Mother’s Day

I saw a cat in our yard today. It is the one that tortures our dogs by walking just outside the fence in the backyard. We have no idea who it belongs to, because none of our neighbors claim it. Today it was in the front yard. I saw it stalking and then pouncing. It jumped up very high and changed directions mid-air. I wondered what in the world was wrong with it. It jumped up again. I didn’t know cats could jump that high! Then I saw the source of its frustration. A small yellow butterfly. It was flying, as butterflies do, just out of reach but close enough to torment the cat. The frantic cat was twisting and turning, jumping and clawing trying to get it. Just then I had a thought that this must be just how Louise feels, grasping for words and thoughts. She knows it is right there just out of the reach of her brain. Constantly frustrated and feeling incompetent, but knowing that she is a smart intelligent woman. She knows that she isn’t getting it and thinks she never will. No matter how many times you tell her she is improving she only sees what she cannot do.
We went for a visit today. We took her a Fight Like A Girl shirt, along with a note of encouragement, which Bill read to her. She hugged her shirt to her and had tears in her eyes as he read the note. It was sweet. We also took some books on tape and a couple of music CD’s for her to take back to the rehab center with her. It is our hope that she will use them to help pass the time. When Bill was in rehab he had one or two tapes (at that time) that soothed him. He could be totally agitated and we would turn on that music and he would settle right down. Somehow music touches places in the brain that nothing else will.
She has reached the sneaky stage. Today she didn’t take her medicine when they brought it to her. She is convinced they do not know what they are doing and that the medicine is stuff she doesn’t need. She was proud of her efforts and showed us the pills she had crumpled up in a piece of paper in her pocket. Bill did this as well. He would palm the pills and pretend to take them. One day I saw him do it and told the nurse he wasn’t taking them. She didn’t believe me, until I showed her a pile of pills in the trash can. She didn’t know he used to do slight of hand magic. He just knew they were trying to poison him.
Another issue for you to pray about is that she is talking more and more about how she hates the rehab center. She says she’s not staying there but a few more days. Once again, this is another flashback to days with Bill. He tried to run away from the rehab unit, he refused to get back in the car when we went home for a visit, he made it very difficult to take him back each time. He was bigger than me so that made it even harder. This is a normal thing, but very hard for the caretaker. It feels like you are not doing what is best for them when they beg you to stay home. It seems like it would be so much easier to just give in, and that they would be happier. The problem is that they will not. Their brains know things are out of sorts and frustration will be a common thing that causes them to be angry…at whoever is around them most.
Today she was a bit down and fixated on the rehab center. William went with us and told us when we got in the car that she was better than he had pictured. “She is still Nannie and I could understand her most of the time.” He is right and that is the main thing. She has not become a different person. She is making progress, even though it is slower than she would like. The nurse told Bill that the word confusion usually lessens around week 3…she’s not even there yet, so we are hopeful that as time goes along her brain will continue to recover. Her staples come out tomorrow. She is supposed to visit the doctor on Tuesday, and we are hoping to hear a report on the tumor then. Ray is concerned that she will try to hurt the doctor she is so angry with him. I told him these doctors are used to it. Bill picked his doctor up by the shirt, slammed him against the wall, held his hand back in a fist, and said, “I ought to hit you with every thing in me.” The doctor said, “The word ought shows me he has remarkable control for his condition,” as he hung there in Bill’s grasp. He didn’t get too ruffled as I scrambled to calm Bill.
Your prayers for Louise’s emotions to stabilize are appreciated. For Ray to have wisdom in her care. For all of us to be able to do what is best to help her.

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