Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Friday, November 18, 2016

Night Terrors

I got a call at 9 p.m (as I was almost finished cooking dinner) from Atria.  My mother was upset and agitated.  Same ol', same ol' ... didn't know who she was, where she was or what she was supposed to do.  I tried to calm her down on the phone and tell her what she had to do was go to bed and I'd be there in the morning. But that was WAY too complicated  I asked her to let me speak to the girl in the room with her, and she hung up.  I called back and asked her to hand the receiver to the girl.  She said "I don't understand a word you're saying."  I said "you know the thing you are holding in your hand and talking into" (she said she did) "give that to the girl in the room."  She did.  The girl seemed to think there was no way she was going to be able to calm her down, so I dropped everything, gave Walt instructions for how to finish cooking his dinner, and went over there.

I could see she was in one of her bad states.  She didn't know who I was and just sat there clutching her purse and saying she was scared.

I told the girl I could handle it and I took her to the couch and at down with her.  I told her I knew she was scared and jst kept talking to her calmly until I finally got her more calm, but still scared and still the same questions

I've finally found an explanation that seems to make sense to her  At least she accepts it all twenty-'leben times I use it with her.  (in case you need to explain dementia to her at some point).  I tell her that there is a disease in her brain that is gradually eating away pieces of her brain and that there is no pill she can take that will make it better.  The first time I used that a few days ago, she said "Well THAT I can understand!"

I got her talking about the family and how her mother and Barb both suffered from this and she even sort of remembered her mother having it, though she can't remember being married to Fred.  When I brought out his picture she said she sort of remembered him and that he looked like a nice man.

Anyway, it took an hour but I finally got her off the couch, into her PJs and in bed.  I told her I'd be there first thing in the morning.  She is terrified she will wake up in the middle of the night and not know what to do.  She was upset that I wasn't going to spend the night.  I was going to try to get her to wear her call button, but it has, of course, disappeared...and it's really not that important because she wouldn't remember to use it anyway.  At least if she gets terrified and leaves the apartment she has PANTS on this time.

Monday, November 7, 2016


This morning around 9, I received a call from Atria saying my mother had been "unresponsive" when they went to give her her meds and they had to call the paramedics.  This was more than her simple passing out for a few minutes and then being groggy, this was full-on unresponsive.  Of course we don't know how long she was out before they found her in bed, but they found her, called the paramedics, they came, couldn't rouse her, put her in the ambulance, took her to the hospital, Atria called me and I was at the ER within 15 minutes and she was still out.  Her eyes were closed and she was not responding to anything.

I remembered how scared she was the first time she was taken to the ER and I went to hold her hand and told her I was there and her eyes flickered but then they started rolling from side to side and she didn't seen to recognize that I was there.

Eventually she started to come out of it, but she had to have been in this state for at least 30-45 minutes, if not longer (previously her spells only last a minute or two).  She couldn't remember where she was or why she was there and I explained it to her endlessly.  I knew she was going to be OK when she started flirting with the cute paramedic who had worked on her in the ambulance.

When I took her back to Atria, I was going to spend the afternoon, but she was so chipper and active that I decided I should just leave her alone so she could take a nap.  I arranged for Atria to put her on a 2 hour watch for the next couple of days just in case.