My vacation was great, while it lasted. Unfortunately, Mom ended up in the emergency room with what we believe was a panic attack. It seems she can't go too long being away from me, home or her dog - we're not sure which. Anyway, I ended up bring her home.

The trip home we decided to take in easy stages for both of us - my back and tush suffer as does her back, so we took 3 days going the 1000 miles.

One important note to caregivers: Do not ever, ever, give a map to someone who is in the early stages of AD. Most of the time she seems ok, but she studied that map constantly, like it was her lifeline. She then started navigating for me. I have never gotten lost before. On that trip I got lost several times. I will never let her have a map again. Very frustrating. Because of the extra time involved in finding our way, we ended up getting stuck in rush hour traffic in L.A. Not fun. It took 2 hours to go 12 miles.

She also had trouble with the names of my grandchildren, mixing them up seriously. And when we went out to dinner, she was positive it was a certain restaurant that it was a Marie Callendar's, even though we had repeated the name of Mimi's several times, even as we went inside, and she had seen the name.

I know this all probably seems minor to all of you, but I'm just learning about this. Mom has always had her full mental faculties, and it's sad and scary when she doesn't have them. She seems to be going downhill pretty quickly. She was on Aricept, but had to go off of it because of uncontrollable diarrhea. She quickly became dehydrated. A far cry from her usual problem of constipation.

I never got to go on my river float, but I had great fun with 5 of grandkids at a lake, and we went bowling, to lots of movies, and I had them on sleepovers at my daughters. I did get to see all of them at one point or another, so I'm very happy about that. Mom said that she will arrange for them to fly down here 2 at a time during the year, so I won't be so long without them. And she said that she's going to look into respite caregivers so I can get away. My brother is not doing well. He may end up losing his foot if he doesn't stay off of it, so him caring for Mom at this point is really not a good idea. His wound got worse while Mom was there, and none of us want that.
Mom is also going to start checking out the senior center near us so she can get some social activities going, and see what options they have there. I think that's about everything. Thanks for being a resource me!

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Sounds like a wonderful time even with the ER episode. Panic attacks can be very scary. Next time you drive anywhere with your mother, you can let her have the map and buy a navigator. My mother still wonders at the thing that talks to us in the car. She is a technophobe, so doesn't really like or trust it. But I do. :)

I hope the respite plans and seeing your grandkids works out. It would be so nice to be able to pull the family back closer. My family is not close, but I wish that they were. I know it is something we have to work at to keep from getting too much distance.

And lastly, welcome back!

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