MAN-WONDER AND THE CIRCLE OF D.

Or more moments from the world of dementia explained.

Mom calls from the doorway of her room. “Hello—when someone has a minute could you come here please—I have a question.”

The nameless “Hey” tells me she is lost again and my inner child begins to whimper, Don’t want to go, no, no, no, I don’t want to go, and the further down the hall I travel the louder she protests.  I stop just out of sight at the last corner and tell my little self to suck it up even though I know, like she does, it’s not one question we’re on our way to answer. No way.  Once we step through the doorway to her room we fall into Mom’s rabbit hole.

Another shared bonus of dementia.

Answering questions sometimes feels so pointless, so futile and at times I swear I see myself aging as I stand there answering another endless loop of questions.

Books and articles advise the caregiver to remain calm and quiet. Most of the time that’s best but every so often I realize Mom isn’t hearing me. Either her mind fog is too thick or her angst has ramped up too high and she’s stuck so I call her name loud and sharp. It stops her dead. It’s like I’m a big fat old fly who’s crashed through the spider web stickiness in her mind. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

There are many layers of frustration in the world of dementia.

And sometimes those frustrations end up hanging off me like teeny-tiny grizzlies by the time Mom has settled down. It’s those times I need to vent and if Man-wonder is unlucky enough to be around he gets my full grump and glare routine.

But he’s a smart man. He stays silent and he doesn’t flinch or tsk as I snarl and make quiet bangs with anything handy. No, he patiently lets me empty the uglies and has calmed down before he takes action. Then he goes into full Man-wonder mode and does something so stupid,  so off-the-wall, sometimes even slightly illegal that I end up in tear-inducing laughter.

And trust me—a middle-aged woman laughing uncontrollably isn’t always a good thing. . .

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