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Old 09-09-2005, 10:50 PM   #1
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Unhappy My mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimers or Dementia

Hi everyone,

I am not in a very good mood this evening! We just found out that my mother has either or both, alzheimers/dementia. Her GP, who she went to to get some more diabetes pills, gave her an MMSE (is that the correct letters?). She did not do too awfully bad, but I have not seen the copy she requested.

My sister is at my parents house visiting and just happened to be there when this happened. And the doctor called her up and talked to her all about my mother, with my mother sitting across the desk from him! He asked my sister to be responsible for her getting her tests done next week! Her doctor read her the riot act, because she will not follow his instructions! He tells her to get tests (mamogram, bone density and a chest x-ray) and she does not. She was supposed to have had them done in June and has scheduled them 2 times and put them off 2 times. Also blood tests and eventually a colonoscopy. She has to do them this time, or he will not give her anymore diabetes meds and will not keep her as a patient! He only gave her 1 mo. of all her meds, so she has to come back in a month. She was supposed to be taking cholersterol meds and has not been for the past year. He prescribed Aricept (5 mg) for her. She does not mind taking those, she calls them "smart" pills. She has been saying how she would like to take some of my dads sometimes.

Talk to me. I knew this was coming, but when it is diagnosed, that is a totally different thing!!! I am in a sort of a daze. I guess I had better crank out the word puzzles and such?! Wannabe

PS - thanks for anything yall have to say! Just talk will make me feel some better!

Last edited by WannaBeFreeToRoam; 09-10-2005 at 07:09 AM.

 
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Old 09-10-2005, 04:54 AM   #2
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Sorry Wannabe, so sorry! So now both of your parents have it? That doubles the burden on yur sister and you .. do you think you will eventually put both parents in a facility?

It is Ok for your Mom to get all those tests done but right now, the Dementia is the worst diagnosis; I personally do not see the necessity for all those other tests unless she has shown symptoms of any other disease? It is cruel of the doctor to threaten her with dropping her as a patient. We still have freedoms in this country and one of them is to get 'early recognition' exams or to decide NOT to. I don't get them.

Right now hope the Aricept works, and try to calm yourselves and just take it one day at a time .. you have my full sympathy and I know you feel welcome to come back here to express your feelings and problems any time.

Love and prayers,

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Old 09-10-2005, 05:43 AM   #3
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

GET POA !!!! (yes, I'm shouting) GET POA !!!

Wannabe, I'm so sorry .. one is hard, two .... perish the thought ... my thoughts and prayers are with you. I wish I was closer (same country would help eh?) and I could help ......... if for nothing else than a hug .......

I don't quite know what else to say sweety .. other than this sucks big time.

Big squeezy hugs
Sally

 
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

I knew my dad had it long before he was diagnosed. But when the doctor said it, I was both relieved to know and scared to death to know. So many emotions were flowing through me that I cannot to this day BEGIN to discribe. When that word came at me, it was like a tidal wave hit me. I wanted to know and I didn't want to know. I guess I was clinging on to a bit of denial. I had seen what my grandmother (mom's mom) and grandfather (dad's dad) had gone through. I didn't want my dad to go through that too. I saw what my grandma, aunt and uncle had gone through caring for my grandpa. And my aunt and uncle went through almost the same things caring for my grandma. I'm still raising a child. Would I have to go through this too? And I was thinking about MY future. Is this what's in store for ME? Will my son have to experience the overwhelming feelings I have now? Will he be burdened with the very tough decisions that have to be made?

Of course, we all should make plans for our future and for the future of our loved ones. But what I've learned is that I can only deal with things one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time. That's the only way for me to stay sane in the world of alzheimers.

I can understand where your mom's doctor is coming from. If your mom just wants the medicine without actually seeing the doctor (like my MIL), that may be the only way she'll do what the doctor needs her to do. He's probably talked to her numerous times about the importance of her having these tests done and he's saying these things as a last resort to stress to her how important these tests are. My dad has alzheimers too and he had a doctor who said almost those exact words to him. There's been no more problem with him going since then. I tell him "You have a doctor's appt today" and he flies right up and gets ready. It's the ONLY time he's quick about ANYTHING anymore. He even showers! No arguments. No problem.

Take a deep breath and talk to your sister. Do you have more siblings? Come up with a plan of how you're going to approach your mom about POA. This is a sticky subject. She's going to want to be independent as long as possible and giving someone POA may seem to her like she's giving up or that you all feel she's not capable of making sound decisions anymore.

My suggestion is to find a way to ease into the POA conversation. Your mom is going through a lot too. Give her some time to absorb what she's just learned. But don't wait too long. Avoid saying "you need to", "you should" and "you have to". Ask her questions. If she's still capable, let her decide. Tell her you just want to make sure that whatever is done is what SHE wants done. Reassure her that you and your siblings won't make any decisions without her permission. You may have to do that later on but just tell her you won't. Try to make her feel as comfortable in the conversation as possible. If you see her getting aggitated, change the subject. Let it go for a while. Bring it up later. If she gets upset with the way the conversation is going, she may not be so willing to revisit the subject later.

Talk to an elder care attorney. Get some pamphlets on POA. Visit alzheimers.org. There's lots of good information there.

But above all else, take care of yourself!

I can only imagine how you must feel with two parents suffering from this awful disease. My heart goes out to you.

Love, Barb
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Last edited by LuvMyLilDoggie; 09-10-2005 at 09:25 AM.

 
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:41 PM   #5
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Hi sweet caring ladies,

I knew you guys would come through! It made me feel lots better, but also made me cry! I am probably not thru with the latter. Having sort of a down/depressed weekend.

My sister has gone home today (Saturday). She stayed 2 nites and 3 days. Which is really hard, as she stays at my parents and tries to help them and visit with them. It was really weird, her and her husband, just decided she should come and surprise them. He stayed home with the 2 doggies. And then all this happens! Talk about luck or whatever you want to call it. She was REALLY helpful this time. My sis made copies of all the dr. office visit papers (when my mother was gone), and hid them for me in our parents house. I am going to call her dr. Mon. morning, while she is gone to the diagnostic tests (bone density, mamogram and chest x-ray). She does not want anyone to go with her. And my sister gave her really good directions. Hopefully she will remember them. She keeps saying, and I cannot eat breakfast b4 these tests Monday?! Gets these tests mixed up with the fasting blood test on Tues am. With a few phone calls from one of us, maybe she will get there and get it straight. She will probably try to sneak in some coffee but not eat food!!!

So, both of my parents have Alzheimers now. My mom is probably a 2 - 3. My dad is about a 5 - 6. Depends on the day and the hour! My dad is now on 10 mg Aricept and it is helping a little. My mom will be on 5 mg Aricept. My mother will fight tooth and nail, not to go into an Alzheimers place. If it was just assissted living, she might would go?! My dad will probably be in a home in 1 - 2 yrs. time. No matter what!

Just wanted to sort of explain why her doctor threatened not to see her anymore. She has never had a bone density test. The chest x-ray is because she coughs a lot (and she is not a smoker). Her mamogram is because she has not had one in 5 years. She has been going to this dr. for 40 years, and they understand each other all too well! She did go to this dr. (her family dr.) all by herself and made the appt. herself. She only did so, because she needed the diabetes meds. She agreed to the alzheimers test herself. We had nothing to do with it. She like her "smart" pills. On Thursday, if not before, I will set her up a M-F pill container for her aricept and she can start taking them. If she is not taking them herself already!

The blood tests are to test for diabetes illness and cholersteral. She hardly ever tests her blood at home, so this is practically the only way her dr. can check on her diabetes level (?). I think it is a A1C or something like that. Then there is a pee test that they do, over 24 hrs. to check also for diabetes issues. Her Doctor knows that she would never come to see him if she did not need the Diabetes meds. And he knows that she would never have any tests unless he threatened her. That is how she is. It is part of the control thing, also. I have not talked with her much about her health problems in the past, as that is the way she prefers it. She prefers that no one know about her health!

I am afraid that my mom will always not want to go to doctors, hospitals and tests. She does not want to spend the money and does not like spending her time going and waiting! Probably after she has this batch of tests, this will happen again in another 6 mo. to a year!!!

Thanks for all you talking, sharing and advice! And I really appreciate the lots of hugs, and even the "yelling". Thank you guys for your love, prayers and caring! I do not know what I would do without all of yall!!!

I do have to tell you that the doctor and my sister talked about our problems getting our parents to do a POA. He told her she needed to get one done this week. And she said that they did not have a lawyer! The doctor is going to give the name of one he knows in their area. I guess, I could casually remind my dad (when my mom is not around), that the doc. offered this lawyers name and #.

It is a TIDAL WAVE and I am/was in DENIAL!!!!! This is my new mantra: One Day At A Time, One Minute At A Time. I will talk to my sister again in a few days. Just trying to let it sink in and get used to this new mountain to climb! It probably is just a hill, but it feels like a mountain and I have never climbed one. My sister and I are the only ones still alive. We had/have a middle sister that died about 12 yrs. ago - at about the age of 40. It was an accident - no illness. She has 2 grown kids and a very nice husband that has remarried. He is really nice to our parents, but no help.

I will not bother my mom about the POA til Thur. And I will try not to say YOU NEED TO, YOU SHOULD, and YOU HAVE TO. I know I HAVE SAID those words in the past. I am trying, but sometimes it just pops out. Mostly it seem, on the phone! I do alright in person?! OKAY - Ask Her Questions. Let Her Decide (but hopefully soon). Make for sure that she knows that whatever is done, is what she and my dad want done!!! We have tried to tell her about how the DPOA, can be used as of the date she signs it or when the dr. says she is incapacitated (and my dad too). I guess, she just does not trust us or lawyers?!

I will call our alzheimers assoc. in Houston again. I need to send her the lawyers booklet on elder law and have not done that yet. Mon. or Tues. And tomorrow, I will get on the alzheimers.org website and check it out. Had not thought of that and have never been there! My dad just might take up the task of getting the DPOA done, as my sister says he is very concerned about my mothers lack of taking care of her health! He just did not know and may not remember, if he is not kept informed often and has written notes to remind him.

Thanks again for everything you guys have/are doing for me and my family. I really do appreciate it - TONS!!!!! I love you guys!!!!! Take care of you!

I will try to take care of me - but am uncertain how at the moment. Maybe it will come to me. Bye for now ladies. If you got this far and did not drop out!

Wannabe

 
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Old 09-11-2005, 07:48 AM   #6
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Don't be silly! We'll never drop out!

And don't think your mother doesn't trust you. It isn't that at all. It has nothing to do with trust. Pride maybe, but not trust. She knows what it's like to care for someone with alzheimers. She doesn't want to put that on you and your sister. She knows you want to help and she appreciates it in her own way. She does!

It's ok to cry. You're very overwhelmed with this news. Cry all you need to. Get it out. I was going to say don't let this defeat you but I don't think you will. I think you're a strong person. You'll make certain that whatever needs to be done will get done.

DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP! If you make a mistake or lose your temper, remember ALL humans do that SOMETIMES. We make mistakes. It's ok.

Be good to yourself. Take time to relax. I know it sounds like an impossibility right now but it's not.

You've been a real help to me too.

Love, Barb
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Old 09-11-2005, 03:08 PM   #7
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Hi Wannabe,

So sorry this has been heaped up on your family. I cannot imagine having 2 parents on the Alzheimer's slippery slope.

About the DPOA, I suggest you just say to your Mom, "It's time we do this so the government cannot get your money" Your father can chime in "I'm going to do it, come with me" Don't ask her opinion or give her a choice. Pie in the sky? We who have been at this longer cannot stress enough that it will be too late soon. The lawyer must be convinced that the parent understands and chooses to sign. Hurry!!!!

I certainly wish you well, send hugs, and point to the pages of this thread for more ideas and information waiting to be read as you need to.

(((hugs))) Barbara

 
Old 09-11-2005, 04:06 PM   #8
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Time does go by fast and it is important that the POA gets done soon. I should have stressed that my opinions are just that, opinions. I only know what has worked well for me with my dad. He's more willing to do things if we "sweeten up" a bit.

Love, Barb
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Old 09-11-2005, 09:19 PM   #9
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Hi there ms Barb and Barbara!

Thanks for keeping in touch! Just sort of thinking and reading and talking to my husband, my daughters and my sister. Also my mom. We talk about it on the phone, but I wait til she brings it up. (the tests and the dr. visit and such) She just said tonite, I do not want to go and have those tests tomorrow! But she said that she is going and taking my dad along for the ride. He will be ok and may just make her do tomorrows and Tuesdays tests. She has always kept her health a secret from him too. Even b4 he got sick.

No, I will not let this defeat me and I will do everything that need to be done, with my sisters, my husbands and my nieces help! My girls give me lots of help and pats and hugs by email and by phone. Looks like it is going to be a long row to hoe!!! Just need to get my self ready for this and get more sleep. I have learned that sleep really does make you feel better. Instead of 6 hr., I need to have 8. And I do either feel like I am nauseous or about to cry. My mouth is certainly down, not up (:<) ! Maybe it will be up tomorrow, after my down-time weekend.

I think that I just need to swallow my pride and humble my self. I will try the route of helping them make a list of lawyers they might like in their area (or the drs., lawyer friend). I will ask my dad if he would like me to, before I offer (and no, you need tos!). And I will remind them that my moms dr. advised her to (he really said, get one done this week!) get their DPOAs done asap. Got to choose my words very carefully. My dad really likes to be the boss, so maybe with just a few written notes, they could do it theirselves?! I just do not know if she would let me even go with them to the lawyers office, unless the lawyer said that I was needed.

I guess that I should ask my mother, if she wants any of her friends to know yet. What do yall think? Her friends have seemed to disappear the past 2-4 weeks. She has 2 really good ones. Do you think I should call them? Tell them about her illness or not, or just advise them to visit with her more?! She may tell her friends herself. Sometimes my parents do tell on themselves, when they do silly or weird or dangerous things!

One of my baby girls (27) came this weekend with her cat and puppy. We babysitted one night and one day. It sure was fun! And my other baby girl (29) and her fiancee, are coming next weekend, just for the day, and we will meet them for lunch! So, ladies, all is not lost!!! Everytime that I talk to, hear from or see my daughters my life just lights up!!!!! :> :> :> And my husband like it too!

What wonderful helpful friends YOU ALL are to me. I will talk more tomorrow, unless my computer crashes again! Yall all take care. Love, Wannabe

Last edited by WannaBeFreeToRoam; 09-11-2005 at 09:22 PM. Reason: emphasis!

 
Old 09-12-2005, 05:33 AM   #10
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Dear Wannabe .. I am so happy for you that you have children and a husband and a sister - all of them want to help and that is the only way to cope with this kind of blow. God bless all of you!

Love,

Martha

 
Old 09-12-2005, 04:20 PM   #11
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

I'm glad for you that your daughters are coming to visit. That's just what you need to lift your spirits. I hope you have a wonderful time with them!

Even in the most difficult times, try to smile. Like a good friend of mine says "sometimes ya just gotta fake it till ya make it". I've done that before and sometimes it takes a long time to work. But it does eventually work.

And ya know what? When I do that, people around me are a lot nicer and life seems a little easier.

Love, Barb
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Old 09-12-2005, 09:33 PM   #12
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Re: My mother has been diagnose with Alzheimers or Dementia

Hi there ladies,

Thanks for the encouraging words! I do love my baby (late 20s) girls! I can fake it - we call it "putting up a good front". I do, when I am with everyone or anyone, except my husband or when I am by myself. Now I will quit whining and get back to life (no more "frownies or downies"). My mother did get her 3 diagnostic tests done today. Now we will see if she gets her blood tests done this week! She is supposed to go tomorrow, but it is ok if she does not go til later in the week. I will not talk to my parents about the DPOA, until Thursday, when I go over there. Do not want to get them upset or make them feel rushed, even tho it should be a rush!

Nice people do make you feel better. It is sort of like, you get what you give! And I love seeing sweet little babies and toddler types. They would brighten anyones day!

Take care. Love, Wannabe

 
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