A family smiles and holds hands around a holiday turkey at a table set for dinner

Best Laid Plans

It's like an old western movie where the guy crumples up and groans, "Ya got me!" We have been keeping mom practically under glass for the last two years, but Covid got through our defenses and best intentions.

We rang in the new year with coughs and runny noses. Thankfully, mom took the least hit. The rest of us felt worse than she did.

The pesky devil

Guilt and bronchitis symptoms don't feel good. We don't know exactly how Omicron crept past us, the pesky devil! Therefore, we were spared from pointing fingers. We had such a great time together over Christmas and New Year's Day. I'm not regretting it yet. I talked before about priorities. We did our best to mitigate exposure and fallout.

Through the aftermath

Mom's blood sugars were a little higher for a few days. Maybe it was the self-pity and ice cream sundaes I served or assorted other comfort foods. "Feed a fever, starve a cold," they say.

We had no fever, but I didn't take any chances. We followed the state mandates and hunkered down for the next however many days, which wasn't hard. We didn't feel like going anywhere anyway.

We still had lots of holiday leftovers. We ate the cookies and candies originally intended for neighbors. Sorry, people. We watched movies.

The fog

I don't know if mom is experiencing Covid fog now, or just regular Alzheimer's fog. She is struggling to remember how to do her routine tasks. I'm realizing I need to pay more attention and learn how to do these things.

In my early adulthood, I made sure to pay attention and ask my grandmother questions about how she made some family favorite recipes. She is gone now, and I'm the maker of the Thanksgiving cornbread dressing.

Changes in mom

Mom has had more struggles this week talking, checking her blood sugar, and making her daily breakfast of grits. It is only a matter of time before they are my routine tasks on her behalf. It's why I really wanted my brother to come for the holidays despite the risks.

It is really interesting that mom knows what she wants to say. I can see it on her face. I can read it on her lips, but the words won't cooperate and leave her mouth.

Word-finding

It was also interesting that I got her to write notes to the family for Christmas as a gift to go along with the cash gifts she was giving. It was super hard for her. I gave her a pad of paper to practice on because it took her all day to write one, and she kept starting over.

The notes were tiny sheets, so she wouldn't have to write much. They were a little jumbled, and she couldn't believe she had written that mess! Her word-finding is in her writing, not just talking.

Continuing to be thankful for today

We will all keep those notes forever. Mine says, "With God and God bless with happiness and love much love from your mother."

This disease, both of them, is no joke. We are thankful for today. Where are you on this journey? What do you need to prioritize? Self-care? Finances? Family? Minimizing chaos? What do you need to hang on to? Tell us in the comments below, or share your story with the community.

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