Some days it's like swimming against the tide.

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For the last month and a half I've watched my MIL decline from the occasional benign hallucination or brief spell of confusion to believing her house has turned into a nursing home filled with people she doesn't know and won't talk to her. It wasn't caused by a UTI because she was already 6 days into a 10 day course of antibiotic when the s**t hit the fan. That went on for about a week and a half. Then she seemed to snap out iof it, did really well for about three days. In the midst of all that I had a health scare of my own and had to go for an endo-biopsy (which turned out to be benign - whew!) Then MIL started believing her husband who passed away 17 years ago was still alive and missing. For four days we tried the placate and reassure approach, but for every well intended reassuring word or "little white lie" we told her she came back with three or more questions. She wasn't buying any of it, and eventually became so determined to find him that she was on the verge of calling the state police and filing a missing persons report. We decided we had no choice but to tell her the truth. We located a copy of his death certificate (because we knew she'd demand proof) and spent two heart wrenching hours with her, watching her suffer through the grieving process all over again. It worked....she has accepted that he's gone now, but her memory has turned into alphabet soup...she doesn't remember going to his funeral, but she does remember placing flowers and a flag on his grave every Memorial Day....she understands it happened a long time ago, but she still thinks she needs to make phone calls and notify people. The anxiety she was feeling when she thought he was missing has eased now, but she's.....sadder. Today was the first day that she seemed to be coming to terms with it all and finding some peace. I thought we might finally be getting out of the woods, at least for a little while. Then her home care worker called out sick today so my "morning off" flew out the window. And then I discovered our dog (of almost 14 years) was not acting right. I called my daughter (a vet tech) and she came and got her. She knew as soon as she looked at her that she wouldn't be bringing her back.
I loved that dog. She was a royal pan in my butt sometimes, but I loved her. And I miss her terribly. There's one less heart beating in our home tonight and the silence is deafening. I know I'll get over it in time. I know things could be worse. I know there are many people out there suffering through FAR worse. And I know the pain in my heart isn't all about the dog. But right now, in this moment, it feels like a weight on my I'm swimming against the tide and the shore is slipping further and further away.
Don't know what I'm looking for here...guess I just needed to write it down - get it all out. Thnx for listening.


its just horrible hon. aunt edna has huge gaps in her memory that are missing. she says noone told her that her parents had died. they died decades ago and a decade apart and edna was their caregiver until their final breaths. right now she says shes over 200 years old but not sure how much over so she just rounds up to three hundred years old. most of the time shes content and even laughs a lot but we all know this only gets worse.
i understand the empty home too. when mom died it was just me and the parrot. too creapy, i was outta there in a matter of hours.. im guessing your doing a wonderful job of caregiving and youll have inner peace you never thought possible when the ordeal has ended. elders dont like phsyc docs but if you could get her to see one he could find something to calm her down. haldol worked for my mother. she still hallucinated but the visuals didnt frighten her.
yaya, big hug. You lost an important member of the family and that hole is going to take a long time to fill back in. I like to think that our loved pets will be on the other side waiting for us. I can't imagine Heaven without our loved animals with us.

I don't think there is much we can do for the symptoms of dementia beyond take it a day at a time. Right when we think things are flowing and make sense, things change. It can make our own sense of reality shift. I know exactly what you mean about feeling adrift. It is the way I feel most of the time.

There was one big heart I saw in what you wrote -- your vet tech daughter. You are so lucky. Vet techs are special people. I am glad that she was there to help your dog to the bridge. I know you are going to miss him.
Thank you captain, for the kind words AND the chuckle - love that aunt Edna "rounds up" :) This too shall pass, but for right now it just plain s**ks.
Your aunt is blessed to have you watching out for her. She couldn't find a better caregiver. And I'm looking forward to that inner peace. Think when it's all over I might wrap a little of it up, slip it into a bag of poop, light it on fire, and toss it at my SILS' feet.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. I have no words of advice, but I think mostly you just needed a good vent. You are grieving for your Dog, your MIL and your life. Let it out. Cry, Sleep, and get up and get though another day. You are a strong woman and you will get through this even stronger. I will be praying for you, my friend.
Jessiebelle - you are so right. I like to believe there's a place beyond here for animals too. And you're right about vet techs being special people. My daughter is a wonderful tech and I couldn't be more proud of her.

Boni - ((((((hugs))))))) ....and thank you. Having a beer and a (small) bowl of ice cream. Sleep can't be far behind.
i donno bout the flaming crap bag. ive experimented about 3 different times in the last year with not giving a person the argument they were looking for and the results have been astounding. i guess its cause i got thrown in the slam for running over a customers lawn hydrant. while your sitting there looking at the shoddy worksmanship of the block walls your thinking " well, i probably should have handled that differently " ..
oh well. for some things theres master card, for everything else theres 22.5 semi tires. knowing the difference is the complicated part.
Captain you're a gem! Didn't get a chance to read your last post until this morning but I wanted you to know it made me Laugh Out Loud :) My heart still aches, but after reading that it's feeling a little lighter now.
"...could have handled that differently.." BAHA!
So very hard for you to deal with so much heartache at once....I know the one unconditional love in my life is my animals. When I feel the weight of everything pressing in I know my solace is with them....

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