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If I have to listen to this story one more time I WILL explode!!! I know you all say just smile......

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That one is gonna happen to probably everyone here. Take a deep breath ask a question when you can and remember it will be over soon and you can move on to the next thing promising yourself you will never do it yourself....As if...
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Sometimes I think, oh no not again! But last time my Dad started he suprised me. He pulled out a folder that had pictures and clipping that I don't think any of my brothers and sisters have seen. There was a picture of my grandfather, I only saw him once in his life, he ran off with another woman. There were pictures of my aunts and a couple of cousins and grandmother and part of our family tree. It was a long two hours and my Dad and I don't always get along but that is two hours that will always be just mine and my Dad's.

I know what you all have been through is hard, maybe one day the story will change a little. I know I will be sad when I won't hear my parent's voices on this earth. :)
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Once again as I read the responses here, I am amazed and pleased with the creative ideas we share!

I know what "sheDevil" mean when we say we hear the same questions over and over from 'kids' and it is cute (sometimes), so why not do the same with our elders?

Pamela: I know how you feel too, wishing for ANY repetitive word, repetitive or not, words, anything... please just speak. When my mother was 'losing her words' we used picture cards to help her. "Pictionary" has a new card game out that may just help!" When Mom talked non-stop I told family members to listen to her, because when dyphasia takes over and she can no longer speak, they will wish for her words to come.

"Alwayslearning": your response was perhaps the most creative clever and amusing way of dealing with a very challenging situation. It made me smile.

"NAheaton" how tragic that you had to experience 'amnesia' but it seems that you learned a valuable lesson that you are sharing! AND.. your comment: In reality, the only control we have over anything in life, is how WE act and what comes out of OUR mouths, after all is said and done was SPOT ON!!

I will add this note from experience: "LISTEN" to the story being told. If it is one of a tragic event, there is fear in their heart. If it is one of JOY, they are sharing a feeling of peace that we should relish. If it is one of sadness, they are sharing their 'sadness' in an effort to make it disappear.

Regardless of the story, if you can redirect them by giving them something PLEASURABLE to do, it may just cut the story short. If it happens at a certain time of day, pay attention to the story. One of a 'lost child' at a time when the kids would normally be getting home, means they are concerned about children (that have long since grown).

God bless ALL of you that are still on this journey. My mothers journey is over, but I am sure the story she is now telling is that I learned patience with her before her passing.
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My mom has repeated her stories for years and we just continue to listen to them. It's just the way she has always been. Now she is in rehab due to a bad fall and seems to be loosing her mind -- depression, nightmares, anxiety, etc. This is all new to me. She begs to be taken out of there every day. Don't know if it is a good thing to visit her every day or not. This is just all new to me.
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Pamela...I have to laugh...what did she need the date for...is she writing out a check...NOT! lol...OH GEEZUS. My mom is on another rant about going to the eye doctor and it never stops..on an on whining...why do want me to suffer....can't they give me a shot...all the inane things that cannot happen. She told the caregiver just now that she wants to get dressed and go to the doctor...ah uh..can't happen have to have an appointment first. Her eyesight will continue to fail with age. Been through an entire year of going to eye doctors and retina specialsts two years ago...nothing they can do. She can't get that into her head. I am not about to waste my time running to doctors appointments for nothing and now she thinks she can do the same with the caregiver. So if it's not one rant it's another...same thing..the over and over and over stuff that drives you INSANE....please Calgon TAKE IT ALL AWAY...lol
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I don't know Pamela, how were you supposed to know she meant what is todays date? I would have done the same thing...day and date are two different things. Maybe you should read her mind. Just a hard place to be. Did you laugh? That's what we are supposed to do you know...
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Yesterday my mom asked me "WHAT DAY IS TODAY" 53 times over a period of 13 hours. Each time I said "Tuesday". On the 54th time she asked me I said "AUGUST 24TH" and she never asked me again. Duhhhhhhhhh how dumb was I.
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Thanks to all of you above! All true and some made me laugh...thank you! When she is telling these stories she says she is sure my husband has not heard them...except he has to help her finish them. Even he has heard them..enough to memorize them and help her with them...funny!
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In reality, the only control we have over anything in life, is how WE act and what comes out of OUR mouths, after all is said and done.
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As the first comments imply, how you think of it makes all the difference. You could say, what makes you crazy isn't just the repetitions -- it's the repetitions together with how you think about them. If what you're thinking inside is, "I hate this, because xyz" there's no way you can "just smile". That's asking too much of yourself. So, seriously go about looking for something else YOU can be saying to yourself. You can even make up sort of games. Like for example, keep a tally of how many times she tells the same story in a row, or in a day, or in an hour -- run a competition between two stories and see which is the winner, or find out if she repeats more on certain days of the week or times of the day. Then you can go, "Wow! the lead time on this repeat is the fastest ever!" and it's easier to laugh. Or you can set experiment to see if you can ask questions that change or expand the story -- even if you're not particularly interested in the stories themselves (although you might find out you are after all, as the first commenter suggests). Or you can make a half-serious, half-humorous deal with yourself: I'm going to laugh for the first fifteen repetitions and then for numbers 16 to 30 I'm going to remain totally impassive and on number 31 I'm going to go take a walk and if we get to 150 in one day then I'm going to have the nervous breakdown I've been promising myself... These are mindgames, but that's ok -- the people in the previous comments have had something that happened to them that shifted their perspective, and a mindgame is a way of shifting perspective on purpose. Because shifting perspective is the thing you need to do. Not to be saintly and perfect; just to save your sanity and cut down on your own suffering. you're
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Try having to listen to what you CANNOT understand, over and over. Some days my mom is clear and I can pick out some words she is trying to say. Other days I can't figure out one darn thing and when I ask her what she said her response is "OK" or "ALRIGHT". Personally before she got sick she would repeat a lot of things, now I just wish she could repeat things over and over and over. I use to complain too, but now it's a different story. I wish for those days back.

I'm jes sayin'
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My poor husband got a taste of the absent memory thing a few years ago, but with ME!! I got out of the shower, started putting on my makeup, and totally lost my memory. I had what was later found out to be T.G.A (transient global amnesia). I walked into the bedroom and woke him up and asked him what was going on? My long term memory was intact, but as for what day it was, what was I supposed to be doing, I had no idea. After the ER trip, CT scan, blood tests, my memory started coming back. He had called my sister, and the both of them had to witness this at the hospital. So... now when I complain about his mother repeating herself CONSTANTLY and having to repeat everything I tell her a hundred times, he reminds me of what he went through with me, and I let it go. I got my short term memory back eventually, his mother is doomed for the rest of her life asking the same questions over and over. It's all relative I guess. ha.
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Stuck,
How many times have you heard a small child tell you the same story? It's basically the same thing with the elderly. Try your best to engage your parents or grandparents, not sure, your comment is very vague. Or better yet, try to expand on the story. For example, ask questions about the story. You might be slightly surprized abut the information you will gained. Remember, our parents lived in a different time than we did. Make it interestesting by asking questions about how their generation lived during those times. My dad talks often of the depression and it so wonderful to hear him tell me how he and his family lived off the land. Maybe you can find a way to make it fun for yourself. Good luck, and please don't explode, could be messy. Love SM
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