Carol Howell Talks Dementia…and “Where Are My Boots?”

I want you to look closely at this picture.


You will notice a pair of men’s boots positioned along the curb of a road. Would someone please explain how these boots landed there? The road is a busy one in my town, and the boots appear to be in fairly good shape. Of course when my sister saw them, she knew I should write a story about them. The picture was taken, and here comes the story and how it relates to dementia. After all, most EVERYTHING relates to dementia in some way.

“Momma, we need to get going early this morning for our eight o’clock appointment at the chiropractor. It is time to get snapped, crackled and popped. Will you get up and start dressing? I will be at your apartment in about five minutes.” This conversation goes on every Tuesday and Thursday morning between myself and Momma. Momma is living with mid-stage Alzheimer’s, and she forgets lots of things. Some mornings she will surprise me by actually getting up and starting the dressing process. Other mornings she will frustrate me by remaining in bed until I arrive. But every morning we will search for something. “Carol Lynn [Momma uses both my names when she is irritated], where the devil are my shoes?” THAT is a common morning question. Fortunately for me, the answer is followed with something like, “What would I do without you? You know I love you!” Ahh…. It is all worth the effort.

I wish Momma always knew where her shoes or glasses or emergency pendant necklace were located. I wish she could always remember to get up and start dressing for the day timely. I wish she would never forget anything important. I wish Momma did not have Alzheimer’s, but she does. She also has a family that loves her and is willing to search for the missing shoes. I just hope I don’t see them alongside the road one day!

Hope that gives you Something to Ponder.

Photo by Gaye Launder via Flickr

Carol Howell
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