Dementia is a thief which robs the mind and interferes with the souls of all associated. Last week mom was living in another world for the most part. This weekend hit hard. The way it’s been described to me, it sounds like she lost was between worlds – panicked at not being able to communicate. Just not getting a grasp on anything. Being transported to another dimension is bad enough – the “between worlds” thing is worse overall – at least from my viewpoint.
Probably all of us, at some point in our lives, have seen the child that just isn’t understanding direction and becomes more and more frustrated with himself or the instructor or the other kids or what have you. He throws a tantrum and won’t allow himself to be rational. And the harder we try to explain or understand, the more irrational the child becomes. That is what the “between worlds” is like.
Even before the Dementia set in, mom seemed to favor Corey over the rest of us – not that she meant to (or means to) but it just seems that way. And now with the dementia, it seems much of her world revolves around Corey who is able to get her to do things (even over the phone from another state) than the rest of us have. But evidently I became the favored one on Saturday. She was in a very confused place and couldn’t seem to get out of it.
Sunny had dropped off a small bag of items that she wanted me to have. The idea was for me to retrieve it from mom’s house on my next visit. But mom had it in her head that the bag needed to be in my possession RIGHT NOW.
When she couldn’t get a hold of me by phone, she decided that she would walk to my house. One does not walk to my house from hers – not unless one wants to make a day of it. (I's about 20 minutes by car in regular traffic) She’s been to my house twice – but always with somebody. She didn’t know where I lived before dementia robbed her of her memory. She doesn’t even recognize the city name when I tell her.
But for convenience, her mind has moved many into her neighborhood – often just up or down the street. As she left the house, my nephew-in-law followed to make certain she didn’t get lost. I don’t know if she ever found where she thought my house was. I’m thinking not.
Nate and Ellen had a dinner appointment with my youngest son and his wife – but because of “grandma’s” strange behavior, they didn’t want to leave her alone. And so Ellen called Sunny and told her about “grandma’s” strange behavior and how she was a bit concerned and freaked out at the idea of leaving her alone. And so Sunny and her two youngest stayed with mom while Ellen and Nate went to dinner. Sunny said my mom talked about me and my visits and was very anxious about seeing me again but couldn’t get a hold of me (mom had finally gotten a hold of me before Nate and Ellen had gone to dinner; we had talked for a few minutes)
Her mind was still quite distorted the next night when she called again. She misdialed and had meant to call Corey, whom she thought was having car problems and was quite worried about him. I knew she was frantic and too far away to calm her down.
I called Corey to ask if mom was worrying for nothing. He said he was on his way home and would be to mom’s in about ten minutes. I called her back. She was so relieved – like the child who has been missing her tangible security (a blanket, a toy) but finally gets it back. I still wish I could have embraced her in person and not just over the phone.
The thief took a vacation only a few days this week – I had hoped for something more permanent, but knew that is all it was. A HOPE. And I don’t know what makes her personality change from visit to visit – the distorted mind last week, the turmoil and frustration set in her own mind this weekend, and the still forgetful but almost normal yesterday and the day before. Even this afternoon over the phone – but not in person. The theif returned. Dementia hasn’t robbed only her – it’s taken from all of us. I want dementia behind bars PERMENANTLY!