That's what they call Alzheimer's/dementia. And...I have to say that it's a true statement.
I shared with you back in September the 90th birthday party that our family held in my grandma's honor. She had a fabulous time! While she's had dementia/Alzheimer's (it's so hard to give an absolute diagnosis - the symptoms of many types of dementia are the same/similar) for over five years, we've been so blessed that she stayed lucid and "with it" for so long. We got some great pictures of her and she got to celebrate her birthday in a way that she's been looking forward to for YEARS!
No one knows for sure what triggered it, but we are rapidly descending into her living in her own little world. The past week and a half have provided my aunt and my mom with two trips to the ER with her following extended periods of delusions, agitation and sleeplessness. Seriously...when I went on "duty" Thursday at noon, she hadn't slept in over 30 hours. She and I had an afternoon of talking to kids, her husband, and seeing rain/snow in the house and seeing the house on fire. This prompted our most recent trip to the ER as her delusions became progressively less than benign.
As much as I hate to see her this way - I'm so grateful that she has no idea that she has Alzheimer's. I'm pretty sure she thinks she's in the hospital for leg pain. I also take great peace in knowing that while she doesn't always recognize me - she knows that I'm family (I've been her mom, her aunt, and her daughter) and lets me feed her, shift her for the nurses, etc. Other than a birthday party this weekend, I'll be by her side.
While I know that the doctors are advising my mom and aunt based on my grandma's medical needs - the emotional side of me HATES that she's going to have to go in a nursing home when she's released from the hospital! It breaks my heart. (The rational side of me knows that she's a fall risk, a flight risk and needs 24/7 supervision.) She's my last grandparent and we are really close. It may sound dumb, but I really miss our inside jokes...
OK. End of pity party. I just needed to get that out! I'll be a happier person tomorrow.