Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Dammmmdementia I hate you.

Today was Mom's annual wellness checkup. I arrived early so that I could ride over to the office, with Mom, in the wheelchair van.  All that walking would just be too much for her.

When I got to her room, I could hear her yelling and swearing from the shower. Two aides were doing their best to get her ready.

"Look who's here to see you." one aide says as she leads Mom out to me.
"Good morning Mom, it's so good to see you." I give her a squeeze.
"What? No! Stop smiling!! Look look, I'm. Stop it. No, go away." her nasty words are now aimed at me and not her aides. Her barrage of swears and grunts come pouring out.
"Go to hell! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!! Shit!!"
I start to laugh, this is NOT how MY Mother ever talked.
"Stop smiling!!" she screams.  Yes, it would be very funny except this is all coming out of her mouth at 90 decibels. The aides try to divert her with juice and calm words.
She is calling me "Mommy", she is calling me by my name, she is yelling and swearing. "Hate you, hate you."  I can't divert her with a smile and calm words, I can't divert her anger.  But I can push her in the wheel chair, out of the building, to the van. She doesn't ask where we're going, she doesn't ask why we're going.

The rain has let up, we get into the office without getting wet.  Yesterday it was 90' hot and humid, tonight it is 88' and muggy, but this morning it was 63' raw and damp.
"Cold, cold!! Coooold, cooooold!!" Mom is shaking in the van, we had to turn on the heat.

She sees the hospital campus and starts yelling "Nooooo no no no!!"

Two nurses try to get Mom to step up onto the scale. She could not get her body to go one step up, what they were asking was just too confusing. One nurse had her arm under Mom's armpit for stability. All of a sudden she spins away. "She almost bit me." the nurse is flustered. I'm mortified. "Has she done this before?" they ask, I close my eyes and nod.

Mom's doctor has always been very good about talking directly to Mom, and has always treated her with respect.  She would peek over to see which way my head was shaking to confirm or deny Mom's answers, while I sit quietly in the corner and take notes.  However at this visit, the doctor and I talk about Mom, as she sits there, as if she's not there. Mom is spouting bad words every so often or zoning out entirely. She could not answer or respond appropriately with the doctor or nurse.

"Can you lift up your arms?" the doctor asks Mom, demonstrating what she wanted. I also lift up my arms. Would Mom get the clues? No. The doctor asks again, gently touching Mom's elbow. Mom can't process what the doctor is asking.

One year since her last wellness exam. One more year of dementia, stealing bits and pieces... stealing chunks and globs... of the woman who is my Mother... leaving this angry person in it's wake.

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