Visit with Mom & Dad

I went over to Mom & Dad’s this afternoon – Dad had gotten tired and was taking a nap on the couch when I arrived. Mom was in a state best described as ‘hypo manic‘, at the tippy top end closest to full blown manic, but still lower. To give you an example, I took over the jewelery that Mom bought from QVC (and that dad said to keep), which began our conversation. The conversation (I listened almost exclusively) covered:

  • The jewelery that was stolen when their house was broken into a few years ago
  • The jewelery that she had on, which was removed and examined
  • The quality of the boxes that the new jewelery came in, and their suede covering (they were nice boxes)
  • The other jewelery box mom kept in the living room that wasn’t stolen (which we went and examined)
  • The contents of said jewelery box, which was opened, and each piece examined and commented on
  • The dust that collected in the jewelery box, which was partially cleaned
  • The color of the lining and type of wood of said jewelery box
  • The fireplace across the room, and how ugly the stains on the brick were (salt stains removable with water)
  • The cracks in the ceiling above the fireplace, from the house settling
  • The dirt on the floor behind the fireplace that may have fallen from the attic

At this point, the TV in the den made some noise that caught both our attention, so we went there, and I turned it off.

  • The ‘closed up’ smell of the den, which led to opening the back door
  • Which was next to the closet, which was opened and items there selected
    • The train set that they bought for my boys
    • A wicker basket that Mom had been wondering where it was
    • An old belt of mine (which must have been huge then, because it still fits)
    • The dirt on the floor in the closet
  • The cracks in the ceiling there as well (which would easily be covered with crown molding)
  • The antique cradle that I used as a baby
    • that was purchased at an estate auction
    • four years before I was born
    • and repaired by my grandfather
    • who I was named after
    • and he was named after his uncle
    • who was a preacher, and wrote a book (which I have since found at the Library of Congress)

Just to give you a general idea, the above took all of 45 min. Mom was home, and knew the stuff around her, and knew the story of everything she touched, and had to convey it. If she ever slows down a little more, I’ll have to get it on tape or write it down.

Dad was now awake, and had joined us for the cradle conversation. We moved back to the living room, where a LOT more detail about the items in the jewelery box was conveyed. Mom was VERY happy that I was able to open a tiny locket that was her mothers, and that it had a picture of my grandmother and grandfather inside. About this time, Mom told a bit about their travels earlier that day to the grocery store and the hairdresser:

  • She hadn’t seen the hairdresser in quite a while.
  • When she was on the ward, there was a woman that was a hairdresser
    • the typical waitress/hairdresser like Flo from the TV show ‘Alice’
    • who had also been to cosmetology school
    • who helped Mom do her hair
    • but they weren’t allowed to have combs (I never found out what they used)
    • and they didn’t have hair gel, so they used Kerry lotion (which explains Mom’s look the last few days)

Note to self: If you ever get a movie role playing a crazy person, use Kerry lotion in your hair.

Mom was able to talk about her time on the ward (That Dungeon) without the volume going to 11 – even though the speed is still set on 78. (if you don’t get the reference, ask your parents) All in all, a relatively pleasant, if exhausting visit.

I was asked in a comment on a previous post if Mom was improving. The answer is Yes, but slowly – a little every day. I originally thought that it would be better if they could give her something that would bring her back down NOW, but after reading up on bipolar treatment have found that gently normalizing is much better because:

  • They don’t notice such a drastic change, which helps them adjust without feeling that they have been suddenly set on slow-mo
  • A less noticeable change will often lead to a much higher rate of med compliance
  • The med dosage doesn’t need to be monitored as closely, or adjusted as often
  • A quick down can often cause a crash, which is how Mom usually came down from the high

At this level, Mom has MUCH more control – not of the energy level/agitation/excitability/distractedness, but of the emotional range and expression.

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~ by namegoeshere on April 21, 2007.