Friday, April 20, 2018

Is a Puzzlement

Things are "different" somehow at Atria these days.  She is more often than not out of her room, and may have become one of the "wanderers," which means I often find her walking around, which is a good thing, I guess.  As I was signing in yesterday, I saw her kind of shuffling by.  I'm wondering if this is the result of the meds that are keeping her anxiety under control (apparently she is not refusing them any more, which is a relief).

We sat in the entry hall for awhile and then, inexplicably, she got up to look at something on the sign-in table, then walked to the opposite end of the hall and sat down to read.

At some point she looked up and saw me and was surprised to see me there and why didn't I tell her I was coming and it had been so long since she saw me.  Though I know it's pointless, trying to explain to her that we had been sitting together minutes before and that she had left me, because she can't process that much information, but it gives me something to talk with her about.  I moved over to the chair next to her.

I had brought a 100 piece puzzle with me to see if I could get her to work a puzzle.  It took awhile to get her to understand what I was suggesting, but eventually she said that she'd like to work on the puzzle and that she used to work puzzles all the time.

We walked down the long hall to the "den" (what I call the room which has a couch, a TV on a bookcase, and a table that will seat 4 people).  When we got there there was a woman sleeping on the couch, but other than opening her eyes a sliver when we arrived, she went back to sleep.

I set up the puzzle on the table and we were quietly starting to work it when an aide came flying down the hall and into the back room, slamming the door behind her.  The sleeping woman woke up and glared at us and demanded to know why we had broken into her house to work a puzzle.  But she went back to sleep.

She is someone new.  I'm seeing lots of new faces around the memory unit these days, and few familiar faces.  Not sure why.  Suddenly there seem to be lots of empty rooms in the place.  My mother is still alone, since Marge moved out to be closer to her family.  Which is just fine, considering how unpleasant Marge was.

At first, the puzzle totally confused my mother.  She said "just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it."  So I told her to make sure all the pieces were turned over to the right side, and while doing that she found a couple of pieces that went together and it suddenly seemed like she was starting to remember how to work a puzzle. 

I thought it was going so well when suddenly she looked out into the yard and said she wanted to check on something.  She went out the door...and never came back (getting up and leaving me seems to be becoming a "thing" with her now!)

I waited awhile and then realized the puzzle idea was not going to work, so I packed up what we had done and left the puzzle on the bookcase in case someone else wanted to work it.  I may not try again.  We'll see.

I went down to her room to see if she had found her way there, and she had not, so I took the opportunity to go through her drawers and see if I could find a little scrapbook that her nephew had made for her many years ago...and I did, so I took that out and left it for her to "find."  She always loved looking through that book because it has so many photos of her older siblings.

Finally I decided to just leave and I started walking toward the entry hall and when I got there, turned around and was surprised to see that she was following closely behind me.  I sure don't know where she came from!  She was so pleased to see me because she hasn't seen me in about two years and where had I been?
I told her I was going home and she was very upset.  Couldn't we sit and visit for awhile?  So I sat with her for a few minutes, but really did have to go, so I signaled one of the aides that I was ready to have her open the door for me. By the time I got up and gathered m stuff, my mother was already walking down the hall, totally oblivious that I had ever been there.

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