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6/23/09

Post Garage Sale

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Whew! It's over. What didn't sell went into the 14 yard dumpster we rented, (that was a good idea). We filled it to over flowing and there's still stuff left. We don't have time to clean, that will have to be another time. We made over $2000, which sounds like a lot, but not for a week's worth of hot sweaty depressing work.

Russ and family are coming through NC to see Mom on their way back to WI. Mom doesn't show any emotions that her grandchildren are there.
As I'm putting away things that we brought back up for her, she comes in from walking the dog and gets really angry, starts channeling Gollum/Smeagol. Her precioussss..."Stop going through my stuff!" Etc., etc., etc. There's no convincing her that I am giving her more stuff - not taking it away. She slams out onto the balcony, crying and smoking.
Russ and Jill are shocked. I say this is what I get every day. Welcome to my world.

Before you think I'm the most awful person, (I've already confessed to irritability, selfishness and lack of patience), let me say that this is the most frustrating thing I've ever experienced, short of dealing with a two year old. At least a two year old will grow out of it. There's a learning curve here and brother, is it a steep one.

Going back and forth all the time - should I quit my job and move back down to FL with her and take care of her? (That was the one thing that would make me start crying when she was in hospital after the stroke - the thought of moving back to FL with her.) Are we doing the right thing? Is she going to get better? Is there something I'm not doing (probably)?

Sometimes she seems normal and I let my guard down, then wham! Stroke brain sucker punches me in the face. This thing does not play fair.
There's no logic to her thinking most of the time and yet I repeatedly get pulled down the rabbit hole trying to get her to be logical about taking the dog out more, or not spending money for food when she doesn't need to, or taking her medicine. That's my fault.
I try (yes I know - "Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.") to shift my attitude but I've stripped the gears.

I know she's frustrated too and she can't express that - hence the tantrums (just like a two year old). She's Opposite Mom - everything she used to enjoy is over. Cards, socializing, bowling, all of that is done. She can't hold a conversation because she forgets words, so says "Oh never mind!" Good thing I'm fairly good at charades because that skill comes into play several times a day. The sign for ice cream bars is pretending to hold something to her mouth and smacking her lips. Twenty Questions is another game we play frequently. "She's my friend, she called me." OK...then I go down my mental list of her friends until we get to who called her. Sometimes this can take a few minutes. She can't really read very well anymore. Or rather, things take longer to process, so she'll start off okay then it disintegrates into nonsense words "Drive Hertz now tkfipdj blah blah blah."

On one level it's a little fascinating to see how the brain copes with this type of trauma. Is this the "real" her that's been lurking under the cover of years of southern passive-aggressiveness? (Read genteel manners for all you non southerners) The passive is gone, now there's only aggressive. The stroke affected that part of the brain that covers decision making, does that cover the thinking-before-you-speak filter?

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