The sun was just coming up & I was in a wonderful blissful sleep dreaming about who knows what when all of a sudden I felt this body very close to mine, way to close for my likings at that time of the morning. I suddenly went from a quiet, blissful sleep to a heart racing fear of what was trying to get into my bed!!! My eyes opened very quickly & to my surprise there was the beautiful Maggie saying Hello, Hello, Hello!! Now that is Maggie’s usual greeting night & day, whoever you maybe you get the hello, hello, hello!
After I gathered myself & woke up a little more I tried to explain to the extremely demented Maggie that it was way too early for her to be up & worse still to be up & attempting to get into the wrong persons bed. You see, even though Maggie has severe dementia she is not one bit aggressive & is absolutely gorgeous. She has certainly gone back into her childhood days & ways & although I’m sure it is very sad & unsettling for the family to watch, she is certainly a pleasure to have & to be around. She was not at all convinced by what I was telling her & knew without a doubt she was in the right house!
As I lay there & wondered to myself what the heck I was going to do next as she also mentioned to me in “conversation” that she needed to go to the toilet, I quietly snuck my hand that wasn’t holding hers under my doona & pressed the emergency call button which was hanging around my neck. I knew if she saw me pressing any buttons she would catch on to the fact that I was getting some “friends” to come & see us. Before too long two staff members walked into my room & encountered a situation they certainly weren’t expecting to find. Both of them had a chuckle & attempted to explain to Maggie that she was in the wrong house & her house was down the hall!!!
‘No, no, no’ she tried to explain to them, ‘ I live here with my friend’……….more laughs were heard. Anyway, after a short discussion & some light convincing Maggie’s feet were firmly planted on the ground again & off she went to see if they were right about her house being down the hall!
Well, there I lay all on my own again with still about thirty minutes before I had to get out of bed myself but I knew there was no way that I was going to go back to sleep. I started to think about Maggie & wondered what she was like as a little girl. I thought to myself, I bet she was the one that made everyone laugh & have a smile on their face. Then I thought I bet she was a real mischievous teenager, giving her parents plenty of cheek. Even as a grown woman with a young family of her own she would have been happy, laid back & ready to take on whatever it was the world sent her way. You see, I don’t know about you, but so often I look at people like Maggie, who wouldn’t have remembered that she had tried to get into my bed, by the time she got back to her ‘house’ & I see them simply as they are today. But, I feel so challenged on so many occasions living in ‘the establishment’ to remind myself that all the ‘Maggie’s’ I live with we’re once healthy little boys & girls & then young adults & then in most cases older adults & they just happened to be the unlucky ones that the dreaded “D” word, dementia, decided to hit.
I am glad I had that experience with Maggie, (even though it was a little unnerving initially) as it forced me once again to remember how precious life is & to never take a day for granted because none of us, not one, have any idea what is in store for us around the corner! It also was a good reminder to try & be more patient with the many ‘Maggie’s’ I live with as they never chose to walk this road that just happened to be mapped out for them!
So to Maggie I say Hello, Hello & Hello (even if it is at 5:45 in the morning!!!!!)