Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Witches

I could only make a quick morning visit to Mom today because I had to drive to Claremont to pick up my daughter and take her to an orthopedist for the sprained ankle she got Saturday night after a Halloween Party.
When I arrived carrying clothes from the dry cleaner and bags of Depends and other supplies, I saw that Mom was being wheeled to the central room for a group activity. Orange and black balloons and other Halloween decorations filled the room, and one resident named Sue was wearing a large black witch's hat.
The good news: Mom wasn't complaining about having to go out there and socialize.
The bad news: she saw me and began asking me to take her places.
"Take me to Marie's doctor appointment... Take me with you," she began.
"No, I can't," I maintained. I took the stuff to her room and noticed the witch's hat there, which I had set on a teddy bear.
I took it off the bear and extended it to Mom.
"Would you like to wear a hat?" I asked.
She was delighted, reaching out and putting it on her head. In fact, the black hat with orange pumpkins looked good with the peach/orange knit suit she was wearing.
"Pull it down tight," she demanded, suddenly looking very festive.
"Oh look, Evelyn has a hat," a caregiver said. "It looks great!"
And indeed it did.
Last year I had avoided putting a witch's hat on her because I thought she might not want to be called an old witch.
Truth be told, everyone on the floor has the ugly, toothless, wrinkled look associated with witches. Adding the hat just completed the picture, no mask needed.
But neither Mom nor Sue was aware that she might look like a scary old hag.
Each had a hat and felt she looked great; that was all that mattered.


tjmac2 said...

I too, am a full time care giver for a Lewy Bodies sufferer. I have been looking for others who are dealing with this miserable disease. My life partner of 25 years, aged 55, was diagnosed with early onset in February. I think we have been dealing with the disease for about 4 years and didn't know what it was. I would welcome sharing with others episodes of the "adventure" we are on.

Anne Eggebroten said...

Tjmac2, my heart goes out to you. How difficult to face a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia in your partner, only 55 years old!
Your journey is much more difficult than mine. And you are a full-time caregiver at this point.
But at least you know what you are dealing with now. Please join a support group (from the Alzheimer's website, if nowhere else) and try to hire or arrange for days off for yourself.
I welcome as much sharing as you care to do on this website. I will make a specific entry about your situation, where you can add comments and update other readers of this blog. Or you could start a blog and I will link to it.
Anne Eggebroten