That sinking feeling


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
I have always appreciated that saying "if you've known one person with dementia, you've known one person with dementia" (thank you Canadian Joanne!) because each sufferer seems so different. But what I find really hard (I guess everyone else does too) are the changes within the same person.

I spent the afternoon with Mum yesterday and we played a marathon 5 games of Scrabble! Yes, she is still able to play well - not as well as earlier, but still plays a pretty good game. We had a lovely afternoon, with no sadness or distress (which are so often evident with Mum) and I was thinking to myself what a good day it had been.

She was getting ready to go into supper (I try and leave when meal times arrive) when she said (out of the blue):

Mum: "I don't know what the laundry has done to these pants of mine!" I look at pants which seem fine.

Me: "Why Mum? What's the matter with them?"

Mum: "Well, they used to be navy blue!" (said with withering scorn!)

Me: "No, Mum, those are your grey ones"

Mum: "I don't have any grey ones!"

Me: "Yes you do. You are wearing them"

Mum: "Well, where are my navy ones then?" (asked as if to say "answer that! smarty pants!!")

Me: "Probably they've gone to the laundry. Mum. When did you wear them last?"

Then I look in the laundry basket and there they are. I tell Mum. She looks miserable. I HATE myself!!

Why oh why cannot I just let these remarks go? I can sometimes do it, but I so often find myself "defending" reality instead of just going along with what Mum's saying.

This highlights to us both how she is no longer able to remember simple things or even be rational. It makes us both miserable. I just WISH I could be more like Sylvia!

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Nell, I think you're using the word "pants" the way I do - referring to slacks. Our UK friends will be very puzzled right now, assuming your mother plays Scrabble in her underpants!:)

Seriously, about the changes and letting remarks go, sometimes these occasions just creep up on us. You had had a great day with your mother and she was much like her old self. So much so that you asking her what about her pants makes perfect sense to me, as it did to you.

The conversations often start quite innocently but somehow turn into quicksand. Be grateful that your mother probably won't remember for very long. As for you, it happened, it's over, don't beat yourself over the head. In the big scheme of things it barely registers a faint blip.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Dear Nell, it is a situation that most of us can identify with.

I look back now, with regret, at the many times an afternoon was spoiled, or a special trip out was ruined, because I just could not 'let it be'.

Joanne has hit the nail on the head. We are sometimes lulled into a false sense of their awareness, and we perceive it wrongly.

Ah well, we are all only human.....schhh..even Sylvia:rolleyes:

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Even Sylvia indeed. :rolleyes:

I`m afraid to say, just like everyone else, I have learnt the hard way, by my own mistakes. It is so easy to believe normality has returned, only to receive a slap in the face , as you did today Nell.

Joanne, once again has hit the nail on the head.

PS Joanne. `Pants` in colloquial Britain now means rubbish, eg. `It was not a good example it was pants. ` :eek: