Ache from the past

On top of everything else Mom is dealing with, she now has a toothache. Furthermore, Dad’s dementia might have something to do with it.

The last year Dad lived at home, she had just had some dental work done. Dad, far into his dementia at that point, socked Mom in the jaw one night as she was trying to get him ready for bed. He claimed he was “shadow boxing.”

Shortly thereafter, Dad became ill and then moved into the nursing home. Mom put aside her needs and never went back to the dentist to finish the extensive dental work that she had started.

Now she has an aching tooth, and an ache in her heart as she remembered the last time she was in the dentist’s office. Dad was with her, and in wandering mode. As she sat in the dentist’s chair, she would try to peer around and see if Dad was still in the waiting room. On one visit, he left the building and wandered down the street to a fast food restaurant. When he was reunited with Mom later, he claimed the restaurant had spiders and bugs crawling all over the windows.

So for most people, a toothache would be a minor annoyance. But for Mom, it opens old wounds created by Dad’s dementia.

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