Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Mom Update

Some things just blow your mind. The phone rang late Monday afternoon. It was my mom calling from her hospital bed. Yes, from her hospital bed, checking in with us. Not at all what we expected given the weekend she had.

On Saturday things had gone from bad to worse. My brother and sister had taken her back to ER. She was still confused and not making any sense of the world. The hospital ran tests, did a CT scan and reported that she had in fact had a minor stroke. We were devastated by the news. A neurologist saw her on Sunday. He evaluated her cognitive impairment. He looked at the CT scan. He told my siblings that he thought my mom had been experiencing dementia for a while (which she has) and that the stroke and UTI had pushed her into vascular dementia with Alzheimer's. He ordered an MRI, which she had on Sunday. We have not yet heard the results.

Then, suddenly there were brief moments of lucidity late Sunday afternoon. She looked at photos of her grand-daughter's baby shower on my sister's phone. She was delighted with what she was seeing. She spoke coherently. She was still in a confused state, didn't know where she was exactly, but there was the hint of a spark in there.

Monday morning, she remembered my father's name and that she had four children and their names. It was not easy, but she worked at it and got it right. I was still worried. Remembering my father's name and the rest is a pretty low bar for cognitive functioning. But we were thrilled.

Later in the day my sister said my mom could carry on a bit of a conversation. Then, my older brother in Virginia called and said he had spoken with her on the phone. He said, "Robin, she's back. She's really back." I couldn't believe it. I thought it was wishful thinking.

Then, the telephone rang here. I picked it up. It was my mom.
"Hi Robin, and how are you?"
"What, how am I? How are you? MOM (that's me shouting with glee!), MOM, you're calling me up? How are you?"
"I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm getting better."

It was true. She was back!

We have no idea what comes next, but we know my mother is a truly resilient remarkable amazing woman.

And I thought I should let you know, friends. Thank you for your good wishes and kind thoughts. It meant the world to us.



34 comments:

  1. Very good news! I hope it continues.

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    1. isabelita-- Thank you! Our new motto: One step at a time.

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  2. What a roller-coaster, Robin. Continued good wishes to you all. What a stressful to start to the new year, in so many ways.

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    1. Val-- Thank you so much. It has been a crazy year so far, and yes in so many ways.

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  3. That's so good to hear!

    Alzheimer's does that; gives you bad scares, then the brain shakes itself loose and suddenly memory returns. I remember that from the years with Mom; she'd be out of it, and we expected no relief, and then she'd be back again. It helps to know that when the next episode comes along.

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    1. Susannah-- We have no idea what to expect, so the comments here have truly helped in so many ways. The best part of the social internet is the shared stories. Thank you so much.

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  4. I'm glad your mum is feeling better. Mine never recovered from her stroke so be glad of your time with her.

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    1. Bill-- Thank you. My siblings and I are taking this one step at a time, trying to piece together a plan.

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  5. I'm so happy to read that. And it's so similar to what happened with my own mother, though she was still very confused when discharged from the hospital and they made it pretty clear that they didn't expect any improvement. However once back in familiar surroundings she became more settled and gradually her old self resurfaced. I still have tough times when she gets confused and then so worried and frightened that she can't sleep, but mostly she's happy though still very forgetful. And even now, five months after leaving hospital, there are still occasional noticeable improvements. Wishing your mother well in her difficult journey.

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    1. John-- The best part of the social internet is sharing these stories. We have no idea what to expect, and stories like these really do help us get prepared for the future. I hope your mom stays happy and content on her journey as well. Thank you so much.

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  6. This is such sweet and happy news in these dark times. I wish you and your mom much laughter and love for as long as the cycle of life grants you time together.

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    1. CCorax-- Thank you so much. It really is sweet and happy news in such a dark time. We don't know what to expect next, but we're taking it one step at a time.

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  7. Robin, that is so wonderful! I almost starting crying when I read she called you on the phone. About a year after my Dad went into a nursing home I received a call from him. My Mum had brought him home for a day for a visit and the first thing he did was call me. I bawled my eyes out after I got off the phone ad I knew that was probably the last time I would speak on the phone with him.
    Wishing your Mom a successful recovery!

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    1. Cat Lover-- Thank you for sharing that story about your dad. Now I know the feeling about hearing that voice. It seriously gives the heart wings. Thank you for your good wishes.

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  8. Oh Robin, I am delighted for you all!

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  9. Great news! I am so happy for all of you, especially her. Nice to know they have figured out what has been going on, too.

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    1. Colette-- The neurologist said that my mom is experiencing hardening of the arteries. He wasn't particularly helpful. We'll definitely find a new neurologist for her. Thank you!

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  10. Wonderful news! I offer my hopes for continuing improvement.

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    1. Sharon-- Glad I could share some good news in these overwhelmingly bleak times. Thank you!

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  11. Great news and such a relief.Old age is tough is all I can say and hard on the families when we get there; so good moments have to be cherished.

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    1. Rain-- Well, I spoke with her this morning, and she was still a little foggy about reality. She did remember a few things, and she recognized my voice, but there was a bit of vagueness. Our new family motto is: One Step At A Time.

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  12. Such sweet news that your mom called you! Tears of relief!

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    1. am-- It really is tears of relief. Still a lot of decisions to make, and we're taking this one step at a time.

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  13. Oh robin, this is amazing news that brings tears to my eyes. She is back and you have all been given a reprieve and another chance to be family. Enjoy this, every minute of it.

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    1. Patti-- Thank you for that. She's not completely back, but close enough to give us hope.

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  14. I know you will cherish every single one of these days, no matter how many or how few. Positive thoughts from our end of the country to yours.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- We love all the positive thoughts. I know you know how much it helps keep our spirits lifted. Thank you!

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  15. Happy news that you have more moments. Certainly not an easy phase of life. Thinking of you two, your siblings, and your mother as you work through things. "One step at a time" is a good life lesson. Thanks.

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    1. Kim-- Thank you for your kind words. It really is not an easy phase of life for any of us at the moment.

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  16. It's great that your mother came back so well. It's the old folks' roller coaster, which, unfortunately, is not nearly as fun as the young person's roller coaster. Old age is just a hell of a thing for everyone involved. We're thinking about you all.

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    1. Mark-- She is really not all that much back. We were all quite taken with her moments of lucidity. But they were just moments, and not a serious return at all. My siblings and I are so sad. She is now at my sister's while they (my sis and brother) look for a safe and loving Memory Care Residential home for her. She needs 24/7 care. Thank you and Leah for your good thoughts.

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  17. Robin, just getting caught up with your blog--what a difficult time for you all. It's a terrible thing to see a loved one go through Alzheimer's. My mom had a stroke, and altho we did not think she had demenia, the stroke was enough to bring to light all the not-so-minor problems (mostly COPD due to all that smoking) to the forefront. I believe your mom is in much better shape physically than mine,and I hope for the best in the days and months ahead. One day at a time is a useful mantra. Hugs!

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    1. Linda-- Thank you for your good thoughts and kinds words.

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