Last week the doctor took Mom off Aricept, the drug used to help with her memory as the Alzheimer's was claiming her life one remembered story at a time. I understand his decision, and support the idea of minimizing unnecessary meds. The drug treats mild to moderate cases, and we have surpassed that stage in Mom's care. She is comfortable, well fed, and has many aides who dote on her at the nursing home. The idea of quality of life for her has changed dramatically since she first became a resident there.
During her initial 2 years on the ACU (Alzheimer Care Unit), Mom participated in daily activities that included the likes of parachute play, seated kickball, indoor (plastic) bowling, along with singing and dancing. Sadly, her then dance partners have gone before her to that big ball room in the sky. So have the duets and quartets that sang incredibly accurate and musically sound versions of Chattanooga Choo Choo and other oldies but goodies. I miss them all, as well as the fun of observing or participating in their social and recreational activities.
Since Mom's hip was broken 2 1/2 years ago, and as surgery was not an option due to non existent bone density and her inability to rehab in a constructive way, she has been a granny on wheels. As her body has deteriorated from lack of use, her mind has gone the same way. Aphasia has turned into a general lack of speech.
Then today, a week after stopping her memory drug, something of a miracle occurred. Mom began repeating many words I was saying to her. She smiled her beautiful smile for the first time in a very long time. I was elated, and yet it broke my heart at the same time. I know in my heart this is not permanent, but to have such a gift for even a day is something to celebrate and be thankful for. Mom's aide mentioned she even tried to feed herself today, for the first time in an even longer time. It is most definitely a miracle. Small by many standards, but huge in my life, for I thought the mom I knew was already gone forever.
This glimpse into the past has reaffirmed my faith, blessed me with something of a family reunion, and given me the strength to handle whatever God places before me and Mom on this journey we call life. Amen to that.
A warm country hug to all,