Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time Keeps On Moving, Change is Constant

It's been a while since my last post.  I'm finding that yes, life is full.   Still it has been easier to NOT write.  Perhaps it's easier to NOT share all the changes I see happening with Mama.  Still I know it is healthy to share some of it.  It's definitely healthy for me to express myself.  

I'm still very grateful.  She's still here with us.  All things considered she is doing fine.

I like to look at it like this:

The dis-ease is doing what it's doing.   And then Mama with her indomitable spirit is doing what she's doing. And the Spirit of God so fully present in her is doing its work in and through her.

So let's see:

Mama was moved to the Memory Care wing of the facility to provide the best care for her at this stage  (and indicated that she was overdue for this change).  Mama was exit seeking (putting her own safety at risk trying to follow others as they left the facility), taking other resident's mail, and other belongings. 

It took a minute, but she's adjusted overall to her new room and wing. 

I think she got upset at some point around the time of changing rooms/wings and trashed her upper dentures, or perhaps unknowingly.   Regardless, they are no where to be found!   The RAs (Resident Assistants) and I have searched high and low for them.    Our dentist recommended to leave it be and not replace them, as this would likely happen again.  And while they certainly enhance her appearance, she can still eat just fine without them (still has a great appetite).   So it's simply not worth replacing due to the high chance of them getting lost or trashed again.

I believe that her increasing behavior is due to the progression of the dis-ease.  But on a positive note, her brain is being stimulated by a new product (superfoods blend) she's taking called NatraBurst.  It's basically giving her body some wonderful raw materials to work with.  Michael (my husband) and I see how it's definitely been stimulating her brain, perhaps opening some pathways, and enhancing her speech.   Her doctor approved her usage of this product and wrote a doctor's order, and the nurses at Augusta Gardens have been giving it to her each day. 

Mama can be stubborn and sometimes resists the color of her her tea being turned a little green  :) (NatraBurst has over 30+ superfoods, including many green vegetables - so it has lots of chlorophyll, very good for the body).  So the nurses are spreading out a scoop of the product over the course of the day, getting it into her body when and as they can each day.    I know it is making a difference, and I trust it will continue to.   
Here's why (7-12-11 Anita G. Houser sharing her personal Natraburst testimonial and her mother Mildred's definite developments/improvements using the product with an Alzheimer's diagnosis)

I feel that ANYTHING this product can do for her is worth it, because Mama is worth it.

I am comforted in knowing that even though she's been in rare form these days, that the change of rooms was truly warranted. It's not because of the NatraBurst that she's only been taking a few weeks. The director actually apologized on behalf of the assisted living. He explained that they overextended her stay on the assisted living side (something I questioned the staff about periodically about for a few month, but was told she was a ways off from being placed in the Memory Care unit). But now that they have proper leadership at the helm, better assessments and decisions are being made. Everything is better there.

Mama has had to even stop attending church recently, due to her behavior disrupting the service. She was in rare form one Sunday in particular. (Everyone, please understand that my finding the humor in life with Mama is a necessity for my sanity and perspective. Otherwise, the stress of it all, would really do me in.) At church, Mama jumped up and went to the front, got hold of a tambourine and let's just say, ...she had her own personal rhythm section going on, loud and strong (and very different different from what I was playing on keyboards!!! - I'm the music director at my church).

She continued playing and when she finished, walked over to the laptop set up to run the powerpoint slides and starting pounding on the laptop keyboard! Ahhh.... I didn't even see her at the laptop, but my body could feel the tension of it all. Imagine for me, as Music Director, trying to focus on doing my job in the midst of Mama making her presence known. And that's really what it comes to....it's like more of her is trying to come through. So it's actually a blessing in disguise. But just not appropriate behavior in a church setting. :)

I'm hoping that she can return to church at some point in the near future. I really won't know for sure how it will go until I actually take her again. We will see.

In the meantime, I pick her up after church on Sundays and bring her home with us for a few hours. She loves being with the family of course. We learned the hard way to NOT leave important belongings out in plain view, because she will swipe them in heartbeat if something catches her eye! (She took off with Michael's wedding ring that was left on the dresser in our bedroom. He noticed it later after I returned from taking her back to Augusta Gardens. Now, God only knows where that ring is now or where it will end up. Urghh! But Michael being so grounded, reassured me that he's attached to ME and NOT the ring. :) (Still maybe if we're lucky she'll wear it on display on her suit jacket, which has become like a 'show and tell' canvass for everything from name tags from church, earrings she fastens, etc.)

It's all good.

Mama's still here...keeping us all on our toes (our family and the staff at Augusta Gardens). :)