Saturday, October 11, 2008

Too much, too little

She’s made another slide. Two things; she hardly sits up ever and the more significant is forgetting names.

I noticed when my brother came over last she was unsure whether we were siblings and later unsure of his name. He brought his son and his granddaughters. Though they were visually entertaining for her, they were a mystery. Her memory extends past the names for them into the concept. If I explain who they are, she has two hurdles. The first is she can’t believe she has great grand children. Since that incredible fact that will not digest any easier than swallowed chewing gum, she cannot get hold of any of the other pieces of information that are key to relating to her visitors.

This morning she looked at me, said my name and then looked me and asked, “right?” That’s big.

Her fatigue is taking over too, though I vacillate between the physical and the mental cause. Her world is so disorganized and confusing that the mental effort it takes for her to just make sense out of people coming and going must be exhausting. I can see the look on her face as she closes her eyes to lay down. There isn’t the fatigue and relief that is common with finally getting to bed after a long day, it’s more of a pain of too much information to absorb. Closing her eyes cuts off the information and puts her in a place that is easier to take in. The expression is a combination of sadness, confusion and stress.

I don’t know what to do to help her. I can’t sit and explain because it only adds to the confusion. Her diminishing language skills compound with the cacophony of the day. My explanations only further confuse.

So what else can be done? Can I control the environment and slow the input? Is that really the right thing to do or is it even possible? She insists on her seat on the couch in a very busy part of the house. The activity seems to be at both times conforting and confusing.

So we continue to take it day by day. Her dog sits with her; her little angel. Her day whirls past her and when it’s too much, she just closes her eyes.

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