I have many posts to make and I COULD combine them all into one, but I really hate it when people write mondo posts and I have to read through it. I'd far rather have a series of smaller ones, which is what I'm going to try and do over the next week or so.
This one involves mom's state of mind, which means it might end up long.
Mom's methodone dosage has been upped from one tablet twice a day to two tablets twice a day, and her hallucinations have increased with the dosage. She's had a few funny ones: There was one about 3 "box people" named Faith, Love and Hungry. She made dad feed hungry (scrambled eggs!) and he became Happy. Dad wouldn't let her go for a walk with them, though, so they went away. I found THAT one interesting, because Faith, Love and Joy (happy) are three of the "fruits of the Spirit" and my mother is very religious. I think they might have been angels, come to take her, but that the family isn't ready yet...jmo, of course. Then she had another about a reindeer named Jingle Bells, and the neighbors had reindeer who ran away to my parents house and were now mad at my parents because they paid their reindeer more than the neighbors did. That one made no sense. While I was there, she heard flute music...something she recognized but couldn't (or wouldn't) name.
These are all relatively harmless and kinda cute. Lately, however...well, not so much. Tuesday morning mom called her friend Sharon 6x in 30 minutes, to tell her dad wasn't at the house. Sharon said he was, mom insisted he wasn't. Then she turned around and he was at the table, where he'd been. Mom said "OH! You're home!" and he said "I've been home. Right here. You were holding my hand just a little while ago." My mother replied with "Oh no, that wasn't you. That was a strange man." My heart broke on my father's behalf when he told me this, even though he sounded like he thought it was funny. I think he was trying to MAKE it be funny - oh look, ha ha, your mother is so funny. Her memory is going and her attention span is so short, she can't even remember 10 minutes ago! The other day she got the shakes from the meds, forgot she was holding a bowl of cereal, and dumped it on the floor.
Later, the same day as the "strange man" comment, dad was talking to the hospice nurse on the phone in another room. When he got off the phone, mom wanted to know if he'd been talking to me. He said he hadn't and she said "are you sure? I heard you..." to which he replied "I wasn't, and I was in the other room so you couldn't have even heard me." Mom's reply? "Yes I did. I heard you through my pillow!"
It's an understatement to say I'm worried. I called hospice, to see if this could be a side effect of the methodone or if the cancer is spreading to her brain and we're seeing the beginning stages of dementia. They said it could be either. Gee, thanks for the help y'all. I don't know that I'm equipped to deal with dementia. Talking to mom these days is like trying to talk to a child, or someone very slow. Sickness, depression, anxiety, sadness...this I can deal with. Dementia, my mother being taken away from me twice? I don't know. I just...don't. What will I do if she doesn't recognize me some day? What will I do if she turns violent? What will I do?