Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Monday, August 24, 2015

Edge of a Scream

 At the height of my Judy Garland craze, back in the 50s or 60s, there was an article in one of the movie magazines that I was hooked on, about Garland.  I have read lots and lots and lots of articles about her over the years, but this is the title I always remember:  "Always on the Edge of a Scream."

There have been times throughout my life, for one reason or another, when I have felt that way, and today I realized that one of my big problems is that I am living every day wondering if my mother is alive or dead.  Is that overly dramatic?  Probably.  But that's how I feel.

After leaving her yesterday, I worried about her all the rest of the day and woke up worried about her.  I had told her I would call to remind her to take her meds.  I decided I'd wait until after lunch, since sometimes she sleeps late.

I started calling at 1 and got no answer, but if she went to lunch, it's possible she just wasn't back.  Between 1 and 2:15, I called her 5 times and there was never an answer.  I didn't want to call Atria to check on her, so I drove over there, certain I would find her dead.

The fact that there was no newspaper in her mail slot was a good sign that she had at least gotten up that morning.  I knocked and she answered the door.  I asked why she hadn't answered her phone and she said it had not rung.  I told her I had called her five times.

Then I noticed that her phone was not on the charger, where it should be and I looked around and couldn't find it.  I decided to call it to see if it would ring.  The phone in her bedroom rang, which she heard because she was standing near the door to the bedroom.  After a search, which she didn't understand why I was undertaking, I finally found the phone, under a stack of newspapers at her elbow.  It was dead.  Once I put it in the charger, it rang as soon as I called it. 

But when the phone rang, she held up the two remotes to the TV and told me that those hadn't rung.  I had to explain that those were for the TV and were not telephones.

She said she felt fine (though had NOT taken her meds) and she couldn't understand why I was so worried.  I stayed for awhile, but not the whole hour because we were expecting our new refrigerator to be delivered.

As I went out to the car, I felt better knowing why she had not answered the phone and that she was alive, but it hit me that with everything I do almost every single day there is this cloud over my head wondering if my mother was going to die today or if she would live to "hunnert."  Not a fun way to live.

I miss my sister.

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