For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know the angst that I have over taking a day off of work, only to have whatever my plans are-dashed to the low, because of rain. It's been like that for over a year, and frankly I don't know what I did to piss of Mother Nature but she's one angry woman!
I took off yesterday to take my mom to the neurologist. Rain. Overcast cloudy skies. Humid.
Today, I awoke to find that same scenario, how lovely.
I think you still can sunbathe in the overcast clouds. I'll let you know later.
So, I went to pick Mom up, as always quite a few hours early, in case she needs assistance. Found in her robe, she was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper and lamenting over an obituary that she was reading. Yet another peer, her cousin had died. My mother years ago gave into a self imposed exile away from most of her friends and relatives. She was then very mobile, and still set in her ways. She found company in her sister, eleven years her senior who lived a few blocks away from her. They shopped together and crabbed at each other and as they grew older still, they watched t.v., each in their perspective living rooms, as they talked on the telephone, each television tuned into exactly the same program. My aunt was really my mom's only peer. She had us, her children and grandchildren, but no one else her own age group to socialize with. My aunt died several years ago, my mother misses her every day, and often speaks of her as though she has not passed. "I wonder what Mary Ellen would think of this, or that".
I don't remember ever meeting this cousin of hers that passed away. She went on and on about this cousin's family, her mother and father, sisters and brothers, she proclaimed I looked most like her. (???? don't know where that is coming from - I'm really a clone of my mom, with a tidge of my father in the mix) Anyway, they were never really close, in fact I think the last time my mom saw this woman was at least 34 years ago. Still, my mom recanted days gone by when her father was alive and all the relatives would get together on a Sunday afternoon to visit his mother, her grandmother who was ill. The grand kids would sit on the stoop outside of the home, and the adults went in to visit. This is the most she could conjure up about her relationship with this cousin. (My mother's father died in a car accident when Mom was 10 - she's 79 now)
My mother about 7 or 8 years old.
Seems her memory is fine. She talked alot yesterday about all the women in her family. How they really weren't nice women. (No? Really? These were her words, I swear!) They were unforgiving and mean to each other. Not my direct grandmother mind you, but ALL of her other sisters, my mother's aunts. Some had such tattered relationships with their daughters, that the pairs didn't speak even up til the mother died. My mom claims that there were alot of "secrets", such as the alcoholism of a husband, whom one aunt kicked out of the house and she went on to raise 5 kids on her own. Tsk, Tsk. But the rest of the family excluded her, because you just didn't "do that" in those days. That same woman walked 4 or 5 blocks every week to the cemetary to visit his grave after he died. Of course, all this was from my mother's perspective, and her perspective was that of a child or young teenager - judging from the way my mother behaves now, and come to think of it, pretty much all her life - is a much self centered existance. She hardly really knows the REAL story because she isn't paying that much attention to detail, so busy she is thinking about her own self. (this too straight from my mother's mouth). Seems that all my female relatives had issues with thier relationships. My mother came from a long line of them.
All in all, it was a good visit. All I did was listen. Listen and think that these are the last years of my mother's life. Lonely and self absorbed, her world is very small. Too small if you ask me, but I think that is pretty much all she can handle now.
We went to the neuro visit, and the doc examined her, asked her many questions. She gave my mother what is known as a Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) which is a variety of questions about the here and now (date, day of the week, year, etc.) and then some simple subtraction problems, (take 7 from 100, then 7 from 93 and so on) and my mom did remarkably ok! She paused a little on the math. She asked my mother to repeat three simple words...apple, table, chair and then later to use them in a sentence. Mom stumbled a little on those, she tried to use them in a sentence-before the doctor asked for them to be used in a sentence. I knew she was up to something, because she remembered this test from last year's exam and had some anxiety about it. Well, the doctor was very pleased, told us that mom is doing so well, she is right back where she was before she had her stroke four years ago! There was minimal rejoicing. She reduced my mother's medication, a medication that prevented seizures because she felt it could be causing some of the dizziness that my mother claims to have.
I took her home, making sure that she remembered to reduce her meds and sat a while longer with mom. That's when she showed me a little notebook she'd been studying. She'd written the answers to the math questions on it. 93, 86, 79,72,65. She had a written sentence using apple, table and chair in it. My mom was CHEATING on her mini mental status exam!
My mother - Teen Idol
All in all it certainly floated her boat getting all the answers right and showing off that she's in control. Good for her I guess. Still when I left her, she was all absorbed in what she was going to fix for dinner, and wondering if Antique Roadshow as going to be a re-run tonight, she seemed sad and lonely to me. Maybe it's just me.