Friday, August 2, 2013

Her Reality

Lyn's reality is a different place than the one the rest of us experience.  She is easily agitated as a result of perceived offenses or her own realization that she's unsure of what is going on around her.

Take for example the recent example in which the subject of a local bar was brought up.  From Lyn's telling, her respite provide asked if she wanted to go to a Country-Western bar to go dancing and drinking.  This raised Lyn's ire and she was quite upset that someone would think that she would visit a bar.  It is not her cup of tea, after all.  We've heard her tell this tale several times now and each telling makes her upset again.

Mom was able to speak with Lyn's respite provider to find out what really happened and the incident is much less of a situation than Lyn's telling would lead you to believe.  Lyn and her respite provider had recently attended a dance hosted by a local church.  While there, Lyn's respite provider asked another respite provider if she knew of similar events.  The other respite provider asked if the local bar was an option.  Lyn's respite provider indicated that the bar was not a good option because Lyn doesn't care for bars or drinking.  While she likes the organized dances, she no longer dances.  She just stands on the floor and looks around her, watching the movements of the others.  It was a reasonable suggestion given that some of the adult clients do enjoy visiting the bar.

Lyn's brain and the dementia have translated this simple inquire into something upsetting and offensive to her.  It reminds me of the tales my Grandmother would tell before she passed.  She had her sisters and other relatives convinced that she was left home alone every day and Mom refused to take her to Mass, the grocery or even the doctor.  My Grandmother was never diagnosed with Alzheimer's though I believe now that she had it.  My relatives took Grandma at her word and didn't inquire with Mom to learn if there was another side to the story.  Grandma's reality caused unnecessary tensions within the family.

Lyn's reality has the potential to do the same.  Fortunately, we're much more aware of the workings of the mind diseased by Alzheimer's and Mom wisely sought a different perspective on what was upsetting Lyn.

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