The “one true thing” the neighbor across the street learned about Alzheimer’s is “they can’t learn anything new.” She brings it up often whenever we talk. Her mother will turn 93 next month – August. At this point, she’s pretty much confined to bed in an assisted living place, but her sense of reality when my neighbor moved back to Ohio to help her when she was in earlier stages of the disease was that her daughter was “visiting” and should not shovel her walk, but rather she in her eighties was going to do it. There always seems to be something to shake one’s head about as we view the different tacks the brain can take – parts noticeably (or not) missing.
Should that (ability gone to learn anything new) be true, I don’t know how Maxine is going to get along without me, but get along without me she shall.
When I came to be with her, I brought four phones I’d purchased from Costco and set them up around her home to complement the two she already had. I’ve shown her innumerable times how to answer them but invariably she goes back to answering with the speaker phone on. It is because of that that I often hear others and her talking. Inclusive of that and being in her presence as much as I have been the last ten months, I came up with the analogy of believing everything in the rag sheets as compared to taking at face value someone with Alzheimer’s. My advice: Don’t do it!
It especially frustrates me because I’m the bad “helper”, compared to the saintly, “channeling Mother Teresa” RN who’s closer to her age as opposed to the generation of her children. I’m the one who looks at her nurse as saintly and cloning Mother Teresa, but it’s Maxine who cannot say enough good things about her and remarks several times a day, “I cannot believe what that woman has done for me”.
I’ve remarked that I am aware that Maxine and I have a lot in common, which frankly scares me, as well as puts me on guard for conflict. It’s not so funny to me, though, when there are tabloids rampant through the house, and she’s shoving a finished one at me, saying, “I think you’ll like this one”. I’m sure you know, I’m not fearful of being overcome on the spot. It’s just that those headlines can be so tantalizing. And, then, are they not combined with the most eye-popping pictures? If I sit down “for just a minute”, it can be all over. Temptation is once again found to be ruinous.
Oh, who knows? Perhaps, I’ll just join in with the crowd who love salaciousness. Sure beats truth.