Bedtime Confusion (12/4/20)

It’s been quite a week.
On Monday two electricians came and ran wiring from our electrical panel through the attic to the back of the house.
Tuesday morning two men came and installed a new furnace.
They were back Wednesday to install a hot water heater.
And on Thursday one of the two of them came back and installed central air conditioning. (Yay!) I’m excited for summer now. Air conditioning. That was what the wiring was for on Monday.
We have more projects. There’s a leak behind the shower wall. The gas insert needs replaced. The light outside needs repaired. The gutters on the house need replaced. Mom’s been in the house for 34 years and everything is old.
I suspect all the commotion around here has contributed to mom’s confusion this week. Her memory loss is bad as ever, but she’s also had some sundowning that has made life weirder than normal.
A couple of incidents of note:
On Monday we were talking on the couch and she said she was having one of those “flashes”. I’ve not been able to pin her down on what exactly she’s experiencing so I was glad she said something as it was happening. Best as I can tell she’s experiencing a buzzing in the back of her head. She hears it rather than sees it. I had looked into this previously so I raised the idea that it might be tinnitus. She’d never heard of that condition so I looked it up online and read off the description. We talked about how this could be age-related hearing loss. It was only a few minutes. Five? Up to ten? Not long. She says, “but I only ever have it in the morning, never any other time of the day.” I said, “but you just told me you had it, that’s why I read you the description of tinnitus.” She replies, “I did? I don’t remember that.”
This was not a big event. Nothing serious. Just another example of how short her memory is. And I guess of how she doesn’t connect one event to the next. Shouldn’t she be more likely to remember something if it’s part of a sequence of events? Evidently not.
Which brings me to bedtime. Last night we were sitting watching TV and she says, “I was just sitting here and I realized that I’m at home and that I can go to bed anytime I want.” She explained that she’d been so many places that day and had done so much work for the Republican party that she got confused about where she was until eventually it dawned on her that she was at home.
Right. I’m sure you guessed it. We left the house exactly one time yesterday (to get my dog some medicine) and never did any work for the Republican party. Or any other organization. We didn’t even do any work around the house because the HVAC guy was here all day.
I played along. She’ll get no argument from me. I nod and smile and agree with everything she says. Sure you were busy going so many places. And all that work you did! Whew!
Then about thirty minutes later she asked if we were sleeping here. I think she forgot she was home. She worried if she’d brought a nightgown. And when I finally got her up and moving off to bed she asked me to lead the way– because I think she didn’t know where her bedroom is.
Tonight wasn’t as bad. Tonight’s question was: “Where are you sleeping?”
I said, “In my bedroom right across the hall from your bedroom.”
“Oh, just like at home, huh?”
“Yep, just like at home.”
Once she gets to her bedroom she’s fine. She puts on her nightgown, takes her pills, and gets in bed, just like she’s done every other night for forever. But in those few minutes before bed, when she’s so sleepy she can hardly stay awake, she’s transported in her own mind to someplace that isn’t home.
There were no workmen at the house today. In the morning we dropped some toys off at a toy drive, came home and ate lunch, then I went to a doctor appointment while she stayed home and did some small chores around the house. After that we went to the grocery store. A couple of hours later we went out and picked up dinner. It was a quiet day, and more like the days we’re used to having. Hopefully a few more of these means we won’t have the confusion and disorientation we’ve had this week.

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