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Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Brother's Behavior Changes

I was reading http://irenetdjftd.blogspot.com/ and it reminded me of some behavior changes with Michael and Patsy as the disease progressed.

Mom was staying with Michael at the lake and he had become so paranoid about closing the blinds, locking the doors, and not using electric appliances. To know Michael, this was so opposite of his usual way of life, especially at the lake. When healthy, Michael was the cook at the lake. He wanted to cook for everyone and wanted all our guests to be well fed. He loved to hangout under the trees, napping and relaxing while the brisket slow cooked.

The year before his death, he would not cook at all. All he was operating was the coffee maker. He would buy frozen foods like burritos (not warming them, just eating them defrosted) and ice cream. He would walk outside to check on something and would lock the door behind him. He would walk around the house checking the blinds to make sure they were closed tight. If mother opened a blind so there was some sunlight in the kitchen while she cooked, he could grunt and come in behind her in a few minutes and close it.

I remember thinking to myself, was he paranoid because he had been a detective for so long and now he was becoming overly obsessive thinking someone was coming after him. We were reaching for answers, anything that might explain why he was acting so differently.

Michael didn’t like traveling into San Antonio to visit the kids, travel was harder for him. He said he wasn’t as familiar with places as he used to be. He would prefer to be home sitting in front of the TV watching The Price is Right.

Even his TV show preferences changed. He used to love watching golf and the Dallas Cowboys play, but became less interested in those.

Mom would read the paper in the morning and he would get agitated because it disrupted his regular routine. Every morning, he would scan the paper (used to read it, but only scanned photos towards the end) and then deliver it to a neighbor. Mom reading the paper, was upsetting to him. He would sit and stare at her until she finished and once she finished, he would huff at her, grab the paper and run it to the neighbor’s house.

Once when the water line broke while mom was visiting, Michael got so upset he blamed her. She called the plumber and had him come out. When the plumber arrived, Michael got in his truck and took off….long enough for it to be repaired and mom pay for it. Allowing mom to pay for anything like this was so out of character for him.

1 comment:

DeeDee said...

I'm sorry I just noticed these new posts. I think I mistakenly had 'bookmarked' only the month of December (or Jan.) and so thought that was the last of the posts.

Anyhow, my mother (Irene) does show such extremely different behavior, and we were always trying to figure out 'why' she did that. Its somehow comforting to try to figure out why. Isn't it? I wondered, is it the house she lived in after her mother passed away (was it lead paint, for instance?) Was it the back surgery she had two times within 2 years (the anesthesia side effects that caused this, perhaps?). Was it the time she got hit by a long blocking-type of barrier that you find at parking lots? What was it?

Anyhow, she recently was at her brother's funeral and while everyone was crying, she was more upset that she was outside getting 'dust' on her. She insisted that she go sit in the car. So unlike her.

I do have a question . She has started to skip dinner at her place (assisted living). Also, she refused the Wendy's chicken burger we bought her one day. And then a second day she refused the fish burger I bought her. Is she having trouble chewing it and just doesn't know how to verbalize that? She still can talk relatively okay. She has a ton of words that have disappeared from her vocabulary, too.