August 30th, 2002


Home again...

...John noted that I've been home 5 out of the last 18 days. Maybe that's why I'm feeling just a little out of sorts...

Headed to Walla Walla last Monday night to help my folks out. Mom had surgery on her left cartoid artery, which was 97% blocked. She came through the surgery really well, and was discharged late on Wednesday. I'm worried about her, though, because she's incredibly tired and weak. I know she hasn't slept much since the surgery was scheduled, and I'm pretty sure she's probably not eating extremely well either. At least when I talked to her this morning, she sounded a little stronger.

Spending time with Dad, without Mom, gave me a much better understanding of his mental state, too. Probably 70% of the time, he's totally lucid and in touch with what's going on. The rest of the time, he really hasn't a clue. I discovered a really interesting verbal clue, though, when he's slipping out, he starts switching pronouns--hes become shes, and vice versa--mom became "that fella who had his neck hurt". It doesn't take a lot to pull him back, but it's really disconcerting when he's not connected with reality. And dealing with that makes me realize how much of a strain it's got to be on Mom. She's told us "he's confused sometimes" but I think she's concealed, either deliberately or just because she didn't want people to think Dad was crazy, the extend of his dementia. It's got to be just absolutely devasting to have the person you've been married to for 67 years not recognize you.

My brother went over to spend the next few days with them, for which I'm grateful.

Home care should start on Saturday, which will help with household chores, and being sure that there's meals around. Meals on wheels is delivering hot lunches 5 days a week, and I'm going to set up the RSVP phone service, just to check in on them a couple times a week. (and possibly make some new friends for Mom).

Walla Walla was hot and humid, but I enjoy the weather. And since it's late August, the air, especially at night, smells like cut wheat. I stepped off the plane Monday night, and was just surrounded by the smell--it's a very good, earthy smell--one of those you don't realize that you've missed until you smell it.

I'm still thinking cloning really isn't a bad idea. One of me could be there, taking care of things, the other could be going to Doe Bay with my sweetie. Between my vacation, moving, this family emergency, and his sinus infection, we haven't had tons of quality time together this month. I'm looking forward to a weekend of nothing but relaxation.

And I got a pedicure today. I may never do my fingernails, but my toenails look spectacular!