Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mom Making Progress

I haven't posted about Mom's progress for awhile now so its past time. My sister just emailed these photos to me after telling me the story on the phone.

Mom has taken on the role of mender at home and at my brother's where she visits once or twice a week. Mostly it is hand work but this one project--patching a sheet--required the use of a sewing machine. But her good, modern machine that sits in her bedroom needs repairs. So she asked to use her old machine that is down in the basement in what once was her sewing room. It was a rec room bar according to the blueprints but it became Mom's sewing room the day we moved in.

My sister had reservations but she made it happen for her--clearing a path from the stairs to the sewing machine and helping her down the stairs. That was a huge milestone in itself, getting down the stairs. That was the first time since she broke her hip last November that she has gone down to the basement.

Here Mom uses a magnifying glass to thread the sewing machine's needle.

But what seems even more significant to me is her interest in getting back to sewing, her ability to conquer the effects of the mild stroke to exercise old skills and apply herself to long time passions.

The stroke apparently did not affect her memory of how to do familiar tasks. It's primary effects were on language and more specifically vocabulary. She could still form very complex, grammatically correct sentences but she would draw a blank on nouns--names of persons, places and things. But that is getting much better too. She and I had a nearly forty minute conversation on the phone last Monday in which she held her own quite well and only needed prompting for a word a couple times.

The stroke also affected her ability to initiate--to start a conversation, to ask for help, even to help herself. For example, she would not initiate the action of reaching for a sweater or blanket when she got chilled nor would she ask for it. That was getting much better by the time I left in late June. And apparently it is even much better now than it was then. Because she initiated this event. She announced she had the sheet prepared for sewing and asked to go down to her old sewing machine.

Above she is sewing on the patch. Below is a picture of the patch.

Remember, my mom is legally blind like myself though with less vision than I have left. Imagine sewing if you had to use a magnifying glass and look through a hole the size of a pea or even a BB.

On other fronts. My sister tells me Mom is now getting her own breakfast without supervision. Sometimes even before my sister arrives upstairs. And she continues to help often with meal prep at other times. She has also been out in the yard to help with weeding and other small tasks that can be done while sitting on a special wheeled walker/cart/chair they got for the purpose. I thought I had a picture of it, as my sister bought that a couple weeks before I left and I was camera crazy in that last month. But I can't locate them in my files.

It's great to think of her getting back to work in her yard again. Mom's flower beds and the bouquets she made to give away right and left were something she was known for.

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