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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Caution: This is depressing

I went to visit mom yesterday and knowing it was a hair day, I waited until later afternoon.  As I came down the hall, I noticed one of the familiar ladies over there coming down the hall in mis-matched shoes, mumbling to herself.  When I said "Hello" to her, she said "I'm sorry".  OK...I can deal with that.  Typical response of someone with advanced dementia.

  When I reached for the door handle of mom's room, I got a rather eewwww surprise.  There was a white cream all over it. I went on in, said hello, and then cleaned the door handle.  Once I was finished, I said hello again, as mom and her new BFF and next door neighbor continued to watch a movie on TV, seated side by side like two little hens on their nests.  Not a word...not a peep....out of either of them.  I'm not even sure they knew I was there.  So, after checking mom's supplies, I tippy-toed back out the door and headed home.  I figured it made more sense to let them enjoy their movie than it did to interrupt them, just to say hello and try to visit.

In the car, I called my sister to report in and realized from the smell on my hand that the cream was Brylcreem.....old men's hair goo.  Never mind I had wiped it off my hands and washed know how the smell of that stuff lingers.  I had to go home and re-wash my hands again.

 Honestly, it is getting harder and harder to go over there, and admitting that out loud to you all somehow makes it a tiny bit easier.  My sister and I talk about it and neither one of us ever seems to feel prepared for what we are walking into, on any given day.  Yes, we both say our prayers before going in, but it's almost like I don't want to be able to see anything, so I can protect myself.  Going less often helps somewhat, but then it makes any changes a real in your face moment. Like the first time we both saw the lady over there with her face frozen that looks like  the white Halloween scream mask with her mouth open like an O....that nearly sent both of us over the edge.  I'm serious.  Seeing this stuff is scary to the max....and depressing.

I don't really think there is a solution here.  I think I just have to find the most workable one for me and when I need to take a break, well.....I just take one.  Thanks to all for letting me vent here.  Sometimes writing about it at least gets it out of my head.


  1. I'm so sorry, Caroline. My grandfather was suffering from Alzheimer's and passed just recently. The last time I saw him (before the big move) he was extremely thin, bruised all over, and barely coherent. I'm so glad I saw him before he moved on, but it was very strange and uncomfortable.

    If I had seen the frozen face lady I don't think I'd ever sleep again for the rest of my life :\

    Big hugs.

    1. Erin,
      So sorry you are a member of this family with Alz club and so glad your grandfather is no longer suffering. Membership sucks.

  2. My mom knows my name on most occasions, but not much else. She talks in gibberish, is diapered, and seems happier than she was when she was just befuddled. She always felt so proper, she'd be mortified if she knew what she was doing now. Just mumbling. Thanks for listening.