Setback or Digging Herself Deeper into Dementia

“Well, that’s a pretty woman! I like her outfit.” That’s what Mom said as she stared at her reflection. I walked her today, but the walk was more bent and more somber. She had a traumatic event the other day that has caused a setback. With dementia we’re never sure whether it’s a setback or digging herself deeper into the disease. She refused to sing, and she didn’t want to talk. She was surprised when she saw her reflection. She doesn’t recognise herself. Sometimes she thinks her reflection is me. Some days are better than others!


2 thoughts on “Setback or Digging Herself Deeper into Dementia

  1. I went to see my Mama Jean on Halloween. She didnt seen to remember me at first but as I talked she told me I was “precious” and she loved me. She would say that often before this horrible disease robbed her of her memories.
    I met Mama Jean when I was 15 years old. Laurie was supposed to help me practice for cheerleading tryouts and she forgot. So I stayed for hours and visted with her Mom. My own mother left when I was 8 and my father never remarried. I needed a mother in the worst way and Jean Vaught took on that role without a moments hesitation. She taught me everything a southern lady needs to know. I learned how to host a dinner party, how to use a 6 piece flatware setting and when to send out thank you cards. She put me in a beauty pageant and I won!! She listened to me tirelessly bang on her piano and sing until I was hoarse. She took me to church and encouraged me to go to college(I earned a Juris Doctorate). She hosted my bridesmaid luncheon and lingerie shower when I became engaged and on my wedding day she gave me $100 after someone stole the money for the preacher!!! I went on to divorce and on the night my husband left I tried to take my own life. My Mama Jean and Daddy Dee showed up at my house and quickly let me know suicide was never an option.
    Years later I noticed she would ask me the same questions over and over. It was subtle at first but got more frequent and harder to ignore over time. I finally told Sharon I thought mom had alzheimers. Sharon said mom was passing every cognitive abilities test but I knew in my heart that she had this awful disease. Mom ended up in the hospital after Kelly died. Laurie was moving away to Wynne and Mom was so sad. I asked her if I bought Lauries house would that make her happy and she said Yes!!! So I did and in those years I lived there mom and I made so many memories. I eventually moved away to Missouri but came back when I heard mom needed me. I moved in with her and that summer was a constant battle to keep her safe
    She pit tupperware bowls on a stove burner. She bought a new grill and brought the lid in the house and started a fire in it. She constantly took too much of her meds because she would forget she had taken it. I had to keep her from eating ruined or raw food. It was a daily battle because she is strong willed and not easily convinced! The day came when I had to leave because a family member who wanted her estate made me leave her. It broke my heart because I was no longer there to protect her. Not long after that mom began to decline rapidly. She has been in a facilty for awhile now. Everytime I see her I pray she will say something that lets me know she recognizes me. Here lately I get disappointed more often than not. I love my mama Jean and I can never repay the love she has shown me. She once told me (pre-alzheimers) that when she dies she will stay with me. She will make the wind blow or knock something over to let me know she is there. I know when I sit on the crying bench my healthy Mama Jean will be listening.
    I love you Mom


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