Happy Day! (-:
The phone rings and wakes me up- I roll over and look at the clock- it’s only 7:15 A.M ( I only need 15 more minutes of beauty sleep). I look to see who’s calling so early (I already have a good idea) and see that it’s Dorothy (mom). I breathe in deep and I answer the phone and in my half asleep, cheeriest voice I say, “Hi, Mom! What’s happening”?
This morning her song starts out with a confused and frightening voice – “Cheryl, I don’t know where I am!”. The first thing I ask her is- if she is alright, in a shakey voice-she says yes, she tells me that she has taken her shower and that she recognizes all the things in the apartment as being hers. But, she doesn’t know where she is. I respond by telling her that she is in Assisted Living – with the name of the “home” and her location. Her next question is “How did I get here”? I tell her (again) that we had to put her in there because she is having problems remembering and it’s for her safety and our peace of mind.
The denial oozes from her- “I don’t need to be here!!!!!, I have my own house- that I bought and paid for- I need to be there- you need to come gets me and take me there. I don’t need to be spending my money on this place. I’m expecting you to come and get me and take me back to my house”.
I take a deep breath and concentrate on the tone of my voice- I need to make sure it is even- I need to be sure there is not even a hint of agitation or frustration in it- it needs to be calm and reassuring.
I tell her I will be there on Friday- and we can talk about it then. I shift the conversation to breakfast- to see if she remembers where she needs to go. She responds in a brave voice- trying to steady her response – to not let her voice crack. “Yes, Cheryl I know where the dining room is”. I ignore the cracking, unsteady voice and tell her to go on down and see if the fireplace is on. I suggest she have a cup of coffe and see breakfast is being served.
Her anxiousness is not as intense– but the confusion lingers in her voice. I hate it for her- I hate that she has to live out the last of her time on this earth in this condition.
I need to remember that the key is to remain calm, and remember that this is not her, it’s the sickness. She’s just sick.
Peace and Love,