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    Old 12-23-2005, 07:38 AM   #16
    fourt9rkim
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    Re: Dementia?

    Dinner went off fine Weds. night...however my brother finally told Mom that he DIDN'T bring her here, and he urged her to go to the doctor, because he noticed that her memory was not like it once was. She told him she thinks she's had a stroke...which could be possible, I suppose. She told him that dad and I keep telling her that he didn't bring her here, and he told her that we were telling her the truth.

    But last night, she was right back to believing that Jimmy brought her here, and that she's not wanted here. I told her that Jimmy told her the night before that he didn't bring her, and she yelled at me to stop.

    She also said last night that she doesn't remember buying our house, or when (1974), nor does she remember where we lived before, or who sold us our house, or even any of the old neighbors at our previous house. But dad said this morning that just the other day she was reminiscing about one of our old neighbors.

    Then, I'm on my way out the door to work this morning, and she had pulled a whole bunch of family photos out of the the drawer in the end table next to the couch, and they were all over the floor. She stopped me and asked me, "How much more ****** are you going to put in this drawer??!!!" I told her that I didn't put ANYTHING in the drawer...the only pictures that I have printed out are those that she had ASKED me to print out, and the rest were family picture from years ago. Of course, she thinks I'm lying to her, and she started boo-hooing about how this is all the more reason why she needs to get away from us. I told her gently that most of the pictures have been in that drawer for years, and she put them there.....to which I received her now standard "OH BS" response, along with "I can't live here anymore without a MIND." I told her she needs to do as Jimmy said and go see the doctor...again, "OH BS".

    I'm about ready to sit here and bawl at my desk at work. And I have to put up with this all next week, since I'll be on vacation. Merry Christmas to me, eh?

     
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    Old 12-23-2005, 09:29 AM   #17
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    Re: Dementia?

    Kim,

    You sound just like me when my mother first started "forgetting." I treated her as an adult, my Mother. I reasoned and begged and pleaded and argued. All for naught. She didn't remember a word of it 5 minutes later.

    It's good that your brother spoke with her, but truthfully, it's doubtful that she'll remember it.

    Finally, I just made her regular appt for a check-up and let the doctor know beforehand that I was worried about her memory.

    He spoke with her for a long time and gave her a simple test which told him right away that it was dementia. No MRI or extensive tests. By this time she had scored so low on the test that it wasn't necessary to know what caused it.

    A doctor would know what to ask and what to watch for in her conversations. Perhaps you could take her to the doctor on the pretense of getting her flu shot.

    It really helps to get the diagnosis. My mom also believed that we were lying to her if we mentioned something from the day before that she didn't remember. Now, she takes a very small dose of Zoloft everyday and is seldom combative, upset, angry or anxious.

    When she tells something totally absurd, I either agree with her or change the subject. Generally, it works. In 5 minutes she has forgotten it all together anyway. If you argue, it only frustrates you and is totally depressing! I know, because I've done it.

    Take care of yourself! Agree with your Mom! And comfort your dad! That's all you can do.
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    Old 12-23-2005, 12:00 PM   #18
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    Re: Dementia?

    Sandyspen,

    My mom just has this notion built up in her mind that she hasn't lived with us the whole time. If she didn't get so darned angry, I could handle this better. I know I shouldn't take it personal, but she can make me feel like I'm the Devil's spawn!

    She simply doesn't believe that she is wrong in ANYTHING. Yet she expects us to apologize for things we didn't even do!

    She's already had her flu shot, so tricking her that way won't work. After the holidays, I will be calling her doctor, and talking to him about her.

    *sigh*

     
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    Old 12-23-2005, 01:20 PM   #19
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    Re: Dementia?

    That's a good idea. Her doctor might even think of a better way to get her to his office.

    Oh, I know. It can be so frustrating. When we took my mom's car away, my brother drove it away from her place. She has it in her mind that he just TOOK it.

    I've tried telling her about Alzheimers, telling her the DMV won't let her drive, the doctor recommended it, anything I can think of. She appears to understand. Then 5 minutes later, she'll start cursing my brother again, calling him awful names and swearing that he took her car.

    Then she demands that I take her out to buy a new one!

    If I say, "Okay, Mom. We'll go out in a little while."

    She forgets about it.......for an hour or a day. I just never know, then it starts all over again.

    But the truth never seems to work.

    Quite a mess, I know. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind.

    Thank goodness for all the people here! Just keep coming back.
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    Old 12-23-2005, 01:31 PM   #20
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    Re: Dementia?

    You're doing fine - just telling her 'we'll talk about it later" is an excellent method. It is indeed frustrating , but as soon as you lower your expectations and stop wanting rational answers or questions, it is a little easier.

    But, often the person will then have a few rational moments or even days, and is deeply insulted when you just say "yeah, yeah, I know" and don't take them seriously. Mom used to complain to my sister on the phone, ''everyone but you thinks I am crazy." I felt crazy .. often.

    Hang in there.

    Happy holidays!

    Love

    Martha

     
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    Old 12-23-2005, 02:22 PM   #21
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    Re: Dementia?

    I think a huge part of Mom's problem is that she feels like all of her independence has been stripped away from her. She no longer can drive, thanks to Central Retinal Vein Occlusion in her right eye, which is another story in itself, and further proof of her old-school ways of not wanting to 'bother the doctor before it is time'; and because she loses her balance easily, and feels awkward in public because of it, even with the use of a cane.

    Dad told me this morning that she said yesterday that she feels like a prisoner in her own home, because she never goes anywhere....dad told her he'd take her wherever she wanted, any time she wanted. She told him that she didn't want to depend on other people...she wanted to go by herself. Mom has always been fiercely independent....and the last few years of having to allow others to do tasks she did with ease just 10 years ago is very depressing to her, and very demeaning. So, she gets very angry when people try to do things for her, too often.

    Yet, when I do just do my own thing, and don't check on her when she's brushing her teeth, and cleaning up in the morning, sometimes she'll get mad and say something like, "Well, I didn't know you weren't helping me in the morning anymore." When I had JUST asked her minutes before if I *COULD* help her with anything.

    Sometimes I feel like ramming a hammer through my own head with the frustration!

     
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    Old 12-24-2005, 02:01 AM   #22
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    Re: Dementia?

    Dear Kim,

    I've only just come up for air from my own months worth of drama's, and finally came across your thread.

    Anger ........... yes .. I know where you are in this.

    With my ex-charge, she went from a loving, caring, quiet, wise and generous woman to a suspicious, cunning, angry, violent hitting, kicking, spitting banshee.

    Yes .. quite a change. Mind you, she wasn't ALWAYS bad, only when I was trying to nurse her husband (my FIL) or give her a hand with something. What was REALLY trying was when she started hitting my daughters ...

    No matter HOW often you sat her down and explained how SICK her husband was and how he was so DEMANDING and that we were there to help HIM not HER, even though she would nod in agreement with you, smile with you and mimick the words being spoken, you would then turn around and do something and she would go off her tree.

    Ok .. she had an extra disease on top of dementia, aphasia .. the inability to speak formed words and with the dementia 'word salad', communication, up until we placed her in a home was almost virtually impossible.

    Now, I can understand her anger, because in her world, she was absolutely, totally and utterly FINE .. it was the rest of the world that had turned topsy turvy and gone wrong ... it was everybody else that was doing weird things that created her problems. If she had a self-thought (no input from anybody else) NOTHING could sway her from gaining a result .. eg: I need shampoo. She couldn't ASK for it (no words and our inability to understand exactly what she wanted) so she would make one of us drive her around, and around, and around, and around until she found something she recognised. Then, she would buy cheese and come home and put it in the laundry. Her self thought was "I need shampoo" but it sorta got lost in the translation in herself, but she KNEW she was needing to buy something, and that it had to go somewhere. Either way, she came out of it happy.

    And then we would step in and say "cheese goes in the fridge dear" and point out an error in her self thought and all hell would break loose again.

    Coping strategies? Don't confront. Fix it later.

    That took a LONG time to learn. But we would achieve much in her 2 hours at church LOL !!!

    It's a hard, hard, HARD road helping someone with cognitive problems and compromise is the only way to deal with the varying stages. Of course, it didn't always work because our compromise wasn't her self thought and ...........well, welcome to the round-a-bout *chuckle*.

    If you help, your yelled at. If you don't help, your yelled at. Accept your not going to win and just smile (even if through gritted teeth).

    Now as for Mum feeling like she's bothering people to keep herself active, here in my country, we have adult day care. They have a bus that picks up their participants, they have a full day of gentle activities, and the bus takes them home. Nobody's put out ... that's the bus's job! It took some doing, but my ex-charge accepted it brilliantly eventually. Yes, it took patience, but it did finally work. See what you have available in the area.

    Try and give her activities she CAN do .. such as folding the laundry while you or others do the more demanding tasks she's no longer capable of doing. My error in judgement was backing RIGHT away from the violence and anger, where perhaps I should have included her more in daily activities. She was always so proud of catching my washing off the line if a storm was blowing in !!! But any other time I wouldn't allow her to, because I didn't want to bother her !!!

    We learn .. we learn, and in boards such as these, we learn what works, what doesn't, what's worth trying and things to avoid.

    Welcome .. I'm sorry you have to be here, but welcome ... you have nothing but support here .. and I hope we can help a little.

    Hugs & Cheers & Merry Christmas (I'm in Christmas Eve already .. Santa arrives in 4 hours)

    Sally

     
    Old 12-24-2005, 05:48 AM   #23
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    Re: Dementia?

    Thank you, Sally! Merry Christmas to you as well!

    My Christmas Eve morning is already drama filled, so I suspect that today will be one filled with hateful words spewing from her. She tells me that I'm just like my father, but in reality, I'm so much like her it's not even funny. Maybe she doesn't like seeing that?

    This is all wearing me down emotionally....I don't think I've cried as much this much in the past 5 years as I have during this past year.

    My dad and I have offered to take her anywhere, anytime. We make plans to go somewhere one day, then when that day arrives, she makes excuses to NOT go. But she sure lays the guilt trip on me if I go somewhere with my best friend, or just by myself.

    I'm waiting for the day when she resorts to hitting, because she's made several indications that she's wanted to hit dad or myself....she did swat me on the behind a couple of weeks ago because she thought she was 'disciplining' me for something I said. Mother, I'm 46 years old....I think I'm past the spanking stage.

    You're right, Sally about her thinking that SHE is totally fine....she thinks we are the crazy ones. After the holidays, I will be calling her doctor to inform him about what has been happening. Hopefully, he can make some excuse to have her come in.

    Merry Christmas to everyone here! Thank you for listening!

     
    Old 12-24-2005, 03:23 PM   #24
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    Re: Dementia?

    Hi Kim ...

    first and foremost, you mother MUST be diagnosed. Frontal temporal lobe dementia is, from my research, one of the angry dementia's .. there's so many versions out there, and I don't think most of them can actually be diagnosed without an autopsy ... I know genetic research is finding out more and more, so it's well worth visiting HER doctor WITHOUT her just yet ..

    Write a journal.

    Write down in the journal Date, weather, moods, events, situations .. hand it to the doctor. I did that and our doctor who had denied the issues finally couldn't keep his blinkers on and admitted ... "yes, she does have dementia" ... if it wasn't for the fact that he had denied it so many times beforehand, I would have kissed him for that simple statement. It wasn't ME causing her problems, it was a DISEASE ...

    Of course, it didn't help the situation, but it did help ME a little (only a little) .. I tend to take things to heart too easily and personally, which I think your doing.

    Have you read the poem at the beginning of the Dementia board? It talks of the imposter. It's very well worded. Your mother isn't YOUR mother, might look like her, might sound like her, but now it's an imposter in your mothers body. If you can get your mindset to agree with that, then half YOUR battle is over (the battle you have with yourself)

    I know too many times I have sat back and been ANGRY with myself for not being able to fix the situation. For not being able to DEAL with the outbursts. I love my MIL, I hate the imposter. Does that make sense? Now my MIL is in a home, the real woman shines through a lot more often (less stress to bring out the imposter), but if you throw her out of her routine, the imposter leaps into effect instantly.

    But for Christmas, don't argue. Agree with her. If she says "you don't do anything with me" say "Well, we'll change all that soon ok?" and see what her response is after that. Grit your teeth, make yourself smile ... go to the bathroom and have a good cry. Dementia patients most often mimick the behavours of those around them, so tred carefully.

    I hope your day goes better than expected.

    Merry Christmas
    Sally

     
    Old 12-25-2005, 09:02 PM   #25
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    Re: Dementia?

    Thans, Sally....today went much better than expected. No drama today...almost, but I think I successfully diverted it before it blew up into something out of nothing.

    I caught myself starting to disagree with her a couple of times today, and stopped before it came out. I need to be more aware of what *I* say, before I say it.

    She had great difficulty this year doing her Christmas cards....that has always been 'her' thing that she loves to do...but this year, she became very frustrated, flustered, and ended up mixing up incoming bills in with her cards so it became quite overwhelming for her to the point that she spent more time shuffling excessive paper around, and all over the table every day, instead of doing what she loved - writing out her cards. She ended up losing addresses, then finding them only to lose them again.

    But, after the rough start yesterday....it was a generally better than expected holiday. I hope you, and everyone else had a peaceful holiday!

     
    Old 12-25-2005, 11:02 PM   #26
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    Re: Dementia?

    Yes, my MIL loved doing her cards .. with so many overseas friends and relatives, but a few years ago she started getting FIL to do them (he covered for her), and then last year, because he was bouncing in and out of hospital on a 10 day rotational roster (just about) LOL, she shyly came up to me and asked me to help. What she had attempted was illegible. Not only had her beautiful handwriting gone into little old lady spider scrawl, what she was copying was wrong ... I fixed and repaired as much as able, but in her independence, she got frustrated with me helping her (hey .. she asked ME for help and then I get yelled at !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    Yes, I do know where your at LOL

    I'm so glad your day went well, and that you were aware of YOUR behaviour too ... it made for a calmer atmosphere and that ALONE will keep your blood pressure down.

    Me? I'm still weaning off my blood pressure tabs LOL

    Hugs
    Sally

     
    Old 01-01-2006, 05:48 AM   #27
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    Re: Dementia?

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    Well....I knew it was too good to be true to have a full vacation without a dramatic outburst. Saturday afternoon after dinner, Mom wanted to put her Christmas card boxes away, and went off on a tangent over 'crap' in the bottom shelves of a small hutch in the dining room. This thing is full of her assorted stuff...old emails from people that I've printed out for her, health-related articles, and other assorted paperwork. It's ALL hers. But she blamed me for stuffing the bottom shelves full of MY things 'while she was gone'.

    She started pulling stuff out, and I looked at some of it. One item was a Medicare mailing, WITH HER NAME ON IT, but she just grabbed it out of my hand when I showed it to her. I told her that I don't know what all is in that cabinet, but of course....I'm the one that put it there.

    She was mad at me for a little while longer, then she seemed fine when she went to bed. I was going to stay up to calm the dogs down at midnight once the idiots around here started shooting off firecrackers.

    At 11:30, I must have dozed off in my computer room, because I didn't hear the dogs outside....she came and told me they were barking. So I tried to get down the hall, but she was trying to walk down the hall too, with me saying she should go ahead and go back to bed....and she almost fell. I stablized her, and quieted the dogs down.

    When I came back inside, I told her that I would sit in the living room until after midnight...that she didn't have to stay up as well. She interpreted that to mean that I was trying to shut her out, and be the boss. She tried her best to start an argument, and it made her even more mad because I wasn't falling into it....she kept asking me questions, and I simply replied with either Yes or No....which to her meant that *I* was trying to start an argument... I told her I didn't want to argue...she told me "Then shut up." I wanted to say, "Then stop asking me questions!"

    Things outside quieted down at about 12:15 am...so we both headed back to bed....with her making comments all the way down the hall.

    I can see that she's still ticked this morning....I asked her if she still had a headache...she glared at me and said she 'always has a headache.' I suspect she had a small stroke early yesterday morning, because when I came to see how she was doing with getting dressed, she was looking around as if to focus on anything....she said she couldn't see anything, that she was also dizzy. I sat with her while the symptoms passed....and she even thought that maybe she'd just had a small stroke. A headache came on after that...but her vision came back to what it was. However she was still somewhat dizzy most of the morning. I asked her if she thought she needed to go to the ER, and she didn't want to do that.

    I will be calling her primary doctor on Tuesday when I go back to work, to let him know what has been happening with her. She's still popping the Nitro like it's candy.

     
    Old 01-01-2006, 03:20 PM   #28
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    Re: Dementia?

    Oh what a day for you!! Sounds like she was gunning for an exchange .... she sounds so FRUSTRATED and seems to be taking her frustration out on you cause the primary carer ALWAYS get's the blame for everything - it's just par for course unfortunately, it's how we react that fuels the fire, and even then, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't sometimes! If they are determined to be difficult, then no amount of patience and understanding will calm them down .. just reduce any further options of agitation if at all possible. Use diversional tactics (hard at midnight I admit), change the subject .. ??? All ideas .. hope they help.

    My ex-charge at the 2004 Christmas loved having my big fake Xmas tree in her loungeroom with 2 sets of lights and kid-made decorations and stuff .. she enjoyed it a lot. My "routine" is to leave my Xmas tree up with decorations until the 6th January (12th Day Of Xmas) ... well, the day after boxing day, there she was with scissors, trying to cut my lights off !!

    ACK !!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!! ......... of course, this turned into an altercation because I told her no. Now in her eyes, I'm just a young skit of a girl, she's the grown up, it's her house and she'll do what she wants. It almost killed me to pull my tree down EARLY (OK .. I'm obsessive compulsive about a few things). If I left the tree up, it would have caused an argument. She was insistent the tree had to come down, it was causing an argument .. I capitulated, she won. She was happy, I wasn't, but I could do other things to cheer myself up. In the long run, it wasn't worth the argument, but it didn't mean I had to like it either.

    I did find that my ex-charge had 'agenda's' of her own .. eg: we borrowed a suitcase for my daughter to use on a quick holiday. When she returned, MIL was in a FOUL mood, grunting, huffing, puffing ... I thought long and hard about what might have been bothering her (other than daughters return) when I said "Is this about the suitcase?" and she SCREAMED "YES" ... I said, calmly "It's ok, she'll unpack it after dinner and give it back" .. well that simply wasn't good enough. She took off upstairs, grabbed the suitcase, chucked everything around the room. I took off after her, trying to calm her down, she hit me, I went back downstairs in tears (the hitting was getting to me quite badly then) and MIL came back down, and grabbed her own hair, pulled it hard, screamed, flung herself into her bedroom, kicked and punched anything ...

    It was quite awesome now I look back in retrospect, but quite daunting at the time. The rest of us sat and ate dinner while she had her 'moment'. She refused dinner, refused coffee, and sat and sulked the entire night.

    Next morning, she went to the shops and bought us a new suitcase ........ but that's a whole OTHER story LOL

    What I'm trying to say is sometimes, you can't STOP them being in a mood. There is no control, they just have to work their own way through things and no amount of good intentions from our side will sway them from having a major hissy fit. All I can suggest is DUCK for cover LOL

    Hugs
    Happy New Year, I hope it improves.
    Sally

     
    Old 01-01-2006, 06:17 PM   #29
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    Re: Dementia?

    Oh Sally....what an ordeal that must have been for you! *HUGS* Sounds alot like my mom in her hissy fits...late this morning, she got bent out of shape about someone *me* moving her clothes in her closet again. She wanted to know who moved her pants from the hangers, and put them over the bar in the closet. She had a pair of pants in her hand and asked me for the 100th time if they were my pants...I told her no...she said that they have pockets in the side, and none of her pants have pockets.

    She went back down the hall to her room, and she was ranting and raving, and crying about being 'mistreated.' I just stayed away from her most of the afternoon until dinner....then she was fine.

    It certainly seems that she just itches for an argument...and when I don't give her what she wants, she gets mad! But all of the suggestions you, and everyone else has given have helped dad and I cope MUCH better than before. So for that I thank everyone!

    Happy New Year to you, Sally!
    Kim

     
    Old 01-07-2006, 05:32 PM   #30
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    Re: Dementia?

    Mom is off the deep end again this evening. This morning, dad went to get some groceries, and she went into their closet, and opened the drawer to a small dresser in the closet, and acted like she'd just found her clothes for the first time....she just put them in there last month! She ranted and raved about people hiding her clothes, and she pulled all of the tops out, and put them in another dresser in their room where she keeps her nightgowns. I swear, I've never witnessed someone move stuff so much, so often in my life!

    This evening, she opened the drawer to get a nightgown (after chewing dad out about supposedly buying new clothes), and she came to me and asked me why I put all of her tops in her nightgown drawer. I told her that I didn't, and she summoned me to her room, and showed me the clothes in the drawer... I told her that she put them there earlier. She didn't want to hear that, of course. So she went off on a tangent, cussing about us both, and saying she was going to get out of here as soon as she could. She got so worked up that she worked herself into chest pains, and took three nitro pills.

    Just a little while before this, she was accusing me of putting a whole bunch of papers into her desk in the dining room. Uh, no mom....not me.

    I am going to call her doctor Monday and alert him to how she's acting. I didn't have a chance to do so this week, because I had alot of work to catch up on at work.

    *sigh*

     
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