OMG...same question 23,000 times a day??
Thinking that they mysteriously dug up ALL the bodies in the cemetery and transported them to the end of our village. "how am i going to be buried with your father"? well my hubby couldn't take this round of hallucinations and took the 5 minute drive to the cemetary and came back and said "they're all there." And my mother said (after defiying him to prove her wrong) "well i guess i must have dreamed it".
How do you keep from wanting to kill them? This disease is so selfish...takes away all that they were, as well as any memories of you or even worse, disjointed memories of you.
I know it's not about me, and it's the disease, but...
the anger should dissipate with time. focus on whatever is good right now. anger gets you nowhere. i am so angry also. get the stress out of your body if you can otherwise you will be the one who will be sick.
You find the humor. You find those little diamonds that you can grab on to. You answer the questions because, in the moment, they need to know. It doesn't matter if you answer 30 different questions or the same question 30 times. It is what they need to know at the moment. They are holding on and we have to also.
Yes, I have moments of frustration but after a while I learned to go with what it is. You can't change it and it's not going to get better. The only thing you can change is how you deal with it. When my Dad ask, "Who is that lady over there... I wonder if she will have sex with me?" I almost lost it laughing but kept a straight face long enough to tell him "She probably will since she's your wife!" I still laugh when I think about that conversation. I could have been shocked that my Dad would ask me such a question or distraught that he didn't recognize Mom in the midst of sundowning... but instead I grabbed the pure humor in what he said and we both laughed.
Today Mom told me a story about going to the "big city" hair place and paying too much money for a perm that didn't work. I could have ripped my hair out because she has been on this hair obcession for way too long. Instead I picked up on a little comment she made about the guy being so proud of his sorry work.... and we both laughed.
They do pick up on your mood, your body language, and your tone. If you are stressed out, they will pick up on it and stress with you. There are going to be tough times but if you find those good moments to smile it will make the dark moments a little easier. Yes, it is a horrible disease. Yes, both of my parents have it. But it is what it is and I refuse to spend the last days of there life wrapped in sorry and frustration over something I cannot change. I want to laugh with them and enjoy what is left of them. ..... and when my Dad tells me he loves me it makes it all worth while ... when he tells me he should beat my butt.... I laugh!!!
thank you guys for your replies. my post came off sounding callous and i didn't mean it to. it came after 7 days of being with mum 24/7. i am just starting to exhale now. honestly, the brain is a verryy strange machine.
Now it's a new one...mum is telling people that she, myself (her daughter), my husband, and my mother-in-law are flying accross the country to visit my daughter in Vancouver.
Huh??????? where in the heck did she get that????? her friends are calling me asking when we're leaving. Shaking head here.
the last one was her insisting that i had moved the yardstick. What yardstick????? i think maybe 30 years ago she DID have a yardstick. boy, i'm a bad girl for moving that, i'll tell you.
I asked her what she wanted it for anyway and she said she couldn't remember, but she definitely needed it for something!
Shaking head harder.
It keeps me up at night wondering what in the heck DID she want that thing for anyway?
I think i'm the one who needs the drugs. or maybe just whack myself over the head with something hard. Have any of you seen my yardstick?
lol, i read that and do laugh because been there done that, and in a way they are good memories
In a simple way the brain is short circuiting getting all types of memory information mixed up, and rightly so acting upon it.
My mother is a huge reader of magazines and the paper, no books lol, all her life.
A few years ago there is a picture of a lady at the local Ebay store, how Ebay has new stores you can go into and they will put them online for sale for you.
Now, by god we had a crisis on hands of mamoth proportions. She got the paper and insisted that same lady had walked into the house two days ago, opened up her closet and took all of her music records, and by god, now she was selling them. They had been stolen from her.
Fortunately I had been thru several other similar episodes, because this one angered her. I took my mother early on when she had alzheimers to a literary reading of a friend of mine. My mother was always into the arts. After the reading my mother told this very detailed story, hook line and sinker type how my friend was on TV the other night talking about another book, the local PBS station of course. And man oh man, did she believe it, I knew it was untrue, i gently pried all around it, very gently and she could not be shaken.
Now, with expereince i know when that is the situation, problem is she might say other stuff too other people who do not know some of the things that can happen, and I might here a story or two.
Yes, that DID help....kinda got a deja vu experience there. LOL about the stolen music, but yep..i understand.
I can't tell you how many times now mum has taken a small (very small) glimmer of truth and transformed it into an epic, most believable to others who may not quite know how this disease works.
The saddest part now is her humour. My mum was too funny. Could pick up on the joke and throw it right back into your court. Now it's only a blank stare. But,
last time i was there, i was going to the store for her and she was rummaging threw her purse to give me money. She pulled out a $50.00 and looked at it and said "oh, i hate $50.00's." Without thinking i mumbled "yeah, you only take $100.00's, i know". All of a sudden she broke up with laughter and said "oh, you're too quick kiddo". That was her. She was there. Those moments will soon vanish, i know. But for that moment, she was my mum again. and we both laughed.....
Last edited by upatnite58; 12-13-2008 at 04:50 PM.
I love the moments you mentioned upstnight. Those little glimpses to who they used to be. Both of my parents, on a good day, can give and receive humor. I just test the waters to find out if it is a "good" day. It's those good times you have to hang on to.
As for the delusions.... It's helpful to remember that they don't have a whole memory but maybe little bits and piecs of memory that they are trying to weave into a congruent event. She might remember the reading and something on TV about a book or a person that looked like your friend. Then they get all jumbled up. Some short circuit in her brain gives her a very different memory than we see. It is important to remember that what she believes IS her reality. She believes it just as strongly as you believe in your reality. My Dad will ask me what time I will be home today. He truly believes that I will be there..... even though I am 3 hours away. So I tell him some crazy story about something that happened today that makes it impossible for me to be there and promise to see him soon.
In our family, we call that dementia talk. Sister will call and say that Mom told her something and my response will be.... "that's her dementia talk". Then we know it is another of her dementia influenced realities. We have learned to double check what we hear from her.
Mom's episodes of thievery always involve one of us girls. Mom gave my sister a drop leaf table almost 30 years ago. Last time she was at my sister's house she got upset because she had stolen the table from the house. She flipped out last Christmas about a table cloth that she had given a sister years before. If she can't find her pocketbook... the staff stold it. The best one is that she still has all the clothes she ever owned and hasn't had anything new in years. AHA... but she has gained 35 pounds in the last year and can't wear anything she had before.... everything she has is new
It is what it is. You grab the good moments and try to overlook the annoying, knowing it is the disease that is scrambling their brain. Beyond that, you don't worry about what other's think. You just worry about you and Mom ..... and remember that she can't come into your reality so you have to met her in hers!
Okay folks -- here's another story -- not a fairy tale but actual fact
Upatnite, you claim that your Mom is asking you for a missing yardstick? and DGab you stated that your Mom was mad at sister that has a table? or a tablecloth? that was given to her years ago. well. . . consider yourselves lucky
All our lives, my sister and I had to live with a parent who hid everything, and the beauty of it or should I say the saddness was she was never able to remember where she hit it. What a pain! -- lights going on all hours of the night while she struggled to remember where she hid things. Its was either money or something else!
We moved mother from PA a few weeks after Dad died in 1995. Instead of doing the sane thing and put her good jewelry in her purse into the car -- no she had to put the stuff in an umbrella sleeve, wrap it up and stuff it in the toe of a shoe, put shoes in a shoe tote, shove tote bag in the leg of a pair of pants. Roll the pants up in some towels and put it in a cardboard storage box.
Then when she got to NJ she couldn't remember what she did and then started accusing sister or I of taking her jewelry. What a pain. The inquisitions went on for more than a year, and then lo and behold Sister found the jewelry!!!. Boy mom was crying and sister was crying. Mom was crying that she was sorry and Sister was crying and saying 'yeah, but you'd do it again".
So I'd love to have to find a yardstick, you could by one, etc. But it is difficult. I jsut wanted to provide my story because I'm a story teller (lmao), I have an interesting life (yeah again LMAO) and because you think you have it tough until you meet someone who has it worse.
You can laugh at our misfortunes because now she's so far gone, and doesn't have anything she could hide? No, now she hides whatever vegetables, Sister gives her or meat she doesn't want to eat. OR pills she doesn't want to take~! its like having a kid all over again.
But you have to find the humor Caring. That so reminds me of my grandmother who also had ALZ. I remember well the day she called and said somebody had stolen her pocket book. So Mom went running to Nannie's to see what was going on. Nannie had been to town and just gotten home. After an extended search it was determined her pocket book was gone..... along with her keys. So a lock smith came out and changed all the locks on the doors and got a new key for her car. We started replacing all the contents in her pocket book. Nannie talked incessently about the thief that stold her pocket book. The next day the lady at the bank called Mom because Nannie was sitting in the bank lobby. She would "check out" every customer that came in and refused to leave. She was determined to be there when that thief tried to cash one of her checks. Mom went down and coaxed her home again.
Yet something just didn't add up. If her pocket book, with her keys, had been stolen how did she get in the house to call Mom??? hummm But the pocket book was no where to be found. Months later Mom was looking for the paperwork she needed to do Nannie's income taxes. Much was missing but after yet another search it was found Papers were stapled to each other and clothespined to hanger in a closet. Behind all the papers was a suit bag. There was a coat, buttoned up, in the suit bag. under the coat was a dress. Under the dress was a bag that was hung on the hanger. In that bag was.... you guess it.... the pocket book. Nannie's only comment.... wonder who's pocket book that is?
My sister in law's mother also had AD. She still lived alone then, and rented the upstairs to a young couple. As her dementia grew worse, she began to accuse them of getting into her downstairs apartment and stealing things, mainly money or her social security checks. They did not have direct deposit back then, so month for month she called her daughter and complained that yet another SS check was missing. My brother was practically on a first name basis with the SS administration. Every month the check was stopped, a new one issued , etc.
Later they had to move her to their house. Her tenants had long since left, tired of beng harrassed. When my brother and SIL cleared out her Mom's apartment they pulled up a rug in the living room --- and found at least 20 social security checks, several large bills, paperwork for other business matters. All those lost or stolen checks were under the rug. Her explanation: those bad tenants took them and hid them under HER rug, in an apartment to which they had no access ...
She was much more difficult than my Mom. Whenever there was a problem she yelled, "Get out of my house!" to her daughter and son in law. But ...it was not her house! It was their house.
Last edited by Martha H; 12-15-2008 at 02:22 AM.
I loved all these stories, and yes caring you are a good storyteller.
My 96 yr. old gram who lives with my mother, across the street from me, has dementia, only problem is short term memory stuff, that is it, a blessing.
add one dose of shopaholic + one dose of dementia + one dose of depression era hoarding pack ratting = and we have a dozen of everything, and go shopping this week for what was bought two weeks ago and is now lost, which as you all know will be found
thanks all you guys for your stories. can't explain why but i have found them tremendously comforting. as well, sadly i guess, i can connect with all of them. i think that hiding money should be listed as a symptom of ALZ, it seems to be so common. my grandmother did it and now my mum does it. pretty creative about it too. 10 yrs after my grandmothers death my mum found 160.00 stuffed in a record album that was my grandmothers. and we thought we checked everything. LOL
i do find that keeping a sense of humour about everything is absolutely mandatory. it is the only way i know to deal with the stress and anxiety of daily living with my mum. the term "comic relief" is an understatement. All of your tales have given me something that is truly precious to me - a good laugh. thank you all for that.
Oh man, do we have stories to tell. I still like the one whose caring for an imaginary dog or one of us whose watching a fat, overweight feline. Not only do we have to hunting for the hidden stuff, but we have to watch over imaginary stuff as well.
You're so right to mention comic relief. Laughing releases those little men called andorphans (sp??) that makes us all happy people.
Can anyone answer a question for me. Does the AZ or Dementia person ever change from the nasty, screaming, banshee that they've become to a nicer, warm, more loving individual???? If so, when??? and I mean without medication as a helper.
Last year around this time, I felt bad because mother never uttered a sound other then one made as she breath out on each breath. We all felt bad because she'd get frustrated trying to be part of conversations and felt that we were always talking about her in front of her. If we left the room, she'd get up and follow us. The only other sound she'd make is when she wanted Sisters attention for some help, and this was a 'la la la"
Now, she doesn't stop making a racket,
The constant noise is the only thing that is driving Sister nuts!
I think we should record this and use it when we're trying to make a hostage give up his hostages OR someone we're trying to get state secrets out of!, The constant barrage of noise is unbelievable.
My SIL's Mom was the angry, scratching, spitting ALZ type. My Mom was the sweet docile type.
Her Mom eventually got to the final stages, as all must. At last - she was nice. Smiled. Gave quiet answers. Just as irrational of course, but in a friendly way. Wonder of wonders. My brother says for the first time since he had known her she seemed like a nice person.
It fulfills the saying that God makes our loved ones look good right before they go to him. Its his way to make sure you remember the good of them not the bad.
I know, shortly before my Mikey got to go home to God, everyone was telling me how wonderful he looked. That's why I knew I wouldn't have him for long, I just wasn't prepared for it to be 2 1/2 hours from when I picked him up from the hospital.
Glad to know that the docile woman Mom was will return sometime. It just seems like she's in so much pain of trying to convey what she wants to convey.
I'm with Martha that some are the docile sweet types and some are the angry scratching spitting type. I have one of each. My Dad is so cooperative and considerate and sweet... unless Mom is scratching and spitting and he gets fed up with it. In Dad's world you are not supposed to be ugly to anybody!! My mom has a split personality. She may be scratching, spitting, and angry or she may be just angry. Nothing suits the lady. That is a new development with her ALZ because she was always more like Dad... the cooperative considerate sweet type. She hates this disease and she's fighting it all the way to the grave. She wants her brain back and control of her life again. That knowledge is what gets me through the scratching and spitting she gives us!
I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread, not that there is anything inherently funny about a bunch of confused, paranoid, elderly people, but because we have to laugh or we'll go nuts. My mom's finest moment to date has been the car, Last summer she decided it would be foolish to put any repair money into her 1984 car after it "tried to jump through the laundry room wall". Mechanic son could find nothing wrong with it, but she was determined to have a new one. She bought a 6-mos used Corolla. I, all unknowing that she had lost it, helped her negotiate the purchase. After delivery, she could not start it, she couldn't understand how to turn the key. The salesman went to her home and showed her how to operate it. I did the same, so did my son. My husband did as well, after she called me and demanded that someone come right now, especially since Don (the husband with a demanding job) really had nothing to do. After she decided to sell the car in the local paper, son negotiated its return to the dealer. For months I've been reminded that it's all my fault that I made her buy that horrible car when she could have had a nice little green car (????). This weekend I refused to make a special trip to town to take her to the bank (manufactured emergency, the checks she had to deposit were making her nervous) and she told me it was my fault she had no transportation as I had forced her to return that car! If we don't laugh, we will shoot ourselves. I guess I can look forward to finding the tax papers hung up in the closet. Ah, the rock, sometimes it feels so sweet in ones' hand.
Love to all from one who values all of you but posts seldom as her crazy mom never ranks higher than 2nd on the list of her problems...Q
LOL Q, put down that rock, the justice system is based securely on our inherited morals!!! well, OK mostly...
too funny about the GREEN car....what were you thinking anyway? we all know that a GREEN car is TROUBLE.
well...the new round of trouble is fast approaching....
my mum now wants to know what kind of weather (sp)? they have in Calgary. Yesterday she wanted to go to Vancouver with me to visit my daughter. Today apparently my daughter lives in Calgary. And what should she bring???? Well, you're not going anywhere but...Calgary is COLD and Vancouver is usually above 0, so..... ha ha you're not going anywhere....and have you seen my yardstick???
That was the laugh I needed to go to bed on. I had just the opposite problem Q. After that lovely doctor told Mom she should pay more attention to her diving and she would be ok we did limit her driving the small town we live in. That was difficult because they have a summer mountain cabin that is a 6 hour drive and love to go to college football games that is a 2.5 hour drive. So Mom was going to prove us wrong.
We were home cooking breakfast. Oops, the milk was soured so Mom scurried to the van and flew down the drive, not looking as she backed out into the road. I just shut my eyes and said a prayer. She did return a short time later with the milk. Later my BIL mentioned something else we needed so here goes Mom again..... but she can't find her keys. We were of course all accused of hiding her keys but we were all clueless. After a complete search of the house while breakfast got cold I walked outside just to clear my head. The van was sitting in the driveway.... RUNNING. She had forgotten to turn it off. I called her outside and mentioned it to her. She just looked at me with that blank stare and stated.... That's ok, it would have eventually run out of gas. DUH on me!!! Why didn't I know that... Yes, you have to laugh
Yes, I was home for her reevaluation appointment at MARS... and I made SURE they took her driving priviledges that time!!!!!