August 28, 2013
The other day my mothers GP had a visiting nurse come to the house. Now to look at my mother, you would ask, wait, what?!? My mother walks several times a day, is seen out driving to the local supermarket and holds conversations with neighbors and family members on a daily basis. All seems great, but something is not right. This is why the nurse came by.
She was a kind but tough women originally from the Philippines. She is the nurse who comes and assesses potential patients. Her job for my mother was quick and simple. She came in, sat on the couch and started asking my mother questions. My mom treated her as if she was friend of mine that needed entertaining. The nurse asked my mother what the date was. My mother struggled, searching for the answer and then looked at me to tell her. The nurse stated “Don’t look at her, you tell me.” At that moment I realized that I have been giving my mother answers for months. She then asked my mother to remember these three words “couch, pen and lamp”. A minute later she asked my mother what those words were, she could not remember. After a few other tests, such as trying to draw the hands on a clock, which my mother could not do the nurse loudly announced to me “your Mom has dementia”.
Wait, what?!? How did that happen? And why are you saying it in front of my mother? Shouldn’t we be whispering in the other room about it? How can you be sure? Shhh! My mother is right here! But my mother seemed unfazed, still smiling at the nurse and asking if she can get her a drink. That was when I knew, my mother has dementia and I have been “protecting” her by filling in the blanks and helping her out for months. The forgetfulness and quirky behavior has been something else along. The nurse suggested a full evaluation by a neurologist which we have an appointment in a couple weeks. I am sit here wondering, wait, what?!? until we get more information