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Does Confusion Get Worse When They are Sick?

A 2011 entry in my journal described a frustrating, confusing couple of hours.  I had Alzheimer’s Support group in the morning, then worked the rest of the day.  At 3:45 I get a call from Mom asking if I would go food shopping for soup, crackers, rice, soda, etc.  She sounded horrible, so I told her I’d be over within the hour.  I get to her house, and she’s fine.  She LOOKS fine.  SHE IS FINE.  I ask why she isn’t in bed, “I thought you were sick,” I said.  Mom looks at me like I’m nuts.  She did not remember the l hour or two prior.

What Is True For Me: I have never doubted Mom when she’s not feeling well.  She’s never been the kind of woman to do anything for attention, that’s never been part of her character.  I have witnessed her not feel well, take a nap, get up and be fine, and not remember she wasn’t feeling well before she took a nap.

I don’t dare tell anyone about these episodes anymore because I’d get a surplus of, “Oh your Mom’s playin’ you,” or “she must be lonely and wants to see you.” But that isn’t it at all.  Heck, even if it was, it doesn’t matter.  I’d go food shopping for her, drop the grocery’s off, stay for 20 minutes and got back to my day.  Was it a complete interruption of my day?  Of course.  But this is what we caregivers do.

Since Mom has been living at her Assisted Living residence, she will sometimes still call and ask if I will go and get her soup and crackers from the grocery store.  I always say I'm happy to do that, but remind her the kitchen/dining hall has much better soup and crackers than the grocery store.  “Oh that’s right,” she’ll say.  And I also remind her they bring food to her room if she requests.  “Oh that’s right, I’ll do that.  Never mind!”  For Mom, this is just normal Alzheimer’s confusion, but the confusion is much worse when she’s not feeling well.

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