What a rude awakening I had this morning! My mother called at 7:45 and was extremely agitated about my sister having her checkbook. By all means, wake me up to complain about it. My sister had Mom's checkbook all the time she was in Altercare so why is that a huge problem now? She and I paid Mom's bills to make sure there were no late charges. Mom forgets that.
As I've shared in previous posts, my mother suffered a stroke two months ago and was in a rehabilitation facility until this week. She's now back in her home, needs to be in an assisted living community, but refuses to consider moving to one. We know she needs help and we're doing our best to provide it, but we need a little cooperation from her.
While on the phone this morning, I was as calm as I knew how to be, but it's difficult to listen to rantings about how she was tricked into going to rehab, not told about anything that was to happen to her, wasn't given any choices, etc. - when I know things didn't happen that way.
Mom has lost the ability to reason and here I am, trying to be logical with someone who says yes, the sun is shining here, but a minute later tells me how dark and dreary it is because of the storm. That was part of our conversation this morning.
And then there are the throw rugs....those precious rugs. Mom has them all over her house, or she did have them until I rolled them up and stored them upstairs. We were preparing her for a home visit from Altercare and the very first thing we were told was she should not have throw rugs. We knew that. We'd been down that road before. So, on my last visit to Mom's, I took up the rugs, folded them, and put them away for her. I knew it would only be a matter of time before she began to miss them. Today was the day.
I talked to her about tripping over the rugs and she insisted that won't happen. How does she know? I told her where the rugs were and said to be careful. What else can I do or say? She'll do exactly as she wants, regardless of my advice. So we settled the flap about the throw rugs and moved on to more interesting things like writing out her bills. She's absolutely convinced she can still do that and balance her checkbook. After all, she practiced while at Altercare. It was from that "practice" her therapist gained insight into the fact she can no longer do those things. My sister is balancing her checkbook for her as I type. Mom has lost the ability to use a calulator and her mind won't allow her to work the numbers as she used to. So her book remains unbalanced most of the time, but she doesn't want us to know it.
This morning I realized this is how it's going to be - the good daughter/bad daughter routine. Oh, we've been through that too. One day I'm the devil because I dared ask the doctor, "what about driving?" and had I not done that, he wouldn't have known she was still driving and couldn't have taken away her car . . . the next day, my sister is the bad daughter because she has Mom's checkbook and won't give it back . . . and on it goes.
While talking to my sister this morning, I said, "We just have to understand that Mom has teflon brain these days - nothing sticks". My sister thanked me for the chuckle and we said goodbye.
I'm going to go play with kittens.