After spending up to 19 hrs per day at Mom's house since Dad's final illness, I've become aware that Mom's suffering from Dementia. The PCP pretty much confirmed this at her most recent appointment this week. If I wasn't so tired and burnt out, I could write a book full of the crazy, weird, paranoid things Mom has said and done just this year. I can't write a book, but I felt a need to share what it's like. So...here is just one very tiny example:
In preface, I've been cleaning and clearing junk out of every cupboard, closet and hidey hole in Mom's house, in order to prepare her for moving. I don't expect thanks, but Mom's inability to understand that she can't take the whole house with her when she downsizes is difficult to deal with. Now the other day, I began on the living room. There's a small bookcase at one end of the room, overflowing with stuff, and with more stuff piled around it. I thought I'd start there, while Mom was taking a nap. I made good progress with sorting out garbage and misplaced objects from the books. At last, as I was finishing, I found a picture in a frame that had been shoved sideways into the bookcase. It was a print of an outdoor Christmas scene -- with a decorated tree and stars above in a gold frame. As it isn't Christmas anymore, I began walking toward the basement door to put it with the boxes of decorations downstairs. Mom (who is deaf) uncannily woke up, leaped to her feet and got in my way. She grabbed the object in my hands and said in a pitifully small voice, "Don't .... don't". I removed her hands gently, and said, "What is it Mom? What's wrong?" She pointed at the picture and said something incoherent with another "dont" in it, to which I replied, "Yes, it's a nice picture, isn't it?" She then said, "Please, please, don't take that home with you." (picture, at this point, Kat pulling her own hair out in fistfuls)
Well, steam did come out of my ears at that point. I kept my temper and explained that I was only going to place it in the basement alongside the other seasonal things. Mom insisted that I mustn't do that or she would never find it again... (??), pried it out of my hands, and wandered away with it hugged to her chest...
I have no idea what she did with the picture, but it isn't back in the bookcase. It'll probably turn up in another odd place like the laundry room shelf or under the kitchen sink.
We jump down the rabbit hole WITH them when dementia is at play, literally. And that was early on in mom's journey, too. Things only went south from there, unfortunately.
I'm sorry you are going through this chaos with your mom, I can empathize with you all day long and twice on Sunday. There's no easy answer, either, except to say this: take care of YOURSELF as you travel this road. You won't be able to make mom happy no matter WHAT you do anyway, so keep that in mind. Her mind is broken and for that reason, there's no rhyme or reason to WHAT she says or does anymore. #Truth.
I bring Mom’s favorite cereal to her MC each week. Also, her favorite cookies.
Each and every time, I have to sneak out the empty cereal box, and the empty cookie bag. She gets possessive with the empties, and gets grabby, if I try to get rid of them, in her sight.
Same thing with used tissues. 😬
It’s all kinda gross, but I have to get that stuff outta there. 🤦🏻♀️
Dementia sure is weird.
I also got divorced after 25 years, was told I was too disabled to live on my own, but found it was the best thing ever for me.
I don't think it is necessarily a male thing. But I do know that I was driven to the brink of insanity trying to convince 1st H that there was more than one way to look at things.
After 24 years, I called it quits and found out I was perfectly able to live on my own. Something I was assured I would fail miserably at.
So, yes maybe arrogance is common among the male species.
Sorry, Katykat, I don't mean to take away from your concerns but I just had to say my piece.
I like what you said about working with his truth, while maintaining your own sanity.
That's where it is with caregiving for people with Dementia. Their truth is so changeable...we have to be always ready to expect the unexpected.
In agreement with Barb, don't apologize, don't delete.
You did nothing wrong, and had all good intentions to help your Mom. Something she can no longer do.
Just yesterday, my dH and I were going around and around, and I was trying to get to the truth so we could move on, removing blockades from our moving forward. Dh comes across as arrogant sometimes. In exasperation, I said that he acts like he is smarter than everybody else, and what others know do not count to him.
He answered, "I am smarter than everyone else".
Thanks for creating a thread so I can make this unimportant and absurd comment. I am trying to work with his truth, while maintaining my own sanity.
I can't tell you the number of times during my mom's 5 years of vascular dementia when I wrote stuff here instead of climbing the walls, screaming or giving up.
We are here for each other, kiddo.
Oh you bet!...I have been doing a lot of yelling and screaming at the walls of my house when I get back home at night.
Thanks so much for the well wishes.
You just have to do your best and make sure that you're taking good care of yourself along the way.
And if it just gets to be too much, go out on the back porch or patio and scream at the top of your lungs. You'll be amazed how much better you will feel after doing that.
I wish you and your mom the very best.