Another Thing Alzheimer's Robs You Of . . .
By Marileigh on April 12, 2011
Another Thing Alzheimer's Robs You Of . . .
I am so tired of being sick. Nothing serious, but my Meniere's is in full swing mode and with it comes extreme fatigue. I've been this way since Thursday night. Friday Zak and I had plans to take lunch out to mom, and eat with her. We took her Thai and she loved it. Friday evening Phil and I had plans to go to the gym, and I went. I managed to workout for 10 minutes literally moving from machine to machine trying to find one I could work on comfortably. A comfortable machine was not found, so I told Phil I was done. Went home and slept until Monday afternoon.
When I say extreme fatigue I am not kidding around. Sleep is all I can do. Needless to say I didn't get out to mom on Saturday or Sunday. I knew I needed to go on Monday. Phil came home about 1:00PM, and worked from home the rest of the afternoon. He came up to check on me at 4:00PM, and I was shocked when I learned what time it was. He encouraged me to get a shower and see how I felt. I did feel better in the shower scrubbing down with some scented Yardley bath gel (Remember Yardley from the 1970's? It's back:)
I did make it out to the care center to visit mom. Dinner was happening when I arrived and I was pleasantly surprised to not find mom eating in her room. She was sitting in the dining room eating at a table with other patients. Getting mom to eat in the dining room has not been an easy task; she has refused to eat in the dining room since day one. I sat down with her, at the table, and visited with her while she ate. I had brought her a marshmallow square from Starbucks which was ate as her dessert. Mom loves the marshmallow squares at Starbucks, so i try to take her one every time I go.
Soon the dining room was empty as people finished eating and either moved themselves out or the staff moved them out. Mom and I were in the room alone, so I offered to play her some music on the piano. She was thrilled and I dashed off, to her room, to gather my music books. I sat at the piano and began to play. Mom recognized most of the music and hummed along with me. Every time I would think about stopping she would tell me not to stop, so I turned the page and continued on. Finally I had enough and ran out of songs I could play, I was a good stopping place.
At the moment I stood to leave, a man walked up to me and asked why I was stopping, and wanted to know what time I start playing and how often I come to the care center to play for the residents. It appears that to the left of me a small crowd was gathered to listen to my play. I didn't see them because mom was sitting to my right and I was sitting so I faced her, leaving my left side completely out of my vision. As I was preparing to leave a gentleman came up to me and asked, "Are you leaving now?" I recognized him as the husband of one of the patients and told him I was done playing, that I had been entertaining my mom.
He and the others were so disappointed to hear this. They wanted to know how often I come and play the piano and when would I be there again, and what time. Flattering to say the least. Embarrassing. Absolutely embarrassing. I am not a pianist. I took piano lessons for 10 years when I was a little girl on through high school. Here I am now taking piano lessons again. I repeat, I am not a pianist, I m simply a middle aged woman rediscovering the joy in playing the piano. It makes my mom smile. I like to make my mom smile.
Mom played the piano. It's hard for me write "played" as in past tense. Last Friday Zak wheeled her to the piano and asked her to play for him, but she couldn't remember anything. It's very sad because one beautiful memory my boys have with their grandma is her playing the piano for them.
Mom began playing the piano in church when she was 8 years old. The pianist hasn't shown up and the pastor decided they would not be singing that week with no accompaniment , My grandfather stood up and said, "Ruby can play." She played from that day forward every Sunday. Mom continued to play in church until she was well into her 80's. She still played at home for 1 hour every day. She would tell us that she still practices everyday because she never wanted to forget to play the music that brought her so much joy in her life.
Another thing Alzheimer's robs you of -- what brings you joy . . .
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