Caught In The Middle

I had a very interesting experience today while visiting my mother at the Care Center. Mom and I were sitting at a table in the activity room chatting with Paula, a very sweet lady that has been a resident at the care center much longer than my mother. Paula reads books all day and never makes a fuss about anything going on around her. She can’t speak due to another recent stroke she suffered, but she understands everything said and can make her needs known.

As we were waiting for the activity director to bring out the craft box, mom and I were talking about the activity of the morning, which was making President’s Day flag embellished flowers using flag material, glitter, glue etc.

Before long, another resident, Bradley, came in and joined us. You might remember Bradley from my previous post titled “Bradley”. Bradley is only allowed out of the lock down unit when things are going on in the activity room. As I was explaining to Bradley what the craft project was going to be, another long time resident, Unis, who happened to have been roommates with mom when mom first went to live at the care center, walked into the activity room, past our table and into the physical therapy room. When mom saw Unis, she got very agitated and told me “if she comes out here and tries to sit at this table, I’m moving”. Now, I happen to know mom and Unis got along very well when they were roommates. But, now, Unis has dementia which is advancing to the point that she needs an escort to get from place to place within the care center or she will get lost. I also know that Unis doesn’t remember who people are, or even what she may say or do from hour to hour… So I asked mom why she was so upset with Unis and she said “Unis is crazy and mean”.

Mom went on to tell me that yesterday, Unis wanted to sit at the same table as mom but there wasn’t enough room because the other people sitting at the table were all in wheelchairs and there wasn’t room for Unis to pull up a chair. So, mom took it upon herself to tell Unis yesterday that she would need to find another table. Apparently, according to mom, Unis got mad and said she would sit where ever she damn well pleased and pulled a chair up to the table by mom. However, as she did, she bumped into my mom’s wheelchair, which then upset mom, and mom told Unis she better watch out or she would be in a lot of trouble… Then, mom said Unis told mom “your just a bitch and I never liked you anyway”.

Well, sure enough, Unis came out of the physical therapy room and pulled up a chair right next to mom. Unis smiled and said hello to my mom. Mom turned and told Unis “if your going to sit here I’m moving because you called me a bitch and said you never liked me”. Unis didn’t even change expressions when she said to my mom “I know I didn’t say that because I never use that word”. Mom then proceeds to tell Unis “now you’re not only crazy and mean, you also a liar”. Then mom turned to me and told me to move her to another table. I tried to defuse the situation by telling both mom and Unis that they were both not treating each other very nice but that didn’t work out so well. Mom started trying to push herself away from the craft table and ran over Unis’s foot which caused even more of a scene with Unis screaming abuse at the top of her lungs… so I quickly moved mom to another table.

Getting mom moved wasn’t enough to stop the situation either because by this time several other residents, including sweet little Paula, who were watching this whole scene go down…started taking sides. Three people who were sitting at the table mom moved from to get away from Unis moved to the new table where mom and I were, and two people from that table moved to the table where Unis was to get away from mom…

Once everyone rearranged their seating, they all settled down and started working on the craft project of the day, just like nothing ever happened…just laughing and having a good time!

I felt bad for everyone involved because none of them really have a good grip on reality, they just react to whatever they think is going on at any given moment, my mom included.

I know Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia etc. all have powerful influences on how the brain functions, but from what I can tell from observations within the care center, the people affected with the decease don’t see themselves, or the other residents, as being forgetful, mean, dysfunctional etc. due to the decease. From what I see they all seem to think everyone is just fine, their just being mean and hateful and that just can not be tolerated within the care center pecking order…such a sad, sad, thing to watch.

I keep them all in my thoughts and daily prayers.

Stay Tuned

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lou
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 05:52:57

    I am delighted you were there to diffuse the impending bomb!


  2. gotham girl
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 22:16:53

    Ohhh…how my heart aches…such a frickin horrible disease…


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