I really want to believe what you say, but I can’t.

When I get a message from a social worker about my parents’ medical appointment, I’m a little shocked and confused. When I can’t reach the social worker, I call my sister who was on the phone with the social worker.

Apparently, my parents were at the hospital. This is the second time in two days. When they showed up today asking about an appointment and were confused, the hospital staff recognized something was wrong with their cognitive abilities.

I jump in the car and drive to my parents’ home in the retirement community. They are both there and my mom is on the phone with my sister when I walk in. “We weren’t in the ER yesterday,” my mom says. She immediately turns to my dad and asks him if they were.  At first he says, “I don’t remember,” then he quickly changes and says, “Yes, I took you there yesterday.”  He then excuses himself to go take a nap.

The call ends and I ask my mom if she wants something to eat. She says she just wants a Coke and we walk out to the living room to talk. She’s retelling me the story of her visit. I don’t really know the story, but remind myself that I can’t believe what she is saying. She has dementia and almost no short-term memory so anything out of her mouth is suspect. I really want to believe what she’s saying.

If I could believe her words again it would mean things are okay. She’s not demented and all of these issues don’t exist. Subdued.