Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Monday, January 25, 2016

Shop Therapy

I went shopping at World Market today.  

I didn't need anything...what I needed was shop therapy, something I almost never do.

I had left Atria very depressed. I had gone to pick her laundry up and had gone reluctantly.  I hate that I have reached a point where I dread going to see her.

But, dear God can we please talk about anything but how old she is????

This is what we discussed for an hour:
I'm old
I'm almost 100.
I can't be expected to remember things because I'm almost 100
It would be something if I made it to 100.
I don't think I want to live to be 100
Time is passing too quickly.
Time goes on whether you want it to or not.
I'm old.
I'm almost 100.
Over and over and over and over again.

I did manage to distract her by telling her I was cooking polenta for dinner tonight and recalling the first time I had polenta when we were on vacation when I was a little girl.  It was kind of a funny story and she laughed, then heaved a sigh and said "I'm really old, Bev" and we were off again back on the merry-go-round.

Oh, we did briefly discuss the fact that she's cold, and my suggestion that she put on a sweater or a sweat shirt was met with "that look" which says "you can't make me do anything I don't want to do." and she just sat there looking cold. but not admitting that she needed any cover-up.

I finally decided I just could not take any more, so gathered up her dirty laundry and went for a drive, the long way, so I had 10 minutes or so to decompress with my audio book.  Then I decided to try shop therapy.

I burned the handle of my wooden fork last night (not badly but enough that I wanted to replace it--sometime) and decided to go to World Market to get a new one.  World Market had only high end wooden utensils and no forks anyway, but I did a slow tour around the store, bought a couple of things and felt better, if still depressed, when I got home.

Then there was the telephone.  I got a call from my cousin Niecie letting me know that my mother called her and that she didn't get to the phone in time, so she called her back but only heard the sound of shuffling papers.  She called Atria to ask them to check on my mother.  They did and she was fine.  Then I got a call from her and when I answered she wanted to know why I'd called her.  I told her she had called ME and we decided that I'd just see her tomorrow.  5 minutes later she called back, having forgotten that she had called ("that last call wasn't me, but this one is").  She says "the phone keeps ringing and there is never anybody there and I don't know what to do." "How do people even know I'm HERE?" she asked.  I explained to her about Niecie and why the Atria people checked on her.  That seemed to go over all right, for 5 minutes until she called me AGAIN frantic because her phone won't stop ringing and there is never anybody there and she doesn't know what to do.  I suggested she just take the phone off the hook. She said "so you're going to take the phone off the hook?" I explained that I was in my house and I thought maybe SHE could take the phone off the hook.  She said "That's can leave it on the hook."

I was in the middle of cooking dinner but turned everything off and went over there, unplugged her base unit and took the hand set so she couldn't try to call out with it.  I also let Atria know what I was doing and that I would be back tomorrow to hook it all up again.

When I got to her apartment, she was sitting in her chair, across the room from the phone, holding her TV remote and looking at it in puzzlement.  She held it out to me and asked if I needed that. 

This  was not a good day.

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