It amazes me how much can change in a short period of time. Adjusting my mother’s melatonin dosage a couple of days ago made an immediate improvement in her thinking. Yesterday, she woke up and asked to get dressed right away. As I pulled on a flowered top, Mom wanted to know the time of her doctor’s appointment.
“Oh, Mom, that’s not until Monday. Today’s Friday. Do you still want to get dressed? I have some errands to run today, and if you want to you can go with me.”
Before we left the house, Mom had to select a hat to wear from her favorites. I suggested the Spurs cap because they could use her extra luck after their loss. She debated over the summer lace hat I brought back from Ireland, but her sporty black-and-white checkered hat won.
A couple of days ago, Mom didn’t recognize me. She kept begging me to take her “home.” She said she didn’t know or trust me. Yesterday, she commented as we ran our errands that she wanted to go by the assisted living center where she lived for two years.
“I want to stop for a cup of tea,” she insisted as we drove by the place.
I completed my task quickly and pulled into the driveway of Esplanade Gardens. Mom swung her feet to the concrete before I had her wheelchair in place.
As soon as we entered, we encountered Mom’s favorite aide, Betty. The activities director took Mom into the exercise room to visit with several residents while I moved the car into a parking slot. By the time I returned, Mom was laughing at something JoAnne, one of the employees who worked in the dining room, had said as she served Mom her hot cup of tea. Robert, the head chef, returned from his break to visit a few minutes. Eventually, Mom’s other favorite aide, Christina, sat down for a long chat.
A couple of days ago, my mother couldn’t recognize me. Now, she smiled broadly in recognition of men and women she hadn’t seen in at least a year.
Huntington’s disease humbles me. It makes me grab ahold of each good day and recognize the pricelessness of a smile that touches the eyes, of laughter that bubbles up and over.
Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman