My mother-in-law, Margaret, has been suffering from memory lapses for at least three years now. We first realized this when we still lived out in the country, where the Blair Witch Project could have been filmed. She had left her home in Brighton, and an hour later, still had not arrived at our house, fifteen minutes away. She hadn't arrived because although she had been to our house hundreds, if not thousands of times, she had gotten lost on the way.
It was easy to dismiss this. She was taking medication because she had low blood pressure and she and Peter, my father-in-law, wrote it off to that.
Martin and I were concerned, and thought she should get evaluated, but were reassured by both Peter and Margaret that it was just her meds.
Fast forward to the next couple years, and the memory lapses are getting more pronounced. Sometimes, it's little things, like not remembering what day it is. Other times, it's things like not remembering where a store or restaurant she's gone to for years is, or we make plans and have to tell her several times. Mia goes to school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and she doesn't remember that.
Sometimes, in conversation with her, I'll tell her something and she'll say, "Oh, that's right!" and I know she has no idea what I'm talking about.
Finally, last week, Peter took her to be evaluated. It didn't go well. She has to go back for some testing and it's going to be done in the evening. Margaret is convinced that she's being taken away that evening and put in a home. After the appointment, she was so upset, Margaret and Peter stopped by the house and Martin and I tried to reassure her. Martin and his mom have always been exceptionally close and he is going with them for the evening tests.
I love my mother-in-law dearly. I will never forget, when Martin and I started dating, his parents still lived on Brighton Lake and had a pontoon boat. We went over one Sunday afternoon to go out on the boat and I met his parents. As soon as I saw his mom, I recognized her from the car dealership I worked at as The British Dog Lady. His parents "adopted" me as soon as we met and I've enjoyed my close relationship with them.
Margaret is a remarkable lady. She grew up in a small town in the north of England and moved to the States with her husband and son in 1980. She left behind family and friends and a world she knew well to start a new life. She's very much the British Mum. Her house is always immaculate (you never know when the Queen of England is going to stop by your house in Brighton, Michigan, for a cup of tea) and never has a mean word to say about anyone. She loves her family and would do anything in the world for us. She's friendly to everyone, has never met a stranger, and I've never met anyone better with dogs.
I dearly hope when she has this testing done, something can be done to help her. I know she is frightened, and I want her to feel more like herself again.