Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It's All "Relative"

First of all, sorry about the late posting of yesterday's entry.  I finished it by midnight and was certain I had posted it, so I was surprised when, shortly before noon, Walt came to ask me if I knew that my journal entry was not up.  I was sure he was mistaken an went to show him that yes, it certainly was up.  But it was not.

I think -- again -- that my mother's dementia is contagious.

She is wonderful at covering up her dementia.  I am leaving the photo of the day for another day, since this refers to that.  My cousin Kathy's daughter Karen had a nice visit with my mother yesterday and wrote this on Facebook:

    Such a fun visit! She kept telling me she was 100 years old and I kept telling her we needed to call Willard Scott and get her face on a jelly jar--belly laughs all around. Love Aunt Chubbie!!

I'm delighted that they had a good visit and that Karen came away feeling so good about it, but today my mother has no memory of the visit, does not know who Karen is, doesn't remember who Kathy is, and has never seen The Today Show or Willard Scott in her life, even before the dementia.

(She did, however, when prodded, remember Cousins Day)

But she has all sorts of tricks to cover and to make people think (a) she knows them, and (b) she is following what they are talking to her about.  I know there are people in the family who get angry with me for talking about her dementia because it's perfectly clear to them that she's not nearly as bad as I make her out to be.  I invite them to spend a month with her!  Or even a few days!

I've watched her have a lovely conversation with people on the phone and when she hangs up and I ask her who it was, she has no idea, but she can hold up her end of the conversation and from listening to my end of the chat, I'm sure nobody has a clue she doesn't know who she is talking to.

I made the mistake of trying to make a joke today.  She was saying how frustrating it is not to remember stuff, and not to remember people.  I asked her if she still remembers her family. She is forgetting what her siblings looked like and she says she can't remember a lot about her father but thinks she will always remember her mother (whom she sees in her dreams most nights).

She then asked if I ever forget people like that.  I said that yes, I sometimes forget who my mother is.  She did not get the joke at all, but sadly remembered that my aunt Marge was my mother.  When I  told her I was joking and that she was my mother, she then remembered that she is, but didn't understand that I was joking.

But I am thrilled that Karen visited her and have no doubt that at the time, though my mother had no idea who she was, that she enjoyed the visit.  I won't let Karen know that she doesn't remember her or the visit.  So few people visit her and I hate to harp on it, begging them to come.

One of my cousins, a cosmetologist, comes to give her a manicure and a pedicure occasionally, but she has not been for a very long time.  I love that she does it and she brings such joy and energy to my mother, but her toenails are getting to where they are starting to curl under and I'm going to have to make an appointment for a pedicure for her if my cousin doesn't show up soon.  (I could cut her nails myself and if worse comes to worse, I will, but my distaste of touching feet, even my own, prevents me from doing it when there are other options available)

In other family news, watch this space tomorrow or the next day.  I have spent the week helping Peach with a project that she made me promise I would keep secret, but if all goes well, it will be revealed on October 1 and then not only can I tell the whole world, but I am encouraged to do so.

No comments: