Am I Allowed to Talk to You?

I thought a lot about whether to write this entry, because it’s about a lesson I learned about dementia/Alzheimer’s which might be of value to someone else.

My mom and dad have moved to Deerfield from their home in New Hampshire. My job has been to keep Sally happy, a relatively small one compared with running their finances or dealing with Medicare and their long-term health insurance provider, etc. etc.

When we went to church last Sunday. Sally said that the minister had talked too much and that she (Sally) “wanted to choke her.” And I said that was mean. She was a nice lady and a thoughtful preacher, and she (Sally) had no business saying a thing like that.

We talked about it later at lunch and she said she was going to find something to go around her neck, which means committing suicide. And I said I just wanted her to be nice to the minister if we were going to go to that church.

But Sally makes remarks like that every week. The difference was I hurt my back on Saturday and it hurt a l0t getting in and out of the car… not an excuse, just a bit of background.

So usually on Wednesday I make dinner for Bob and Sally, and I went over — usually I see Sally at lunchtime Monday and Tuesday, but I was in bed with my back injury.

She sat on the couch in her parlor and asked, “Am I allowed to talk to you?” Three days later!
I had just wanted her to be nice to the minister. She had remembered something for three days — sadly something negative. Clearly the emotional memory is much more powerful than the intellectual memory.