Monday, June 15, 2009

My mother was moved to rehab last week. Everything's fine. Her memory is decreasing, though. She keeps telling me that she can't remember where she lives (which may or may not be entirely true, you'd have to know her to understand this). I tell her where she lives. She says she can't picture it. She's been living in her condo for 28 years. We had her checked a year or so back, and it's not Alzheimers, but dementia, what Margaret Thatcher has. Her recollection of the past has never been better and we're hearing lots of stories we hadn't heard before, including finding out recently (actually when one of my brothers was checking her email) that she had two brothers who moved to Australia that she'd never mentioned before. I think they are both deceased now, but their progeny know my mother, apparently she's visited them in Australia in past years. We knew about the sister who was 6 foot tall and died of cancer of the throat (because she smoked my mother admonishes again and again) who had a daughter who has a son (now in his 20s or 30s or something) she won't leave even to come to Canada for a vacation, and a brother who'd entirely disappeared - no-one's heard from him or of him in at least 30 years and he's presumed dead - in South Africa, where she's from. It's all somewhat odd, to discover we had two more uncles we didn't know about on yet another continent, but then that's my mother.

Anyway, she's tiny and frail and holding her own and doing her physio apparently (she had been refusing in hospital), which she has to do if she hopes to be released. My brother who's considering moving in with her may have his hands far too full, though, and we are considering the possibility of a nursing home, though she continues to threaten suicide -"I'll die if I go into one of those, I won't live!- as the spectre looms.

She's an extrovert and has always been very social and as she is already finding rehab much more fun than hospital with so many similarly recovering patients (she's on a hip floor), so she may find a nursing home more congenial to her gossipy nature.

I hope so, because I can't imagine as her memory slips away how my dear and sweet brother, a brother who has been more kind to me throughout my life than can be expressed, will be able to cope.

It's one step at a time, however. She's in rehab. She's in fairly good spirits. She's doing her physio without complaint. She wants to come to my place for a barbeque before the Summer's finished, and she may just do so.


So this is the line, and we laugh:

Granny's in Rehab on a hip floor.