Determned to keep myself strong and balanced.

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Alzheimer's is an insidious opponent. Last night I made a vow to myself to have a restful night's sleep despite this life as a caregiver. It almost worked. And then at 4 in the morning, I hear this cry and thump. My heart racing I spring out of my bedroom to find my mother sprawled out against her bedroom door. This disease attacks not the just the afflicted, but we the caregivers in so many different ways we can never see what's coming.

She told me she got disoriented coming back from the bathroom and couldn't find her bed. She slammed against the door, pushing the door knob all the way into the wall. A cigarette and a drink immediately followed putting her back into bed. My mom is slowly killing me and doesn't know it. My therapist says "it's a gift to care for you rmother in her final days." I truly believe he doesn't know shit about what it's like to be someone in our situation.


Big Hugs to you Dunwoody. I've found a variety of this to happen to me with my mother as well even though she lives in her house thousands of miles away - the second I say, I'm detaching, I'm focusing and straightening out my life, she instantly has a crisis. This kind of thing makes me wonder a lot about how the Universe works. I guess in the face of it all one can do is say, I do matter, and you WON'T stop me from taking care of myself. I don't mean to sound paranoid - our mothers certainly don't know when we make vows to be good to ourselves and then throw themselves into doors or onto the ground (in my mother's case) but it is a test of resolve all the same. And are you sure your therapist is helping you?
I know what you mean by comments such as the one your therapist made. I think that most do not even know what to say.
In my situation there are four different people telling me how to " handle this '.
Two are from Hospice with opposing views and my own therapist even said to me that I should keep keep my father-in-law at home in his last final days, because just putting someone in the care center is like taking someone out to pasture to die.The hospice nurse said he wants to die at home, although I have told her what I can do and cannot do. And my husband is about useless when it comes to the pysical care of his father.
It is overwhelming and exhausting.
Thanks for your comments. My "therapist," you're right, doesn't know what to say. At this point, I'm actually afraid for my own health. Started smoking again and drink all the time to numb myself. I think it's quite possible my mother may outlive me. I need to reach deep inside to find the strength to fight for myself. Doing so is probably easier when it's an "outsider" or even a spouse, but when it's your own mother, well, that really does make it insidious.
Dunwoody, you are not alone. Keep writing. There are many people on this site who seem to have more insight than your therapist does.

I usually don't let what people say bother me, because they are saying something they are comfortable saying. I am disappointed that a therapist would say something like this, though. A therapist should know better, particularly since you are seeing him because of the trauma you're going through.

The nights of crisis are the worst. I only have one of those every 3-4 months, thank goodness. I know that people caring for someone with advanced dementia go through the crises far more often. I don't know why these things happen in the wee hours so much. I guess it is because people who have enough trouble navigating in the light are stumbling around in the dark. Weak bladders and disturbed sleep cycles certainly do play havoc.

All this seems so unnatural. Sometimes it is like being in one of those dreams where you are trying to get somewhere, but can't. Other times it is like being a guardian of a lost soul. Trouble is that there are no tools or feelings that can help to guide that soul. We just do what we can.
dunwoody, i think you will survive this as well or better than any of us. you have the sense of adventure and sense of humor to endure this. i somehow know youll be fine..
I wish I could have a couple drinks but I may be needed. My mama gets up early (5am)for no reason in bed at 10 or 11pm When I have to go out to the stores or to pay bills she sleeps till 11am This coming Wed I have an app't for 9am since I have to get breakfast and clothes for her what U bet she will not get out of bed on time? What can I do? I don't want to stress ahead of time but I really need to keep this app't.
Dunwoody you sound as tho you r the mainstay and like maybe this is a fairly new diagnosis Keep living there will b good days and bad ones Seems like u cannot do enough but you are know that and just do what is right all the time even if u don't feel like it their "episodes" don't last too very long just long enough for us to have a hissy fit!! Always b kind, firm, and loving
Dunwoody... I can SO relate to what you are going through! I've been mother's caregiver for 10 years now. However, a year and a half ago she broke her hip and I had to move into her home (there isn't room in mine, which is just across the street). Since that time my alcohol intake has increased exponentially! There are times I wish I could have a cigarette (I quit 14 years ago)... but I have developed an allergy to smoke.

For 6 weeks after I moved in I got no more than 2 hours of sleep each night. Mother got up 5-8 times EVERY night. I tried to catch naps during the day when she would nap, but as soon as I tried... she would get up and start wandering! I could not even mention taking a nap or sleeping... she would get out of bed within moments of the comment. I finally put her on 3 mg. of Melatonin... a natural hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. For the first time in weeks, I was able to get a decent night's sleep! I still give her the Melatonin (her doctor agrees with this) and even though she doesn't always sleep the night away, I am able to get better sleep than I ever did before! Wearing pull ups ensures that any accidents during the night are easily dealt with.

Often, because of the IMMENSE amount of stress we go through, caregivers expire BEFORE the person they are caring for. PLEASE take care of yourself and find a different therapist... one who actually understands what it is to be a caregiver. Or, just use the forums here to receive the therapy we all need... community really does help.

You are a good son, and you are doing your best!

Have a GREAT day.

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