I’ve been thinking about all the changes that both me and my mom have gone through since she moved to SC in January and since I left Austin on the 12th. She still says what she misses the most is seeing the kids growing up (and of course getting cuter and cuter). I know that’s the hardest part for me in leaving Austin – and I’ve only been gone a week!
I was so happy to see that she was looking ever so much stronger than when she first left Austin. Of course, she had just spent weeks in a physical therapy rehab center after a fall and a couple of hospitalizations at that time. She’s been having regular physical and cognitive therapy via home care since she’s been here in SC and obviously it’s doing the trick.
Her knee is still the biggest physical problem and the newest ortho doctor confirmed there’s really nothing that can be done to alleviate that at this point. He doesn’t recommend a knee replacement in someone my mom’s age and besides that, mom has said she would never have that done anyway, having seen what her mom went through in the same situation.
But she still manages to get around the house fine with the help of a walker, and they use a wheelchair when they go for outings. Like this one last month when my Aunt Wilma was visiting.
Although the azaleas are all spent now, we are planning another trip here as it looks like just my kind of place!
But the most interesting development I’ve heard since she’s been examined and observed by new doctors here is that these doctors are disputing the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s! The cognitive therapist told my brother that she has worked with lots of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in all stages. And she says due to the fact that mom can still carry on an intelligent conversation, has a pronounced sense of humor, can follow directions accurately, etc., she can’t imagine why a doctor would have gone there so quickly. She does have severe memory impairment at least in terms of short-term memory, so she doesn’t remember having those intelligent conversations 10 minutes later and may want to repeat it…but still…
As for what has caused the memory impairment, their best guess is still that she may have had a small stroke. But I wonder why that didn’t show up on the MRI they did. Of course, I’m at a loss about so much of the medical side of things, and that’s another reason it’s so much better for her to be here. As a nurse, Lois is not nearly as intimidated by these things as I was. And I’m thrilled to hear that mom has been taken off of 3 different drugs she had been on, 2 for high blood pressure and one anti-depressant. Her blood pressure is holding steady enough now so they are just monitoring it closely, and they think the anti-depressant was part of the problem in making her feel dizzy sometimes. I always felt she was on too many meds, but no matter which doctor or specialist I asked, they just said she needed them for her conditions. Such a relief to know that’s being handled more effectively now!
This is my first visit to John & Lois since they moved to this house near Columbia. I really love it, especially the huge tree-filled yard and deck filled with flowers and birds happily ignoring us to get to the community bird feeder.
Jake is still one of mom’s best friends and I’m having fun with him and Cheyenne, too.
Johnny showed me one of their tricks: he puts a doggy treat on their feet and they have to wait until he gives the signal before they can eat it. The first time he showed me, they both performed perfectly, but this time, Jake just couldn’t resist a little preview lick – and then look at the guilty look that comes across his face – LOL! 25 second You Tube video
So it’s been great being here and I’m glad I have a whole month before I hit the road again. Both me and mom have lamented the fact that her travel days with me are over. She says she’ll really miss feeling like the “queen of the road” sitting high up in her chair and trying to stay awake to see every sight there was to see.
Our last big adventure was the Blue Ridge Parkway trip, and she still waxes poetic about that and our many other adventures together.
So, mom, you may not be physically sitting in the co-pilot seat beside me on the way to Michigan, but I guarantee you will be with me in spirit!
And I’m sure I’ll look over every now and then and say, “Look at that mom, just look at that!”