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I'm mad at myself once again today, after an afternoon of shopping with my 80-year-old Mom (recently diagnosed and being treated for mild dementia). She was having a bad day herself, because she also suffers from aphasia (the inability to find the words you need to communicate) and was having a horrible time trying to explain to the saleslady what she was looking for. I usually take a step back, because I've been told that being supportive is better than taking over, which is my nature. I should probably also mention that I am not a shopper myself, I've never understood the need to try oodles of things on and compare every last detail of a garment before deciding on something. But my Mom has always loved shopping, so it's something we do often now at her request. After three hours of trying on dozens of items in several stores, I noticed that my Mom was simply unable to make a decision. This might be a new symptom of her dementia, or it might just be her nature - since I became her full-time caregiver, I have to keep reminding myself that I am dealing both with a person who is changing, and with a parent that I am getting to know all over again. Mom and I never shopped together before this! In any case, my impatience spilled over a few times, with my voice getting edgy (if it's not comfortable, Mom, just put it aside and try the next one!), which ended in her feeling rushed, which was not at all what I intended. I apologized immediately and said - Let's take all the time you need! But the damage was done and she insisted on going home at that point. I feel like a horrible person. And I know that these moments come and go, and that our love is unconditional, and that I can't be too hard on myself. I know all these things! I just wish that I could learn a way to be more compassionate and more patient.... any tips from other Type A caregivers??

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OhJude: Yes, of course, the Stones reference. Thanks! No one wants to get on benzos for very long. Keith Richards was hooked on everything under the sun ....or moon!
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I have only just had time to sit and read through all the comments and can i just say each and everyone of you are marvellous.... and "mothers helper" thats just hillarious and i love the openness of everyones circumstances. love to you all for xmas
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LorrieB, its funny but I have, for a long time, had the opposite issue where I never talked about what was going on with me. I always focused on my wife, the patient. So, any discussion was directed at her issues and her care and never about me. So, I had all this built up stuff like, anger, resentment, fear, etc. and a counselor recommended that I discuss it more often. I would feel guilty about talking about my issues when my wife is the one with the disease but I now understand that we are both in this thing together. It has really helped.
I do understand that we don't want to talk about it all the time and certainly it gets old always having to give everyone an update and always the first thing we talk about. We need distractions, for sure.
But, it is good to talk and share. That's why I am here!
OhJude, I get it now and yes, I was confused a bit. Getting our rest is essential to giving good care and keeping ourselves healthy. I wish I could just turn off my brain at night sometimes.
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Just to clarify because I have been inboxes I meant sleep deprivation is a killer. Purely because we can do things so totally out of sync and without focusing effectively enough to keep ourselves safe. Not meds - if you are prescribed meds you take them as prescribed. Sorry for the confusion people xxxx I haven't had sleep!!!!! See what I mean
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You're absolutely right, MidKid. At the beginning of this adventure, I told my siblings "Please don't make every conversation we have all about Mom and Dad... I still have my own passions and interests and I need you to be interested in those as well as what I'm doing during the day." Of course, they still need to be reminded, but it's very frustrating when you only have an hour or so to chat, and most of it is all about the caregiving....as opposed to "Who won The Voice?" :)
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Yep---little side trip went on there...back to the original post...What do we do to deal with our own impatience?? (Besides listening to the Stones??)
We vent, for one, and get off track, just like friends do when they're chatting.
One thing I think caregivers MISS is the ability to just have a conversation (like this thread) that IS NOT about caregiving, their loved ones decline, etc. I know my hubby will happily listen to me "complain" about mother for about 5-10 minutes, and then he gets this look that says "OK--let's move on". Being able to say what we feel in a safe place is one way we ALL seem to cope without losing it.
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Hey gals - perhaps you should start a new thread? It might be good to have a discussion about meds and other relief for caregivers?
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jgsigs if only I were brave enough to allow the doc to prescribe them I would defy be on them. I just too scared I will sleep through Mum needing me during the night. Needing sleep right now just 2 hours a night for the last 2 nights - sleep deprivation AGAIN. Its a killer and I mean that literally it has been known to be a killer xx night night all xx
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I saw The Stones just a few years back and up close. They were amazing and I still can't believe the energy. They have full time workout managers, for sure. I was impressed and they still entertain. We should all be so active! I doubt they do any recreational drugs as this point. They work hard for 70 year old rock stars!
I have a bit of anxiety, well really I have anxiety period but sometimes it gets the best of me so I take a Alozopram which is ....Valium? Not often, every other month or so when I am frazzled, but I would more often if necessary. It works. My wife is very sick and gets extremely anxious so she takes stronger stuff. All of these drugs can be dangerous and can also be very effective if handled correctly. I am under the impression that many of us take anti anxiety drugs when needed.
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Jagger - mummified? And stuck to a window? I'm having some really good laughs tonight.

Actually, he used to be quite the performer, and could really belt out the songs - especially ones like Can't Get no Satisfaction, Under my Thumb, Paint it Black, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Lady Jane, She's a Rainbow....those were some of my favorites.

Their music and compositions flirted with so many subjects that were almost taboo; they had no compunction of being critical of society.

Jagger has more energy at 72 than most people do at half that age. Of course, half the people might not be using whatever he uses to keep him going.

Still, the music groups of the English invasion were really trend setters and made incomparable contributions to American music.
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And JB yes they start a tour of South America in 2016.... Zimmer frames are apparently on standby!!!!!
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Because he is British and so am I and I apologise up front to anyone I offend...and only because he has been the butt of jokes for a very long time.....when he was much younger people used to say the only reason his lips were the way they were is because his mum was scared of losing him. So scared she used to give him a big wet sloppy kiss and then stick him to the shop window by his lips while she did her shopping!!!

We were so cruel back then
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I just checked. He's only 72. He is one rough looking 72 I have to admit. Still performing, though, from what I hear.
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Midkid, you don't have to worry about anxiety here. I have bouts of panic disorder and mother's little helpers (Xanax) certainly did help me get through.

Jagger is about 80 now. Wow at the energy. I don't think I ever had that much. He's never been a looker, but he is certainly the entertainer.
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Sorry, I get a little defensive about my anxiety issues.
And yes, I have seem Mick Jagger on a Jumbotron at a concert. Scary as heck. Guy looks mummified. Keith Richards isn't much better.
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The ironic thing about the Stones song is their reputation for doing drugs themselves. Anyone ever watched Jagger on stage during a performance?
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No thats fine mids I was just worried that you were taking them without prescription - phew and big hugs.
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Yup. I have a prescription. And I see my psychiatrist twice a year. Let's not get judgy....we all have to do what we have to do to cope and be productive.
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Gin and tonic with a squeeze of lime -- no one wants to roll up their sleeves and clean and help!! I feel real sorry for the 70 million aging yuppies! Going to b a real shocker!!!
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I seriously hope you aren't taking what I knew as mother's little helper before dealing with your Mum unless you have a prescription for them to be used in that way - they used to be benzodiazapines so yes valium, diazepam are those drugs and they are highly addictive. SEND - TO BRING YOU INTO THE LOOP

It comes from A rolling stones lyric to a song of the same name:Mothers Little Helper

What a drag it is getting old
Kids are different today
I hear every mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day
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Feeling way way out of the loop! Had no idea that is what 'mother's helper meant.
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Go all of us!
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Midkid: Is a "mother's helper" diazepam?
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Jgsigs, once written in the cloud that you are amazing, it lives on forever, you don't get to take it back!
So, you are amazing!
Lol.
We could all do better not to doubt ourselves.
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I hope everyone knows I was just having fun. Amazing or not, I am just trying to keep a sense of humor. As others have posted, you are all amazing just by caring for others. Sometimes, just being goofy helps me get through a day. :)
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We all are amazing!! And I routinely took a "mother's helper" before I dealt with mother.
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D*mn, the more I think of it, yes, I am amazing. Go me!! LOL
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I think you all amazing... taking my mother shopping is a nightmare on a brilliant day and we don't have many of those. I'd have done what you did Lorrie, exactly what you di except I would have taken her home WAAAAAAAY before you.

I think we need some short of shopping pill (Valium?!!!!!) to cope with Mum shopping. Mum can make choices now but she can't make a decision. And he desert would freeze over and camels come home on ice skates if I ever let her see the prices. She has gone a long way back in time and wouldn't dream of paying what in your money is about $2 for a pair of leather shoes!!!!
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LorrieB you have all the right ords and phrases to describe the debarcle you find yourself in. You are completely normal and we all have off days. Your human. Allow yourself to have an off day-i give you permission!!! I would rather rub my face with a cheese grater than take my mum with dimentia shopping at xmas time with 3 children,yet i do. Some days are good and some are bad but if i may say so were all doing a pretty tough job by choice with very little thanks. Your doing fine xx
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I doubt it llama

But I am perfect as per acronym

I just think we should step back sometimes and value ourselves for what we do that no-one else in our respective families does, wants to help with, or even acknowledges. I know that's not the case in all families but I don't think we recognise the strength we have that has allowed us to
put our lives on hold for very little or no pay at all,
cope with constant criticism,
deal with the variety of settings we find ourselves in that we never expected to have to even know about,
handle financial affairs
make decisions about really life altering stuff,
putting others before ourselves
actually care about another human being so much that we stand tall and protect them

Nothing is perfect in this world but thats why I created the acronym - so that we can see we are 'perfect' in our own very special way
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