The Look

It’s the look. The look that chills. It’s the look which says:

“Do I know you? And if I do, who are you?”

That was how Mum welcomed me today. She was sitting in the “quiet room” and was given no advance warning of my arrival. Usually I tell people Mum knows she knows me but isn’t sure why. Today, I couldn’t even say that. I hate dementia.

Today wasn’t a good day for Mum. In fact the last few days haven’t been very positive. She’s been low and a bit withdrawn. The carer who looks after her was sufficiently concerned to call the doctor. He couldn’t diagnose anything specific and suspects it’s possibly the next stage of her Alzheimer’s.

As a family, we know what’s happening and what’s going to happen. Even so, when what’s going to happen starts happening, knowing about it is no preparation.

Ironically, as Mum didn’t seem sure who was sitting with her, she was sure of many of the words of the songs we sang.

She doesn’t know me but she does know the words to Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’. Irony doesn’t start to describe it.  She laughed as we sang – some consolation but I left today feeling more empty than usual.

Beautiful Mornin'

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6 Responses to The Look

  1. Sue Davues says:

    I’m so sorry Duncan to read this latest post from you about your lovely Mum. I think you are wonderful doing this blog and revealing the complex, difficult, frustrating, tragic and emotional reality of it. My love to you and tge rest of the family, Sue xx

  2. patriciawinstanley says:

    commiserations Duncan

  3. Stena Riches says:

    Never give up, Duncan and don’t ever despair xx

  4. Julia says:

    Hi Duncan. I’ve come across your blog by chance this evening while ‘googling’ for something to try and help me come to terms with my own mother’s dementia. So many aspects of your story are very similar to those of my own – I’m amazed! I’ve spent time reading many of your posts and just wanted to let you know how comforting it is to read your accounts of the very feelings that I’m experiencing. I feel much less alone. Thank you. Best wishes to you and your lovely mum.

    • Hi Julia. Thank you so much for your message. I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing something similar to me and I’m pleased that my ramblings are of some comfort. I don’t think it’s possible to understand how isolating a diagnosis of dementia can be for a loved on until you experience it first hand. Like you, I felt alone, and still do sometimes, and talking to others in a similar situation helped. Please keep in touch. I wish you and your mother all the very best. Duncan

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