My mom got some bad news: Her hearing loss is being made much worse by a problem within her inner ear, which is distorting the sounds she hears. The doctor said her ability to understand sounds went from 90% two years ago to 20% now. There's nothing that can be done about it. Her hearing has gotten noticeably worse in the past few months, even with her hearing aid, but we were all hoping that a new hearing aid or an adjustment would help.
Every now and then on the phone she has to ask me to repeat myself, but mostly she can still understand me when I speak to her. It's harder for her if there is any background noise, or if the person speaking isn't clear. Sometimes she holds the phone up to her answering machine to see if I can hear her messages, because she has so much trouble making out what they are saying. It was tremendously upsetting for her to find out that it wouldn't get any better.
Overall, at almost 90, she is in pretty good shape. Everyone at the retirement home just loves her, she is the "sweet" one who tries to help out and be kind to people. Her mind is fine. She walks perfectly well with the aid of a walker/rollator, which is really only there to keep her steady in case she needs it. Her vision is good enough to do crossword puzzles and read the newspaper. She gets tired easily, and her back hurts because of her osteoporosis, but she is in better shape, I would guess, than the average 90 year old.
I'll be driving up to visit her next week on September 28th, and we'll be going to a birthday lunch celebration with other family members on her birthday, Friday September 30th. I know she misses Dad so much it's hard for her to celebrate anything. Some days I can tell she just feels tired of living. I hope her birthday celebration cheers her up, at least a little.