Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Sunday, June 29, 2014

This was a first

I went to see my mother in the morning and was regaling her with tales of the shows we saw this weekend (I don't know how much she comprehends, but it's something to talk about other than her being old!) and she seemed to be enjoying my stories.  She asked "do you write a report after you see them?"  I said (for the 100th time) that I did.  And she almost told me that "my daughter does that too," but then caught herself and realized that I was her daughter.   That hasn't happened before.

She also told me about having intermittent bilious fever, which she had as a small child.  I know this story, but she doesn't tell it all that often.  She was about 4 or 5 when she had it and she was bedridden for several months.  However she started the story today with "this happened before I was married" and then that she was about 13, she thought.

Just a bad day for memory, I guess.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Something Exciting

"What are you doing exciting for the rest of the afternoon?" she asked.  I had already answered that question more than half a dozen times in the apartment.  Now it appeared it was going to be the topic through our weekly lunch too.  And it was.  Sometimes she would interrupt me while I was telling her for the xxth time that I was going to finish writing my review and take a nap to ask the question again.

Her brain these days is funny.  Sometimes it amazes me with what she remembers.  She remembered to tell me that Jeri had called her earlier in the day I was visiting.  When she was talking to Jeri she remembered that Phil had been to visit her two weeks before. She remembered that she had been sleeping when the cleaning lady came this morning so her bed wasn't made and the cleaning lady was going to come back later to make the bed.

When it came time to order lunch, she couldn't remember how big the bowl of fruit salad was (though she has eaten it every. single. day. for the past year) and the waitress had to show her how big the bowl was.  Then she wasn't sure if she could eat that much.  Though. she. has. eaten. it. every. single. day. for the past year.

When we got back from lunch, I went to use the bathroom and discovered she was out of toilet paper.  I told her that I noticed she was out of TP and she said "Oh that's right--I was going to call you about that.  I need to start making a list" (of course she has been saying she is going to start making a list ever since she got to Atria, but I was impressed she had remembered she was out of toilet paper).

I told her I would run up to CVS and get her a package.   She said she would have to pay me, but she didn't know if she had checks and she would have to call Ed and ask him to bring her checks.  I reminded her that he had brought her checks and that they were in her purse.  She said she'd get the checks out while I was gone so she could pay me when I got back.

When I got back, she was amazed that I realized she was out of toilet paper because she meant to call me about it and she needed to start keeping a list.  She told me she needed to pay me but she didn't know if she had any checks and she would have to ask Ed to bring her some.  Then she asked me what exciting thing I was going to be doing for the rest of the afternoon.


I'm not depressed about these visits, really.  They just make me sad.  I love it when family come to visit her because it gives her a new audience and she actually can carry on a conversation that doesn't involve their exciting activities for the rest of the day.

One positive thing today, though, is that I don't think she mentioned "hunnert" once.  Now THAT makes it a good day!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A good day!

Wow...yesterday was a great day.  My mother told me Jeri had called her.  I mean she REMEMBERED that Jeri had called her.  Jeri said they had a great talk and that my mother remembered Phil had visited her 2 weeks ago.'s like a little hole broke through that great dementia cloud for awhile and let a ray of sunshine peek through.

I wish I had those moments with her.  I got so tired of hearing her say "I'm old, Bev" and "Do you think I'll make it to hunnert" and hearing that she didn't want to live that long but didn't want to die, I finally cut our visit short and left.  It seems these days that all we talk about is her age, her death, how she wants to die and how she does not want to die.