My sister has raised her concern about Mom in a chat with my brother and i:
Hi sibs, hope y’all are well! After talking with dad, I’m moving back to going over to their house three times a week for 2-3 hours instead of everyday. I’ve noticed that mom is showing signs of further deterioration, movement and cognition issues. Dad notes she is going to sleep very early (6pm) and staying asleep for 13 hours or so. These are signs of more bleed events that we can’t do a damn thing about. I will still exercise with mom three times a week but also take the time to do something fun with her and also have time to help clean the bathrooms, kitchen, etc.
When i received it i felt rather gutted, but there was not some dramatic change from when i was staying with Mom. I think my sister may be herself coming to terms with Mom's fading.
I spent Thursday at their house. I put in a little work as well, but mainly hung out. Mom's reticence to let me assist withe her necessities is gone. Dad went out for a while, and i was able to keep Mom comfortable. Mom is not doing anything compared to a year ago: no going through stuff, no worrying over old papers.
I wrote to my sibs:
I worked from M&D's yesterday, taking a half day off work. Mom was good almost every time about not depending completely on my body strength for transferring except right before 4 pm, but we certainly didn't exercise. She really does just want to watch TV, and doesn't have the need or desire to go through stuff as much as she did a year ago. She isn't articulate but she is engaged: we watched Downton Abbey which does have a significant cognitive overhead to keep up with all the plot lines and she tracked. Dad was very weary. I hope he's up to doing something with the boat today Laura, but he was just exhausted yesterday. Might have just been a bad night's sleep.
I calculated how much "Family Sick" leave i have left in the year and have decided i will spend it all. Half days off work while spending a whole day at my parents' seems fair. It will give me time to be with Mom, Dad flexibility to go run errands, and give me something to do other than Watch More TV. My sister is good about digging into house cleaning -- she sent photos of inside the fridge -- i'm leaning towards going through some clutter. I need to make sure that important clutter -- like clean sheets -- don't get stashed. My sister put them "up", and my dad was planning on buying more yesterday.
Mom watched all of season 3 of Downton Abbey (or it auto-played when Dad turned off the TV but the little Apple TV box continued to churn away?). So now i'm curious-ish about what happened between the beginning of season 3 (Mary marries Matthew; Bates is in prison) and the beginning od season 4. I watched snippets of the show when Christine was watching years ago, but have never seen it all the way through.
I'm sad there seems to be an anthracnose infecting my tomatoes, and worry about how well i can rotate Solanaceae in my small plot. The cages Dad gave me for tomatoes should allow adequate protection from deer while the plants are small, so i think i have a plan for where i could move them. I don't think i can eradicate potatoes from the plot that easily, and the ground cherries are certainly contributing to the seed bank.
Meanwhile, i really want to get my popcorn off the stalks because of worms and mildew but I'm not seeing good guidance about early picking.
I think goldfinches fledged into the orchard earlier this week. At lunch when i was taking (athranose infected) compost out i saw a poorly feathered young bird -- but wings seemed fully feathered out -- on an orchard fence wire. I moved it to the log fence at the meadow border, and hoped it would be well. After work, Marlowe and Carrie had a dead baby bird, and the gold flash and constant calls of adult goldfinches were unmistakable in the orchard. I looked for any other fledglings to remove and mourned our household's impact. Marlowe may have climbed up and found a nest in the large crepe myrtle that is in the orchard. I hope the birds were fledging though and some made the mistake of entering the arena of fenced predators.
The big Black-and-Yellow Argiope spiders (writing spiders, garden spiders) are beginning to spin their large scale webs. Not up to human scale yet: i've only seen them fill three foot spans so far. Gah, i shudder. I do not delight in the autumn when the spiders' webs cross twenty and thirty foot spans. I can cope when they are above my height, but soon it will be time to walk everywhere waving a stick in front of me.
I think we are coping with the many litter boxes and puppy pads around the house. There is some predictability now, at least, with feline indiscretions, but it's still a drain.