DEMENTIA CHRONICLES

Today’s Weather Calls for Screaming With a Chance of Slap

It could be worse.

Bev Potter
4 min readSep 9, 2023

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Photo by Massimiliano Donghi on Unsplash

My days revolve around my mom’s mental status. She still lives alone at 94 — not because that’s best for her, but because there’s no arguing with her and she’s not (completely) incompetent. She’s the same as she always was — a bitch.

When I was little, she ran over a kitten with our station wagon. I was, of course, hysterical, and I’m still traumatized by it 50 years later.

My mom was mad that I didn’t want to go to the library anymore. I ruined her plans for the day.

My parents never socialized. My dad had some farmer friends and my mom knew people at church, but they never came to our house and my parents never went anywhere.

But I still take care of my mom, because that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Or at least, I try to take care of my mom. I’ve mastered weekend cooking, so that’s going better after whittling our choices down to a few standard meals that she’ll eat.

Right now, something’s going on with her blood pressure medication. Pills are mysteriously appearing where pills should not appear. I thought I got them away from her the first time this happened, but apparently she found them despite her protestations that she has no idea what I’m talking about.

That’s what most of the screaming is about. As winter approaches, she sundowns earlier in the evening — right about when I get to her house after work. She tried to slap me one night when I offered to help her empty her bedside commode.

I have no idea how she’s handling the commode situation. She says she “has a system.” Okay, then. Carry on.

Take the pills, don’t take the pills. She’s 94. She doesn’t want to go to the eye doctor anymore and that’s fine. It’s not worth the argument.

There’s no talking to her about things like that without her perceiving my attempts to keep her alive as dire infringements upon her civil rights.

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Bev Potter

Legal secretary by day, insomniac by night. Ally. BA, MA. Humor, pop culture, and things that make you think. My weekly-ish newsletter is bevpotter.substack.com