I know I have written about the frustrations, fears, etc. about being here for my Mom with her dementia and macular degeneration – those who are dealing with it know that only too well. But it also has its funny side, sometimes Mom comes out with the oddest things, some from so far in left field I wonder where it comes from. I keep reminding myself to just see it as normal rather than overreacting. As someone in my caregivers; group said, sometimes it is a bit macabre humor.
I was getting out of the shower to dry myself one morning and Mom came to the doorway. First she had to find out if it was me or someone else, but that was quickly established. However, her next question was so unexpected – she wanted to know if I was a man or a woman. I know she has macular degeneration, but she was only about 3 feet from me. Go figure.
The other morning she was up when I was making breakfast, so I made her breakfast too. As we were eating, she wanted to know if it was all right for me to do it, Would I get in trouble for doing it? I told her there was no problem, the Breakfast Police don’t come to our house.
One evening a few weeks ago, Eddie went through the living room to go into our office. Mom saw him go by and knew his name is Eddie, but she asked what his last name was. I said it was Kaplanian – to which she replied “They’re all Kaplanians!”.
She has mentioned several times her first husband – I thought my Dad was her first and only one, the one with whom she had three daughters. Unfortunately she isn’t able to really describe him, so it is a mystery to me. Then the other night my older sister called to talk with Mom, but later Mom said she talked with a male cousin whom she had spoken to in a long time. Then she said she spoke with her son, someone she has mentioned before – could he be the son with the first husband?
She thinks there are men living downstairs, sometimes women are in the house. Lately she asks about the little girls, if they have gone to school – I think that maybe my sisters and I when we were growing up. Now there is an older man – he’s not very nice – and a young boy whom she really likes. When she asks me if I have seen any of these people, I can honestly say I haven’t. There are times when the house is beginning to get a little crowded.
When I come home and am going into my office, Mom is standing 3 feet from me and asks “Are you here?” – I don’t quite know what to answer. I would have thought it was obvious because I was right there in front of her. The other question she keeps asking is “Are you all right?”. I have learned to tell her I am doing very well because apparently she has been worried about me since I broke my hip – except she has asked that question over and over for as long as I can remmember.
The other night I swear we were in a pinball machine and someone pulled the handle so Mom went from me to Eddie and back again several times. I was talking to my sister in the kitchen while Eddie was watching tv in the bedroom – she may have even done a couple of trips into the office to see who was there. It’s a strange world she lives in and a wild ride at times – they say life is the journey, not the destination and to enjoy the ride. Hmm, I don’t like roller coasters and there are times when it feels like I am riding one.
Some days it is easy to laugh things off and just be; other times it is very very difficult to deal with it – plus all the other times in between. At leas there are things that happen or are said that strike me funny – though I do have an oddball sense of humor. Plus, I would rather laugh than be irritated and tear my hair out. I will continue to keep track of the funny side of dementia and give you more examples as they come up.
If I don’t laugh about this or any of the other things I am dealing with, I would go nuts. I don’t fancy a padded room any time soon.