Total Confusion

I went to see my mother at the care center today. When I arrived she was sitting just outside the dining room waiting to go into lunch. I hugged her and asked her how she was doing and she told me she was feeling fine but they sure had a big scare with all the rain on Monday. She went on to tell me part of the roof of the care center blew off and water poured in and flooded the entire place. She said the nurses and doctors were pulling people out of their rooms and lining them up in the halls. I said “wow, mom, I had no idea you were in such a mess over here.” She said “well, if you had been here seeing about me you would have seen it for yourself…”

About this time the dining room opened and I pushed my mother in and placed her at her table. A few minutes later her tablemate, Joan, came in and joined us. Joan asked me if we got flooded at our house and told her our house did not get any water in it but our pool overflowed and that my husband, Bill, had to back-flush the pool and dig a trench to allow the water to flow away from the brand new pool pump he just installed on Sunday… I asked Joan if she got water in  her room like my mom said she had in hers. Joan got the strangest look on her face and said “your mother’s room didn’t get flooded. There wasn’t any water anywhere in this building.” She said the electricity went off for a while but that’s about it. No other major issues at all… My mother didn’t say a word. She just sat there staring at Joan.

When the kitchen staff came around to ask if Joan wanted a fruit plate or cheeseburger, Joan said she had diarrhea, and just wanted some cottage cheese, applesauce and a muffin. When the staff member asked my mother what she wanted she said she wasn’t going to eat because she had diarrhea and had been up all night with it. Joan got upset with my mother and said “now Virginia, you know you don’t have diarrhea, I’m the one that has diarrhea.” Joan told my mother she better order something to eat or she was going to get sick if she keeps losing weight like she has been… Finally, my mother said “ok, I’ll have a hamburger with no cheese.”

When my mother’s hamburger came, I cut it into quarters for her. She ate one piece and said “I’m full” and asked me to take her back to her room which I did. On the way back to her room my mother said “isn’t that Joan a pain in the ass?” She said she just thinks she knows everything. I didn’t respond, I just kept pushing mom towards her room.

When we got back into mom’s room, she told me she was talking to her roommate, Stella, again. I asked her how that came about since my mother has been upset with Stella for weeks now because she thinks Stella goes through her things. (Stella is 93 years old and can barely move herself about in her wheelchair and I know she has no interest in anything my mother has. ) My mother went on to tell me that when their rooms got flooded and the nurses and doctors were pulling everyone out into the halls, mom went back into the room and told Stella she needed to get out of the room too. Mom said she told Stella if she would behave herself mom would help her out of the room and into the hall. She said Stella agreed and mom helped push Stella into the hall, which would be something to see because my mother can barely paddle herself around in her own wheelchair… Then mom went on to tell me that while they were in the hall, Stella tried to talk to my mother, but mom told her “just because I helped save you doesn’t mean we are going to be buddies.” She said she told Stella, if you’re going to get along with anyone it’s going to be me so if you act right I’ll talk to you sometimes.”

All the while my mother was telling me the story about the flood, saving Stella, etc. I was sitting on her bed. I noticed my mother had a long-handled gripper, used to help people pick up things on the floor if they drop something. I asked mom where she got it and she told me her neighbor, David, gave it to her. She said he gave her a different one but later he brought this one to her and took the other one back. She said she liked the other one better but she didn’t want to tell David that. I said well, you don’t really use it that much anyway do you? Mom said no, but I keep it in case I need to smack someone in the head. I said who are you planning on smacking in the head? She said you never know, someone might come and knock on my door and when I open it they might try to break in. At that I reminded mom that she is safe in the care center and she doesn’t need to worry about anyone “breaking in on her.” Then I took the opportunity to remind her if she does ever smack, hit, slap, etc. anyone, her doctor would have no choice but to put her in the lock down unit where they have to put people who are either a danger to themselves or others. At that mom said “I don’t want to keep you from your family so you can go now.” So, I told her I love her, gave her a hug, and said I would see her again soon.

My mother is 88 years old, has dementia, and Parkinson’s. She has good and bad days… but when mom’s state of confusion takes over like today, there is no reasoning with her so it’s best to just let it go, and leave.

Stay Tuned!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girlg
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 22:15:49

    Exactly what you should have done…there’s no reasoning with a person with dementia…
    Thanks so much for sharing…so reminds me of some of my experiences with my dad…love you! More!

    Reply

  2. Ellen Kaufman
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 00:35:00

    Thank for sharing and you did the right. My prayers and love to you and my sister .🙏❤️💋

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Sep 10, 2014 @ 00:43:23

      Thank you Aunt Ellen. I can tell you I have never had to deal with anything like this. Dad died so suddenly we never had to deal with any of this with him. But with mom, I never know from one day to the next how she will be when I go to visit her. I just keep trying to support her when I’m there but as her medical issues progress it becomes harder and harder to know what to do from day to day. Love and hugs. xoxo

      Reply

  3. katsbynp
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 02:37:56

    It is very difficult to deal with those bad days when a loved one has dementia but you did so well. My Dad died suddenly as well but my Mom had the primary brain lymphoma which gave her good and bad days. You are a kind and loving daughter. Thank you for sharing. Love you.

    Reply

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