Marilyn and I have been in the process of saying goodbye to our sister Sue for some time now. By that, I mean that Sue's barely there anymore. She has dementia and is getting worse all the time.
Here's what happened today: 1) Sue calls me. She's surprised. She was trying to phone her daughter, Candy. I talk to her briefly, then we both hang up. 2) Almost immediately she phones me back! Again, she's surprised. I'm calm and tell her she needs to try again. 3) She calls back again within minutes. She's frustrated. I tell her to take a few deep breaths. She hangs up and I wait. 4) Soon she phones back again. This time we talk a little. Then she hangs up again. 5) She calls me back again. We laugh and make jokes about it. She hangs up. 6) She calls me back a few minutes later. She seems sure she won't do it again. 7) She calls again and gets very upset. This time I ask her if she has Candy's number in front of her. She does not. I don't know why I never asked her before that! She has paper and a pen and I give her the number. She does not call back.
Much later she does call back and leaves a message saying she reached Candy and got Larry's number from her. (Candy is Sue's daughter and our niece. Larry is her son and our nephew.) She says she wished Larry Happy Birthday. (He is 50 today.) I was in the middle of working and couldn't stop so I didn't pick up. She calls me on my cell, so I pick up and explain. She says she understands, but calls back a few minutes later. I finally give up and talk to her.
She immediately repeats almost word for word the message left me earlier, even though I stop her twice telling her I know. But that's her news for the day, I guess. We chat, but she really can't connect. I talk about the year Larry was born -- he was a 'Tom Turkey,' a baby born on Thanksgiving Day.
She has good and bad days, which isn't new. But more bad ones now. And she knows me, but is very disconnected. That's no surprise. We've been expecting it.
Still it's hard.
I try to speak to her every day if possible. I've been doing that for years now. Usually we speak several times a day. But it's harder now. Partly because I don't always reach her.
Three different times today my friend June asked me questions that I couldn't answer. I didn't remember the answers.
I spoke to my pharmacist this evening. He called on behalf of my insurance provider to go over some meds with me. He mentioned Nortriptyline 25mg from July of this year. I didn't remember it at all, but he said it was a sleep aid. I thought it might be connected to my emergency room trip from July, but he said it was from Leslie. She might have given it to me to help me sleep. I mention not being able to almost every time I see her (which is every single month since April).
Insurance knew I'd never renewed that med and wanted to warn me that people over 60 shouldn't be taking it. Which is fine, as I never did. I explained to the pharmacist that I know all my medications extremely well. I research them all and keep a very organized medicine cabinet and medicine list. Insurance wanted to know why I wasn't on statins! I'm allergic. Then he wanted to know the specifics. I said I didn't specifically recall -- it had been ages ago -- but bad enough Leslie took me off them. Anyway...
Lamar (my handyman -- sure) did not show up today. I wasn't surprised. It was raining this morning. He texted me he was still sick from having his dental work yesterday. (He had two fillings.) That's why he didn't show yesterday, because of the appointment in the morning.
I tried to hang a tarp over his poles. No go. Too tall. Set up so weird I doubt they can ever work the way they are. But maybe with additional poles they might. Too bad he missed the good weather when he had it...