Not quite the plan

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


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No one told me that.

When conversations turns to whether for instance my sister is my mother’s daughter or the daughter of someone else, Mom often comments to us, “No one told me that!”  It is clear that for her, it feels like a reasonable response to being told that she is the mother of her daughter.

Or that my sister is my sister.

Or that her husband is dead.

“No one told me that.”  It’s a strangely humorous comment from my perspective though for Mom, a fair reaction.  No one has told her that she gave birth to me some thirtysome years ago.  Never mind that up until a few months ago, she didn’t need anyone to tell her any such thing.

And she likes to use it for smaller ideas too.  Likely as a result of having much enjoyed the role of hosting people over the course of her life, Mom often talks about having a party.  According to her, we are often getting ready for a party.  And when I point out that there is no party today, I hear, “no one told me that!”  Meaning, no one told me in the my existing memory, which may extend back only a few seconds.

I am tempted to use it myself.  I am supposed to be in to work at 9am?  No one told me that!  I am supposed to submit my reports on time?  No one told me that!   You are my boss?  No one told me that!

 

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Patience, ah, patience.

Mom: “What time are we leaving?”

Me: “7pm”

Mom: “What time are we leaving?”

Me: “7pm”

And, five minutes later, “What time are we leaving?”

At some point, it gets a lot more challenging not to have that tone creep into your voice.  That tone that says, I have told you for the fourth time!  Some days, a certain tone is definitely in my voice.  A tone that says, are you kidding me?!  Stop!  I cannot do this.

Patience has never been my strongest trait.  I would describe myself as a rather impatient person, one who reads books quickly to get to the end.  So dementia has been a test, and one that I too often recognize that I am failing.  I strive for patience and yet so often it feels impossible.  And some days I hardly want to try.

On the good days though I reflect that I am building some patience muscles.  Perhaps it will pay off one day!