this manic mama

Not, not me. My mom.
When she’s on her 16 hours-awake binge, she talks in rapid fire nonsense, can’t stop moving. If I can get her to sit down and eat anything, her foot taps on the floor like an idling motor, just waiting for the gas pedal to be depressed.
She opens drawers, moves her belongings around so that, later, I can never find what it is she decides she wants. She bends over and roots around in the bottom of her closet, packing and unpacking her shoes into a duffel bag. When she stands up, she’s on the verge of falling over. Her back hurts. Her arm hurts. But I can’t get her to stop. She is driven by her dementia.
Sometimes she will sit long enough to eat something, sometimes not. She rants about people stealing her money, her shoes, her dishes. It doesn’t help that I show her the shoes, the money, the clothes. She is beyond reason. The world is dangerous and deceptive as far as she is concerned. She refuses to take any of her meds, and that only makes things worse. Eventually, she will collapse and sleep.
After sleeping away most of the past few days, she again started in with her manic behavior this morning. I slipped her med into her mouth (it dissolves on her tongue) and in fifteen minutes she had calmed down enough to have some of her fake coffee and toast.
And then she went back to sleep and is still sleeping.
She says she always feels cold, even under her electric blanket.
There is so much I should be doing to clean up my own space, to keep on with the purging of stuff. Instead, I shuffle around, waiting for the electric eye alarm to go off to let me know that she is up.
I am not used to living in such personal stasis. I have always courted change, created it if necessary. Here, my days are caught up in the cycles of her dementia.
In slow motion, I plant seeds, shred mounds of old paper files, watch my hair grow out gray. If I can just keep moving forward in these small steps, keep making small changes, I will survive.
I sure can use some of her manic energy.

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