Adventures in Alzheimer’s – Ukranian edition

by Julie Frayn on July 25, 2015 in  Adventures in Alzheimer's,Mama Bird

Mom called me at work in tears. Her voice trembled, and I imagined her hands did too. She was scared out of her mind about the people coming to Calgary to raid the streets and kill us all.

What people?

“It’s on the news, can you come right now?”

“I’m at work.”

“Can you come later? If we’re still alive then.”

Okey doke…. Like I could stop a pillaging horde.

Around five, I walked the two house lengths to Mom’s with a touch of dread. Her hallucinations continue to get worse and you never know what she thinks is happening. So I took the kids for witnesses. I had a feeling this was going to be a huge helping of crazy.

Mom is usually so happy to see the children, but that night she gave them an odd look and said, “Oh, you all came. I don’t think I can talk in front of them.”

But she could. She made me watch the news. The same old-same old news that is on a continuous repeating 15 minute loop. Every time it started again I’d say we’ve seen that.

“No. This is new.”

It was a mash-up of three Toronto cops charged with raping another cop (they were coming here next to do that to all of us, Mom said), a parade of ex-prime ministers talking about CSIS and home-grown terrorism, and some news about a celebration in the Ukraine.

She had a legal-sized piece of foolscap filled with notes.

Maybe Joe Clark can help? Should I all the police? And a bunch of other stuff that made no sense.

Bottom line? The Ukranians were coming to Canada, to Calgary specifically, in hordes. They were going to fill our streets and murder us all in our sleep.

I tried reason. Mom, if that were true, the police and the military would be out fending them off and protecting us.

“Do you think so?”

Yup. And the local news would be filled with nothing but the murderous Ukranians. They wouldn’t be telling us hockey scores.

“Are you sure?”

By the time we left two hours later, she remained unconvinced. She hugged me hard and told me how much she loved us all and to be safe. But that we wouldn’t be here tomorrow.

Maybe I should have stayed. Or pretended to call Joe Clark. But sometimes I just need to get away.

Bad daughter.

Later that week she lamented about not hearing from an old friend (we call her Auntie Anne). She said it’s because Anne’s son is evil and made her go back to where she was born.


“No, that place where they’re killing everyone. She’s probably deeeaaadd. They killed her.”

Oh. The Ukraine.

How this all gets so twisted in her head is frightening. That evil son is in fact one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. And I’m pretty sure Auntie Anne is where she always is. In an assisted-living facility in Edmonton. Or maybe her son moved her to be closer to him, in the evil city of Red Deer.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Knot Telling July 25, 2015 at 9:39 am

Though “like” seems the wrong button to click.

This time your account sounds sad and stressful. I’m sorry. Good decision to take the kids along with you, though.


Julie Frayn July 25, 2015 at 9:42 am

The stress levels are rising. I don’t think she’s ready to be sent away, but I’m not sure how much longer I can keep doing this.

Mary Smith July 25, 2015 at 9:40 am

I’m so sorry, Julie, it seems to be getting more and more difficult for you all. Big hugs.


Julie Frayn July 25, 2015 at 9:44 am

Yes, and this was a couple of months ago (I’m posting all out of order). Lately she thinks my brother is her brother, and she talks to her brother and my father (both dead) because they sit in Dad’s recliner and chat. Most frustrating is the hiding of things. Took four days to find her glasses. I will write a post on the hiding. You never know each day what you’re going to find. Or not find….

Carolyn Frayn July 26, 2015 at 10:24 am



Julie Frayn August 4, 2015 at 6:32 am


Kathi July 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

Oh, Julie…things sure sound like they are escalating. :( <3


Julie Frayn August 4, 2015 at 6:33 am

They do, and then they ebb. and then they escalate and shift and change. It’s a crap shoot each and every day… ♥

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