Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mom's quirks

With the return of lucidity comes the return of ego. Mom still feels impelled to wipe down the kitchen sink (and adjacent counters) with her hands or with a wet paper towel, but when we try to pry her away from this activity, she now resists. Getting her to shift focus from A to B is becoming more difficult.

Earlier today, back when I was helping Mom in the bathroom, she stopped for a few moments and stared at herself in the mirror. Finally, she shook her head and muttered, "Terrible."

"What's terrible?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

"This," Mom said, staring at the palm-sized crater where part of her skull used to be. "And here," she said, pointing at the skin that was grafted onto her scalp, barely visible to her in the mirror. No hair will grow from that area: the skin is from the back of her left thigh.

Mom's resistance to our attempts to pull her away from an activity and her self-consciousness about how she looks are further signs of the return of Mom's ego, i.e., her sense of self. This is generally a good thing, though I wish the reappearance of ego entailed the disappearance of Mom's compulsive behavior.


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