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Old 01-28-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

as alot of you know my mom is in an assisted living apartment. she is in about mid stage 5 alzheimer's. She lives alone but i come down and stay with her about 2 weeks out of every month. I live about 5 hours away and i am her only family.
For the past year or so her memory is gone. i mean the same set of questions about a billion times a day. Also her short term memory is seriously flawed. she'll take a glimmer of truth and fill in the blanks with whatever suits her at the time of recollection. I know all these things and try to just nod, smile, and repeat my answers over and over and over again. That i can deal with.
But in the past 6 months certain memories stick in her mind and she won't be swayed.
She thinks i have all kinds of money in the bank and part of it is hers. (i do not have lots of money and i have never held any of my mothers money)
A couple of months ago her TV dies and a friend of hers took her to the store and she bought a new one. a small 20" TV worth about 120.00. This was a very nice gesture one her friends part as i was not there at the time. They came home and her friend set it up and all was well.
She started about a week later saying that she owed this friend for the TV as she didn't have the money to pay for it. Well that was ridiculous so i called her friend to find out. her friend said that she never gave my mom any money and that she had paid for it herself. that's what i thought.
Now it is about 6 months later and this story has become so deluded that i am ready to scream. Now my mom says that she owes this woman $1000.00 for this tv and this woman isn't speaking to her anymore because of this. I just have to give her some money so she can pay her back.
I have spoken to this lady many times and as she doesn't see my mother much anymore (yeah, no kidding) she receives phone calls from mom trying to tell her that she will pay her as soon as she gets the money that i took from her. (total delusion that\s apparently getting worse and that she's not going to let go.
Last night i lost it - told her that i spoke to the lady and mom doesn\t owe her any money. mom seemed relieved and i thought we were finally over this latest delusion.
not 2 hours later she came up to me and gave me royal s*** for talking to her friend. i just don't understand and she needs $1000.00 NOW!!!! and how much of her money do i have? (none) and she wants it now.
I told her the truth...i yelled and told her ALL of the truth. I pulled off the receipt from the side of the tv and showed her that she paid it and what is was worth. i told her i didn't have any of her Go*d*mned money. and then i went for a walk.
When i came back my mom appologized for yelling at me (she remembered???) but she needed that money to pay her friend. AAAARRRRGGGG i know, i know i'm beating my head against a wall. I finally just told her we'll take care of it tomorrow. Don't know what tomorrow may bring except checking out nursing homes. If we can afford them. Apparently we owe her friends a lot of money,,,,,,,,,I'm so sorry i lost my temper but ...ah geez, i don't know what i'm sorry about anymore...Lori

 
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

Something almost exactly like this happened to my Mom. And yes, I got angry and upset too. We are only human and not expected to act like saints!

Mom went to a senior center. By that time her HHA had to go with her, make sure she got there and back safely.

One day Mom came home all excited - "the S Center is going to Atlantic City and I paid Stella $39 for my bus ticket." "When is it?" She gave me a date in June. By June I was going to be moved to Indiana and Mom was going to be with my brother. She would be far out of the area where the Center was. Besides, Mom could not go anywhere alone, even with friends - she would wander off and never find the right bus to get home to NYC.

I said, "that won't work." I explained why. Mom said she would get her money back.

The next day she got home very upest, Stella refused to give her back the $39!

I said, "stop worrying, I will call the Senior Center and talk to her." I called. Stella told me there was a trip mentioned, but no tickets had yet been printed, and she had not yet collected any money from anybody. I explained this to Mom. Mom did not believe it ..." I KNOW I gave her the money! That crook kept my money." On and on. Every day, numerous times.

Worse - the next time she went there she accosted Stella and demanded her money back. There was a big to-do. Everyone took sides. I got this report from the Aide, who had no recollection of Mom ever buying any ticket, but admittedly was not right next to Mom all day long...

It was never solved. Mom kept on accusing, Stella was angry, Mom was angry. I couldn't stand to hear the word trip or Atlantic city again, and more than once I told Mom angrily "None of that happened!!! You are imagining things!"

So - take heart. It is 'normal ' in their abnormal world. Your Mom is probably ready for the next step...AL is not enough. She perhaps needs 24/7 care in a NH.

Don't beat up on yourself, this is hard enough without self hatred.

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 01-28-2009 at 04:16 PM.

 
Old 01-28-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

Lori,

I'm sorry you don't have a bottle of wine!

Don't sweat it. You aren't going to win this battle. You Mom's memory is stuck on the groove and I'm sorry to say that this is where it jumped the tracks. Her record player is stuck in this groove and it will keep replaying this song over and over and over again - as if you haven't already figured that out already. It's too bad that we can't turn the page to another chapter and verse, isn't it? Unfortunately we can't get them to go to another story or another version or another memory.

This is the difficult level that makes you want to tear our your hair and plug your ears and tape their mouths shut, Its when they lose all their friends because they can't handle how they have become and they are uncomfortable with their endless and reoccurring tales. If they do come back it is by sheer goodness of their hearts. You are lucky that your mother has had friends that have returned to her. But after the TV tale I'm sure they will disappear also. But it is hard to watch your friends become aged and it is scary because it could happen to you also.

But it is time to consider more help for your mother than what she has. I think it is time for you mother to move into a NH rather than just an AL, don't you? The type of questions and her delusions are telling me that it is time for more care for her so that you don't need to worry about her and her TV! She needs to be watched over 24/7 and you won't need to worry about where all those thousand of dollars are being spent and she won't have to either!

And now..don't beat your head up..it hurts too much and leaves holes in the wall. Have a LARGE glass of wine and chill. You are not to blame, we don't blame you and you can't blame yourself and there is absolutly no GUILT allowed here. You are doing the best you can do under the circumstances and that is far better than most people could do. IF they object, ask them to take your mother for a day or two.

So take a breath and know that you are among friends and doing the best you can and we approve. Here's your towel. Hang on tight, we have the other end and we won't let go for anything, 'K?

 
Old 01-28-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

oh ...Martha and IBAKE....thank you, thank you thank you....i accept that towel and for sure THAT WINE. not much of a drinker but, yeah i kinda feel better now. But (me thinks) i think that is cause of you guys...gonna go to the DR. tomorrow for the names of social workers....they're the ones here who do the nursing home admittals......

 
Old 01-28-2009, 03:12 PM   #5
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

So sorry you're going through this. You experienced just one of the many things you will be going through in the coming months due to this horrible disease, unfortunately. Please don't feel as though you are a bad daughter for losing your cool. I think it's just part of the process we go through. I did lose it several times and felt horrible. The hurt I saw in my mom's face just about broke my heart when I'd try with frustration to reason with her. Anyway, please know that you are being a WONDERFUL DAUGHTER, don't ever doubt that!

I've found it's best not to try to correct my mom, even though it drives me crazy myself sometimes. Now and then, my mom thinks she owes people money at the nursing home; for cab fare, (what?) you name it, I just go along with it and tell her, "oh, I took care of that bill a few days ago, not to worry mom!" Then I quickly change the subject.

As others here suggest, as well as yourself; I think it's time you look into a nursing home. My mom was between 5-6 when I moved her there only because she had to leave AL because of a hospital stay which left her even more confused. I'm happy to say that I feel I did the best thing for mom; she is safe; is getting along the best she can in her fantasy world. I have no regrets at all now.

It has taken time for me to accept that I did the right thing; that mom isn't ever going to be the way she used to be; but I'm able to cope with it somehow. At least she still knows me, calls me her mom sometimes, but that's okay. I know she's referring to someone she loves.

Best of luck to you, I know so well how hard this is.

Last edited by sunnydaze1; 01-28-2009 at 03:19 PM.

 
Old 01-28-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

thank you sunny,
i know that my mom is going through something that i can't understand..but it is all the wonderful souls that have gone before me in which i take my strength. no, i did not set out to hurt mom but the confusion and stress that they seem to undergo is what you respond to. As i type this my mom is sitting across from me eating her supper in total oblivion...yes, a nursing home, as i know that there's no recovery from this...Lori

Last edited by upatnite58; 01-28-2009 at 03:36 PM.

 
Old 01-28-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

Aw Lori, we are all here for you. Don't ever forget that!

Have a nice evening with your mom...and have that glass of wine when you can!

 
Old 01-28-2009, 04:47 PM   #8
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

Martha

here's what you could've done. You could've told Stella you are going to slip her $39.00 and have her hand it to your mother -- end of story.

Sunny
Work out this story with the neighbor, explain about the ALZ. Simply write out a check for the neighbor, ask your mother what the amount is so that she can tell you the amount and see you writing it. fill it out for the amount your mother said and then have your mother and you give it to the neighbor.

Afterward the neighbor just rips up the check in your presence

I hope that solves these issues. Until the next one.

Love Caring

 
Old 01-28-2009, 05:24 PM   #9
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnydaze1 View Post
It has taken time for me to accept that I did the right thing; that mom isn't ever going to be the way she used to be; but I'm able to cope with it somehow. At least she still knows me, calls me her mom sometimes, but that's okay. I know she's referring to someone she loves.
Oh Sunny...I found myself crying from this beautiful paragraph...you have so eloquently put into words the very core of what we come to feel. Thank you!


Lori...This is probably the toughest journey you'll ever take...please know you're not walking it alone. I've been stumbling over 10 years on this bumpy road, and sure wish I'd found this forum long ago. .........Pam

 
Old 01-28-2009, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

You're welcome Pam...didn't mean to make you cry though! I guess it's the closet writer coming out in me. Sometimes I can put onto paper what I can't express verbally.

 
Old 01-28-2009, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

You have an amazing way with words sunny. Please keep sharing them with us. IBake is another one with such a wonderful way of expressing herself.

Lori, I have lost my cool with Mom and Dad on more than one occassion. I gave up the super woman cape. It didn't fit. We have to learn to forgive ourselves as quickly as we forgive others. Wrap that guilt and regret up in a towel and pitch it in the trash. We have plenty more towels where that one came from. Tonight you remember what you did..... but your Mom is oblivious. No harm no foul no regrets!

I guess I am lucky in the facility that we selected. It is AL but it is designed for ALZ patients. When they are beyond AL they are moved into the locked unit. They are capable of caring for the patient to the end so we don't have to move my parents again. The only down side is that they do not accept medicaid. If luck and the stock market is on my side I won't have to move them to another facility....

Love, deb

 
Old 01-29-2009, 06:01 AM   #12
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

Dear Lori, I'm coming in on this thread a little late so by now I hope you know that getting angry is only human and you must forgive yourself. I love debs' statement, " I gave up the superwoman cape. It didn't fit". That gave me a good laugh this morning. Thanks deb.

There have only been a few times when Mom insisted she owed someone money. So far Mom is easy to please on these matters. I just tell her that I took care of things and paid her bill. She says she wants to pay her own way. I just tell her its something that I want to do for her. "I like to help Mom. Won't you let me"? We are very lucky, this usually stops the questions. She can be demanding in other ways. So demanding..... Geeeeesh !!!!! But basically still easy and sweet to care for.


She did make my cry this past week. I was with her at her place doing laundry and she forgot something. She realized that it was something that had just happened and she could not recall it at all. She got upset and said that her memory was getting worse and she knew it. She prayed that God would take her before she forgot who her babies were. Now that took me back and it took a few seconds for me to answer. " I don't think that will ever happen Mom. If it does, don't worry, we'll always know you". Then she said she knew it would hurt us if she forgot who we were and she would rather die than hurt her girls. I just stood there and hugged her and told her I understood her worry. Later when I left, I cried so hard. Bless her heart she KNOWS...... but she still wouldn't want to hear the word dementia or ALZ. She never will................her wishes.

Stop feeling guilty Lori. I spend a few hours at a time with Mom. Not weeks at a time. After about 6 or 8 hours I'm ready to RUN to my car. LOL I truly don't think I could do that at all. I truly don't. Two weeks ?????? I'm sure my patience would run very, very thin. Get rid of that guilt Lady. Its a killer.

Love, Chris

 
Old 01-29-2009, 06:03 AM   #13
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

Ditto, ditto, ditto!

I've learned so much from the wise ladies here. I know my MIL isn't going to remember tomorrow that I resolved her issue today, whichever issue that may be. I've learned to just nod and smile and tell her, okay, I'll get that taken care of. I have no intention of doing anything, as what she's asking is ridiculous, but she's satisfied and we still have peace in the house. The next day (or hour, or minute), she's asking about the same issue, all upset again, and I smile and nod and tell her I'll get it taken care of. Again, she's satisfied and happy. This goes on repeatedly, but she can't help it. It's all a matter of staving off a meltdown or a blowup. So far, so good!

Hang in there! And sparkling grape juice is almost as good as wine, for those of us who can't or don't like to drink alcohol for whatever reason.

Emily

 
Old 01-29-2009, 07:21 AM   #14
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

My drink of choice has always been and always will be coffee, with a sweet creamer such as hazelnut or French vanilla ... ahhh. Paradoxically, it calms me down.

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 01-29-2009 at 04:47 PM.

 
Old 01-29-2009, 07:45 AM   #15
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Re: God help me, I lost my temper with Mom

it is wonderful to know you all are experiencing what I am---I always think my sisters and I are all alone.

I got very angry and yelled at my mom. I put her beautiful bedspread --it used to be in the guest room of her house---where she always sleeps when she comes for her visits. ---I thought it was a nice gesture to make her feel at home. Wrong!

She ripped it off, replaced it with a green velour blanket and fixed THAT up with pillows, etc like it was a comforter!

I was so shocked that my sweet mother could be so sneaky.
She had wadded it up and put it in her hanging bag and hung it in her closet!!

I really got mad. I should have ignored it.
My mother is in that stage where she forgets everything except what you want her to forget.

We finally moved her to AL, a beautiful place.
Not a nh, tho. You know what bothered her? She couldn't find her credit cards....my sister very wisely took money, check book and credit cards home. She probably would have tried to pay rent to the nurses.

She would go thru her purse daily, going on and on about it. Finally my sister cancelled all her cards and gave them back to her.

At the moment we cannot visit her. She is on a mild dose of ativan, temporarily, til she accepts the situation.

My sister said this is the nightmare that never ends. Every day I want to cry.

We all 3 feel guilty...but at least we know she is safe and living in a beautiful place. Not that she realizes it.

Last edited by golfhat; 01-29-2009 at 07:50 AM.

 
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