Dementia is a soul sucking fiend, there is just no way around that fact. My mother had dementia and it just keeps getting worse and worse. Which is of course what it would do. Dementia doesn’t get better. It just keeps getting worse.

My mother suffered brain damage from anoxia back in 1970, she was 29, (you can read more about her demetia here and how her dementia effects me and our relationship here), it’s been challenge for a long time. Some days are good, some are not. Recently the not so good days have been more frequent.

I visit my mother once a week, lately it’s been more like every other week because I have been so busy trying to get an IEP in place for my daughter, but that’s a whole other rant. I am sure there is a pattern to my mother’s ups and downs, to her good days and bad days – I just haven’t figured it out yet. 

When I saw my mother two weeks ago she was upset because she had finally figured out what had happened to her when she got sick back in 1970. We’ve refered to it as ‘got sick’ forever so I’m staying with it. And I suppose she did ‘get sick’. She had pneumonia, which is what led to the tracheatomy, which caused her to go into cardiac arrest which, caused the anoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain for long enough to cause brain damage). 

For as long as I can remember she told the story of how when she came out of her coma 5 or 6 weeks later she was convinced she had a baby. I suspect she couldn’t imagine any other good reason for being in the hospital at her age and I believe my parents were planning on having one more child. I do not recall her being pregnant when she got sick but I had only just turned 4 and might have missed it, though I don’t think that is what happened.

My mother has told this story to me many times over the years – that she thought she had a baby when she woke up and was confused that there was no baby. It took my father and the nurses and doctors some doing to convince her that is not what happened. 

When I visited my mother a couple of weeks ago, she informed me that indeed she did have a baby, a boy, and that she gave him up for adoption because she knew she would be unable to care for him since she had gotten sick. According to her, he was living very happily in Aurora, CO and that I should look him up after she had died.

Her mood was fine, she was happy with her decision to give her son up for adoption.

Obviously, this was the first iteration of this particular delusion since she was not yet upset. She had not had time to mull it over and over yet. The anxiety that this delusion was sure to cause had not kicked in yet. 

My mother proceeded to talk about the other subjects that she cycles through more and more rapidly now – mainly Trump and the state of the family cabin. I gave her a kiss and said I would see her next week.

As is standard, I sat in my car and texted my brother what had transpired. On the one hand to give him a heads up, and to compare notes in case he’d already run into this new delusion.

He had not, this was the first he’d heard of it, but was planning on visiting later that day. Said he’d let me know how it went.

When he texted me several hours later it was clear my mother had had plenty of time to mull over the new delusion and for the anxiety to kick into high gear. When my brother arrived she was in tears and horribly upset about the whole thing.

We’ve been told for years to just go along with the delusions. To correct someone who is delusional can cause even more stress and anxiety. The problem with doing that is with my mother is that her delusions are horrific. In her mind the baby she gave birth to and very much wanted, had been taken away from her without her consent (since she was in a coma at the time). Agreeing with her doesn’t seem to be the best way to go. It seems cruel to let her believe she gave up her son. On the other hand, telling her she is delusional doesn’t seem to be any better. 

That said, my family has a history of secrets and lies. When my mother tells me something like this, after texting my brother, the first thing we do is start Googling to see if there is any truth to her imagination. For all we know, we may have a brother living in Colorado