Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dementia?

My grandmother had dementia.  She came to live with us when I was a young teenager.  I'm not quite sure how that came about.  My mom was one of 5 girls, she was the youngest.  She was my grandma's "Rylie", lol.  I think Grandma was 39 when she had my mom.  Which would have made Grandma about 75 or so when I was 14 years old.

My grandma lived in Ashland, Ohio.  All my aunts lived there or within, at least, half an hour of Ashland.  My parents lived in Bowling Green, about 2 hours away.  I don't remember my grandmother ever coming to our house, we always went back to Ashland to visit.  So I don't know why it was that she came to live with us.  Perhaps, it was because my mom still had kids at home and we were to keep an eye on her when we got out of school.

Anyway, it was decided that Grandma couldn't live on her own anymore and she would move in with us.  So my parents went back to Ashland to collect Grandma and some of her things.  They thought that if she had a few pieces of her furniture and what-not it would help make the transition easier on her. 

One day after school, one of my brothers and I were sitting in the living room watching tv.  One of us went to go check on Grandma.  She wasn't there.  Uh-ohh, we were in trouble now.  We checked the whole house.  We looked around the neighborhood.  No sign of Grandma.  We had to call our parents. 

Grandma was found about a block or two away.  She was in the apartment complex, sitting next to the swimming pool.  She told the officer that she was somewhere back home in Ashland, next to the river. 

Another time someone opened the back door one night and found Grandma standing outside.  She had climbed out her bedroom window (I think) wearing only a bra and a pair of panties and pantie hose.  She kept talking about the man outside her window looking in.

Eventually we had to put Grandma in a nursing home.  She died there after I was married.  Dementia scares me.  I'm afraid of getting it when I get older.  I'm afraid I sometimes already see signs of it.  You know, those little forgetful moments as you get older.  Laying an item down, turning around and it's not there.  Forgettting names you know you know.  Forgetting things people told you just a week ago.  Not remembering if you took your medication that morning. 

Did I live this total life of joys and sorrows just to forget it all one day?  That just doesn't seem right somehow.  No wonder Grandma was so sad.  It wasn't the loss of her home and independence, it was the loss of so many memories, her entire life.

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2 comments:

bhbner2him said...

It is a shame about your granny.  But I don't think you should panic or worry because you make the simple mindless mistakes that most every one of us make from time to time.  -  Barbara

pippa1116 said...

I am sorry about your grandma.  I have that fear also. it is so hard to watch someone go through that.  My grandma had periods of dementia and I would just hurt inside.
take care
tina