From my private journal
November 9th, 2015 Monday
04:43 pm – The End of Credibility
My mom and I go out for lunch every Saturday. I pick her up at the assisted living community. I pay attention to many factors to assess how she’s doing, whether we need to do anything for her. It varies a lot from week to week. I note whether she meets me downstairs or I have to chase her from the dining room because she has forgotten I’m coming, even though I talked to her 30 minutes ago, and I visit every Saturday. I watch how she is moving, and whether she winces as I hit potholes on our drive. I ask her where she’d like to eat. Some weeks it’s clear she has no idea, so I offer choices and she says, “Wherever you want.” Other weeks she names somewhere. I help her decide what to order, mentioning what she’s enjoyed before. We have a nice meal. I ask her about her week. I share stories and photos from my adventures. Sometimes she complains to me because we’ve taken her credit cards, which her giving away money over the phone to questionable charities and the “You’ve won a cruise!” scammers forced us into. Other weeks she complains about how they don’t give her any sleeping pills, which I know are given to her each evening. Sometimes we talk about the news – she is still an avid watcher of the local and national news. I note how much she eats. If she is in pain, she doesn’t eat much.
Saturday we went out to The Ninety Nine restaurant. She met me downstairs, was walking well, didn’t wince as we drove, had a lovely plate of fish and chips and ate almost all of it! Looking good! Her mind was a little flaky – she couldn’t recall which way to turn to go into the restaurant from the bathroom… or which car in the parking lot is mine. It doesn’t matter. I was there to guide her. She said her shingles were still hurting but that was to be expected since it was only three weeks ago. She told me as if I wasn’t with her at the doctor when she was diagnosed. I pointed out that it was three months ago and maybe we should ask the doctor for more medicine? She shook her head… how could it be three months? I said it was in August… I took her to the doctor that awful hot day? Nope. Not a flicker of recognition. Whatever.
Today my sister reported that she talked to Mom. She said we had a nice lunch on Saturday. At the Japanese Noodle House. Hmm…
Japanese salt flavored Sapporo ramen
First of all… we didn’t go to the Japanese Noodle House. Second, we have never been to a Japanese Noodle House together. Third, I don’t think she’s ever been to a Japanese Noodle House! Because there is no Japanese Noodle House anywhere around here!
What is this about? If she doesn’t remember, fine. But to make up something completely different? That flummoxes me. It doesn’t matter, but it does mean that NOTHING she reports can be trusted. Luckily… it mostly doesn’t matter. But… wow. The brain is a strange place, especially when it is battered by strokes and medicines and lack of regular sleep and who knows what. Wow. It could be much worse. But it’s scary. There are treatments for broken hips, cataracts, cancer, pneumonia… but how can we fix her credibility? It’s just… gone. And I’m sad.