Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Well, at least it's short

My mother has had her hair cut, and got a perm today.  She has been looking long and shaggy, like an old lady in a rest home, and I was surprised to read in one of my old entries that almost exactly a year ago, I was making the same complaint.  

I have been pushing her to get her hair cut and she keeps "thinking about it" while the hair grows longer and stringier.  I finally realized that this is something else she is incapable of doing.  The idea of (a) remembering the hairdresser, (b) finding the phone number, and (c) making the call was completely beyond her ability, so I made an appointment for her last week.

This morning she called in a panic.  "Someone" had called her--she didn't know who--to ask her about something--she didn't remember what--and could I return the call and take care of it for her. 

I figured it was beautician Lucy calling to remind her about her appointment, and it was.  She wanted to make it earlier, so I went to Atria for lunch and then took her upstairs to the salon.  I realized again that this trip upstairs to find the salon is completely beyond her ability to navigate.  She didn't even recognize the elevator and swore she'd never been in it.

This wasn't a bad memory day, it was a terrible memory day. She couldn't remember anything, and even when we got home from the salon, it took her a few minutes to recognize her own apartment, but then she noticed familiar things and "guessed" it was her place.  I think "having something to do" just completely threw her for a loop.

But it got done.

When she had a haircut and a perm last time, this is how she looked...

and that was what I was expecting to see when I picked her up.  I spent the 2 hours she was at the salon in her apartment and when I got to Lucy's, my mother was sitting in a chair, bent over, with her head in her hands.  I'm not sure why, whether it was fear that I wouldn't come to get her (which it may well have been), or if she had looked at herself in the mirror.

This is the before and after:

She looks better, that's for sure, but she looks like she got her finger stuck in an electric socket...or like an old lady in a rest home that just had a bad perm.  If it had been me I would have been very upset, but she seems OK with it...and if she can't recognize her own apartment, it's probably a good thing she can't really see how bad her hair looks.  For this she paid $75.  She wuz robbed!

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