Mom knows something is wrong and I don't know what to say.

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I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. I guess I just need to say something about my mom and how difficult it is to see her decline mentally. Today was especially hard for me. I didn't want to cry in front of her, but I came close a couple of times.

I've been happy to have the opportunity to spend time with her and I can't ever remember her being so warm and able to express her love so freely until recently. I always knew she loved me and my brothers, but I guess it wasn't easy for her to just say it. When one of us would say, "I love you Mom," her reply was always, "we love you too," meaning her and my dad.

My dad died a year ago in October and, fortunately, they had moved into assisted living where my mom continues to live. I'm also glad that I live nearby and am able to see her regularly. My brothers live out of town, but are also wonderfully supportive and take turns visiting her every Saturday.

I love my mom very much, but I'll admit there are times when I don't feel like seeing her and I get tired of all the visits to the doctor. Also, it's depressing and scary when I visit and see all those people just sitting around waiting for something to happen. I keep thinking that's probably going to be me someday. I'm 61 and I was just 41 so recently that I can't believe how quickly 20 years passes. The next time I'll be 81 and that alone seems so frightening. And, my husband and I don't have children so we're really going to be on our own. I know it's a selfish thought, but it's real.

That really hit home today when my mom said to me, "there's something wrong with my brain." There is, but I didn't know how to respond. I wanted to say, "no there isn't," but she knows and she needs to be able to talk about it. So, I asked her what she thought was wrong and she didn't know, but thought she might have had a small stroke. She thought she should see her doctor and I told her she would be seeing him in October. She thought that was too long to wait and I told her I could make an appointment sooner.

She told me she was forgetting everything and she couldn't leave her room because she might get lost and not be able to find her way back. Also (and this is when I almost lost control), she said she didn't have a husband anymore to help her. I told her I knew that was hard, but that I would always be there for her and I would always make sure she was cared for. Then I told her I would write down the things that were going to happen today and tomorrow so she could look at that as a reminder.

I went into her bedroom to look for paper and dry my eyes. I couldn't find any so I had to go to the front desk and I just started crying. I couldn't believe how I lost control of myself and, of course, everyone was very nice. When I got back to my mom's room I sat down and wrote "Today is Wednesday" and listed the things that were going to happen and told her someone there would remind her and make sure she got back to her room. Then I added that tomorrow I would come to see her again and we would go out for lunch. She told me that this was very helpful and how much she appreciated it. She is ALWAYS thanking me and the staff for our help.

When I was ready to leave I told her how much I loved her and she said, "I love you, too. I'm so lucky to have you for a daughter." I told her she was the best mother anyone could have and she replied, "well, not anymore." That really broke my heart and I know she saw that I was upset. I just said, "that's not true, you are wonderful."

I read so much about the parents with Alzheimer's who are angry and mean (I know it's not their fault) and I can only imagine how upsetting that must be. I don't know why I'm so fortunate to have such a sweet mother (she'll be 94 in December). She has been upset and gets irritable at times, but mostly she is very kind and always saying "thank you." I just want her to be as happy as possible and I don't want her to be afraid or worried. Even though she has this horrible disease, I really admire her strength and determination. She's still walking on her own, bending over to tie her shoes and she is still smart and I'm so blessed and sad at the same time.


You're a good daughter. I believe you handled her questions beautifully. Continue what you are doing, you're handling it wonder fully... Hugs....
You did great. Your question to her in response to saying something was wrong with her brain was productive in getting her to tell you more about what was going on with her. Your strategies were also productive. Sorry this is so emotionally difficult. Its a bittersweet time.
God bless you TheirDaughter, it's a long, lonely road you are traveling. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Up until about 2 months ago, my Mother kept telling me she was "crazy in the head" and just didn't know what was wrong with her, it was sad. It seems most times people with Alzheimer's get past that stage and don't really remember they have a problem, she did not, she always knew. I never really knew what to say to her, just tried to be understanding and tell her I was so sorry she felt that way. She was such a sweet Mama, too, always loving and supportive. But I saw a side of her and heard some things come out of her mouth that really shocked me, I knew it was AD but it was just too weird.

Keep doing what you are doing, reassure her as best you can. Maybe talk to the dr or the people where she is staying. They are always a wealth of information.

I sat with my precious Mother last Wednesday as she took her last breath and watched her heart stop beating and even though I had sat with her in Hospice for 11 days, my head screamed no, Mama don't go. She is at peace now, but I miss her so.

Sending you love, hugs and prayers. Just see your Mom as much as you can and tell her how much you love her. This road to a long goodbye is shorter than we think. God Bless You and your family.
Everyone, thanks for the kind, supportive words. We're all going through something with a loved one or we wouldn't be here, right? I realize my situation isn't unique, but as you know, that doesn't make it any less painful. Maybe the "good" part of this is it's giving me a chance to spend time with my mom and we are able to be close in a way we've never been before. When I was young and even more recently, I didn't really appreciate her. She was never glamorous and was somewhat shy, although always very nice. She enjoyed spending time by herself and was always reading. She loved to travel, however, and one year she picked me up in Ohio (I had just separated from my alcoholic husband) and we drove to Kentucky for a big family wedding and then to Maryland and Virginia to visit her family. We drove through the mountains and she just loved every minute.

When we got back she bought me a used car (my husband wouldn't let me have anything) so I could drive to the city and find a job. It was this big white Monte Carlo, with red interior that I never would have bought for myself, but we were both thrilled.

We just weren't good at expressing our feelings. She came from the South and was always aware of good manners and helping others. It was hard to even hug her because she was uncomfortable with that sort of thing, although I know my dad was crazy about her and they had a great relationship.

Now, I can put my arms around her and tell her how much I love her and she hugs me right back and tells me the same. I am so blessed to have this time with her and I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful mother.
Yes you are. I am going thru the same thing with my mom. She too, has AZ and now, just yesterday, she was diagnosed with a "softball size tumor on her right lung." She is 74, such a sweet momma.

I am having a hard time dealing with what I know may soon be the end of my momma. My dad is 79 and in great health. Nonetheless, I am dealing with AZ just like you and it is soooo sad to watch this. Just tell her how much you love her, tell her everything you have always wanted to say. I wish you the best.
Their daughter, I know the feeling well. My Mom raced out of the house with my caregiver right before I got home from work one day and was beating her up. My Mom was/still is, as sweet as pie. When I finaly got her into her favorite chair she cried and said "whats wrong with me?" It broke my heart she was entering the agressive stages of dementia/alz, most likely vascular dementia they say. I told her then, and many times ' Hey Mooooom, sometimes you forget things but so do I , so lets make a plan, if you forget something I will remind you, and if I forget something , you can remind me ok?" She smiled and said "Oh you always make me so happy." Well its been almost 6 years and she is still live with me and my husband, now calm as can be, cannot walk or really talk much, and sweet as pie again. I never told her she was sick, ever. I always tell her the Dr said she is healthy as a horse and she laughs!!! The Dr told me the most inportant thing is to keep them warm, comfortable and just be there for her, they are afraid to be alone. Good luck
What sweet stories, even the sad parts. Having a parent so ill at 74 must be especially difficult because at 61, that doesn't sound very old anymore. I'm glad your father is doing well, bandango, and I can only imagine how difficult it is for him to be losing his wife. I keep thinking this is part of life and there must be a reason we have to go through all this sorrow and loss. It happens to just about everyone who loves another person and I wish I understood why. I really appreciate people sharing their stories. I was so upset when I started this discussion that I needed to tell people who understood. You are all so kind and my heart goes out to you.

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