"You did a great job raising your kids."
Months later, as I replayed that last meaningful conversation I had with my Dad
in my head, I wondered if he knew he was talking with one of his kids. The
facial expression I remember could have been saying he thought he was talking
with someone else about his kids. Why the hell didn't I phrase my comment in
first person. "You did a great job raising us."
That's the tricky thing about Parkinson's-related dementia: it's hard to tell
if the person you're chatting with is in or out of a dementia episode. It's
equally challenging to determine if he or she knows they're in or out of an
Dad was aware at some point that he experienced dementia. He told me once that
he knew what he saw outside of the kitchen window was the roof of the house
next door, but sometimes he was certain he saw men coming over the hill toward
the house. The shingles on that roof appeared to move. There were no men and no
hill, he knew it, but sometimes was convinced they were coming and it scared
him. The thought of men attacking scared him and the thought that he saw them
when he knew they were shingles also scared him.
Dementia scares me too. My girlfriend's Mother is having dementia episodes
regularly. I hear her side of phone chats with her Mom, repeating things she
told her a few minutes before, clarifying that today is Thursday, confirming
that the doctor appointment is tomorrow, verifying that the month is May.
The last time I saw my Mother, she didn't realize I was her son till the third
day of my visit. Scary.
I seem to forget things more often than usual lately. Is that some kind of
dementia? Is it a 'senior moment'? I hate that term, by the way. Is
occasional forgetfulness just a normal part of living a complex, busy
life? Living a complex