Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I already knew, after talking with an aide, that my mom was having a rougher-than-usual night. But this was just a little more bizarre than I expected, especially since our conversation last night was about the weather, what she had for supper, the activities she had gone to, and how much she like the "helpers" there.
Mom: I’m so glad to see you!!!!
Me: I’m glad to see you, too!! How’s your day been?
Mom: Not good, I’m afraid. (starting to cry)
Me: What happened, what’s going on????
Mom: There’s something that I’ve never told you, something that nobody knows.
Me: What is that?
Mom: Well, I don’t know how to tell you this, but our entire family is black.
Me: All of us?
Mom: Yes, all of us. And our family that came over from Denmark, they’re black too. (In case you’ve not been certain of this just from reading the blog, we’re all Caucasian).
Me: How long have you known that?
Mom: I’ve known it for a long time. And then today, this woman, she said she was my aunt….she told me, too. She thinks she’s so pure!!! She thnks she's not black, but she is!!! Someone told me that she's at least fifty percent!
Me: Is she still here?
Mom: I think so. She had a gun. See these shoes?
Me: Yes, those are the shoes we bought together, from that special shoe store, so that your toe wouldn’t hurt.
Mom: No, they aren’t. SHE took those. She was shooting at my shoes.
Me: Wow, that must’ve been scary, huh?
Mom: (getting teary again) Yes, it was.
Me: Well, I’ll bet she’s gone now.
Mom: No, I think she’s here all the time.
Me: I know these ladies will take good care of you, though—if she comes back, they’ll call the police.
Mom: I don’t know about that….
Me: I heard they lock the doors at 11pm, so if she wants to come back she won’t be able to.
Mom: I don’t know, she’s pretty mean.
Mom: She told me she was going to take my pillows.
Mom: And then she told me that [my mom’s brother and sister in law] moved to Denmark and are never coming back.
Me: Well, if that’s the case, it’s a good thing you’ve got a phone to call them!
Mom: Well [my mom’s brother] said he was never going to talk to me again.
Me: When did he say that?
Mom: Well, he didn’t, but that one day he was here and didn’t even say hi. (referring to a day when there were musicians performing in the nursing home and my mom thought it was her brother/family and they didn’t say hi to her (because it wasn’t them)).
Me: Well, I’m so glad you’re in a safe place!
Mom: Have you talked to DH lately?
Me: Yeah, he’s at work.
Mom: I thought he wasn’t working.
Me: No, he’s still working. At the same place.
Mom: Do you think you’ll ever get back together with him?
Me: What do you mean?
Mom: You were having a lot of problems. And he left you. And now you're all alone.
Me: No, he didn’t leave, everything’s ok.
Mom: But he did move out.
Me: No, everything’s fine.
Mom: Did I tell you about that aunt? She’s the meanest, most inconsiderate person I’ve ever met! She said I lie, and that I steal and that I’m as good as dirt.
Me: Well I know that’s not true….you know you don’t lie or steal and you’re not dirt, right?
Mom: But she said I was….
At this point I realized that me talking with her was actually getting her more riled up instead of calmed down, so I left, after instructing the aides and nurses to test her for a UTI. Natural progression? I have no clue. The other times when she has been like this, there has always been a big underlying problem—like a UTI (I hope).
You know, when you read about Alzheimer’s, you always hear about the memory loss/disorientation. There’s not so much about stuff like this, and it’s scary. It’s especially scary because it’s so hard to tell if there’s "something" going on, or if it’s just dementia talking—and is this just a "bad day" or is this a sign of how things will be in the future? (I suspect that, unless they find a UTI, this is a sign of what the future holds)….You don’t find out about the hallucinations, the inability to recognize pain, the extra-sensitivity to medicines, the fear and anxiety….www.alz.org has helped me a lot. But after a night like this, I get so scared for my mom, and for the daughter (me) who’s losing her a little bit at a time…..