Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Friday, July 22, 2016

Worse day

I only stayed 30 min at Atria today.  I had to get out of there because I couldn't stop crying and she hadn't noticed that.  Waited till I got to the car to break down.

Jeri had sent her a pacage, c/o me, and I brought it to her.  She opened it and had difficulty reading the card (she has difficulty reading these days) and didn't say anything about it.  I was videotaping it so I could show Jeri her reaction.  Fortunately the video is too long, because it's also too depressing.  She took the picture out, looked at it and said "who are these people?"  I told her it was Jeri and Phil and she said "Oh...I don't recognize her."  Later she picked it up and said "I don't know these people."  I told her again who it was and she said "I guess I never met her."  That was almost the worst for me because no matter how bad she is, she always knows who Jeri is and always asks when she's going to see her again.

She picked up the note I had left for her yesterday, saying I'd been there an hour but she was sleeping and that I would see her today.  It's signed "Bev."  "Bev," she said.  "Who is Bev?"  I said "I'm Bev" and then asked her if she knew who I was.  She got this blank look and said "No I don't."  I said I was her daughter.  I thought she understood that until later she was very vague and I said "Do you remember who I am?"  She said "Well, we're talking and you told me you're my daughter and I believe you, but that means nothing to me."

Then I mentioned Fred and there was no recognition.  I told her he was her husband.  Still no recognition.  I went and got his picture and showed her.  She said "Well, he looks like a very nice man, but I have never seen him before."  I told her again that he was her husband, that they'd been married 18 years and that he died of cancer.  She asked how long he'd been dead.  I said "He died before David, so more than 20 years."  Then I said "Do you know who David is?" and she said no
I had also brought her a photo of her and her parents, taken in Inverness when she was probably in her mid 30s (I have posted pix of Karen and me with our grandparents on the same day).  She did recognize her mother and father but said that if you took her out of the photo, she wouldn't be able to recognize them.

Somewhere in all of this, I started crying and knew I was on the verge of losing it, so I left, feeling bad because she was sitting there trying to "figure out how I'm going to live with all of this."

I told her we would see her tomorrow with Tom and the girls.  She didn't have a clue who I was talking about.  She doesn't know Tom is her grandson.  I'm wondering if we should even go, but we will.  She likes little kids -- or she did -- so the girls in a short period should bring a smile to her face, and the girls need to have exposure to her so they will remember.

This is the worst day with her ever.  My only hope is that tomorrow it will be a little better, since it does seem to come in waves, but today I just want to sit in a corner and cry.

I wish I still drank.

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