She finally stopped sitting up with a new hallucination/delusion/dream filling her reality some time before 3am.  This was my 6:30am morning to arise and get ready for the 7:30am Spiritual Formation group, so I didn’t gain a full half-night’s sleep. It still helped some.  The Group conversation is always very helpful in the matter of maintaining some sort of equilibrium (a hard thing to come by lately).

Mary Ann slept through until Bath Aide Zandra came to do her morning prep.  That allowed me the full time in the group conversation without needing to leave to do a support task for Mary Ann.

By the time Zandra left, Landcaper Sheila and a helper came to so some major work around the street side, as well as the entrance area at the side of the house continuing to the back deck.  She is constructing it to provide a rich palette of color and texture with an eye toward winter scape elements.  Since we are not in a position to get out much, we are bringing a stimulating environment into view from every window of the house.  There are plants that will invite butterflies and hummingbirds in the mix, many that bloom all season long, some that mark the movement of the seasons, some that strengthen the sense of seclusion in the waterfall area.

Having something very engaging drawing attention that used different psychic muscles from those tapped in the caregiving tasks seemed to help.  Mary Ann was not experiencing the same level of intensity in that has made the last couple of days so difficult, and she rested in her chair without hopping up as much as has been the recent pattern.  I was able to go out and check on the project, enjoying the prospect of seeing all the flowers blooming in months to come.

Mary Ann rode with me to get Glory Days Pizza slices for lunch.  Just before Volunteer Coordinator Mary came to stay with Mary Ann for two and a half hours, she lay down for a nap.  While Mary was at the house, I was able to spend time over a cup of coffee with friend and former parishioner John in conversation.  It was helpful just to have the time away, as well as having a listening ear to bend.  John does a good job of listening, and giving appropriate feedback without presuming to be able to fix the situation.

While I was gone, Mary made that rhubarb pie that Mary Ann and I both love very much (mentioned in an earlier post).  It was great to enjoy a piece of that pie after a supper of Lasagna from the freezer that Daughter Lisa had prepared one of the last times she visited, along with fresh asparagus from the country market. Mary brought a beef, potatoes and veggie dinner that we can heat up tomorrow.

Sometime in midday, we received a reminder phone call that our annual carpet cleaning is tomorrow.  We had gotten a reminder post card a week ago, so it should have been no surprise.  Since my mind has been so dominated by the escalating frustration of reaching and passing for a time the ability to handle the intensity of Mary Ann’s needs, it just didn’t register that I needed to get the furniture out of the house, and figure out where to go while the carpets are cleaned and then given time to dry.  In fact I had accepted the offer of a very caring former parishioner who has treated us with great respect, to bring us coffee tomorrow afternoon for a visit.

Gratefully, Jay was willing to meet us for lunch at McFarland’s Restaurant, a place where Mary Ann feels very comfortable.  That alternative also provided a place to be during the carpet cleaning.  We still need to figure out where to go for a while as they dry.  The issue is always finding an accessible place with a bathroom situation that allows me to help Mary Ann.

While I am certainly not at my best at the moment in terms of stamina, I was able this evening to get much of the furniture moved out of the way (downstairs or into the garage).  I am hoping that the one who comes to clean will be willing to help move a table a few feet off the carpet and into the sun room area.

There has been no progress today on contacting the Neurologist about the possibility of increasing dosage of the medication that is supposed to reduce hallucinations (while unfortunately increasing the daytime sleeping and the vulnerability to fainting spells).  The day was active enough that I just didn’t get it done.  I have not yet received a report from the Hospice Social Worker about the possibility of some paid help to cover a morning or two in the week.  Those two things are important since they offer the possibility of actually making a difference in our situation.

I hesitate to say it for fear things will change any minute, but so far tonight, Mary Ann has just had a few needs for turning in bed and using the commode.  She has been in bed for about two and a half hours.  It has been storming loudly off and on for most of that time.  The storms are expected to last almost until morning.  Right now they are noisy but not dangerous. They don’t seem to be bothering her.

As I finished that last paragraph, she started moving.  When I went in, she wanted to get up and go home.  Then I offered her a snack, since she had eaten very little for supper other than the pie.  As I fed her she moved into a very odd sort of mode that made it very difficult to feed her.  She was bouncing as if she was starting to get up.  She did that a couple of times when I had the spoon at her mouth.  At a couple of points it seemed as if she was partially fainting.  After I finally got the last of the applesauce into her mouth, she started bouncing as if trying to get up.  When I asked what she was going to do she didn’t know. I laid her back down and she began talking about everyone getting up and leaving.

Clearly, I spoke too soon.  Judging from her current state of mind, it is reasonable to expect another difficult night.  It is just not getting any better.  I keep thinking we will make it through this round of hallucinating and have a couple of days of sleep with minimal hallucinating interspersed with lucidity.  She is moving back into a pretty intense mode of hallucinations and delusions.  I just hope I can keep her in bed as much as possible, again hoping and praying that she will just fall asleep for the rest of the night.  It is now about 12:15am.

I had better finish this and get bed on the outside chance that there will be some sleeping fitted in before morning.

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