Dementia Holding Pattern
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
No dementia free fall into Downer Town as of late, but no soaring into the sunny skies of a Dementia Upswing either. With Mom's pull-ups offering nothing of jaw-dropping interest the last few weeks it's been a bit blasé around here, and that's just fine with us.
There have however, been a few new items of note: Mom now morphs into Dementia Destroyah! a couple of times a day. Sadly, she's not destroying dementia, rather she's dementia destroying every item she can get her oatmeal encrusted fingers on; cardboard boxes, magazines, bananas, recipe book pages that prior to being minutely shredded by her while your back was turned (for one tiny second!) held the secret to that delicious meal you were preparing for dinner. Pretty much anything she can pick up she will ravage.
She emerges from her bedroom with demolished picture frames clutched in her claws. Or we find her in the kitchen, smeared in avocado from top to bottom, the peels strewn at her feet as if she were some sort of goddess of agriculture readying herself for a bountiful harvest.
It's sometimes funny, but often frustrating. We've taken to hiding things from her in an effort to save ourselves time from wiping her, and a slew of household surfaces, down on an hourly basis.
She's also grown fond of moving furniture. (Is anyone else experiencing this?) If she can pick it up she will put it elsewhere. And if she can't pick it up, she will persistently push and pull, then finally turn to me and say, "I can't get it." Well, gee Mom, it's a 450 pound sofa so... why don't you just keep trying?
But what has become a blood boiling trigger for me is her ability to stand in the way of whatever way you are trying to go. Be it a hallway, a door way, an entryway into a bank, mall, grocery store - she is 110 pounds of massively effective roadblock, causing collisions and pile-ups of human traffic in her wake. Why is it that the least significant acts are the ones that trigger the most ridiculous outburst? When I'm juggling keys, grocery bags, mail, the dog, and Mom to get in the front door of the house and she won't move - forward or back - my brain blows up like Mt. Vesuvius looking for a Pompeii to annihilate.
The Boyfriend in the Basement has dubbed it her super power, which I begrudgingly admit is a brilliant perspective to adopt. (Don't tell him I said so). So now, in an effort to not stupidly lose my cool when she screeches to a halt in front or behind me, I distract myself with heroic scenarios starring Mother as The Human Dam! - such as bank robbers who can't make their escape due to a feeble, old dementia lady, confused enough in her own reality to not budge one way or the other to accommodate theirs.
It works... some of the time.
And yet, we have been having some fun here and there (possibly just me). Forced dancing had me laughing so hard I almost wet myself (although, now that I'm older wetting myself isn't the challenge it used to be). I also found high hilarity when Mother-Minder relayed her story of a recent shopping excursion: Mom - with dementia's laser focus for children - patted a black baby boy on top of his head as he sat in his shopping cart. His black mother was not having it. "Don't touch my baby!" she shouted. MM tried to appease her by explaining Mom had dementia, but giving the state of race relations in the U.S. right now I imagine one old white woman patting a black baby's hair is hard to swallow as simply "cognitive decline."
Oh, Dementia, you little stinker.
So, we're holding ready steady here in Stumped Town Dementia, circling high above the dementia landscape, not so sure we wanna come in for a landing. We know the nose dive is coming eventually; for right now we'll happily stay aloft instead!