Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday sit rep

The sun is shining, my brother David has just made a batch of gooey cinnamon rolls, Mom is awake and about to receive a shower from Dad, and I'm doing little more than typing this entry.

Mr. James and his wife will be here at 3PM; after their visit, we'll be taking Mom out to Tysons Corner, a mall where the parking is free and the pedestrian thoroughfares are wide. Mom can witness some of the post-Thanksgiving shopping craziness firsthand, and might even have a chance to try walking.

Mom's leg strength has varied this past week. One day, Dad brought her out to the living room by hugging her and walking backward, essentially bearing all her weight himself. On other days, Mom has been strong enough to walk while we held her hands, merely to aid her balance. When I look back over the last ten or so days, it seems to me that, if Mom's various vital signs and symptoms were put on a graph, we'd see a haphazard picture, filled with random peaks and valleys. Her balance, her strength, her perseveration, the wateriness of her eyes, her verbosity, the puffiness of her feet... these things have all varied in different ways-- not in synch with each other, and not according to any detectable rhythm. The overall picture is rather chaotic; I don't know what to make of it.

We're also dealing with Mom's extremely chapped lips. She has been slack-jawed with increasing frequency, breathing through her mouth, and this dries her lips out. The chapping was quite extreme during the days before Thanksgiving; that was our fault for not keeping up with the maintenance. We've been doing what we can to gently soften and exfoliate Mom's lips; based on what I've seen online regarding care for severely chapped lips, the rejuvenation process will take a while, I think. Mom's had the warm washcloth treatment, as well as warm teabag applications, vitamin E rubs, standard lip ointment, and as of yesterday, a new, special lip ointment. I expect she'll be looking a lot better, if we pursue the problem consistently, by the end of next week.

So that's the situation here. More later.


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