A personal blog...

...chronicling the dementia adventures of...

...Girl and

The Other Girl...

...sharing hilarious and 

heartbreaking moments

of life...

 

...with our mom who has vascular dementia.

 

A Night at the Opera

It ain't over 'til the dementia lady pees. Alpenrose Dairy has a fantastically quaint, old-timey theatre, and rents out the space to disastrously quaint, old-timey theatre troupes such as senior theatre, and a local opera company. What these ensembles lack in talent, they make up for in enthusiasm (and low ticket prices - woot!). This doesn't stop me from fantasizing about stringing the directors up by their necks for the crimes of grammar school production values, sloth-like pacing, and costuming that substitutes sequins for acting ability (jazz hands, anyone?). But the performers are clearly having fun, and Mom gets a kick out of the shows, so I curb my irritation, and take enjoyment from

The OMA Art Show!

A timid, anxious mother went into the Art Show, a smiling, proud artist came out. Last Friday we gathered the troops and headed to the Opening Minds Through Art Art Show at Rose Villa. Well, first we started at a bar close to Rose Villa that brashly boasts they have "Great Hamburgers!" on a sign out front. Unfortunately, it was also great air-conditioning, on what was a chilly night to start with, so Mom, having no tolerance for the slightest of chills, was not in the best of moods when we arrived. She stayed close to The Other Girl, overwhelmed by the amount of people in attendance. But with the help of Jan, her wonderful OMA volunteer, her face gradually brightened. "Pretty!" she exclaimed

A Caregiver's Lament

It's here again. That strangled feeling. That desire to shake Mom off me. To push her away. To forcefully seize and hold just two feet of personal space of my own; erect an invisible barrier that prevents her from encroaching on me, burying me alive with her needs, her sadness. I want to run. Flee. Take big gulps of freedom in my mouth and spew them in her face. Scream at her "You can't drag me down with you! You can't anchor me to your anguish. I won't fill myself with your fears just so you have someone to keep you company in YOUR misery! I won't do it!" I hate days like this. For both of us. My depleted care giving resources aren't her fault, and while I skillfully hide my resentment, I t

Wherefore ART thou? At ARTnow!

Portland Art Museum hosts ARTnow for people living with dementia. Perhaps Romeo and Juliet suffered from early (like, really, really early) onset dementia since the hatred and murderous intent their two families had for each other completely slipped their minds as they fell in love. The pair certainly had early onset matrimony disease, and early onset suicide syndrome - those crazy kids! But they also inspired their share of magnificent artwork, such as Frank Dicksee's Romeo and Juliet to the left... ...or my very own rendition to the right. Luckily, Mom has an artistic streak far superior to mine, so I'm excited that we've registered for the upcoming ARTnow course at the Portland Art Museum

Downer Town III: So long suckers!

We finally found the exit ramp and got the hell of out of Downer Town. I was loathed to return to Downer Town, the inescapable metropolis of pervasive gloom and despair which had permeated Mom's every waking moment for a couple of weeks straight. But last Saturday afternoon it was time for me to take over Mom duty from The Other Girl, so I steeled myself as best I could and picked her up from my sister's home on the coast. With no pressing engagements that day, we meandered around, driving up the Oregon coast seeing the sights, stopping for clam chowder, and picking up fresh crab to take home - your basic dinking around activities when you're headed inland. By the time we got home that eveni

Dementia swag?

For reals? Last month my sister was out to dinner with Mom and two of our cousins. A woman at an adjacent table kept looking over at them, finally speaking up when they got up to leave. She praised my sister on being such a wonderful care partner to our mother, told her that she was a See's Candy rep, and asked if she could send Mom a box of chocolates. The Other Girl replied that Mom loved chocolates and that as Mom's birthday was the following week, the gift would be that much more special. My sister promptly forgot all about it until the chocolates arrived, as promised, on our doorstep on Valentine's Day (Mother's birthday). Mom is all grins when a box of chocolates gets open, and as she

Downer Town: The Sequel

Since so many of you asked, here's an update on me and Mom's stay in Downer Town last week: Nope. It never got better. In fact, Mom may still be stuck there. I dunno. The Other Girl came back from vacation so I immediately evacuated to greener pastures. And sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. I haven't recovered enough yet to ask how The Other Girl's faring. I have, however, mustered some semblance of care partner responsibility and contacted Mom's psych doctor, regurgitated the horrific sadness Mom has been steeped in for over a week, and asked for advice. Dr. Susan diagnosed it as depression and prescribed Zoloft to treat. While I am loathed to add yet another medication to Mom's daily regimen,

Molly's Movement, and Life with Ma

What living with dementia is really like. I don't often utilize the caregiving help and community support that can be found online. Not that it isn't valuable, but I have my sister, and we have our own two-person support group every couple of weeks involving copious amounts of wine and words flying out of our face holes as fast as we can think of 'em. By the end of the night (and the bottles), we've usually figured out sloppy solutions to current problems or spilled our guts to an extent that alleviates the need for support internet strangers would otherwise offer. But there is the occasion when I've sought advice from the forums (turns out the poop thing is not all that uncommon!), or check

Jeeee-zusssss! What a week.

Sometimes there's just no escaping Downer Town. Death wish (Mom). Melt down (Me). Crying jags (Both). Drinks on the beach in sunny Mexico (The Other Girl). Implausible assertion that The Other Girl planned her vacation months ago knowing this would be the week Mom would lose her mind and she wanted to be miles away when it happened (Me). An allegation my rational self knows to be completely ludicrous, but there hasn't been a rational female in this house all week. Seriously, we haven't had this bad of a time in months. Walking down the hallway to Mom's art class, apropos of absolutely nothing, Mom blurts out, "I'm just gonna kill myself!" Me, emotionally drained from a week of similarly gloo

Stumped Town Dementia

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When They Forget

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Alzheimer's Society UK

March 2018

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July 2019

Ro & Steve

June 2019

Being Patient

December 2018

Family Caregiver Alliance

September 2018

Alzheimer's Society UK

August 2018

The Caregiver Space

September 2018

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