Back in 2009 I had a concussion. At some point after that I drove to Illinois to see my family. I was tired after the drive and fell asleep on my sister’s couch, only to be awakened by a loud noise. I opened my eyes and looked in the direction of the noise. A woman standing in the kitchen looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, did I wake you?”
I replied, “Um, that’s okay, no problem.” I didn’t know who the woman was, but she seemed nice, and seemed genuinely sorry for making the noise.
After she turned and walked away I looked around; I didn’t know where I was. My first instinct was to panic, but I tried not to. I thought hard, “Where am I? Who is that woman?” I also thought, “Who am I?,” but those first two questions bothered me the most.
After at least ten seconds of trying to control my panic and search my memory, it finally came back to me. I was Al, the woman was my mother, and I was at my sister’s house. The panic subsided.
I write this because of a dream this morning, and because I can only begin to imagine the fear that people with dementia/Alzheimers must deal with on a regular basis.