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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Mum having some delusions

Yesterday I went up to see mum in the nursing home. On arrival I spoke with the nurses at the nurse's station near the elevator and they told me she had got up and had a shower the day before and yesterday as well. I was relieved to hear this as the last time I had seen mum - on Wednesday - she didn't get out of bed at all.

When I got to mum's room the TV was on and she was nodding in her recliner chair. I switched off the TV and went over to talk to her. She seemed much better and was wearing a pair of slacks, a top, and an open shirt over that. She had on short socks, not the especially long ones that I had bought for fitting to her swollen legs. I sat down in the chair next to her and we had a chat. At one point she started saying odd things, and I recorded them in notes on my mobile phone. Here is our conversation:

Mum: "We were attacked. They were scammers."
Me: "Nobody attacked us."
Mum: "Well I'm not going to talk to you if you're not going to listen to me."
A little pause.
Me: "Who attacked us?"
Mum: "There was a farmer."
Me: "You said scammers."
Mum: "A farmer and his wife, yes. They were trying to rook us, take money from us."
Me: "They were trying to take money from us?"
Mum: "They seemed to be, yes. I thought you would be able to tell me all about it."
Me: "I wasn't there."
Mum: "Well where was I? I thought I was with you."

I guess this kind of delusional experience must have made some sort of an impression on her, because normally she cannot remember much after a couple of minutes. Her recall in this case was surprisingly sharp and detailed. She said some other strange things during our hour-long sit-down, but I didn't take notes of everything she said that was unusual. There were other things as well.

I wonder if such delusions are normal after a traumatic event such as a hospital admission. It might be that because of the pain and the infection she has lost some more of her mental capacity. Her brain seems to give up ground in the face of adverse events like these, and there is usually a step-change down, at least initially, when she has had to go to hospital due to an infection.

When I went out to the dining room with mum she was still complaining about pain and had to walk very slowly. But the pain is more localised in just her right knee now; the all-over pain of Wednesday had gone away. She did however also complain of pain in her hands.

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