Friday, December 18, 2009


My mother was moved to long term nursing care yesterday. I called today and the very jolly nurse said they were about to make peanut butter cookies together and it was a good time for me to call.

I said "Hi Mom" and she told me:
  • She'd been in China but now she was in Hawaii.
  • She was in a work camp run by the Episcopal Church.
  • She was in a recreation hall and the people running things weren't very bright. I said, "Well you've always gotten along with people like that," and she said "That's true."
  • She was amazed I was able to reach her on the telephone.
  • She was worried about my father because he walks so much slower than most of the people where she was. (He died in 1969 and I remember he was a slow walker.)
She's always had a good imagination and it's certainly rolling along now. Her voice had a hint of the old time educated/elegant Baltimore accent I can remember from when I was little. She sounded quite breezy.


stray said...

This sounds nice. Her mind seems to be trying to understand where she is now that she's moved. Lovely drawing.

stray said...

(funny about the people not being bright)

Namowal said...

After my mom's stroke I remember some weird conversations like that- asking about long dead pets and relatives, or thinking she was in collage or a casino. The human mind can be strange.
You mentioned earlier that her meds seemed to contribute to the fantasy stuff. Is that still the case.
I also read that people with poor eyesight (including the elderly) occasionally see details that aren't really there. The mind tries to fill in the blank spots (much the same way it fills in the standard blind spot so we don't notice them when we shut one eye.) Maybe she saw something that suggested Hawaii?
Then again, I can picture myself, heavily medicated, waking up in a new place (a hotel? vacation?) and having a few clues (pineapples or a picture of a palm on the wall) and thinking Oh, this is probably Hawaii.

Barb H. said...

My mom has been hallucinating big time lately. Talking to fairies in her living room. Men exiting through her Hummel case. A little girl sitting on her dresser. I find it a little freaky. Maybe it's their coping mechanism.

Sally said...

wow Barb those are some wild ones. I do think they should perhaps research anesthesia and old people. I mean my mother broke her hip but her mind was entirely intact. She went into surgery for partial hip replacement and came out with total dementia. Not fair.

Namoval, those are interesting observations.

Linda said...
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Anonymous said...

I would love to hear her voice, the sound of Baltimore. Voices and accents are lost with the generations. Do you have recordings of it? Can you describe it? I hope she's able to improve---Kate

prb said...

When I asked the medical staff about possible after effects of anesthesia on my father, they uniformly said there would be none. Even the little research I had done prior to his surgery suggested there might be some. His were short lived, thankfully, but very obvious, and disturbing to see. Altered awareness for sure. Hang in there, Sally.

Sally said...

Kate, my mother's family on her father's side were the class of Americans Henry James was writing about/satirizing I think, not that I like his writing.

They came over from Ireland and had great success with a fancy glass factory, then imagined themselves quite the social items. Her grandmother took the daughters to England in hopes of them marrying "well".

One daughter married Sir Bramwell Reece and moved to the Gold Coast Africa, then died when her ship was torpedoed in 1917.

So all of that goes into the voice that I'm sometimes hearing. She's always said tom-ah-toes.