2015-01/22 – 

I could not spend another day away from the nursing home so I headed out that morning to go see my mom. She looked much better than she had when she first got there, which was really great to see.  When I got there she was holding a doll and I think she believed it was a real baby. It was giving her great comfort.

She was very talkative, but it was hard to follow anything she said. Her thoughts were scattered and much of it made no sense. She would bounce around from subject to subject and I started just going along with whatever she was saying. There was no point in correcting her. It would only make her agitated and for once she was not sniping at me as much as she had up until this point.

During the conversation she mentioned my “father.” To this day I am not sure who she meant. She could have meant my stepdad, or she could have meant my biological father, who had not been a part of her life for quite some time. She said that he had stopped by, though, and had told her he had some things to do. This was obviously a delusion. 

I had brought coffee with me and some donuts from Dunkin Donuts down the street. She loved the coffee but was reluctant to eat the donuts. It was very hard to get her to eat, which was probably why she had lost so much weight in the first place. 

We went down to her room during our visit and a gentleman from the room across the hall came to the doorway. Her face immediately changed. She looked at him with concern, asking if he was ok. She offered to help him. He asked her to leave him alone. She pushed the issue and insisted on helping to get him back to bed. He got more agitated and raised his voice asking her again to leave him alone. She was visibly upset. I motioned for one of the aides to come over and help with the situation. The aide helped me get them separated and I talked her into going back to the dining room with me. She insisted that my stepdad needed her but I told her he was ok and that the nurse was getting him back to sleep. This man was of course not my stepdad. In her mind, for some reason, she thought he was and that he needed her. This was going to be challenging.

Soon it was time for me to head back home. This was always the hardest part of the visits. I hated having to leave her and she always tried to leave with me. I reached over to touch her hand and told her I had to get back to the house. She said, “That’s ok.” and I was hopeful. I told her I would be back to see her the next day. She told me that would be great. Then I got up to head over to the elevators and she got up and followed me. The worst part of having to wait for an elevator is that she had a lot of time to follow me there. The doors opened and I told her I would be back soon. She nodded and then tried to follow me into the elevator. I told her she had to stay and reminded her that I would be back to see her again soon. She said, “Yes, I know. Let’s go home now.” It was like a merry go round. The activities director noticed my distress and came over. He sidetracked her with something he “just needed her help with.” It worked! Thank goodness! I would have to start getting more creative with my departures. 

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