Its bright outside so I think it’s morning. I am not sure though because they took my clock and kept saying something like “you never sleep”. This room looks like I have been here before but the walls are bare and I know this is not home. I feel like I have to go to the bathroom. I have a feeling that there is one right here in this room. The ground is hard but there is carpet thankfully, so I won’t slip, but I will still take it slow as I don’t walk the best. I found the bathroom; the ground is very light colored, and it is a big step down. I stand here cold with wet underpants afraid to cross the threshold into the bathroom. After a few minutes I finally have the courage to take the step down into the bathroom… I made it!
I am going to sit on the toilet and go to the bathroom. I still feel the urge to go. The toilet is cold, and I hear a lot of peeping sounds coming from somewhere. I must go see if they need help. The sound is so familiar I know I have heard this somewhere. Maybe at work? I stand up from the toilet and pull up my pants and I feel that wet cold feeling again, so I fold up a wash cloth and put it in my underpants. I am going to go see what that sound is… As I walk towards the door the hallways is bright and the ground is the cold white again. I round the corner and realize I am at work.
I head towards the front and find a desk. At the desk I start to fumble through the papers, I know this work, but I can’t seem to remember what to do. The other worker keeps pushing my hand back telling me it is time for breakfast. “I drove to work and I already had breakfast at home” is what I told her. Unfortunately, this lady has no idea what she is talking about and keeps telling me this is my home and I didn’t drive here. I move to the other side of the desk and try to continue to work but several girls keep trying to take my hand and lead me somewhere. I wish they would tell me what is going on. I feel like they’re playing an evil joke on me.
I follow her, she sits me at a table with some of my patients so I start to help them. A plate gets dropped down in front of me with food I didn’t order. I ask “ma’am what is going on? I didn’t order this”. I am told to eat my breakfast if I want to see John later. John is my son. I sent him off to school earlier today. I get up from the table and start to tidy up around the dining area, but all the sudden I feel alone and lost; no one here likes me.
I sit in a chair tucked out of the way and start to look at a photo book. I feel like I have seen these people before. They look like my family. A nice lady sits next to me and asks, “what is wrong?” I tell her “I just want to go home” she takes my hand and we go on a walk and look at some very pretty birds. I hear those peeping sounds again, but I can’t help because the door to the office is now locked. I am asked to join a group that is kicking a ball around. I play this game for a short time, but I remember I have to change clothes and get ready to head out for the day to run errands.
I get to my room and these underpants are still so wet. I am going to change my clothes and hang these in the closet to dry. I think this red shirt is nice. I can put it on now that all my wet clothes are off and hanging to dry. I must have spilled my water on them. The first pants I see are purple and I love purple. I put my pants on and grab my shoes, I am almost ready to go. Last thing I need is my purse and wallet. I know I left it on this bed of this nice hotel room. Hopefully I can find it.
I get ready to head out and, on the way, ask a very beautiful lady if she has seen my wallet. “no, you don’t have a wallet. Your family took it home”. It must be here. I have to go run my errands. I head out to see if it is in my car. I cannot get out of the doors, but I can see my car right outside. “ma’am can you let me out to my car, I have to get going” I am told that I have no car here and it is almost lunch time so please have a seat. “I don’t want to eat lunch here. I need to go take care of things.” I am grabbed by the hand and walked away from the door with no explanation as if I am doing something wrong.
All I can do at this point is cry. All of these people around me keep saying “its ok this is your home now”. How could this happen? I am so confused. A lady is coming around giving medication. She gets to my table and I ask her what it is for. She replies, “this is to help you stay healthy”. I go to say another word and the spoon full of medication is in my mouth. After lunch I start to feel tired, so I go to the hotel room to take a nap before I head out. My pants are wet again. How can this be happening? I get to the room and hang these pants to dry and put on another pair. I lay down on my bed to nap.
I awaken to a dark room and a wet bed. Where am I? What is going on? I must get my son from school. I am late and in a panic. I get to the door to leave and it is locked. I am very upset. I have to get my son, but everyone is busy. I go to a lady and she tells me to sit down and that they saved me dinner. I am confused. What is going on? Where am I? I ask to see a phonebook and make a call to my son’s school. “there is no phonebook and your son is 30. He doesn’t go to school” I sit and cry I am not sure what is going on, but something is wrong.
I ask to speak to the person in charge. I need to get out of here. I am told it is late and they are gone for the night. They say, “eat you dinner before its cold”. This dining room is so cold and quiet. Where is everyone? It is only 6:45. I eat my food and go into the office to start working. I hear a voice from afar “I am not doing this tonight”. Soon after I am being escorted out of my office and to a chair in front of a tv screen. I have no idea what we are watching. The young girls beside me that I work with seem to know and they are having a great conversation as I sit here and have no idea what is going on.
I ask “Where is my son? I need to get him.” I am told he is asleep in his room. There are so many doors in this hallway. I am so overwhelmed that I don’t know which is his. I start up the hall peeking into every room I pass. He has to be here. That is what they told me. I get to about the 5th room and I think that’s him, but here comes this young girl taking my hand with no explanation. She leads me into a room. Its dark and cold. She sits me on the bed and tells me its bedtime. I lay down confused, scared, not knowing where I am or what is going on. This is me. This is my life in a day and I am scared.
If I were in a nursing home and had early onset dementia this is what I fear would happen. This is not factual, but I have witnessed many similar things in my CNA career. Please be kind and care for those who need it the most.
3 thoughts on “In The Mind”
Thank you for your input on such an important topic. It sure did make me think about the struggles that are very real.
Thank you for reading!