A Handful of Changes

Each Summer when I visit, Mom asks me to identify any changes I notice.  When I first get there, I usually think there's nothing new that I can note.  I see the changes to some degree through the year.  I'm always wrong.  There are changes which are more evident when you spend extended periods of time with her.

Lyn can no longer follow a conversation.  She can follow a few sentences but not much more.  She's desperate to engage but she's not sure where to jump in gracefully so she just jumps in with whatever thought is in her head.  That thought may be triggered by a word or a half of a sentence she just heard.

Lyn's attempts to control her environment is driven out of anxiety.  It extends now to what we say.  As I mentioned last week, there's a whole list of things that she won't let us discuss.  She will correct anything she perceives to be wrong or inappropriate.  She cannot parse colloquial phrases.  For example, when I said "I'm going to jump in the shower," this sparked a lecture on safety.

Lyn is now in high repeat mode.  She will repeat a sentence or a question many times a day now.  While I was there last week, I heard countless times that she calls Nikka "twinkletoes."

Lyn seeks less physical contact than she has in the past.  I only saw her hug Mom once in the week where it had been a daily thing before.  She wouldn't touch me at all.  She pulled away if I reached out to touch her.

Lyn is not able to maintain a thought for very long.  She wanted to play Memory.  I didn't know that they now only play with a few of the tiles.  We played and I watched as she picked up the same two tiles for 6 or 7 turns.  There were times she knew she had seen a tile but had no memory of where she had seen it.  A year ago, she would have been able to get more than one or two pairs.


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