Little Old White Woman's March on Washington for Freedom

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Little Old White Woman's March on Washington for Freedom

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shoes-272922_640I feel better this week because I put a childproof doorknob on the backdoor and dug around in my Christmas decorations and found a big harness of sleigh bells for the front door.

Last weekend Mom escaped twice, and just like the Alzheimer's website said, right-handed people just "go to the right", and so she did, with me racing out of the house behind her. She had sort of "played at" wandering down the street the week before. A local realtor had put American flags in every yard, and my mother thought they were stray dogs that needed to be rounded up and brought home. Those two times I was in my bathrobe and pajamas, totally caught unaware this was actually happening, and the neighbors were starting to nod their heads. Then without warning, she started taking off for no apparent reason. It seems to me that when she isn't getting enough attention or human contact, she takes off down the street.

My sister and I have both been playing to the part of Mom that still lives deep inside, the part that obsesses about her money. We told her if she got away, people would knock her down and steal her money. Last weekend my house was full and busy with my husband sewing in the dining room and my daughter sewing in the basement and me at the computer trying to look up something, what, about Alzheimer's of course! And I sat Mom down in front of the TV with "Some Like it Hot" playing. I mean, who doesn't like Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe? I thought, she might remember this. And then right out from under out noses, my mother is marching down the street. This time I let her go without stopping her, to see how far she'd go. She stopped at the corner, turned around and saw me. And she said she was sorry. It was like she was saying, "Hello, my name is Sybil, and this is my sister Sybil and my other sister Sybil. " My head spins.

So we are expecting new shoes to arrive this week with a GPS device in them. And I made her a lovely tasteful piece of jewelry that is a dog tag with her name and address on it.

But now every evening when I'm so tired, and I don't want to cope any more, and she bee-lines for the door with her two purses, her body shaping underwear rolled around a package of pens, lipsticks without lids, pantyliners, a dog leash, and three shower caps...I just rest my case.

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jan

Thanks, Jenn, for reading my post. I am amazed at how similar the tendencies are among people with dementia; the pens, the kleenex obsessions, the purses, the lipsticks, etc. Boy, do I get it. I guess when we, the current generation of caregivers become the carees instead, we'll have a purse full of old used cell phones.

Jenn

Thank you Jan, I got a chuckle too because, if I don't laugh, I will cry and I don't want to cry. My Mom packs her stuff up too and tries to leave, so I was laughing as much as I could relate, especially to the last paragraph. It is good to know someone else gets it.

EllysGdaughter

Jan! Keep writing!! I love your Mom stories and I need to laugh as I watch my dear friend deal with her husband's Alzheimers! You are so innovative and creative with how you watch over your mom. My Grandma's dementia just isn't that funny most of the time - I wish it was :) You do offer hope as you cope with the everyday challenges. Thank You!

Maria

I agree with Heather & your blog post put a smile on my face! I have always said that if I didn't laugh about my caregiving experiences I would go crazy! =)

jan

Heather, you just don't know how you completely made my day. I never set out to be funny with this blog; maybe sarcastic 'cause that's more my style. But if just one person laughs about what we are all going through, then we all have hope.