Thursday, February 2, 2012

groundhog day

You remember the movie Groundhog Day, where Phil has to relive Groundhog Day over and over. He knows each day is a new day, full of new opportunities or the dread of repetition. For him, the calendar will not advance to February third.

Then there is the movie Fifty First Dates, where Lucy's brain is stuck. She wakes up every morning thinking it's the Sunday of her accident, over and over.  In the movie she meets Ten-Second-Tom, who's memory loop lasts ten seconds.

Where Mom lives there is a woman, that I think of as Ten-Minute-Tina.  She is like Tom, in ten minutes she has already forgotten what has gone on before. Every ten minutes she asks the same questions "Why am I here?" "Where am I?" "How do I pay for this?"  And every ten minutes the staff, and her compassionate neighbors, try to answer her questions.

Ten-Minute-Tina's repetitive questions bother my Mother, because these are the same questions that bother her. "Why am I here?" Mom might not have spent time worrying about that question today, if Tina had not expressed it herself, over and over.

The staff is so good, giving Tina a reassuring answer, and then diverting the conversation to safe and happy topics, over and over.

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