August 2, 2020

Mom’s short-term memory is seconds long. What worries me more, though, is the confusion. She seems more confused these days. Like this evening, when she said, “Where’s your sister?”
I answered with the name of the state she lives in. Mom looked at me like I was crazy. Then said, “Oh. I don’t know what I was thinking.” What I think she was thinking was that I was my sister. They’d just talked on the phone and I think she got me confused with her.
This evening we played a game that involved shapes. Mom, when referring to a square, would say, “this one” instead of “square.” So I asked her, do you not know that shape or have you forgotten the name, or what? What’s going on that you don’t name that shape.” She said she couldn’t come up with the name at the moment she needed it. I get that. Honestly, I’ve noticed my own cognitive decline. More and more often I can’t come up with a word or name I know well. So some of that is normal. But “square” is pretty ubiquitous. Seems like she ought to be able to recall the word square.
The idea flitted across my brain today that I ought to count the number of times we have the same conversation in a day. This doesn’t include the number of times she asks me what day it is. I’m talking about like when we talked about the baseball games today.
When I got up I told her that they’d scheduled a double header today because of the rain postponement yesterday. We had that exact same conversation at least four more times in an hour.
“Did you know there was a doubleheader today?”
“Yes.”
“I didn’t know that. Why is there a double header?”
“Because of the rain yesterday.”
“Oh. Yes. I’d forgotten that it rained yesterday.”
No kidding.
“What time is the game today?”
“Noon. It’s a double header because of the rain yesterday.”
“Really? I didn’t know they were playing a double header today.”
Even after two more conversations like that in the hour before game one she still forgot there would be a game two and changed the channel after game one.
The sundowning has been worse this week. She’s been more confused. We’ve been staying home quite a lot because of the virus. It’s as bad as ever around here.
I don’t know. Probably all that is not connected, but there it is for posterity’s sake.

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