One of the nurses called me the other afternoon around 4:30 and it was a hard call to take. It has taken me a few weeks to process, accept and write about it. She told me that Dorothy was really confused – to the point of thinking her granny and sister had just brought her home from the hospital. She also informed them that mom told her that she would be walking to her daughters’ house down the street. The nurse also told me that they were not letting her outside for the fear of her “walking”.
Several things went through my mind
- The first thing is safety, you hear of folks “walking” away and getting lost all the time- and sometimes the outcome is not good. I’m thankful she is in a safe place and they are aware of what is going on with each resident.
- The second thing was that I hoped they would not think that this decline and change in her due to the disease would allow them the opportunity to put her in the “wing”. The wing is greatly feared because once you go in the memory wing- you do not come out. It’s a terrible fear to all the residence when they see that one of their own has been moved there- they fear that they might be the next.
- How many more stages will she have to go through was my third thought. How much of her memory will be dissolved right inside her?
I asked the nurse to let mom out after dinner and that I would be there waiting for her. I was there a few minutes before mom and a rainstorm was brewing. So, instead of me getting my chair out of my car, I opted to move one of the rockers that the residence sit in- to the safe zone. Mom came out- all smiles and so happy to see me. Her arms were outstretched for a full-on bear hug- but the nurse stopped her and informed her there would be no hugging because of the Covid. Her eyes lost their luster and her face showed full disappointment. My heart sank for her, and for me too- there is nothing like a mother’s hug.
She soon changed her reaction to “oh shucks” that’s right- the Covid 19- I’m pretty sure the Russians sent it over here to us. They have been trying to take over America for as long as I can remember.
She sat down in her chair and started telling me about her cracked leg, she didn’t know what happened to it- but it’s not broken, it’s only cracked she informed me- matter of factly. I was only in the hospital for a few days and Granny and Delores dropped me off here- I hope they come back soon to visit. Note: Granny and Delores have been dead for decades. She continued telling me what the doctor said, in detail and that he had made another appointment for her in a few weeks. She stated that she did not write down the date and was looking concerned. I told her not to worry about it that the doctor’s office would call to remind her. She went on and on about this for a few minutes- I just listened and to be honest I was fighting back tears the entire time. Oh my gosh! How much more of this will she have to endure? Thank goodness for sunglasses.
She asked me how Gary and the boys were- I took this as she thought I was Jessica- I just answered that everyone was fine, out of school and enjoying the summer vacation.
She went right into wanting to get an apartment and finding a job. What do you think I could do Cheryl? I don’t think I want to be a waitress I talk too much and they may not like that. I’m sure I could find a nice apartment and a place to work in downtown Germantown, this way I could just walk to the store and the library if I need to.
I sat speechless- just looking at her through hat and sunglasses- she could not read my face, or my eyes and I was glad. This was a tough visit.
After a while the storm was moved closer and the wind had picked up considerably. I had her push the doorbell so they would come and get her and take her back inside. I watched her go back inside- then I put the chair back and ran to my car. The rain felt good- I sat in my car for a few minutes just crying- like a little kid- from the gut up. The release was wonderful and long overdue.
I left wondering if this was a one-time thing with Granny, Delores and her leg- or if I would be hearing more of this.
Peace & Love,