Someday I’ll count the number of barns that I’ve photographed. I’ve been taking pictures of them for decades. If I could remember where I took each picture I would put together a book of them for myself. I took this picture on Friday, somewhere in Montgomery County.
My mother is seeing little people. She also hears them, and sometimes talks to them. No one else sees or hears them. Since we aren’t seeing or hearing the little people, we call them hallucinations. When she first told me on the telephone what she was seeing and hearing, I thought it was kind of funny. Then I talked to my sister and heard some of the desperation (she wouldn’t use that term, she is too stoic) in her voice, I decided that it wasn’t all that funny. After driving up and spending time with my mother yesterday, I know that it isn’t funny. However, I’m going to share with you some of the things she has told me over the past two days, and if you feel like chuckling or laughing, go ahead. I would not be offended because I saw the initial humor.
It started on Friday when my mother called me and told me that they had visitors. It was a group of little people who were part of an acting troupe, she supposed, and they were dressed like cowboys. She told me that there wasn’t enough food to feed them all. She also said that my sister was ignoring them, even when they spoke to her. Mom went on to say that she had read something about them in the newspaper, that one little woman didn’t have papers to allow her to stay in the country, and that they were putting on shows to earn money. She told me that they sang pretty songs. She thought it was very odd that they would stand on the floor and then float up to the ceiling. One of them, a male, had a very good singing voice and appeared to be their leader. Mom said that their leader was bi-racial and talked about what was right and what was wrong. She said that he was correct. That was when I asked to talk to my sister.
My sister, She Who Must Not Be Named, said that mom had been seeing the little people since the night before. She had told me before that mom had been hallucinating occasionally, but she had not mentioned little people before. I advised my sister to have mom see a doctor as soon as possible.
Some hours later my sister called me to tell me that mom had been admitted to the hospital. The initial diagnosis was a urinary track infection (UTI). Mom was getting IV antibiotics, and they had drawn a lot of blood for analysis. She gave me mom’s room number, the phone number for the nurse’s station, and the privacy code in case I called the hospital for an update. I told her that I would be up to see mom on the following day.
When I arrived the next day I found mom sitting in the chair next to her bed. She didn’t recognize me. I put that down to her terrible eyesight, not the fact that it had been too long since I last saw her. She complained that she was only supposed to be in the chair for an hour before getting back in bed, but that she had been sitting there for four hours. She told me to go find her nurse. Instead, I pushed the call button.
The nurse aide responded quickly. Mom told her the story of sitting in the chair for four hours, and she said she couldn’t rest because people kept coming in to talk to her, and that she wanted to go home, and that if the doctor didn’t discharge her she would get up and walk out, and that she was cold, and… The nurse said, “My goodness. I’ve not seen you this angry. You were so sweet earlier.” I commented that it was sign that mom was feeling more herself. The nurse aide gave me a hate filled look. I’m a bad son.
When the nurse aide left, mom told me again about the little people had done at the house on Friday. Then she started looking around the room and told me what the little people were doing there. I could tell from her line of sight that they were around ankle height. She asked me if I could see them and I said no. That didn’t seem to bother her. Then she asked me if I felt them, because they evidently were crawling on me. I said no. She told me that she thought that the little people had taken over the hospital and were doing a lot of construction work. They were also playing a lot of religious music. I decided to not go along with her, or to argue with her, but to tell her that I didn’t see or hear the little people when she mentioned them.
After a few hours I left to drive home. There will be an update tomorrow.