2015-01/30 – 

I got on the train on the 29th, and took it and another train and a bus to get to the nursing home. It was hard to figure out the schedules and make sure I was going to get the connecting transportation, but I did it. It was costing me nearly $20 each way but I got there and I saw her. She seemed happy to see me, and we had a nice visit. She had made a couple of friends there at this point  and had now decided that she liked the activities director she hated so much when she had first arrived. He involved her and gave her tasks to do through the day. It helped her a lot when she felt useful. I was relieved. She was getting cared for.

When we were walking toward her room she said ‘Sonnie’s here, you know’. I said ‘oh really?’ She said ‘yes, he’s in the room across the hall from me. They just brought him in yesterday. I’ll show you.’ So she poked her head in across the hall and said, “his eyes are closed he must be sleeping.” I looked in and there is the guy she was concerned about at an earlier visit, laying down sleeping. Now she was calling him Sonnie (Sonnie is my stepdad). Made me sad. It of course wasn’t him. So as we were talking the door across the hall gets closed and she said they must be giving him a shot. When the door opens she goes to the door, concerned, and asks him if he’s ok. I don’t hear his response. She comes back in. He goes to leave his room and she says, ‘look who’s here… It’s my daughter, Angela. Remember her?’ And he proceeds to tell her to leave him alone, to stop talking to him, that he doesn’t want to talk to her. He walked down the hall and she said, ‘Well when I get to go home, if he doesn’t want me there I will pack my stuff into the car and find a place of my own. That’s the way it will be’. Oh my god it killed me! I want her to have that beautiful memory of the loving exchange they had in the hospital, the tender words, the loving expressions, the caresses and kisses. I didn’t want her to have this delusion, this anger, this feeling like she isn’t wanted by him anymore. It was so awful. I’m crying again just thinking about it.

On the 30th I went to my mother’s house. It was the first time I had been there since all of this had happened and it was very emotional. Her and my stepdad would never return to this place. I had memories there, so many memories. It was really hard to be back there. I met with my stepdad’s daughter-in-law, who had the keys to the house. She had some financial paperwork for me and we found the car keys. 

I felt guilty getting into my mother’s car. I felt like I was doing something wrong, invading her privacy in some way. In reality I wasn’t, though. The car would just be left to rot if I did not take it, since she was no longer going to be able to use it. And there was some comfort it brought being in the seat she had sat in. I had so many jumbled up emotions. It made things much more difficult. I was getting through it all as best I could, though, and I now had transportation again to see my mom without having to relay on the public transportation schedules.

My visits that weekend were hard. My mom thought that one of the other residents was my stepdad. She insisted on taking care of him. It was hard to watch and not remind her that it wasn’t my stepdad. In her state it is much better to just go along with the current delusion. It only causes confusion and agitation to remind a dementia patient of these things. They are unaware and it is best to just keep things calm and happy for them. 



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