Not quite the plan

on finding my groove as a 30 something single girl and caregiver for mom with dementia


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Personality change and dementia.

So, I am taking my Mom on a trip to a national park for a weekend in April.  It honestly is more for me than for her because I enjoy nature time a lot and do not get enough of it, especially in this caregiving life of mine.  And It has also just been a long winter and I thought a weekend in Spring to hopefully see some things starting to bloom would be lovely for both of us.

In response to talking about this trip, Mom told me, “I am outdoorsy.”

To fully understand the I-just-entered-the-twilight-zone nature of this statement, it is important to understand how non-outdoorsy my mother is.  She is not outdoorsy.  I am her slightly suspect daughter who finds appeal in things like camping and dirt.  I will never forget coming home from a multiday camping trip in the 7th grade in which I peeled off my dirty socks with glee as Mom watched in horror.  Mom does not hike or camp.  For Mom, a picnic on the beach involves a carefully set up picnic table well off the sand.

I cannot help but wonder what is happening in her brain to bring her to the moment of this outdoorsy idea.  Does memory loss extend to personality characteristics?  Can one forget your lifetime preferences and choices?  For a while when we were discussing possible dinner options Mom would say things to me such as “I like cheese.”  “I like pizza.”  Now I wonder how much those statements were to remind herself of her own preferences.

After Mom informed me of her newly outdoorsy self, I decided to push my luck.  I asked if she would go on a hike with me and received a clear affirmative response.  So come this April, I will be taking my 69 year old mother on what I believe will be the first hike of her life.