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Dementia Nights (Been and Gone) / Don't Even Trip

Robert is gone. He was my roommate for nine days. An eventful nine days. You see, he's suffering from dementia. And for the first 48 hours as my roommate, he was quite agitated. He neither slept, nor stayed in bed. Nor did he wear clothes, all that often - careening down the hallway with his bottom half naked, entering wrong rooms, while nearly escaping the confines.

By the third night, he slept a little bit. And that's the same night I discovered that he can't even hear the television, despite the volume being cranked up full bore during the previous 48 hours. So, because he's left, I slept. A little bit. During the prior two evenings I slept elsewhere. Literally. I slept in other places besides my bed.

After not having slept at all during the first night, I got up, got dressed, grabbed a bunch of blankets, then went outside to sleep around 5:00 a.m. and it was damn cold. 31°. But I wanted to prove a point. Or prove something.

The following night I tried sleeping in the cafeteria. Although it was warmer, the noise and successive interruptions did not make for very good sleeping. The kitchen people arrive bright and early. The laundry people are shuffling around opening and closing things. And then also, the residents in Unit 2 start yelling and moaning and making other intrusive sounds during those wee hours at odd intervals. Yes, that's where I used to live when I first moved here. Very very loud all the time.

As an aside, whenever Unit 1 is locked up (to prevent dementia patients from escaping), I have to take the long way around through Unit 2 in order to get back to my room. And passing down that hallway is quite unpleasant. It always reeks of urine, feces, rotten food, and leftover cigarette smoke. Basically, a hodgepodge of things I'd rather not inhale or ingest.

By the third night, my roommate started falling into a rhythm. And having activated the mute button on the television, I was able to squeeze in a couple of hours of sleep that I desperately needed. My aching body, my aching muscles, my aching everything, was punishing me.

There was only one incident wherein my roommate took off roaming the hallways at 2:00 a.m. After rounding him up several times during several escape attempts, he finally settled in for the rest of the morning.

So now, just like that, he resides in the dementia unit. For the memory care unit. Or whatever they call it. The locals here call it Sedona. That's the name of the unit. There's also the Renaissance unit. In part, those are the full lockdown units.

On day number six, we actually did have a thorough and enlightening conversation. As the days progressed, my former roommate actually began coming out of it. He asked me several questions regarding the previous five days. He wanted to know who the people were that were coming in and out of his room, specific people. So I explained things to him, this new person. And I went into greater detail regarding some of the events that took place, per his request. Prior to this, conversation was impossible.

So that's the end of that. We'll see who they stick with me next.

The Eyes Have It

I'm supposed to go to Walmart today to pick out prescription glass frames. My current glasses are broken in three different places, covered in blue duct tape, while also utilizing a bent paper clip for structural integrity. So really, I can't wear the damn things anymore.

I spoke with my doctor earlier in the week, explaining my intent. My desire to purchase cheap glasses. I already have the eye exam, here at the nursing home. So next, I simply needed to pick out the frames, something inexpensive.

As they require, I also made a formal request that I be allowed off property to go on my nearby excursion. It's required that I give the nursing home people 48 hours notice. And in turn, they respond by approving my request.

Well, my previous three requests have not been approved. However, they've also failed to mention whether or not I was allowed to leave the property in those instances either. I mean, they set up the system of checks and balances, but they're not following through with their end of the deal.

I won't get into my personal thoughts, right here or right now. I've got a secret agenda to maintain. My hidden nature. Something like that.

Suffice to say, I am going to Walmart today, no matter what anyone tells me. And I am bringing along my ex-wife. Why? Well, that brings to the fore an air of legitimacy. Someone to watch out for me. Someone to be responsible for me. At least In theory - theoretically. You know, a witness. And since she's my lone semi-occasional visitor, she's my only option for such an excursion. Not that I'm having any problems being around her (of late).

—--- Ughhh. This morning's CNA just came hustling into my room trying to get my blood pressure and other vital signs. I summarily refused. And I swear to the f****** heavens above, there's a note posted on my door explicitly requesting that I not be woken up between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. And sure, I'm half awake right now, writing this entry, but I don't want my room lights on full wattage, especially considering there's no needs based reason. It's midnight dark out there, and I'd like to keep it midnight dark in here. And nope, the sun doesn't rise for another hour and a half.

And yes, this keeps happening. Apparently, those who go through extensive training as certified nursing assistants, do not necessarily know how to read words.

Anyway, that's my escape plan. Going to Walmart today. And if there are any repercussions, I shall willingly accept them. And I shall also enjoy my time spent with another human being, above and beyond staff members and nursing home residents.

Okay then, thank you for following along. I need to get back to sleep for a short while, as I fully intend to enjoy today's outstanding weather. It's supposed to be 76° and sunny. We had a very cold cold January, and now February is starting off quite mild.

Take care,




Hi Howard....I'm glad that your ex-wife is taking you to Walmart. An outing? Imagine, also new glasses. Me, I lose them constantly so will they spring for a chain around your neck with the glasses attached?

Oh, the BP readings, etc. in the morning. I'm sure it has to do with shift changes. Certain things have to be done before the new shift takes over....and yes, it's often very early.

Yes, I hope your next roomie is better also. I guess you can't put in a special request for such a thing....but I do wish you well.

How often does the ex visit? Or is it always a surprise? How is Mom doing? Too bad you didn't arrange for your ex to drop you off there for a visit. Next time, perhaps.

The pics are once again beautiful. So we get the benefit of your sleepless night....sorry about that, but thanks!

Are any of the old faces (among the staff) still around? I hope so, because you really liked some of them. And yes, there's always one old sour puss. Keeps us guessing or something.

OK....go on your way. Enjoy the beautiful day. We're now coming out of our cold spell also. Yours, Lenora


In regards to roomie requests, I'm glad at least that he had a pleasant demeanor. The most difficult roommate situation for me was contending with my initial one, the guy who was angry far too often.

Hopefully I can go solo for a while. But really, there's no telling. I mean really. No one tells you anything. Everything's a surprise here.

The Visitor

My ex-wife typically visits either every weekend, or every other weekend. We meet outdoors in the parking lot, then go for a walk somewhere… location and distance depend upon my having received prior permission or not.

My mother is doing the best she can.


In regards to familiar staff members, it's been hit or miss. Betsy was out for a procedure, and then came back, but hasn't been working in my unit. Two of the other CNAs are off being super duper pregnant at the moment. And the nurses remain the same, for the most part.


The Walmart trip went well. The ride was about 2 and 1/2 minutes. I could have rolled there myself, but wanted to put on a good show for the nursing home folk. That's also why I had the ex-wife in tow. That way, if I get in trouble tomorrow, I can explain to them that I had a chaperone at least. And that she can vouch for me. Or something.

At the vision center, I had two of the employees in stitches, working an improvised routine from start to finish. A third employee was not amused in the least. But my brand of humor is kind of like that. Hit or miss. Apparently, the woman who was marginally upset took an early lunch. Or a late dinner. Or perhaps she took a powder. As thrilled as the other two women were, number three was bent way out of shape… shooting me the evil eye through her medieval spectacles.

So no cuffs, and no arresting. Although I seem always to be on the verge of being run out of various establishments based upon my over the top behavior. And I guess that's what happens when you rub people both ways. Lol

Addicted to Sunsets -

Hmm....Sounds like love to me, Howard. No, I'm not talking about the sunsets. At the very least....good friends. That's nice. (Right about now, I'm ducking.) Yours, Lenora
The locals here call it Sedona. That's the name of the unit.

rather perfect name for being capture in some vortex.

It happened to us, to my husband actually. As we drove out of Flagstaff, we pulled over on a frontage road, and a man standing alone was panhandling. We have him one dollar.

Ten minutes later, my husband was hallucinating in the back seat of the car.

He went somewhere for 36-48 hours. My daughter was 17 and I had to drive all the back from Arizona?

It was a bizarre and slightly terrifying "abrupt flu" that we believe he was handed via a vortex, by the man on the side of the road who was probably a Trickster.

Later on, a friend loaned us a book on the Vortexes of Sedona.
The locals here call it Sedona. That's the name of the unit.

rather perfect name for being capture in some vortex.

If it makes you feel better, there's also a unit here called Renaissance. Go figure.

In recent decades, Sedona, Arizona became a serious super duper tourist trap. But way back in the late '80s, I went camping there abouts, somewhere along Shnebly Hill Road (just outside of town) on the edge of a cliff - tied ankle to wrist with one of my friends, because... I used to sleepwalk a lot and all over the place. And plummeting a thousand feet to my death due to my incessant sleep walking habit was not intended to be on the agenda.

We also didn't consider the fact that we were up in the mountains, therefore, not having dressed appropriately (shorts and a t-shirt) we literally froze our asses off as it was breezy as hell and temperatures were in the 40s overnight. I don't think I ever shivered so much in my life.

The other three survivors huddled in a two-man tent sharing a single sleeping bag.

So I guess that's what happens while improvising a camping trip. The previous night (somewhere near Payson, Arizona) I got mauled by a wild dog of some sort. Initially I thought it was a javelina, but it had very dog-like qualities. Perhaps it was a coyote.

o I guess that's what happens while improvising a camping trip. The previous night (somewhere near Payson, Arizona) I got mauled by a wild dog of some sort. Initially I thought it was a javelina, but it had very dog-like qualities. Perhaps it was a coyote.
Yes, that area of AZ can have incredible weather changes. You'd better take your entire wardrobe along. Where my daughter lives (just outside San Francisco) is the same. Too many seasons every single day & night.

Renaissance, huh? Sounds good.....do they give special spa treatments? Make you younger and healthier? Don't try it on my account, Howard.....we don't want to start a stampede. Still, interesting! Yours, Lenora
..I'm glad that your ex-wife is taking you to Walmart.

When in the exotic vacation land called HAWAII...its all about Walmart.

It seems the locals LOVE WALMART. Its morning coffee at WALMART Kauaii.

And when I was once languishing on the famous beach outside of Honolulu (do not go there, its too crowded)...the adjacent travelers, having once lived on the islands, but now simply visiting, well all they did was discuss going to WAlMART.

and thats where you score your Macademia nuts.

(FYI, I did not set foot in the Walmart)

There is a famous story, about a realtor who is selling this house to some not- locals, and she's so worried because the house was within a mile of a WALMART.

Well when the non-locals discovered that, they put all their money down RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
"You know, a witness. And since she's my lone semi-occasional visitor,"

"I've got a secret agenda to maintain. My hidden nature. Something like that."

Sounds like you have a pretty frequent visitor. Seems like your hidden charms can still be deployed.

Thats a lot of visiting!

Well, Howard, as far as the attraction of Walmart for the residents is probably it's lack of TOURISTS. But then you just alerted a lot of people as to where the locals are. Oh well, there's always the Dollar Store. Yours, Lenora

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