Saturday, January 1, 2011

On eating...and food...and history...

I've called Mom the Martha Stewart of her day, she made her own clothes, made houses full of wall to wall draperies, baked endless numbers of Cookies and Cakes, made wonderful meals, and always used cloth napkins at the table, taught be how to eat; fork in left hand, knife in right, cut your meat, lay knife down, switch fork to right hand, eat, chew, swallow, repeat.

It was about June 2010 when I noticed that Mom was getting this quizzical look on her face when I would hand her the fork and knife at dinnertime. She would stare at the knife, and one day she tried to cut meat with the handle of the knife. Result of this, I cut her food for her now.

Just in the last month eating has assumed another challenge, Mom will take a bite, chew, then take another bite, chew, and repeat until she looks like a chipmunk/squirrel. I have to remind her to swallow; I hear this is pretty common in later stages.

Mom's taken blood pressure and thyroid meds for what seems like forever, she used to have a system down where she would put her nightime meds on the top of the bottle in the morning, that way she could see the pills and take them at night. She stopped that two years ago when suddenly the coordinated activity of pushing down on the lid of the med container and then turning became not possible, so I do the meds now. This morning I handed Mom her meds, she put them in her mouth, I handed her a glass of water, she filled her mouth with the water, had to be reminded to swallow.

I had heard stories of dementia people (I've got to get a readily understandable 'better term' soon) who will turn on a faucet, do what they have to do, walk away and leave the water running. I've seen Mom do that too!

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