In general I do not consider myself fun. I value peace and quiet over adrenaline and noise. I am on occasion known to let loose and have fun especially with kids.
I admit. When I was younger, I loved prank calls. I loved calling people and saying things like “is your refrigerator running? You better go catch it.” And other lame stuff like that. I think that is so fun and so acceptable and can only harm someone with limited calling minutes. One thing that I do not find funny are horror movie phone calls.
Tonight I received three private number calls but by the fourth one I just wanted to be left alone so I answered. What I heard. “Xochitl, you will die in seven nights.” I ask you this. How is that funny. How do you find joy in threatening someone’s life. It is not okay to make a death threats even as a joke.
Besides the fact that it is a horrific idea and someone truly stupid had to have made that call. That wasn’t the worst part. The worst part is. They know me. I know them. They purposely blocked their number. Someone I know and love did this to me. They made a long and rough day even more stressful. They ruined my only evening off by playing this joke. They obviously do not care about me. They are selfish and honestly a despicable human being.
I am going to bed tonight with tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart because someone went to far. Never go to far because you can’t take it back.
I know something that no one else knows. She spoke to me so nonchalantly that I barely had time to process it.
The day before: She refused to get up or even move. Hours in the same position. Her eyes would open but I would speak and she would close them again. I shook her lightly trying to get her up. She needs to eat, she needs to take her medicine, she needs to get up but she won’t. She won’t respond. She won’t react. She lays there. I worry. I have to leave. I try again and again to get her up to no avail. I tell her daughter what is happening. She says she will try when she gets home. She didn’t eat anything. She did not get out of bed.
The day she told me: She told me that when she woke up that she was surprised to still be alive. She felt like it was her time to die. She felt her soul being called away. She didn’t think she would ever wake up again. But she did. She woke up and she had a good day but today is another day and we may not be so lucky.
This is the life of a caregiver for a woman with dementia. A disease that destroys a person’s mind and soul and breaks them down.
I watched her grab a nail file and rub it on her face, her efforts to remove a mark on her face that was bothering her because she was constantly picking at it. (She wasn’t in harms way, I had a very close eye on her) She also brushed her face in attempts to groom herself in some manner which I did not understand. She searched and searched and opened drawers and just looked at everything and searched for something. I finally asked her what she needed. It was a toothbrush, a toothbrush that was directly in front of her. I gave it to her and she went to work again, brushing her teeth. She started again with the searching. She found a tube of lipstick but decided it wasn’t for her. She found lip gloss and applied it to her lips. Not once did she ask for help. Her mind no longer understands what a quarter sleeve is which she proves by anxiously pulling at her sleeves in an attempt to elongate them. Her confusion is constant, when I watch her I do not understand and I realize neither does she. Her world is deteriorating every day.
All I can do is watch. I try not to hover. She does not deserve to be limited by my worries. She deserves a chance to try her hand at tasks. I help her after she has a chance to try. I cry with her, I cry for her. I feel her pain but I can not help. I can only stand to the side and watch her take this journey. A journey that does not end with life but with death. Her mind will leave and so will she.
Dementia destroys something I can not heal. I am only a caregiver.