Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Flurry of Excitement

Today was Lunch at Atria day and it had a bit of a different twist to it.  For one thing my mother's back has really been bothering her.  So much so that she let out a shriek when she went to sit down and she can't make it all the way from her apartment to the dining room without sitting down.  But she doesn't need to see a doctor.  Not her.  The doctor told her 10 years ago that when it hurts she should just sit down and that's what she does.  Of course it's not possible that the disintegration in her coccyx has worsened, 'cause the doctor told her all she had to do 10 years ago.  I'll tell ya, for a woman who has always been so intelligent about everything except her health, she can be really stupid sometimes.  That Christian Science upbringing that she discarded decades ago pops up whenever it's convenient.

I'm going to take a different track with her.  I'm going to leave the decision of whether to see the doctor or not up to her BUT remind her that the thing she is most terrified of is being incapacitated and the fact that her pain is getting worse is a sign that the back is getting worse and if she doesn't get it checked out, she may very well end up incapacitated.  OR it may well be that she won't be incapacitated but will have to use a walker to get around, another huge fear (she's above all those poor people who use walkers.  SHE doesn't need a walker!)  Let's see how that goes over.

Someone in the Memory People group on Facebook suggested we try medical marijuana.  That had never occurred to me, and having zero experience with marijuana, I wouldn't have a clue where to find it or how to use it.  But it is something I might explore if the doctor thinks it might be a good idea.

But anyway, we eventually got to the dining room and "her" table was full, so we sat at the empty table next to it.  As she was sitting down, she got this funny look on her face and I looked off to the side and there was Loretta entering (on her walker, I might add).  Loretta, as I have said before, is my mother's best friend at Atria.  Neither of them knows the other one's name, though they have been friends for two years, but they enjoy each other so much, especially when they have wine with their meals.  They like teasing and insulting each other, just like my mother and her friend Paula do and I just love it.  Meals with Loretta are my favorites.

As usual, my mother poured over the menu before deciding on fruit salad and vegetable soup, and then couldn't remember what she was going to order.  When they brought her vegetable soup (which she has every day), they had added extra vegetables on top of the broth and she looked disgusted and tried to decide why she had ordered that.  She obviously was not going to eat it, so I took the veggies floating on the top of the broth off and put them on a separate plate and then she recognized her order and she ate the broth. 

We were enjoying lunch when suddenly there was a shout of "HEY!!!"  It was a woman who is probably the youngest resident of Atria, but I think she is there because she is in a wheelchair and probably this was the best place for her.  She was shouting "Is there someone who knows the Heimlich maneuver?  We have someone choking here!"

At the table next to her, on the other side of the room from where we were sitting, suddenly all the wait staff and some of the Atria facility people surrounded this woman and I guess managed to successfully "heimlich" her but there remained a lot of people around her for awhile until they were sure she was OK. 

As for my mother and Loretta, they kept insulting each other throughout the rest of lunch. At one point I asked Loretta which of her children she had in Davis and she told me it was her son.  I asked her how many children she had and she couldn't remember.  She thinks she has grandchildren. She just remembered that they have taken away any sharp objects in her apartment and are choosing her clothes for her and she now has to wear colors she never wore before.

It's easy to see why she and my mother are such good friends.  And the best thing is that when they are together, I have no qualms about joking about the fact that neither can remember anything.  They just laugh at me and with each other.  I'm sure they never see each other outside of mealtimes, but they do enjoy their meals together.

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