I remember a day about 4 years ago, where my mother was in the rebel years of her disease, very argumentative, confrontational and angry. That was before the good Dr. Steinberg was on the scene making peace of our lives, with his very special and tailored to fit cocktail. This morning she got up on the wrong side of the bed and proceeded during the day with quite a chip on her shoulder. This was still at a time when we were trying to make sense of the situation and she was still able to be left alone. This particular day, we went out to do some food shopping on the weekend. The weekend time is very valuable in that we are at work all week long and only have 2 days to get it together to prepare for another work week…typically called the “rat race” and for a good reason. When we got home I went in to check on Mom, and I was presented with her, dressed in a pillowcase. That’s right, you heard right, a pillowcase…a white pillowcase. She cut a hole in the top for her head and two small holes on each side for her arms and stood there like a stuffed pheasant posing for a family portrait.
At first, I wasn’t sure what was happening. I just looked at her trying to make sense of it all. Then I realized she was in the middle of a dementia moment. She claimed that she had no clothes to wear and that was all that she could find in her closet. Of course there is a closet full of clothing for her to wear, but she didn’t see it that way. I wasn’t very diplomatic at that time and I definitely didn’t completely understand what was happening to my mother or our lives. I just knew for sure that my mother, was standing in her room, wearing a white pillowcase looking like a geriatric go-go dancer in a mini-dress. Not a pretty picture. Looking back at it now I find it really comical. Actually, when you think about it, she was very creative. Not sure I would have thought to do that in the event that I had nothing to wear. You have to think to yourself, “someday we will look back and laugh about this”. You really gotta have a sense of humor to survive this disease, seriously, both for the afflicted and the family of the afflicted.
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