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Old 08-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
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Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

I thought we had a good day. After dinner my son and I settled down to watch a movie, and Lucy came in to join us. All seemed fine. Then a couple of her beloved dogs were being unruly and not getting out of her way. Lucy lost her temper and began using her elbow to drive against one of her dogs on the couch. Then she grabbed the dog and threw him off the couch, almost hitting his head against the sharp corner of the coffee table. I almost said something, but my son said it first. He said it was a cruel thing to do to the dog. Lucy suddenly lost all composure. Grabbed her full glass of drink and threw the drink on my son on the far side of the room. Then she hobbled up and went there to try to hit him with the empty glass. Son grabbed her hand and said if she touches him he will hurt her. I stepped in between the two. I sent Son upstairs and told him to take the dog into the room and lock the door. He complied immediately. Lucy stormed out, and said she will teach son a lesson by giving him a criminal record. She called the police and told the dispatcher that her son threatened her physically and she was scared for her life. The way it happened, my son was the one assaulted and had more cause to call police than she did. Police came, interviewed Lucy, interviewed son, and interviewed me, and then chastised her for being melodramatic and making unnecessary calls.

Here I am, barely 3 weeks since my own heart attack.... I don't need this. Son also doesn't need this. I am at a loss at to what to do next. All that I have learned so far about dealing with dementia does not give me a clue about how to predict and to prevent something like this, or worse, happening again. Even in retrospect and after much introspection, this whole event unfolded so suddenly and totally without warning. It is not whether I am willing to care for her. Rather, I am feeling at this point, she is a danger to me and to my son's welfare. I really don't know what to do. I can't very well cast her out on the street, but clearly her behavior is beyond my ability to handle. Ideas and suggestions, anyone?

Last edited by Luau; 08-05-2012 at 05:08 AM.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:25 AM   #2
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Wow, Luau. I'm sitting here just stunned and sending you a big hug.

I guess my first idea is to see how things are this morning with her. Not that she'll remember it correctly down the road but maybe a family sit down to clear the air and calmly discuss what happened and why. And try to make the point that now the family is on the police "radar" and that you are concerned how they may react to things she does in the future based on this call. She needs to think about how her actions may be perceived. Sort of like when you send a child to their room/time out because they did something wrong to someone else and you want them to spend the time thinking about what they did and how would they like it someone did it to them, etc. But it's going to depend on how "aware" she is of the longterm ramifications of what she did. They could have arrested her for what she did.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

I'm not sure what to do but I think trying to sit down with Lucy and "discuss" what happened last night is futile. I think it will probably just make her respond defensively or get angry because you are making up such a crazy story.

I was hoping when you hadn't posted in awhile that maybe things had calmed down and that you were on the road to getting some answers to her behavior...but at least for last night, I see that is not the case.

I really have no idea what you should do or what would be the smart thing you should do, but hopefully some of the sage people on here will. I just feel like if this situation remains as "unpredictable" as it is currently, you have to look out for your own health and for your son as well. This year is so important for him as he applies to colleges and finishes his senior year. He could easily have all this turmoil affect him in a negative way. I don't suppose there is somewhere else he could live until you get this sorted out.

And then there is your own health. You haven't said much about what you are dealing with...but obviously this level of stress in not good for anyone, even those with 100% great health.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, that you will find the wisdom to make some good decisions for all of you...and the stamina to carry them out.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:52 AM   #4
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

How was she with the police? Did she understand their concern and situation when they talked with her?

And I would get a copy of the police report to share with her doctors and your attorney. It may come to be that you need to institutionalize her - as much as I hate to say it - and you will need that to proceed. Am just trying to think down the road.

Last edited by Titchou; 08-05-2012 at 07:54 AM.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Luau, there is no way to predict accurately what is going to happen, when it is going to happen, or how sever it is going to be. Many times you don't even see it coming until it's on top of you. Beyond that, reasoning with Lucy is not going to get you anything but more frustration. It is like walking around in a mind field.

Did you ever get a diagnosis for Lucy? Have the determined what is causing the cognitive decline/behavioral issues? Knowing what you are dealing with will help with the other choices you have to make. Because of your health, and you need to talk to your doctor about this, it may become necessary for Lucy to be somewhere else at least for a while. Have you heard from her sons lately?

Last resort, if necessary, when Lucy has one of her combative episodes, you can call 911 and have her removed for psych evaluation. Some of the options are tough to make but your son's safety is important as is your health.

Love, Deb

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:08 AM   #6
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Getting a copy of the police report is a great idea. It is important to keep a file with all this information in it, including her hospitalization records, etc. It is MUCH easier to ask for copies as you go along rather than trying to gather it all when you might really need it.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Luau, I am so sorry this happened.
The first thing to do is really to control the situation like taking the dog away and/or call 911. Once Lucy gets mad due to her sickness, the things you can do are really things like damage control. Make sure the son or you or anyone does not make comment on her behaviors. What happened was she disagreed with the son's blame and got more madder. Try to keep it quiet without blaming her because she has no idea it is wrong.
Just remove the dog and glasses and etc.
Also, now you need to do it preventatively. Remove all the potential weapons like the fireplace poker or some sword decoration or glass vases... Until she gets some medication to control her temper/mood, you just have to do some preventative measures.
I am glad the cops believed you guys more than her delusional comments.
I did once to my late FIL and that only made him madder. e.g., I said please don't hit the caregiver or he would have to go to the nursing home. Boy, that set him off and he went out by opening up the patio door which he rarely did.

No negative comments in her face because the person with dementia does not understand anyway.
My late FIL never said he was wrong whatsoever. We just needed to give him more soup...

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 08-05-2012 at 09:53 AM.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

I think that you should be taking the steps for your wife to have facility care. Stress is not going to help your situation and your son should not have to be dealing with such as this. He needs you and I consider that your responsibility should be to the health and welfare of the two of you. I know it's hard - but I have also seen the frightening strength of even 80+ year old ladies and how hard it is to do anything for fear of hurting them during restraint. The anger can erupt at any time, obviously totally irrational, and have dire consequences. This phase may pass but is too much for you to deal with.

Last edited by cejayb; 08-05-2012 at 03:51 PM.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

I think you need to call her neurologit tomorrow morning and get them a copy of the police report ASAP. It's past time to determine what is going on and get her on meds or situated elsewhere.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Thank you all, for your support. As a matter of fact, she has her first post-operative neurologist visit tomorrow at 1:30pm. I am not sure I can get the police report by then, but certainly he will see a copy as soon as I can get it.

Her current status is still undiagnosed, although all signs are pointing that way. Her primary is already going in that direction last week, but I think he is deferring to the neurologist for this decision.

Yes, we did go through a period of relative tranquility post surgery and hospital. I was thinking that cutting down on the alcohol and the binging on sugars did wonders on stabilizing her. Then all went to hell in a handbasket last week. She was becoming more mobile, and somehow she convinced someone, possibly a neighbor to do some shopping for her. One night I found her devouring half a gallon of ice cream. Then she got hold of wine as well, but I let it go because she started only having a half glass each evening. Then last night, unbeknownst to me till later, she got some vodka and had herself a martini. Ever since she started into her dietary indiscretions again, her emotional and personality status went quickly back into the toilet. Of course, it culminated into last night.

All that said, I am still not sure what is wrong with her. We do know for sure there is generalized microvascular damage, and adjacent white matter atrophy. Behaviorally, she is deepening into her pattern of weaving fiction with facts into this surreal reality. Like this evening, I had sent Son to stay with his buddy for the night to get him away. Lucy in the meantime thinks Son owes her an apology for calling her a b*tch. Somehow, the immediately preceding events were forgotten in her mind. Little trivia like how she was mistreating her dog by hitting him, which got Son to say that was a cruel thing to do, which got her to throw her drink at him and tried to hit him in the face with the empty glass....

Son and I did have a long talk today. I told him that **if** there is a next time, we will call the police first. And I will force a psych evaluation on her. It is harsh way to go, but she is leaving me with little choice. To Cejayb, you are probably right. I have been wondering if it is almost time to institutionalize her, especially if she stays in this vindictive aggressive dangerous stage. Right now her leg cast is about to come off, and she is talking about driving. There is no denying her, driver license valid or revoked, she will find a way. It is not a pretty prospect.

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:03 AM   #11
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Luau, give Lucy sometime to forget about the son. Don't mention anything about the son so she can forget about it. It is good for the son if she can forget about it. It was not the son's fault. (it was his normal reaction.) But she thinks he is wrong. She thinks everyone else is wrong.
My late FIL loved to blame me. His son was never wrong. So it must be me. He wanted to "work" indoors so any outings must come from me. A long car-drive - it must come from me. To him, his son is the extension who would not be "different".
That is why sometimes I kept a distance. The patient always thinks everyone else is abnormal because he refused to see that he was the one abnormal.

Nina

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:22 AM   #12
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninamarc View Post
Luau, give Lucy sometime to forget about the son. Don't mention anything about the son so she can forget about it. It is good for the son if she can forget about it. It was not the son's fault. (it was his normal reaction.) But she thinks he is wrong. She thinks everyone else is wrong.
My late FIL loved to blame me. His son was never wrong. So it must be me. He wanted to "work" indoors so any outings must come from me. A long car-drive - it must come from me. To him, his son is the extension who would not be "different".
That is why sometimes I kept a distance. The patient always thinks everyone else is abnormal because he refused to see that he was the one abnormal.

Nina
Hi, and thanks, Nina. Actually I am more concerned about Son's emotional status right now than Lucy's. He is still very upset and angry about the whole thing, and I am the only one who can restore his perspective, with time. I am afraid that this police thing will leave a scar that is not going away. And yes, I too am angry and frustrated. Yelling insults is one thing, but framing him by calling the police for the purpose of ruining his life is quite another level, diseased mind or no diseased mind. It is something that cannot be forgotten.

Son spend last evening at his friend's house. This morning, Lucy was very surprisingly tranquil, and downright sunny. She pattered about talking about the weather and news. She even made a fuss about Son's latest physical exam. It was like night and day, and that would be an understatement. She seems so disturbingly normal this morning. And even this, which I should take as a blessing, is very disturbing to me. It highlights her unpredictability, and a vicious anger that can explode with little provocation. And unlike a more frail senior, I am wary that Lucy still has the ability to inflict serious damage to us.


Lucy has made me a favourite target as well. I have found the only way I can deal is to remove myself to a distance, an emotional more so than a physical distance. This makes it increasingly harder for me to appreciate her sunnier and more tranquil moments.

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 AM   #13
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Luau, I understand the feeling. When my late FIL wanted to sue my husband "nicely", my husband was so angry and came home with lots of anger. So mad at it. He said my late FIL made the wrong decision regarding the elder son and etc. My late FIL was fending for his elder son thinking we would change the will's distribution to them. We had no way to change it.
Well thinking back, we should feel that my late FIL was sick and forgive him. He heard it wrong at the lawyer's. The lawyer just asked if he wanted to change his own will!!
This thing took a few weeks to settle down. We called him together and explained that the money was all my late FIL's since his late wife just died.

It would be like day and night. Later on, he forgot things the next day. After one night's sleep, he would forget everything that happened. This is the memory loss, sad to say, but it helped to get over the trauma.

Certainly the son would feel sad that Lucy tried to sue him or call the police. On the surface, it looks bad but for insiders, you all know what happened. Perhaps he can use some forgiveness even though he feels hurt too.

I felt hurt a lot by my late FIL's comments. Deb mentioned that we should not take it personal because they are demented. But it is hard emotionally.

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 08-06-2012 at 09:17 AM.

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:13 AM   #14
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

I am no expert an alcoholism, but so much of what you describe sounds like an alcoholic rage feeding into this too.

Have you paid any attention to what time of day these episodes tend to occur? It sounds a bit like an extreme case of sundowning.

When my mom was first starting to become noticeably "bad" it was a sundowning episode. We could have a perfectly normal day up until around 4 p.m., and then the symptoms would start. In her case, it was just the forgetfulness, becoming more irrational, inability to reason with her, etc.

With Lucy, maybe her blood sugar levels feed into this. Certainly alcohol seems to put her over the edge.

Might it be possible for your son to move in with a buddy and his parents for the beginning of the school year, while you get this all resolved?

Have you consulted with an eldercare attorney yet to see what you should be doing to protect yourself, what your liabilities might be, etc? I don't know much about the law in New York...other than how to obtain a healthcare power of attorney.

How are you holding up? Did you ever have a follow up evaluation with a cardiologist so you know how serious your heart issues are?

Last edited by teteri66; 08-06-2012 at 09:15 AM.

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:18 AM   #15
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Re: Lucy called the cops on my son tonight

Luau, that roller coaster of unpredictability is characteristic and what I find to be a really difficult part of cognitive decline. You never know which emotional state you will be given. It is also what lulls us into inaction in the beginning. It is only when the turmoil erupts frequently enough that we see the pattern. It's manic behavior.... similar to bipolar. The ups are way up there and the downs are so far down that you don't have a clue how to deal with them. That "normal" middle ground is lost.

I noticed this with both of my parents. Dad could be happy with the world one moment and tearing the house apart the next. Mom could be chipper and cheerful and ripping into somebody the next. Put them together and whoa!!! As long as one was up it was ok but when you got both down at the same time... Katie bar the door! I still don't know which Mom I will find when I arrive at the facility. One day she is sitting stone faced with anger daggers flying. The next day she has a smile on her face. Medication has helped a lot to even out her response to the emotional turmoil she is feeling but I can still see the manic ups and downs in her face.

This is why many neurologist prescribe psych meds for bipolar or schizophrenia to treat dementia related behaviors

It also sounds like the Alcohol Sugar theory might be holding true. Keep track and be sure to let the neuro know what you have found.

Hope the Neuro appointment goes well today... and you get some answers!

Love, deb

Last edited by Gabriel; 08-06-2012 at 09:20 AM.

 
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