Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Well, certainly had no clue that the Atria visit today was going to turn out the way it did, based on how it started.

I went over for lunch and of course the first red flag was that at 11 a.m., her newspaper was still outside her door.  

The second red flag was that she didn't answer the door for so long, I was digging in my purse for my key to go in and see if she was alive when she opened the door, obviously having awakened out of a deep sleep, wearing only her pajama top and underwear.

She said she felt awful, was disoriented.  The house was dark and she stood in front of the window and asked if I wanted her to open it.  I suggested that she might want to put on clothes--or at least pants before opening the window to the world. She lifted up her top, exposing her whole body to show me that she was wearing pants--underpants.

She sat in her chair and moaned about how terrible she felt, that she had no pain, and couldn't describe how she felt, but that she felt awful.  She was also upset that there were "new brown spots" on her arms, and, as she always does when she sees those old lady brown spots she kept hitting them and saying "stupid, stupid, stupid."  She was also very angry that she couldn't figure out what was causing her to feel so bad and she was obviously stupid because she should know what was causing it.

The last time this happened was when I took her to the doctor and the doctor asked me about her blood sugar levels, which I never take, since her A1C is usually OK.  But I decided to check her today, so came home to get the glucose monitor and went back.  She was now lying on the couch under a blanket and looked awful.  I tested her blood sugar and it was a little elevated, but nothing worrisome, at least not to cause this kind of a reaction.

She eventually got up and sat in her chair and we started talking.  The more we talked, the more "normal" she began to sound.  She was talking nonsense, but making fun of the deficiencies of her brain.

When I first arrived, it was obvious she was in no emotional condition to go to lunch, but she was sounding so much better that I asked if she thought she might like to go and get some food in her stomach.  She said she might like to try, so we walked down to the dining room, with her making jokes at her own expense all the way. Her usual table was full, so we took a table for two.  She ordered fruit salad and dessert and I suggested she have some vegetable soup too, which she decided to "try" (she doesn't remember that she has this every. single. day.)

She asked me what was for dessert and I told her it was carrot cake, at which she turned up her nose in disgust because she never heard of carrot cake and you don't make cake with carrots (though she did eat all of her cake and the ice cream on it too)

I had my back to the door to the dining room, so could not see people entering or leaving.  She found everything funny and we laughed a lot.  As people finished their lunch and began to go back to their apartments, she started flashing the finger at those who didn't turn around and tell her hello.  She stuck her tongue out at one man.

I assume nobody saw her do any of this, but she was having a wonderful time making fun of people.
When we had finished, we walked back to her apartment which, as usual, she wasn't sure how to find, but somehow she always does.  I think she was going to take a nap after I left.  She was unhappy that I won't be there tomorrow, but will wait until the next day to come (it's beginning to be that she expects me to come every day, it seems, but since she doesn't know one day from another or when I said I would come, I don't feel bad for skipping a day.)

I came home and took a nap myself, since I'd had so little sleep, and felt better about how she was feeling, given how she was when I first got there.  I really think that more stimulation of people around her would help stave off a lot of this, but since she refuses to go out and "mingle" maybe that's why she is starting to want me there every day.

It's something new every day...

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