Hi, Carol. I thought I would just check in for a moment. I wanted to let you know that of course, Mom's sisters were there--but I was not. I had such a bad week physically last week, and Friday was such an emotionally dark day for me. I cried all day, and I was unable to even leave my home until today for a doctor's appointment. I suppose I have been either very naive or much too hopeful that I was beginning to crest the hill, so to speak. I have the memory of an elephant (a wonderful gift if the memories are good--or truly real, a curse if they are not, and an ironic joke if one is looking down the barrel on future Alzheimer's), and Mom has been so present in memory these days. My dad has also been present, which is not a good thing. I continue to unravel questions, reactions, and hindsight where Mom is concerned, and have small epiphanies and unhappy revelations. My mother is tied up in every part of my life, and Mother's Day was painful for me for many reasons, not just because of her absence from my life. In talking with my opthalmologist today, she was telling me about a sermon her pastor had presented on the subject of taking care of one's parents. I am hoping he has a copy of this sermon, as part of the discussion was on guilt, another on responsibility.
I am so appreciative of your shoulder. I am still in the process of finding an antidepressant that works, and I am truly feeling better in my head. I wish my heart would get the message. I pray every night that Mom is comfortable, comforted, in no pain or fear, and that somewhere in her mind, she knows that I did what I felt was best for all of us. I loathe this terrible illness and am terrified of it. My heart breaks for everyone who is touched and burned by it.
Just wanted to drop in and wish everyone a lovely Mother's Day. Carol and Byroney, you tend to mother us all, and do a wonderful job. To those who still have the presence of their moms, here's wishing you a memorable day. To those of us whose moms are still here but gone, wishing you happy memories of past days. And to those whose mothers are passed, I sincerely wish you peace and comfort. This will be my first Mother's Day that I will not be able to have Mom here, and she will not remember when I come and go on Sunday. We used to have a tradition here in the south: red roses worn for mothers who are with us, white roses for mothers who have gone. Should we wear red and white roses for those who have AD?
Hugs and roses to all of you, and the largest bouquet for the caregivers, female and male, children, spouses, and anyone else who has this terrible responsitility.
Good morning, Carol. I am doing a little better each day. Still fighting my own body of course, but I feel that this long year is beginning to lighten. The doctor decided that Mom's cough manifests when she eats certain foods, which is of course a progression of the disease. She is also having some trouble with liquids now. She also refused to see the doctor, which is definitely new for her, as she has never refused anyone's direction other than mine. She is very well taken care of at the facility by most of the staff, so unless she has a serious fall again or develops an infection, I am finally feeling able to let go and trust her care to them. I'm hoping the visit this weekend will go as well as the last one.
Thanks for your encouragement regarding the administrator position. I will go the proper site soon, and seen what it entails. If I can help someone else by doing this, I would feel that I have accomplished something of value.
Hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for being there.
To both of you, thanks for the info. My British friend knows of a physician who says AD patients should start receiving placement and treatment much earlier than they do now. And Carol, I think you're correct, it's going to scare people even more. I haven't watched the Larry King special yet, don't really know if I'm up to it, but I will soon. I'm terrified all the time, as I know so many others are. Sometimes I wonder if we're all going to end up as zombies with no one to look after us. Not meant to be funny, but the statistics don't look good.
Hi, Carol. How sweet of you to think of me. Mom seems to be declining further. I looked back a little, but I didn't see that I had mentioned her deep cough while we were there. I have been notified that OT has changed her diet because they feel the cough is related to her eating, especially dry or harder foods. Her sisters always bring junk food to her, moon pies, cakes, dry things and lots of candy. I recalled after talking with the nurse that she was eating a dry cake while we were there, and the cough manifested and actually sounded almost bronchial to me. I have requested through the staff that the sisters stop bringing her foods that may strangle her. Haven't heard anything negative about their response, but we'll see when we go Mother's Day.
I came online to the conversation with preachergirl but I can't find the beginning of the posts. I am very interested in reading this and would love to comment after I have more information.
I am also interested in the administrator position discussed by Byroney but I have waited until my husband's vacation was over last week, hoping that I would feel better and perhaps be in a healthier position myself to participate in this. What are your thoughts about this?
Good Monday, cjh and byroney. Thanks for asking about our visit. The visit with Mom went surprisingly well, considering that both sisters were already there, which I expected. This is the first time I have seen either of them since last July. Lassie is the one who has caused us such grief, and she feels at though Mom is her personal property. I don't think I told you that during one of our telephone conversations, Lassie told me, "She is my sister, blood is thicker than water." I said she is my mother. Of course, the blood is thicker comment was made again, so you see what I have been up against with Mom's family. Anyway, they were seated when we arrived, Lassie's husband spoke, and I really didn't make eye contact for a little while, as I was happy to see Mom, she smiled, and she looked really well, rested, and relaxed. I finally made general conversation, asked about the family, and never revealed any animosity or protrayed any anger and hurt feelings over my treatment by my family over the past months. We took Mom outside, thinking that they were going to leave, which they did not. Lassie kept mentioning that they had a party to go to later, which she later admitted was at my cousin's house, the entire family invited, and since Lassie is the least favorite person in the family, I was really stunned that my cousin would invite her. However, there was no reaction from me other than to tell her to tell everyone I said hello and hoped they were well. Lassie said, really, you want me to say that? I said of course, and reiterated the sentiment again. My husband and I left Mom with them, they were intent on outstaying us, which is just fine. It does really hurt, however, to know that I am truly shut out of my family because I did what I felt was best for my mother. Mom did mention something about going to live in the same building with the other sister, so we know this conversation continues among the sisters when they are with Mom. I told her in their presence that she would not be able to live on her own, and did not say anything to either of them about their continuing to urge Mom that she is in the wrong place. I believe I can begin the let go of some of the guilt and anger, as I prayed on the way there to be able to be civil and adult, which I was. My husband was there to support me, and I am very fond of the weekend staff, and residents, received hugs and sweetness from them, all under Lassie's watchful glare, and left feeling better than I have in months. You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. But I do not have to interact with them, it's not worth the pain. Thanks so much for your caring. It's wonderful to be able to talk about this without being judged. I so appreciate you two.
Good morning, cjh and byroney, and everyone in the AD community. Just wanted to check in for a moment, and thank you all for your support and caring. I know for many, this weekend will be no different as caregiving doesn't really get a holiday. It's raining and cold here, but it's predicted to be nice by Sunday. My thoughts are with all who are carrying such heavy loads. This will be the first Easter in my life with no parent present, as were Christmas and Thanksgiving past. Mom doesn't know what day it is, let alone that's it's a holiday. I'm hoping to get out to see her this weekend, which always knocks me flat, but I need to do this, so keep me in your thoughts.
Hi, Byroney. I continue to see your post regarding posts and so on, and I have yet to see a reply. I read periodically, and it seems the posts trail off, and are very far apart. I can understand this since so many here are caregivers. What would this entail? I am curious, as posting is cathartic for me, and it always makes me realize that someone always has it worse than I. And your and cjh's interest and compassion is also very comforting. I feel I might be useful in this capacity. I'll be waiting to here from you.
Dear Mr. Evans, I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I believe that having a spouse with AD is much harder than a parent. What an angel you are to be there for her. We did have a CT scan done in 2008, shortly after Mom was diagnosed. Her brain, according to the doctors, showed advancing AD. We suspected this for at least three years before, and of course the diagnosis was devastating. Mom steadily declined, becoming more and more reclusive, more forgetful, and sometimes confrontational, which was such a shock, as my mom was always very passive. In February of 20l0, she began to hallucinate in the early hours, and we hospitalized her on an inpatient AD unit for evaluation. Do you have access to such a unit? You can have your wife observed for several days, and this would also give you a breather. After her hospitalization, we finally had to make to decision to place her in a facility, which is where she had her devastating fall. She knew just enough to know that she was no longer here, and the adjustment for both Mom and myself has been difficult. You need to seek another physician who understands and treats AD. It sounds as though the current doctors are not very concerned, which we have experienced also. No one should have to suffer debilitating pain, especially on top of losing one's memory. I see that you are both of advanced age, and I know people tend to be dismissive of older people, believing them to be less smart, less important, and just generally to be ignored. Do you have children, grandchildren or others you can recruit? You need to be assertive, don't be ignored! And you need some help before you become ill youself. How many years have you been married? MY dad and mom would have celebrated their 61st anniversary on May l9th, had he lived. Today makes 6 years since his death. My heart goes out to you. Please try to get another physician involved, and please let me know how it goes.