Getting the Story Straight

LilMagill

Getting the Story Straight

LilMagill
Awhile back, when I visited a memory care center in town, the activities director talked with me at length about Alzheimer's. Her father died from it, and of course, she saw it every day at work. She said that one of the things that happens in the early stage is that people lose their sense of time, and that was something to watch for. Well, almost immediately after that, I started noticing how much trouble Mom has with time - did something happen yesterday or a week ago? A month ago or a year ago? Now, she blames her memory problems on the passage of time. Whatever it is - a book she's currently reading, the remote control, the phone - "It's been so long since I've read it/used it/etc., I've forgotten how."

Recently she was reading The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe (we both love Alexander McCall Smith!) and whenever I asked what it was about, she could only tell me a little, then say she'd put it down and gotten distracted for too long. She finally finished the book and handed it to me. When I opened it later, I found that the book jacket was bookmarking about 1/8 from the end, which made me suspect that she hadn't actually finished. She's always loved reading so much - though her taste has narrowed over the years. But still, it is heartbreaking to see her begin to lose that ability.

Sometimes she tells me about problems she's having - symptoms - but I can't get a good sense of how long the problem has been going on. Currently we're trying to monitor her urination - well, unfortunately, no one is writing anything down, which I realize would make so much more sense. But I've been asking almost every day how she's feeling, if she's having to pee a lot, get up in the night, etc. At first it seemed to be really bad - frequent and urgent! - but we expected that. But towards the end of the second week, she had stopped complaining about it and said that she wasn't going more often than normal. But this morning, she said, "How much longer do I have to take that blue pill? It keeps me up all night going to the bathroom or lying awake feeling like I need to go." And I asked if that happened just last night, and she said no, every night since she had started taking the pill. But just a couple of days ago, she said she was only getting up the usual once a night to pee.

So, I'm confused. Based on that, do we need to go back to the doctor and try to get that med changed to something else? Or assume it was one bad night? She has an appointment in December and doesn't want to go back before, so I guess that's what we're doing. . . I worry about her getting up in the night and trying to get to the bathroom in a hurry. Scary!

Can someone tell me what security device I need to buy? A Life Alert? How do those work? A baby monitor? I kind of don't want to do that because it would keep me up all night listening and I only want to have to get up in case of emergency. I would like for her to have a button she could wear and push to summon ME.

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