Saturday, January 14, 2012

Who, What, Where, When, Why?

The title of this post may seem familiar to you from the 1970's tv show Welcome Back Kotter. That is what Vinny Barbarino always said whenever he was asked a question in class. When I was a kid I and my family liked to watch that show. I never thought those five words would actually have relavence in our lives in a non-funny, completely different way. Those five words are what I was trying to help explain to my mother on the phone last night.

Last night which was Friday night January 13, 2012 I received a phone call from Dad around 6:00 PM. I was busy trying to get my daughter, Emma, ready for her schools Sock Hop which was to start at 7:00 (I almost had to cancel the plans for me to go to the Sock Hop with Emma and make quick new arrangements for her to get there). Dad seemed a little distraught but composed. He said that Mom was in bad shape, that she didn't know who he was, who she was, where she was, why she was (whatever that means), and she was afraid. He asked if I'd talk to her to hopefully 'reboot' her thinking (not really possible with a dementia patient).

Mom took the phone and said "Hello". She sounded tearful and timid. I told her who I was and I asked her what she was afraid of. I asked her how she felt. Her answer to both questions was "I don't know". I told her that she was with Hal, that Hal was her husband and my father. I asked Mom is she recognized Dad....she said "kind of". I had to convince her that Hal, her husband, was with her, taking care of her and keeping her safe and warm. I had to tell her who I was, my name, and that I was her daughter. I told her that I would come if she needed me. She asked "what good will that do? What will you do?" All I could say was "I don't know, we could talk about old times and good, fun times we've had". Mom declined.

I am feeling fairly certain these days that it's time for Mom to have a 'new' kind of care. She needs more consistency, more activity. She seems to becoming more childlike in a lot of ways. Moments of seeing "Mom" have deminished a great deal. For me, seeing Mom anymore is almost more than I can stand. It upsets me, it drives me crazy, I get frustrated, and I get sad. When I'm with Mom I don't feel like she is Mom, I feel like I'm with a stranger and it's a very uncomfortable feeling for me.

1 comment:

Carol Mattingly said...

Anne, you can do this. Just keep doing what you're doing. And hopefully now's the time to talk to your Dad about moving your Mom. Whatever you do if you need to talk I'm here. Anne, I'm glad you love my photos. I love taking them. I hope they give you warmth and good feelings in your busy and very uncertain days. Carol