I was talking to a friend last week, who still reads this blog. He asked how my grandma is doing and said I hadn't posted about her in a while.
Which is true. I haven't. She's been stable. Her short-term memory is still pretty much useless, and it's difficult if not impossible to have a real conversation, especially one that sustains itself for more than a minute or two, but she hasn't gotten worse. She's still herself. She still has opinions and knows who she's talking to and isn't in any physical pain-- she's relatively healthy, for someone who's 94 and a half, who had a stroke and who can't function on her own. Her aide takes her outside, they go places sometimes, she sleeps a lot, she's relatively content some of the time, and then every few days I'll catch her on the phone when she's completely aware of her limitations, frustrated by them, and says she's not sure she's really getting all that much out of still being alive. So it's sad. Sometimes. It's quite sad. I took a picture with my phone at Thanksgiving. She's eating ice cream. I thought it was a nice picture. She ate three helpings of ice cream. It's interesting -- eating for her seems to be all about the social cues. Her aide finds it really hard to get her to eat when she's alone. But when she's around other people who are eating, she eats. She'll take second helpings, she won't remember how much she's eaten -- if it looks like we're all still eating, she'll keep eating. But as soon as plates start to disappear, she's done. She sees the social cue, and she's finished. The brain is fascinating.