It's my birthday, and I am fifty-nine. If I was ever going to "hold" at a specific age, this would be the year to hold. Sixty sounds old. Maybe I don't want to go there. I think I will just stay here for awhile. Someone told me that I did not look 59. I told him that I hoped he was thinking I looked younger and not older. Of course he said younger. I probably don't look a day over 55.
I had several dreams of my mom last night. I don't know if that means anything. Yesterday I called her to check on her. Our conversation was short, but okay. She doesn't talk to me much unless it is to chew me out. So, when I call her and ask if she is doing okay and if she needs anything, she is confused - on the one hand she wants to just visit nicely, but something in her mind tells her that she is supposed to be mad at me. So she starts out fairly normal and then gets short and snippy. In her mind she has been mad at me for a long time, although she doesn't have a good reason. "Reason" is the key word here. There is no more "reason" with Mom.
In one dream, Mom was confused. She was wearing pajamas and a string around her neck holding her phone and shower scrubbies, and other things needs to keep up with. Odd. Then she became confused and started to get upset. So I sat her in my lap and comforted her. In the second dream, she was getting dressed and wanted to cut her hair. So I helped her cut her hair and it looked really cute and she was laughing and fun - like the old days. Both dreams were good - I'll take them as a good sign unless you dream-sayers tell me differently.
Last weekend we took Mom's China dishes to her. She had called me several times through the week to tell me that she wanted her China - wanted to have a dinner party. Every time she called, I agreed to bring her dishes, although my mom has never used that China as far as I can remember. When we got to her apartment, she was coming in with her boyfriend, Robert. He was carrying newly bought hanging clothes from Dillard's. Mom had bought herself some suit dresses. I was horrified and fairly upset. Mom does not shop well when I take her out. She gets tired, she can't stay focused, and she tends to want things that she will never wear - like suit dresses. We bought her several dresses last summer that she still has never worn. I have taken her shopping several times this winter and bought pants and blouses and jeans that I have never seen her wear. She can't seem to deal with all the clothes in her closet, but she constantly thinks she needs more clothes. I cornered Robert and told him that HE was NOT supposed to take her shopping. He scrambled away saying he had to go take care of his dog and left the apartment PDQ. I didn't say anything to Mom about the clothes, because what would be the point. And besides, I was hyperventilating.
I don't want to deny my mom her shopping, which seems to make her happy, but she needs guidance and Robert obviously does not provide anything other than a taxi service. This shopping expedition was more like a fit-throwing or a "I'll show you!" type thing, because she is always wanting Pete or Jesse to take her shopping (not me, because I guide her too much). I doubt she even tried the clothes on. Later when I had some time to cool, I went online to see how much she had spent. We keep her bank balance down to a minimal amount since she loses her debit card every other week. She had spent close to $1100.00. I was back to being horrified.
I really don't know what to think or do concerning Mom and her money. Giving her a debit card is part of her freedom, but it is a bit like giving a four-year-old a credit card. We could take the card away and give her a cash allowance each week. Is that better? Would it make her angry? Yep.
One of the most difficult parts of this whole dementia thang is knowing when to let her live her life as she sees fit and when to step in and help her. If she only understood my dilemma and my love for her...
Then earlier this week Mom called to tell me to come get her China - that she didn't want it after all. Then she said, "You are not supposed to put it in the dishwasher. It causes the silver to fade off!" I told her that I had never used her China and had never put it in the dishwasher or anything else. She said, "Oh. Well, I don't need it. Come and get it." Whatever.