I went to visit with mother this afternoon. Her dementia causes her to get into conversational "loops"...at least that's what I call them. There are generally three or four themes that she talks about over and over and over and over and (you get it) for an entire visit. To keep from screaming when she's on a theme for, say, the seventh time in half an hour, I've developed a little technique which, as it turns out, generally spins that theme out of the loop.
Let me say, here, that Hank doesn't always like my techniques BUT I don't always like how he deals with his mother so there you go...I happen to think that mother would approve. The more she "loops" the more agitated she gets. It can't feel good.
For example this afternoon the first theme was "do I have enough money to take a little trip...I'd like to see the beach one more time before I leave this earth." My answer for the first several rounds was "yes, you have enough money to take as many trips as you'd like...When the weather warms up we'll see about going to the beach." When I felt as though I might scream, my reply changed to "yes, you have enough money, although you're REALLY going to need to give me a time line for when you're going to leave this earth so that I can make plans." First Theme--CHECK
Second theme...mother announced that she's developed a bad habit of saying, "doggone it" when she can't find something or drops something etc. She doesn't believe this to be at all ladylike and needs to use another expression. (Apparently "golly doodlebugs" isn't working for her any longer.) My reply for awhile was, "oh my goodness." After several rounds of theme two, I suggested that she might substitute, "dammit" for "doggone it." She informed me in no uncertain terms that she'd never said that word IN HER ENTIRE LIFE and is not going to start now. And theme number two spins out of the loop. YES!
Third theme...I noticed when I arrived that she had a new little doodad in with her framed photographs. It was three or four inches tall and had "I Am Someone Special" written on top with a little verse below. After about five minutes she picked it up and said, "Did you see this? The lady who sat with me when I was sick brought it to me. I always show it to people when they come in because I don't want them thinking that I think that I'm special. I most certainly do NOT think that I am special and would never have purchased this for myself. It was a gift from someone ELSE who thinks that I'm special." My reply..."well wasn't that sweet of her."
Theme three X 5... My reply..."If it bothers you, why don't you put it in your bedroom where guests can't see it?" She didn't say another word about it, but put it right back in its place of honor where it will be noticed. AWAY with theme three!
I'm tired now! I drank a large Pepsi and ate a cheeseburger and french fries from a truck stop McDonalds on the way home. I don't even LIKE McDonalds. Do NOT judge me!
On a brighter note, Ned and his housemates are going to the CIRCUS in Columbia this week. He loves the circus and used to go every year until mother got where she didn't want to leave home. Think good thoughts for him, though, because he has a nasty cold!
Have a fabulous week!