of Grandma.  Mom’s erratic behavior and her not making any sense was making her nervous.  At one point my daughter said, “Mommy Grandma talks like Evie!”  Evie is my two year old daughter.  For the last year or so my mom has also decided she hate shoes and takes them off every opportunity she can get.  Addy was not happy when I had to explain to her that it was ok for Grandma to have one shoe, but she had to leave hers on.
There was also an “incident” while we were there that really put the icing on the cake.  I had gotten napkins with our ice cream and had them on the table.  Here recently the facility has been struggling because my mom has been “pocketing” things/food/you name it.  The problem with that is the fear of aspiration.  Mom could easily choke on objects and it is a serious risk.  She also is having problems swallowing and eating, but that story is for another day.
I turned around for one minute and by time I realized it she had eaten almost an entire napkin!  My first reaction was to look to the left at my daughter.  The look on her face broke my heart.  My focus then turned back to my mom and the fact that I needed to get it out of her mouth!  I tried to open it and she refused.  I tricked her into saying “Ahhh” and tried to fish it out and CHOMP!  She bit me!  This really didn’t go over well with Adalynn.  She was then super concerned that her mommy was hurt.  My heart was torn in half.  Help my mom and this large ball that she was now chewing or comfort my young daughter who was now terrified that Grandma bit her mom.
I quickly jumped up and grabbed a few staff members and explained what happened.  Long story short it took FIVE of them to get mom restrained enough to get in her mouth open and get the large ball of napkin out.  All the while she was screaming and hollering “NO, NO, NO PLEASE DON’T!”  Addy was done.  Officially terrified.
We left soon after and my heart broke all over again for my mom.  Here she was at 66 years old, not able to enjoy her Granddaughter and at this moment in time scared her to death.  When we walked out the door my mom gave me a precious goodbye that left me and many of the workers in tears.  I am learning that seeing her more often and when I don’t have all 3 children help her to connect with me.  My precious daughter however did not want to say goodbye or even hug her Grandmother.
Today my daughter was still talking about Grandma and the napkin incident.  My prayer is that the Lord gives me the right words to speak to her and that the memories that the does have with her Grandmother are good ones because my mom deserves that.  My job is to make sure all of my children know what an incredibly strong and loving woman their Grandmother was and to do everything in my God given abilities to fight this horrid disease!
Blessings,
Tk

My baby is not a baby

baby-evie

Someone told me when my eldest daughter was a baby that the days are long and the years are short.  It couldn’t be more true.

I can not even believe that my baby girl will be 6 months old tomorrow.  How did it go by faster this time than my first child??  I am sure part of it is that the girls are only 18 months apart, but it needs to stop!!  Right now it is 10:00 at night and I am watching sweet baby E roll around on the floor in the living room.  From her back to her stomach and then to her back again.  She loves her new “game.”  Since this kid has been 3 months old she has gone down at 8pm, sometimes sooner.  She isn’t a consistent sleeper though the niter and do have a pretty regular nursing session at 4am.  I want to finally move her into her room, but it will be sad to see my baby go.  I will however enjoy hopefully sleeping a continuous 8 hours (I hope.)
Tonight she is smiling, laughing and acting as if it was 10 in the morning.  Hmmm…  It has to be a growth spurt or another tooth. Infants are so unpredictable, but I love that about them.  One of the many things I adore about my #2 is her amazing disposition. For example.. something is definitely up with her and she is happy and laughing and “purring” like a champ.  She is like this 99% of the time!  We are so very Blessed with this baby girl.

At this time 6 short months ago we were at the Birth Center and I was in active labor.  My dreams of a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) were about to come true!  These past few months I have been going through some serious personal growth and whenever I get down on myself about something or have negative self talk, I remind myself about my birth with Everleigh.  I have never EVER worked so hard at anything and been so determined.  Praise God for my friend Chelsea Lietz and the pictures she took of our birth.  If you or anyone you know are on the fence about birth photography.. DO IT!  Natural, drugs, c-section, in the woods.. I don’t care how you bring a miracle into this world, but get it on film from someone that isn’t as vested as you and your partner!  And ps. If you are in South Texas look up Chelsea.  She is pretty stinking incredible at Newborn Photography, but I continue to be constantly impressed by her skills in other areas!

My goal in the next week or so is to finally write out my birth story in entirety.  Not only for me, but to inspire someone else that may have a dream of a natural birth as I did.  Until then, watch the video of my sweet baby girl’s Birthday.  I promise there are no super graphic photos.  Those are just for us!  <3
Birth of Baby E by Chelsea Lietz

Be Blessed,
Tk