C: Help! Help!
I walked in the room and she's dreaming.
I'm at Clara's again. Glenda, my supervisor called me at about 11 last night and asked if I would come back to Clara's again. I was scheduled to begin my week at Debra's today but the person who was scheduled to be here at Clara's called in, or...called out. And getting a replacement at Clara's is not an easy task. I really don't want to be here but I did like the idea of going home three nights in a row. Then she asked if I would work the twelve hour shift at Clara's then drive to Pasadena and finish the night at Debra's. I'll gladly try, I thought to myself and literally laughed out loud. To be clued in to that inside joke just read my entry from yesterday. I told Glenda that I'm really too tired after I leave Clara's to take on working another twelve hours at Debra's. The truth is though that I will gladly try. If I'm feeling ok at 6 I'll let her know, but it would be irresponsible for me to commit to both jobs on the same day especially when one of those jobs is with Clara. Clara's home isn't one where I can count on any rest, mental or physical, at any time. I know you can't tell by how long my posts are on this blog but I am stealing moments to jot down notes. As much information as is in the posts, believe me, there is a lot of work and conversation left out.
Anyway, I feel good this morning. I had a good night last night. I'm praying for an easy day here with Clara. I heard her screaming for help and when I ran in her room she was asleep. I wonder what she was dreaming about.
It's way too early for me to start counting down the hours until I leave so I may as well work on some creative writing or something or enjoy the time while she is still asleep.
C: Isn't it awful that that officer just returned and then was killed?
Me: Yes, it is.
My vision is blurry. What's up with my eyes?
C: I'm not surprised at all at the empty seats at the Dodger games.
C: Well the price of groceries is high. Especially the fresh fruits and vegetables. (Pause) Look at that (commercial on television). The adults are getting caps on their teeth now. You notice all these adults with perfect teeth? Those are caps.
C: I've got to get hold of a Lincoln dealer.
C: Do I have a diaper on?
C: I'm actually finished.
C: Would you cut the TV off?
C: Well, I don't want to just lie like this. I would at least like the TV on.
The thing about dementia is the moment. It is often frustrating for the people who are caring for them. The moment is the point. Right now I don't want the TV. Right now I want the TV. This moment I don't like you. This moment I do.
What if the rest of us could adopt some of this? I mean in a way we can choose for the moment and not from the past. This moment I like you because of this moment. Not because of what you did or what we shared yesterday, but this moment for this moment. I don't like you right now because of this moment. Not because of what you did years ago, but because of who I percieve you to be in the moment. No guilt. No obligation. Just choosing in the moment.
C: What time is the special on Lucille Ball coming on?
C: Lucy! Dezi's wife. I read all about it today.
I went to get the paper and there was a write up about the special honoring Lucy's birthday. The things she remembers.
I often have to catch myself. I spend hours running back and forth and at the end of the day when she tries to go off on me what immediately is in my human head is "wait a minute, everything I do for you and you say this to me..." but often she doesn't even remember me or that I did anything for her. I have to quickly remember that and let it go.
C: Help! Help! Help!
Me: (Coming in from condo community laundry room downstairs) Yes, here I am.
C: What do you want?
Me: You called for help and I'm asking what you need.
C: Well, what time is supper?
Me: Usually around 7. Are you hungry now?
C: Well I don't need you asking about right now! I'm asking about the time of dinner and who is cooking and you're talking about something else! Get my niece on the phone!
Me: What do you want me to tell her?
C: Ask her about the situation regarding the time and people! And then you have the television on channel 9?! The republican channel! I'm no republican! Channel 7 is for the democrats, everyone knows that!
I breathe. And then I move on.