This memory stuff is feeling so fresh and REAL for me now that we spent an entire week with my mom. While she had full awareness of many things (her grandson being 1), she often forgot I had traveled with my husband whom she LOVES. She kept thinking I was single. While she never forgot my name she thought I was sometimes someone else because she asked about my other children (we only have 1). I’m reminded how quickly dementia can progress but also how long it takes for an individual to completely lose all senses and abilities. My mommy is somewhere in the middle….I think….So today I realized that I do something that my mom and I thought was part of dementia when we first realized that my grand-mother had dementia.
We lived in California and my grandmother was in New York and a good friend and neighbor called us to say we should come check on grandma. She had been giving stuff away, leaving her front door open, and had gone outside a few times in her robe. My grandmother was a proud woman who would never be caught dead outside without earrings, lipstick, a necklace, and of course, proper clothing. She also kept accurate account of her money down to every single penny, her bills would never be late. We knew something was wrong.
We arrived to find several “over due” notices on her kitchen table. We rushed around the city trying to figure out how to pay the bills, check on her bank accounts and make arrangements for her to move to California. The doctor asked “How long has this been going on?” My mom replied “I don’t know, but she keeps her pots and pans in the oven and her dishes in the refrigerator!”
Our kitchen is small and short on decent cabinet space. So, I keep my pots and pans in the oven…there is no room for them in the cabinets. Hopefully no one will call elder services on me!
My lesson for the week is to not read too much into my forgetfulness and to be patient with those around me who are forgetful, misplace items, or store things in what may be considered odd places. I also keep books under the bed…I’m short on office space also!