Dorothy’s Dementia


Mom (Dorothy) has called me for the third time today- this time the song on the record player was “Cheryl, someone must have attacked me again- Can you call Paul and see if he knows anything about it?

This is one of moms “records” it’s her belief (totally fictional) that two boys broke into her home and poisoned her. One of them held her down while the other one poured something down her throat. Then they were gone- she remembers seeing one of them running out the door before she passed out. She presumes that my brother found her on the floor and took her to the hospital. When she woke up – she didn’t know where she was- but she remembers she woke up in a hallway on a gurney. And one of the nurses came over and said to her “well honey, we are glad to see you finally woke up”, (mom does this in a different voice, (-: )
“we were worried sick about you”. Mom askes her – “well, how long have I been here? The nurse replies “honey, it’s been at least 5 days!”

Mom has been in Assisted Living now 255 days 10 hours and 36 minutes (as I write this). I have heard this at least 255 times- probably more- if you count the multiple calls a day. If she can’t remember what she had for lunch – or the fact that I was there just 10 minutes ago- how can she remember this story – word for word- never changing? It’s mind boggling!

I’m calm- I answer the phone “hey mom! What’s up?” – I listen to it every time – just like it’s the first time- what else can I do? These days- it’s her song.

In the beginning I used to argue with her- tell her this never happened. This would make her furious- to the point where she would hang up on me. Only to call back a few minutes later – not having a clue that she just spoke to me – or that she just told me the same story- or that she hung up on me. I no longer tell her she is wrong, no matter how hard it is. I just listen again to her song.

Sometimes we just need to be there. Just listen. Just agree. Just say,”Mom, I will help in any way that I can”. In reality, I am helping- in the only way that I can- I’m here for her- so she knows she’s not alone.

Peace & Love,
Cheryl Doreen

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