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Old 01-29-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
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HELP! I lost it today

My 92 year old mother called me numerous times today. My youngest son is getting married in April in a state where it takes ten hours to drive to. My mother keeps asking over and over and over to go to the wedding. My brother, sister and I have told her that it is to far away for her to go. When she called me tonight with the same question again, I lost it. I said, "Your doctor will not release you to go to the wedding because you have Alzheimers and you are taking medication." I know that was the wrong thing to say and she began yelling at me saying that I was spreading lies about her and that she was completely healthy and that I was the one that told the doctor to give her medicine that she didn't need." I know I did the wrong thing and now it is bothering me that I let this get to me. I hate this disease! It not only affects my mother, but it is affecting me. There are times when I wish I could just let her stay in her facility and forget about her. Thank you for letting me vent because it definitely helps to get this off my chest. I don't know how all of you handle this type of situation because it isn't easy being the one that is blamed for everything. Thanks for listening.

 
Old 01-29-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Jannar, i have been exactly where you are. and everybody here is going to tell you this exact same thing....let it go, you are only human, and we are allowed to loose it sometimes.
my mom pulled this stunt at christmas. i am an only child and told my mom (82 and mid to late stage 5 alzheimers) that i would not be with her at christmas. i had chosen to go to my daughters house and 2 grandchildrens house across the country. i got call after call from my mom saying that she's sorry she can't go..that she WILL go, and that she can't wait to see her greatgrandchildren, and that she's glad that my mother-in-law is going too.....none of this is true. she was never really asked to go..i told her that her Dr. would not let her travel. but still i got these completely out of nowhere phone calls. my mother in law was NEVER going with us, so i don't know where that came from. anyway for about 3 weeks, i had to tell her every night that she was not going. wwwhhheeewww
now she thinks that she WAS invited and SHE choose not to go.......yup...we'll leave it at that.....

 
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

i would tell your mother that she's not going to the wedding and that there will be a big surprise for her.

Have a videographer, make a small (few minutes) tape of the bride getting ready, the groom getting ready -- them at the altar and some of the reception. Have your child talk on video to grandma and make it a special message of their love.

If you could, possibly have them visit your mother later on in the wedding dress so she can be made to feel important to all the other people there at the home "yep, that's my grandchild", etc.

I want you to stop talking about the wedding, change the subjects and just let it go. Tell everyone else not to talk about it either. Go with your head held high. You may only have this one chance to serve as the parent of . . . and you want to relish and remember each and every little bit.

Your mother will be fine. let it go!

Love Caring

 
Old 01-29-2009, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Jannar, throw the guilt under the bus. We are not super humans and we all lose it from time to time. You are feeling badly and your mom won't remember it tomorrow. She will only remember the question, Am I going to the wedding, that is stuck in her head. April is a long time away. When she ask just tell her..."We will see what we can do." There is no promise in that, she thinks you are working on it, and it will bide you time until she forgets about it. I have found it best not to mention occassions that Mom and Dad can't attend. It is tough doing what they need rather than what they want. Telling her every day for months that she can't attend will depress her every time you say it because it is new news to her each time. So just avoid committment and see if it will go away.

Love, deb

Last edited by Gabriel; 01-29-2009 at 10:25 PM.

 
Old 01-30-2009, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Deb and Caring got it right! Don't say no, say "we are working on it" and only if she brings it up. Stop mentioning the wedding. Ask other family members to stop talking about it. She will forget the date, and the occasion.

When it is all over, the video idea is great - bring it back with you and show it to her. If you think she will be upset or hurt by not being there, don't do it. Play it by ear, day by day.

Losing your temper is normal, don't feel bad. Just try not to explain thngs to her. Remember that her memory is gone. Telling her she has Alzheimers is not a good idea, but rest assured, in a day or two she won't remember that you said it.

My youngest son is getting married in March in Florida! I am flying down, that is too far to drive. I'm looking forward to the warm weather but above all that he has found the right girl and they are both going to have a happy life. My Mom would have been happy for him too.

All the suggestions above are excellent. Just do what seems right to you one day at a time.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 01-30-2009, 04:44 AM   #6
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Add me to that list of people who are telling you to let the guilt go. You can't change what you said and guilt will only make you resent your Mom in the long run. Believe me, I've been there done that !!!

We learned from years of experience not to mention things that Mom can't attend. Now thats a hard one to do when we are with Mom so much just talking about family things. Mom can't hold a meaningful converstion very well anymore. She simply can't keep up. It makes her nervous, agitated. So talking about family is a good subject for her. We just have to remember what NOT to talk about. You learn as you go. Mom is still included in plenty of family activities.

Love, Chris

 
Old 01-30-2009, 07:44 AM   #7
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

There is no guilt allowed here! And you didn't do it on purpose..and we have all done it, so don't feel bad. It all escapes us once in a awhile. You just can't help it.

If by chance your Mom mentions the wedding, you can just say, Oh, we're trying to work on it...or just say...who's getting married? I didn't know they were getting married? If you act surprised, she may just drop it as they are unsure of their memories also and hate to be wrong...

We all hve learned to quickly change the subject. That is the quickest thing to do and it usually works best on subjects that you want to and need to avoid.

And remember, you need to be the MOTHER OF at the wedding, and not the KEEPER OF. So just keep changing the subject and dancing fast to avoid the subject and never waver in your resolve! We all know that as much as grandma wants to go, she can't and shouldn't go.....

hang in there......

 
Old 01-30-2009, 03:35 PM   #8
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Thank you all so very much. I'm still learning! My mother just called me five minutes ago. She went on and on about all of the things she did today. She asked me how my day went. Never once did she bring up the wedding nor my yelling at her last night. I didn't bring either to her attention and we had a pleasant conversation. Your suggestion about letting my mother know that we are working on her arrangements is great. I will tell my brother and sister to say the same thing and hopefully she will forget. She doesn't know what month it is anyway so this should help.

I really appreciate all of your suggestions. I just told my husband that I don't know what I would do if it weren't for all of you helping me. He said to say thank you to all of you because it helps him also. He has been such a support through all of this but I'm sure all of this is wearing on him also.

 
Old 01-30-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Hmmmm....I have a few suggestions...there have been 2 weddings (nieces) during the 10 years of my Mom's illness.

The first wedding was about a year after diagnosis. The niece involved (but I think mostly her dad, my brother) decided NOT to include Mom. This brother was embarassed of Mom's illness...even though she still understood what was going on around her. Mom was very aware of (and scared) of changes in herself...and actually came right out and asked me "what was wrong?" I was honest with her and told her she had Alzheimer's...she asked me to get her information, and carefully studied the pamplets I brought her from the Alzheimer's Assoc. I DO realize each loved one is different...but I would do the same again. My FIL was never told his diagnosis...and certainly would not accept this....... but MIL also talked to me about this, and we had several conversations about it. (Didn't mean to get off subject!)

Mom did know about the wedding, and felt bad not to be included...but, as we all know, it was soon forgotten. It was a beautiful wedding...

The second wedding a year later included Mom. It was important to this niece that her Grandma be included in ceremony, pictures, and reception! This brother and his wife hired one of the caretakers from the Alzheimer's Facility to bring Mom...sit with her...and take her back when it was obvious she was tired. Mom had a great time! Did she even remember the next day? No. Was is a wonderful occasion for all of us? YES!! I sat with Mom and the caretaker until they left...and it worked beautifully.

Not one person there raised an eyebrow when Mom didn't know how to get that water out of the stemmed glass. She carefully picked it up and licked the bottom....she ate with her fingers....and stared at a few people she'd not seen for quite a while.....................but the only one who seemed a little miffed was the brother from the first wedding!

The pictures all turned out beautiful...there's little Mom dressed up and smiling a beautiful smile! My kids loved seeing her happy...and so did the other grandkids. A few of the pictures were enlarged and hung by Mom's bed, and she actually recognized some of us for a few days.

That was several years ago; Mom is in the last stage now, and this could never happen now. Sometimes we have to think about trying to make a few HAPPY memories if we can................................Pam



(One more thing about that wedding...with all 3 of my loved ones affected with Alzheimer's...it's been upsetting to me how they seem to have been deserted by their churches!! All were avid church-goers, but once diagnosis was made and they quit attending... there seemed to be no effort at contacting them.

As we guided Mom back down the aisle after the ceremony...she stopped and said in plain words "Well, hello...I haven't seen you for a long time" to the minister who seemed to be trying not to look in her direction! He squirmed...and I was proud of Mom!)

 
Old 01-30-2009, 06:36 PM   #10
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Petal-

My folks and I went to the largest lutheran church in America. over 15,000 confirmed members. When Mom got "taken" with the disease and got bad and in the locked unit, I called and asked to have a Pastor come and visit her. Mom and Dad had been faithful members, never missing a service. There wasn't a second's hesistation. There was a pastor that came out on a regular basis, and even though the knew that Mom was fairly bad off, they made sure that they came and saw her. I was thankful that they did. I don't know how much mom got out of it, but it made me feel good and I know that Dad appreciated the fact that they came and saw both him and Mom. Shame on that minister for shunning your mother! And good for her for giving him what fur!

 
Old 01-30-2009, 08:43 PM   #11
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

We did take mom and Dad to my niece's wedding after Mom's diagnosis. At that time, like IBake, Mom knew there was something going on, ask about the diagnosis after her visit to MARS, and studied the pamplets. Dad was more confused but easy to deal with. They both had a good time.

But that was then (two years ago this month) and this is now. Today mom has no clue there is anything wrong with her. When talking about Dad's angry outburst the other night, and comparing it to Nannie's similar behavior, she actually said to me that maybe one day she would get that way and I would have to put up with her. HAHA... Mom, you are already there!!

With Dad's worsening condition, his hallucinations, and his angry outburst it would be impossible to take him. Mom is questionable. Neither understand, can keep up with what is going on, or have enough memory to know the date. Thanksgiving day slipped by and Mom wondered why they opened the dinning room for one meal (the dinning room was closed and they were eating in their rooms because of a rampant stomach virus). We had our Christmas celebration the weekend before Christmas this year and when I called her on Christmas day... she was doing laundry and it was just another day for her.

I think what I am saying is that it depends on what stage your loved one is in. What is possible at one point is impossible at a later point. All you can do is use your best judgement and have transportation available to take them home ASAP if they go and things don't turn out as well as you would like.

Love, deb

 
Old 01-31-2009, 03:57 AM   #12
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGabriel10 View Post

I think what I am saying is that it depends on what stage your loved one is in. What is possible at one point is impossible at a later point. All you can do is use your best judgement and have transportation available to take them home ASAP if they go and things don't turn out as well as you would like.

Yup! Exactly what I said Deb! Hiring the caretaker from the AF worked out great for that 2nd wedding. Even tho Mom was farther along in the disease by this time, she knew it was an important gathering. Part of her glowed at the attention she received from those who knew her condition and hadn't seen her for a while. All of us have good memories of this occasion!

The other point I wanted to make was how important it was for my niece and her Dad that Grandma be part of this celebration...Alzheimer's or not! The little Grandma who is smiling so beautifully in those pictures has added something special!..........................Pam

Last edited by petal*pusher; 01-31-2009 at 03:59 AM.

 
Old 01-31-2009, 05:25 AM   #13
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

Pam, What a wonderful idea. Hiring someone from her AL facility to help. Now why didn't I think of that solution? So far Mom has been to every important family occasion. We have kept some of the smaller ones to ourselves. I would have liked to enjoyed them more instead of watching out for Mom. I hope that doesn't sound selfish. I'll tuck this idea away and hope I don't forget it !!! LOL I sure need my friends here.

Seriously, I worry sometimes because I'm forgeting things. My husband says not to worry. He'll let me know when he's getting worried about me. Until then stop WORRYING !!!! Who me? Stop worrying? IMPOSSIBLE...........LOL Mom doesn't have outbursts. I pray that stays the same. She just wants me right at her side. I can't blame her for that. Some people are just plain stupid. Like when they come up to her and ask "Do you remember me"? I step right up and tell them not to ask her questions. Just say Hello and TELL her who you are. She doesn't like guessing games. She has never been good at them. One lady still didn't get it. She ask Mom again "You know me. Don't you Mrs. ****"? Mom came right back with a "Sorry, I sure don't. I haven't been well". Grrrrrrrrrr......... Some people shouldn't leave home. Should they??

OK I'm rambling again.
Love to all, Chris

 
Old 01-31-2009, 09:19 AM   #14
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

That's not selfish Chris. That's the way it should be and why Pam's idea is such a great one. It gives you the best of both worlds. I'm tucking that idea in my bag of tricks as well. Mom does have melt downs and out burst. I wish she didn't but she does and you never know when they are going to hit. She might be fine one minutes and out of control the next... and there is no way to predict or defer what happens. It definitely makes things difficult.

Chris, the worry causes stress which causes forgetfulness. You have enough stress with your Mom to overfill your plate. When the plate is overfilled something has to fall off the sides.

My great aunt told me long ago, when she was first diagnosed, that she was not worried for herself because soon enough she wouldn't know the difference. That was my first ever contact with this disease and her advice has served me well. What will be, will be, and I will live my life the best I can until the end.

About worry... If we can change something, do it. If we can't change something we have to accept it. If it hasn't happened then let it be for perhaps it won't. If it has happened then it is what it is and we adjust. Worry is negative energy. It takes away from the positive energy we have to make changes. So just do what you can do in the moment, move forward and do it again. Be prepared for anything and know you can make whatever happens turn out for the best it can be. We are a product of what we think.

And those are my words of wisdom for the day Now I have to call my Mom!!!!

Love, deb

 
Old 01-31-2009, 05:25 PM   #15
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Re: HELP! I lost it today

you have to make the decision fit the occasion. If you have someone who has outbursts or is uncontrollable from sundowning, don't pick a one-time situations such as a wedding to test the water.

It may very well be the most horrible memory on what should be a special day.

if its a birthday and no big deal, then definitely include the person.

There's enough money spent on occasions such as weddings and when the time is impacted by in-law/out-law problems, someone too drunk, or too high, or someone who brings screaming kids to the ceremony just because they're related . . . you can't re-do the day.

Its not fair to the bride or the groom if its not their family member causing the disruptions.

Love you all
CaringSister54

 
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