|Joan Pondering Her Next Move|
Interestingly, as we played, Mother remembered an elementary version of the game, that of connecting the same number of dots and same color of dots to pieces already lined up on the table. She's always been competitive. Looking at the picture on the left, I'm sure you can see just how intent she is on picking just the right domino for her next move. I'm sure we weren't playing by any rules, but neither does Alzheimer's play by any rules.
As she continued the game, her intense focus made me smile. She was able to do what the Electric Company jingle chimes, "One of these things is not like the other."
Distracting my mom these days is becoming more and more difficult. Lately, all she talks about is going home. I gently explain to her (and sometimes not so gently) that where she now lives is her new home. When I say things like that, looks of puzzlement and bewilderment frame her face. She just doesn't connect the dots. And, then the questions come in a line much like the domino game. "Why can't I come home?" "What do you mean I need 24 hour care?" "Do I have to live here the rest of my life?" "I.WANT.TO.GO.HOME!" It doesn't matter how many times I try to explain to mom that she needs 24/7 care, or that the place she now lives is her new apartment, or explaining that you are here because you have Alzheimer's. Each visit I'm faced with the same questions as the times before. My countenance falls and my desire to visit wanes. But, I continue to do the 'right' thing for Mother.
Connecting the dots? Where are the multiple pieces of evidence I need for living in the valley of personal confusion? I don't think I'm going to figure that out tonight my friends, but, maybe tomorrow, right after a good night's sleep.