If you have visited here for awhile, you will recognize a pattern on my part: aware, but not really focused, upon the reality that dementia is a never ending series of surprises. So, as much as I write that I am flowing with the daily fluctuations, today was a Tilt! moment.
Last night my aunt was jovial, communicative and although not in the reality, she was quite content. Tonight, I walked into such venom, I was speechless. Not since she broke her neck in Mid-August and unleashed shrill accusations I was having her murdered have I been subjected to such venom.
Each time I enter the home, I can usually get a pretty good indication of the moment from the eyes/facial expression of the primary care provider. Tonight the gouge marks to the back of her hand and her pained expression immediately alerted me to problems. I looked across the room and saw my aunt’s expression. There was no pained expression. Simply a sneer and a darkness to the eyes.
I tried to gather some intel, but of course, that suggested conspiratorial conversations on my part. I stood and listened to the facts: my aunt slept little last night. She repeatedly attempted to escape the bed. She refused to sit on the toilet and clawed at the care giver trying to help urinate (my aunt now will only urinate while standing over the toilet…huh!). My aunt had refused all meds (poison), food (poison) and water (poison).
I offered water, a pain pill and her water pill (PRN..Old Stronger Anti-Agitation Med that had been just omitted two days ago). She swore at me. She refused water. She refused her pills. I cajoled, loved, schmoozed and she swore at me. I persisted and she looked at me with rage, but took the pill and downed a half glass of water. She sat there clutching her head, kleenex and working her jaw back and forth.
The TV was on with the Wheel of Fortune on. I quietly babbled along about the guy winning significant money. I tried to guess the squares and actually guessed one. I looked over at her and she was smiling at the TV. Was it the dissolving meds percolating into her blood and brain?
In the end, she was still vacillating between calm and frustration. She was convinced all the events against her happened at the store where she works. When she gets stressed, she eventually seems to construct some fanciful version of events to steer it away from the reality (persons, location).
Grim night. New meds are suppose to take a week to take effect. Food, water, meds, sleep, calm needed. A subplot to the events: my aunt’s two housemates at the care facility, both suffer from varying degrees of dementia. They seem to maintain a reasonably calm persona. Tonight as my aunt was railing on, the lady gave a quizzical look at my aunt and then looked to the gent and quietly said..”What do you think is going on with her?” The gent answered back…”She is not very happy today. Let’s pray for her.” I find it fascinating. Three demented minds assessing and commenting on the other throughout the day.
Prayers for all of those folks in that house tonight and may they all rest and renew as much as their bodies and minds allow. For me? The first paragraph in this piece says it all.