When Lyn goes to her twice weekly physical therapy appointments, she works hard for the therapist. The moment he's out of site she refuses to cooperate. She will not perform the exercises while she's at home. She will not perform the exercises at day hab. She will ONLY do them for the therapist. Even with the two hours of work a week, there has been no improvement in her gait or her stability.
Mom suspects that some of Lyn's instability is being done for effect while some of it is real. At home, Lyn's able to get out of a chair without significant issue most of the time. At church, no matter how stable she is before or after Mass, you would think she's on the verge of needing a wheelchair. She hasn't used the kneeler in a year or two. She can hold onto the pew in front of her to pull herself up to a standing position. When she's walking down the isle to receive communion, she staggers back and forth while you see very little of that when she's walking in upon arrival.
Her physical therapist has been working with her to get her comfortable using her walking stick. Earlier in the week, as they were leaving therapy, Mom asked Lyn to show her what they had done. Lyn walked up a set of stairs using the cane while talking the whole time. Mom asked her to come back down. Lyn put her can one step down, looked confused, picked it up and walked down without using it.
Lyn has good days and not so good days. That's the Alzheimer's at play. However, Lyn also has always liked an audience. She can be manipulative and has been known to exaggerate her disabilities when she felt like the attention was worth it. For example, she pretended to not know how to tell time and asked my boyfriend to teach her. It is going to be interesting to see how stable Lyn is when my family and I visit next month. With my husband around, will she be unstable and needing help or will she be functioning well?
We'll soon know.