The last few weeks have been some long ones for Mom and I. This disease is one that changes daily and we have good days and not the greatest days.
I was at work last Friday assessing a woman with dementia. She had been leaving her stove on and getting up in the middle of the night looking for her dead husband. Sometimes, the people I assess mimic Mom and the things she used to go through. It is fair to say that I think about this disease every day. If I’m not at work, I am signing paperwork, picking up medications, fighting with Medicare, going through bills or taking her to an appointment, like today. She needed a follow up appointment today because the hospital doctor would not sign off on her PT so the girls and I picked up Mom to bring her to see Dr. D. She is a wonderful doctor who understands this terrible disease.
When I got done assessing this woman, I went back to my car and there were two missed calls from her memory care unit and the messages sounded urgent. My heart starts to beat a little faster and I know that I will most likely not receive the best news. I get a hold of the nurse right away and I can tell by her tone that it’s not going to be great news. Mom was slapped across the face by another resident. I can feel the air rush out of me and my heart sad. Apparently, the woman grabbed my Mom’s lunch tray and my Mom was not very happy about that and told her to give it back and the woman, with an open hand, slapped her on the cheek and was pushing her chair. The incident was witnessed and the removed the woman.
I won’t let you know my first thoughts, I think in all fairness I thought as a daughter and then as a logical nurse. It brings me back to the days when I worked in the memory care unit in the nursing home. We were hit almost every day and we prevented people from getting hit. It was a constant battle sometimes. When they can’t communicate, they hit out and I think this is what the woman did. The diabolical side of me only last for a few minutes and I thought about the bigger picture.
This woman, just like Mom, is a mother, sister, friend, cousin and human being. I can imagine that her family is also dreading a call, just like the one I received. I think it maybe even worse on their end, knowing that their loved one hurt someone else. It could also be my own mother hitting someone else. For proof of that read The Smacker.
You almost feel like that mother on the playground that watches another child hit your own in some battle. Your inner “Momma Bear” comes out and I think this situation is the same, only I am the daughter. Today, I saw the woman and I could tell she was having a hard day again. I waved to her and I have come to peace with her. She can’t help it just like my mom saying over and over that she wants to go to bed and that she wants to die. I will add this woman to my thoughts and prayers, and we will move on. I will keep an eye on her though. 🙂
This is such a terrible disease.