Monday, November 30, 2009

Finger Paintin



well it won't make the cover of the New Yorker, but I drew this with my finger on my phone while I was visiting my mother last week and it expresses what the visit was like.

What came to mind about it most was this- imagine the span of a lifetime as a dirty windshield. Think of the worn wipers going back and forth, getting stuck in a certain spot each time. That's what it's like for my mother right now. All different parts of her life are recurring, but the place where she gets stuck the most is in Princeton, where my brother is rowing in a race (40 years ago) and she can't get to the race in time. Or she can't get the paper where the race is written up.

When I'd see her first thing in the morning she'd be pretty lucid, but then the little cups of pills which I guess she needs for all kinds of reasons, would start jamming her mind. Her eyesight is poor now too so that makes it easier for her to imagine these other places and times. Another recurrent theme was that we were on a not very nice ocean liner, and when were we going to reach land?

I was glad for the lucid moments but it also makes it even harder dealing with the dementia, because Ithink I can just straighten her out by explaining a few things.

Thanksgiving Day was great, but the buildup was really rough going, especially since we never reached land.

11 comments:

Mars Tokyo said...

Hey Sally, I'm mailing your print to your home addy tomorrow morning.

Sally said...

Coolio, Tokyo, can't wait to get it!

Linda said...

We wanna see more finger paintin!

So are you having fun with your phone? What's your favorite thing about it, and least favorite thing about it?

The human brain is mind-boggling. If your mom has to be on a cruise ship, I wish she were on a nice one instead of a not very nice one.

That last line!

stray said...

Yes, that last line. Are you using Brushes app? Sorry it was difficult with your mom.

Mean Jean said...

Can you see harbor lights?

booda baby said...

There's a WHOLE lot of hard about being a caregiver and child of those with dementia, but it seems like she's having some highly romantic moments. Even the ocean liner makes for good cocktail party fodder back on dry land (eventually you'll arrive in port.) Anyway, curious coincidence - here's a story I'm animating as we speak/write:

My grandpa had dementia & every morning he'd ask if it was is birthday.

I always said yes.

There's nothing better than cake for breakfast.
(by Brian Andreas)

Namowal said...

A parent with dementia can be a bizarre and frustrating thing. I think part of the problem is we're wired, deep down, to classify our folks as wise and all knowing (as they seemed when we were kids, at least.)
When the wise one starts talking nonsense- be it the time warp, the word scramble, the unsolvable dilemma or the angry rant, it can be unnerving.
Sorry to hear about this. I hope they wean your mom of those meds.

Sally said...

Linda, the phone is excellent, I'll have to tell you more about it. Supposedly it's going to be able to handle flash very soon, which would be so much fun for me.

The worst thing about it is the expensive screen protectors which start peeling off almost as soon as they're on and are sticky on the edges.

It doesn't have as good a paint program as i phone yet.

Booda Baby, wow the birthday story.

My nephew went there Saturday and she was still on the ocean liner. There's a corridor leading to where she's living now that does resemble a covered walkway on a liner.

I'd get more serious about getting her meds reduced but she'd been doing some yelling and a lot of paranoia before they settled on this combo.

Namowal, you have a lot of insight into this trouble.

stray said...

It makes sense the facility looks like an ocean liner, and she can't get off it!

stray said...

(Plus they have those "activities" like on a cruise. Bingo. Wii.) (And if we want to get philosophical, dry land could be right mind--that's how I deciphered Dad's conviction he was AWOL and request that we call his commanding officer.)

Sally said...

stray, yer totally tuned in to the liner aspect. Today when I called she sounded quite herself until she asked me to please call Grandma and tell her where (my mother) was. Grandma died the same weekend as JFK. But I told her I would. She sounded very breezy on the phone, as if cruise life was agreeing with her.

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