Think Fast

Dorothy is fine, she is in a safe place, she has friends, she has a routine, she gets hugs from the nurses and caregivers, her friends and me too.  She gets to play games, listen to music, walk, do daily exercises, build puzzles, do art, go to ice cream socials, and read or watch TV.   On paper this sounds like a wonderful life- you don’t have cook or do dishes- you don’t do laundry- someone helps you with your housework and your shower.  Someone makes sure you get your medicine on time and you are where the action is when the action is taking place.  The brochures show everyone smiling and having a fun time.   Most of the time, I am convinced mom’s daily life is as happy as “they say” it will be. 

But, in reality- it’s the last place she wants to be.  Take today for instance, I went to see her for our normal visit, and she was mad as the dickens- she had all her stuff packed up – even her bed stripped and folded up in the chair.   She was mad because I was late- yes late.  It seems that I was supposed to be there to pick her up earlier this morning and take her home.   Yes, home!  She said that I told her yesterday that I would be there first thing and I was late- she was not a happy woman.   “Let’s go” she demanded.  

 I did not think fast enough- I should have just taken her right then for a ride in the car.  I don’t know what I was thinking. Instead, I looked at her and said,” mom- you are not going home today”.   The look of despair mixed with disbelief and sadness in her eyes caught me off guard.  I’m usually better prepared when I walk in- but lately mom has been so happy I have gotten lax and let my guard down.   Mental note to self- when she gets like this take her out for a drive first thing.  Especially when it’s the full moon.  {-: 

It took me about 15 minutes of answering the same questions to get her settled down, I finally convinced her that if she took a shower, she would feel better.  And she did- it took her mind off of the “repeat thought” that she was going home.    We finished the shower and the hunt for all the dirty clothes. We actually where having a wonderful conversation- when out of nowhere she asked me if I was ready to go home.  

 She was ready for me to leave- I had stayed long enough.   It was time for her to go out to her friends and see what she was missing.   She walked me to the door- and a Bingo game was getting started.   I was no sooner out the door, and she was at the table with her friends.

In the moment she was upset because she couldn’t go home.  I’m upset with myself that I did not just say, come on mom- let’s get out of here and go for a ride.   This small act would have saved me the look of despair and the sadness she had. You know the ones-you can never erase out of your memory.  It would also have saved 15 minutes of damage control– that I caused both myself and her.

It really is all about the demented- it is easier for us to adjust then it is for us to get them to adjust.  Because in the end they move on – and we are the ones that have to adapt.

Love and Light

Cheryl Doreen

One thought on “Think Fast

  1. Cheryl, I am so sorry this happened and that the memory will stay with you. My heart hurt reading it. I know you know that your mother is so fortunate to have your love, support and selflessness. Regardless of that look. Find strength in that.

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