Friday, October 21, 2016

Pain and Alzheimer's


Somehow on Sunday, Mom twisted oddly and has stiff muscles in her lower back. Back pain is hard enough, everyone over a certain age knows how easy it is to make your back mad at you, but Mom can't remember that she hurt her back, and is constantly surprised by its twinges. She starts to get up from a chair and says "oww, oh I've twisted my back." and the injury is all new.

Caring for her reminds me of caring for sick toddlers. When Arthur and Maria were little, they used to tell me when they were sick over and over "I don't feel good." I feel as helpless with mom as I ever felt in the face of their discomfort--how can one ask stoic behavior from someone who doesn't understand what is happening? 

Mom alternates between a fractious bad temper "I can take care of myself!" and a childlike faith in my ability to make her feel better, "I don't know how I would get by if you didn't come over and check on me." She is mostly mentally offline this week.

 My sister says her body is putting all of its energy into healing her back, and she has nothing left to sort out the world. That seems true, for we have not had a day of clarity since Sunday.

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