Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stories and More Stories

Just when I think I have dementia figured out, Grandma will do something completely out of the ordinary.  She has a routine and if that schedule is not followed, then she goes into a total spin out of character. She gets downright mean and ugly.  And that was the case last night.

Grandma packing the suitcase with a blanket
and fussing at me for telling stories.
Daddy was on vacation and since I had time, I decided to stay with Grandma again.  Since this was not the normal routine for me to stay more than one night, Grandma started getting a little more anxious each night.

I got to her house around 7:00.  She was already aggravated with Daddy because he wasn't there.  I brought her something to eat, but she just nibbled on it.   She asked the usual questions.  How many kids do you have? How old are they? Etc....  Then she wanted to know why I was there.  I told her Daddy was tired and wanted to stay at his house.  She didn't like my answer.  She wanted to know who told me to come over.  I told her that she called me to come over.  She raised her voice at me, "STORIES, just stories."

Moving the cassette tapes.  Don't won't
them to get stolen.
She asked again, "Who told you to come over here and stay with me?"
"You did, Grandma."
"No, I didn't.  Why are you telling these stories?"
"I'm not telling stories.  I wanted to come here and stay with you."
"Is Ellis paying you?"
"Well, I don't need you to stay here."
"Ok, Grandma, but you can't call and say you need someone to stay."
"More Stories."

This conversation went on at least three more times.  She would go to bed and lay down and then get back up and come and argue.  Her mind wasn't comprehending anything I was saying.  It made her anxious and upset.  At that point,  She decided to just let me have it.

I had my laptop out and was typing the post for the night before.  I had a table lamp, fan, and tv on.  She went into this frustrated voice with me.  She started telling me how if I stay with her, my husband is going to leave me and then I won't have children anymore.  She said I needed to stay home with him and tend to his needs.  She then went into how it was after 8:30 and it was time to go to bed.  If I don't get my sleep then I will be worthless the next day.  I was laughing on the inside because we went from not having a husband and kids to going to bed before 8:30 in a matter of seconds.

She decide to move everything from her
bedroom into the dining room.
The final frustration of hers was how much electricity I was using with all my stuff.  It is rude to go to someone's house and use their electricity and stay up all hours of the night. (It was only 8:45 at this point.)  I didn't have the heart to tell her that she was the reason I am up all hours of the night.  She wanted to know if my mom and dad let me stay up all night with all these things and using up their electricity.  I told her I was 40.  She interrupted me and in frustration, she stated, "Stories, more stories."

You can't reason with a person that has dementia.  You have to play games with them.  You quickly realize what triggers their emotions.  You try to stay away from those topics. You also will repeat yourself several times.  I change the story up sometimes to see if she is paying attention.  She usually looks at me funny and sighs.  Somehow, I just keep the cycle going with Stories and More Stories.

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