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I'm ready to say good-bye to my mother. She lives on the east coast---me on the west. I have only one other sibling ---who is no help at all (and more of a threat to her). My parents and I have been close all of our lives. We've done alot for them over the years, trips, etc. and they've always appreciated it.My Dad passed away in '96. Since then, my mother asked my husband and I to have her house put in our name---"so the government wouldn't someday get it". We kept saying no---because in our business---we had to put all we owned on the line all the time. In 02, my mother had to be hospitalized, almost died, and discovered that she had emphysema. I, of course, flew back and was by her side through it all and left after 10 days and it was clear she would be okay. We took one of our children and their kids back to visit about 6 weeks later. We rented a camp--so as not to put her out and had her stay with us. We also decided to go ahead and put the house in our name and give her life lease and also credit for the value of the house. (value---very small--about 43,000.) We helped her buy a newer car with some of that, and updated the furnace, roof, stairs, and other items that needed tending. We began paying for the taxes, ins. etc. We have always done things for her---like buying her a new computer----spending hours and hours explaining over and over how to open her email.(I thought this would be good for her mind and we could send pictures often, etc.) We pay for her internet hook-up, I buy her vitamins all the time---as she won't see a Dr. (they are all evil and only after your money)and it's the only thing she will consider to do that might help her. I also have her on our cell phone plan---to take with her when she drives---in case of an emergency. I bought her the help line to wear around her neck.---- 3 years ago---we helped her update her will. She had been complaining that she never finished the simple one that she had done just after my Dad passed away. So---when we go back to visit, we have her write up a list with all the things that we can do to help her around the house and spend a few days doing it (then we try to go to a camp to enjoy one another and are able to have other family come to visit too. My husband and our kids love being on a lake). So, we decided this time---we'd help her take care of her will. I looked into the internet and saw that we could do one there for about 30.00. I sat her down beside me for every question------and got her answers. If she wasn't sure, I would suggest something simple--- she would say okay. Basically, she always wanted whatever was left to be divided up evenly with my brother and I, with me taking care of things. Very simple. (When we transferred the house, after her withdrawal amounts were paid back all would be divided up evenly---was written in that document.) Dealing with her over these past few years---has slowly become a living nightmare!!!! She says that was all my husbands idea to have the house transferred and that she wants the papers back to her original deed. She says it's her house. Then she will say--it be coming back to her anyway in '09. ??? What she repeatedly says makes no sense---like well, if you bought my house---where's my money? then we'll explain about the car, repairs, etc. and she'll say " all you ever talk about is money! I'll send you the d--- money". I could go on and on---with the craziness!!! The will----she knew nothing about and says we did that will how we wanted to and stole papers from her file!! My husband opened her small file box (because she had misplaced her keys)and handed it to her. She swears that he went through it and stole some papers!! As we say---why would we? and that of course we didn't ever take any papers! She is absolutely convinced that he did it! My mother knows that we have always been upright, honest people----but has turned her opinion around that we are thieves and liars! This is soooo hurtful! She contacted her original attorney for a copy of her old unfinished will after I gave her a copy of what she gave me. She first said how did you get my will---I never gave it to you (which she did) I told her maybe she would be convinced when the attorney sent her a copy of exactly what I gave her. When he did---she said that was not the will that she did and then called him (and accused him of I don't know what!!) and asked if he was on the internet. He said yes, his firm was. So---now she thinks that he and I were in cahoots and forged her signature on the old will! I'm not sure why we would even do that! It is all so crazy!!!! I have developed severe stomach attacks from the stress of all of this --that puts me down for a couple of weeks at a time! My husband and I have been planning to go back again this fall and help her out---and try to do some enjoyable things with her. She says no----that she's not comfortable with us. She seems to be okay for part of our conversation---but it always comes back to her wanting her papers back that we stole. About 6 months ago---she called to say she found some of the papers she had accused us of taking. I said---so Mom, you realize that we never took them, right? she said --oh, well you put them back in the box. I said when? we live 3000 miles away! she said---oh when you were here last. None of it lines up or makes any sense. We have been called money-hungry, lovers of and controlled by Satan! I really am finished! (I can't begin to tell you the hurtful things she says to me. I think that's how she gets back at me---by trying to say something to hurt me.) My question---after all of that... Do we just transfer the house back in her name and let what will happen ---happen? I don't think that will make her happy either. She seems to find fault with any way that we try to help her. She actually complains about everything....like "not one soul called me today---nobody cares about me. Or---so and so called and talked for over an hour! I couldn't wait to get them off of the phone! They are such greedy, proud people!" (Always something negative)I have overlooked things and forgiven her time and time again---but don't think I can take it anymore. I typically call her every few days and tell her to call me if she ever needs anything! (She has a lot of confusion with things) I want to help my mother and help make her last years happier---but I don't think it's possible. Her health is not very good. Since she refuses to see a Dr., we're not sure about some things. We know she has emphysema---but her oxygen level is above the point needing oxygen (I bought her an at-home oxometer) She has no feeling in her feet, and is exhausted and out of breath from doing very simple things. She does still have her license and gets out 2 or 3 times a week (except during the winter).(At night---she says she's okay as long as she can follow someones tail-lights!! scary!)She's only 78---and could probably live much longer if she would see a Dr. It may be her circulation clogged or her heart. But who know? We've gone round and round about Drs. to the point where I've given up. Totally exasperated---I hung up the phone today telling her I never want to be in touch again......I feel I've lost my mother. She brings me (basically a very patient person)---to the point of craziness and it's taken its toll! I don't think I can handle things with her anymore. Any help or suggestions???
PS. I have her all lined up to get help (housework,etc) with a state organization---but again---she just won't do it or let me make the call! (She'd rather complain!)I don't think she wants anything to be my idea...Perhaps, if I'm out of her life---she'll have to rely on these other organizations----even if it takes her being admitted to the emergency room.

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Yeah, Secret Sis, I know ALL about it. Read about narcissisium and you will find my and your mom, even tho there are a few things that don't match, most will. My mother is in real kind words "a bitch" and she does not care about anybody but herself and will do and say anything to have her way. I really regret falling for her begging in the nursing home, please, please, come get me, Im going to die here. Truth is, she would have, and I work there, am weekend house supervisor. I know all about the crap they have to do. She fell and broke her tailbone and that is why she was there. She could not walk. I put her there for therapy to get back walking and go back to her apt. Well, then she went nuts on some meds for pain and they deamed her incompetent and told me she could not go home alone. I moved out her apt to my home and brought her here. Dear God what a mistake. Now she is able to go back to her apt and I lost it. I am working on getting her another one but it is going to be 7 weeks and I don't think I can stand it that long.
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2old, I hear you, and understand what you're saying. I have a self-serving mother who's tried to not only twist, but hang me from the gallows, using the system against me. She is bent on evil, and I was just the kid trying to help. Since she's been evil all my life, I did NOT move her in, (especially since people on this site warned me not to). It wasn't an option, and now I'm so glad I trusted my instincts on that. People like this take advantage of their offspring, the system, and anyone else who they can devour. Evil is rampant, but its especially difficult when it exists and is used against one by their own mother. I was stupid enough to think I could help. Am I am being sorely punished for it. Just trying to disentangle intact and cut my losses. I'm trying to get free from the lair and let mom focus on devouring the next victim.
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If your mother has dementia and cannot pass the cognitive test (MMSE) then you can become her health care proxy and then she will not have any say so in her health care . Of course she will need to be hospitalized for 3 days and nights and you can put her in a nursing home. Dementia is a cruel thing and it effects the kids more than the parents. A doctor will give her this test and deem her incompetent to make her own decisions, and I know "She is the Mother" but now you are whether it seems right or wrong. I am a registered nurse that supervises nursing homes and I was stupid enough to bring my dominating mother to my home and she has ruined my life. So get yourself some REAL help. Forget about the house. She will twist your mind until you loose it.
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I have had a battle with my mother about oxygen---since she found out she had emphysema in 02. Not believing in Drs.---I bought her an oxonometer (SP) so she can check her levels at home. When she does remember to do so----her levels do seem to be just above 90--maybe up to 94. A couple of readings recently have been 89. I'm told they recommend oxygen once it is below 90. My mother has seen a few friends die and because they were on oxygen non-stop during their last remaining months---she thinks that is what they died from!!! I do need to remind her to check it again as her confusion and memory seem to be worse.
I do have a praise though! She has finally allowed me to contact some care facilities to get her some help at home. We have had to put her on a list---that may take 4 or 5 months to get the Goold assessment for financial aid---but through Cathloic Charity---will be having them give a couple of hours every other week--paying the full price for now. (Their assessment is this Friday) But---she was sooooo negative and adamant about not getting ANY help--that this is very refreshing to have her be in agreement---as she does need the help---(she sometimes goes without groceries, etc)! Thank you to those who have prayed. I will feel much better just having someone else to help her out and be able to contact me---if they see additional concerns. Also---once we get the Goold assessment---we may be able to get a little nursing help too. It's a start for future needs. Blessings to you all!
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Anytime my dads oxogen got depleted,he would get forgetful or sometimes very hostile.It was part of the heart disease. It was very painful to us.One minute he would be one way and the next,WATCH OUT. Thats when we would do a hospital run.It is so nice to know their are others out there who understand how hard it all is. I never had family who cared about our problems.
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What a wonderful post, Beth!
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It will pass. I know it's a long road and even for the most patient person in the world will break when having to deal with this type volume of stress and hurt. Are you in the State of Maine? Just in case you are, let me give you the phone number for Elder Independant Services, which are the ones that would set your mom up for the Goold Assessment. In order for your mom to have the agency come in to have Maine Care pay for it, I think you would need this first. My mom did. For Starters here is the office in Bangor, Maine across from the Maine Discovery Museum: Ph.# (207)990-1581. Ask to speak with Nicole. She is SUPER! She will have Goold call you. There are two agencie that we used for a short time -Once we found the help that was good - It was too late because of mom's severity. We were doing 24/7 by ourselves for months before we received some help. The agencies that I had Nicole use for my mom, once the Goold Assessment was done are: Home Care for Maine - Contac person that I had was Carrie - PH# (207)588-2035. The other agency is - Care and Comfort - my contact person was Rachel - PH# (207)861-5863. It doesn't matter the town that the offices are at because they service the whole State of Maine. The first one is in Farmingdale - right next to Gardiner. The 2nd one, Care & Comfort office is in Waterville. If you are in the Bangor Area, the person you would want to meet with at Human Services for your mom would be "Lance Schope" - PH# (207)561-4333 or 1-800-432-7825. I am also going to give to you the name of a facility that is a nursing home, but that does "Skilled Rehab", "Long-Term" & they also have "Assited Living". This is at "Orono Commons" on the Bennoch Rd. in Orono. This is an awesome place for care.

It sounds you and your husband are doing a great job for your mom. Don't ever give up hope, just remember, you and your husband are the ones that have always been there and are the ones that "Mom" is going to vent out on. Deep down, your mom is probably scared and is not ready to say out loud that she is really crying out. Being independant is a good thing until this time comes to admit when you no longer can take care of yourself. Just one week before my dad died, he finally allowed himself to tell the "Goold" Assessment person that he needed help. All the other times, he would use every bit of strength he had to get himself up as if he could manage. We had to tell him that it's ok.

If you are not in Maine, you can still call the numbers I gave you and I know they will assist you with contacts in your state.

Best of luck and I, as well as many others that are part of the caregivers on the site are here to help each other. You will be in my prayers and am here if you need to just vent! Sincerely, Beth -
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I really appreciate all of your sharing and comments. It does help to know that others are dealing with some of the same issues---and frustration and pain. I also appreciate the comment about the "toothfairy" movie----which reminds me to try to keep a smile on and find humor where I can. -----My mother has been SOOOOO adamant about not seeing any Dr! She says God is her healer---and she is so negative about Drs. (she is actually negative about everything!) In 2002---she almost died before we all realized how sick she was with an obstructed bowel. Finally the ambulance was called and she was too sick to fight them. I flew back the next day (across the country and then a drive for 3 hours) and when I got there---the Dr. said "I hope you are not like your Mom! I have never met a more stubborn woman in all my life!" She would not let them touch her until I got there! (Those were the days when she still trusted me and counted on me and would do whatever I suggested!) She did end up having complications---but pulled through---but things really started to go downhill after that with our relationship. It seemed to come on in spurts over the next few years---but she would call me and start in with these terrible accusations and had forgotten the actual incidents and events surrounding it. She has emphysema --but doesn't require oxygen. She doesn't have much feeling in her feet and fingers---so I'm afraid she may have artery clogging (She smoked up until the 02 surgery). She may have even had some mini strokes. I have read some articles---and have wondered about vascular dementia. But---I really don't think I will ever get her to a Dr. without an emergency. We had a terrible ordeal when she had to see an eye Dr. in order to keep her drivers license. So---I'm getting off the subject---but wanted to say she would never agree to get a medical evaluation at this point. She is able to get dressed and do minimal housework and keeps herself clean, etc. She has done much of her own grocery shopping---but has stairs to climb and has a very difficult time with it all. She has also been able to get out about once a week to play Beano. (We are concerned with her driving especially at night!)--- She has gotten worse and in the past 4 or 5 weeks has had a hip giving her trouble walking. She has found some friends to help with groceries --but they are not always dependable. So---she finally did say I could call Maine Care. I have found out that they will only help (financially) if she needs nursing care in home. At this point, she is saying yes to grocery help and lite housework. (This is actually amazing---- finally!). So we have called a Catholic Charity agency that was recommended to help us get the correct help. We are waiting to make contact ---hopefully tomorrow. This is certainly a start and I hope and pray that it works out. So---I am learning to certainly let many things that she says--- slide---and just agree and change the subject quickly. I do really feel sad that she thinks my husband and I have mistreated her so badly---when it is the furthest from the truth. I would love to help make her last years as pleasant as possible. She just isn't allowing me. But---I do call her daily and help with whatever I can---and I guess will just have to take it day by day. I guess these past few years have been causing me to slowly let go.--- She does have a Goold Assessment Agency nearby. I wonder if they will have to be called before the Catholic Agency can help? I'm new at this and am not sure how it all works---but guess I will start finding out more tomorrow. I agree dementia is a horrible disease. Oh, my Mom did just tell me that she saw someone on TV who was talking about dementia and gave a few tests one could do to access themselves. One was being able to count backwards from 50 to 1. She said she was able to do all of the tests---so was glad she actually didn't have dementia! I just kept quiet and wondered then "what in the world was causing all the problems". I guess it is all quite complicated and I may never quite know-----unless she is forced into a nursing home where she will get some medical attention. I just wish she were not so sad, lonely and ready to die. Thanks again---for all of the comments and heart shared information and suggestions. I'm sure I will review them from time to time for encouragement. I will also let you know how the Catholic Charity organization is able to direct us. Has anyone seen their loved one go past this state of anger and accusations----into a milder temperament? I'm hoping perhaps that may happen. Blessings to you all.
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Hi cnichols - I think the others have pretty much summed it up. It is so difficult to have to deal with so much after giving all of yourself, and then some. You might have read one of my comments about things w/my mom, whom has Parkinson's & the Dementia that goes along w/it. My husband & I (Like you & your Husband) have always been the ones that have been there for my mom and dad. Well, shortly before my dad died, which was Memorial Day night of 2008, he & mom finally agreed to have a "Goold Assessment" done to have Elder Independent Services come to the home. Due to the severity of mom's Parkinson's,she was able to get a waiver and so we went to Human Services to see if they could get assistance. We were told that if they could sign the home over to a legally disabled family member, then mom could receive it. A few years before that I had to stop working for medical reasons, so they intrn signed the home over to me. I have also been taking care all of their bills since 2001. After dad died, my mom was 24/7 care and moved in w/us. As her dementia worsened, she would do the same thing to me. She is in a nursing home right now. Just the other day, she started on the money thing again.

When mom was still living w/us and caring for her24/7 when she started on the money and house (Which I think she may have had a little help from someone else trying to get her money) I would get out her checkbook and show her everything. Even though I knew and know that it is her "ILLNESS" talking, it still really hurt and at the beginning, I felt the same way as you. I would get so ugly and hurt and because we have always been the ones that were always there for her and dad, they would go without to hand money to my siblings and I was the one that always stood on my own 2 feet and never took a dime from them. My mom would say the same things to me and what was really upsetting - We live about 100 miles from mom's brothers and sisters families, She would get on the phone and they would ask her how she was doing & wouldn't you know it, all of a sudden she would say how we were taking all of her money and that she had nothing and how awful we were being. Talk about being furiously hurt. BUT - I HAD TO GIVE MYSELF A REALITY CHECK BECAUSE THIS WASN'T MY MOM. MY MOM HAS ALWAYS BEEN SO GENTLE & KIND. SO I WOULD GET ON THE PHONE & PRAYING THAT THEY WOULD REALIZE THAT IT WAS THE DEMENTIA TALKING, NOT "MOM". It really took me awhile because all I could do was basically sit back & deal with it. Then, you would see mom just sit there and all of a sudden start crying because she was coming out of the confusion. She would apologize and try to sort things out in her mind.

Dementia is a horrible disease and it is really scary for the person with it, as well as those of us watching it happen to our loved ones. Only because of the close relationship that you have always had with your mom, it truly sounds like this might be what is happening to her. Hopefully, there will be a way to get your mom seen, even if it is at home through an assessment from one of the agencies.

Hang in there and just know that it isn't anything you/husband has done. I will be praying for you.
Sincerely, Beth
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LOL Perhaps you'll have to view the sequel...
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Took my mother-in-law to see the movie 'Toothfairy' tonight. Now I know why she asks the same questions over and over again like she never heard it before. It's 'fairy dust' that causes her to have temporary amnesia. When thrown on someone, they forget what they just heard or saw and ask about it over again. Now I just gotta figure how I can turn off that stupid dust machine.... ha.
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Great posts!! Great info and insight, too. Thank you, all!
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My father is 76 and he has spells when he acts like your mother and he has the same episodes of paranoia. He has bad eyesight and will accuse people of stealing clothes and other items and when I pick them up and say "Dad they are right here." He then thinks someone is playing a trick on him. You cannot convince or argue with someone with paranoia (dementia). I try to convince myself that his spells are due to his medications and blood sugar levels.

You would be amazed at how often the children who help end up being the ones spit on. It is hard.

You may have already lost the mother you knew. Her mind is playing tricks on her unfortunately. She may be having mini strokes which are affecting her mind. My dad was finally diagnosed with vascular dementia and is now much better on medication for that.

I hope your mom gets help. It is unfortunate that when they need the help the most people can become so difficult. It almost seems like they get very angry at their life situation and they also want to make sure you are miserable too.
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CNichols - I thought it sounded like alz. because of the confusion and memory loss. As far as remembering over and over the things she has accused you of, they can also get obsessed on one thought or one activity, etc. My grandmother (mom's mother) had alz. She was always the sweetest lady, but began accusing her family of stealing money from her purse and feeling like people (family) 'were against her. They will also ask the same things over and over and tell you the same things over and over. I've done alot of research on dementia/alz because of my dad. His started with trouble recalling words when he was telling stories and it slowly got worse and worse. Drs. thought it was the start of alz. Finally the neurologist said he had Aphasia (difficulty with speech & communication). We finally had a "word" to call his illness besides my word.... "nightmare". Aphasia is usually caused by a stroke or brain injury, but in his case it was how his dementia started. We took him to an aphasia specialist in chicago. They said he did have aphasia and other cognitive difficulties and possibly it was the start of alz. although it isn't "typically" how alz. starts. It took a couple of years before the neurologist said he doesn't think it is alz. My dad's memory doesn't seem to be effected like alz. patients. My dad probably has "frontotemporal dementia". It has effected his speech, communication, executive functions (abilty to process & complete activities) and now is incontinent. (That's the worst of it all - guess the part of the brain that tells you to go to the bathroom just quit working.) He seems to know who we are and understand alot of what we say to him, but he only says a few words now. A neurologist can help determine what area of the brain is damaged and as you said - it will help you know what behaviors, etc. to expect. Drs. say you can never know for sure unless you do an autopsy when they pass away. What ever the name of the dementia it is all very sad to watch someone you love go through this and difficult for every one involved. My poor mom helped take care of my grandmother and went to the nursing home daily until she died. Now she has to care for my dad too. I try to understand that this is probably why she is angry and has a hard time accepting this. Someone else mentioned hospice care in the posts. They do cover alz./dementia patients now. They will come and assist them with showers/bathing up to 3 times a week. They assisgn a social worker who helps manage the situation and makes recommendations on what to do and how to handle things. They have a nurse come once a week or more if needed to check vital signs and work as liason between patient and their dr. A Chaplain comes every couple of weeks to talk to the family and pray together. They order any supplies needed for the patient, etc. This is all covered my medicare. If they won't put her on hospice, she should qualify for "home health care". We don't even say the word hospice to my dad - we didn't want him to think he was about to die. Now patients can be put on hospice and it doesn't mean it is the last days of their life. I'm glad your mom is checking into home health -it a start. You can call the agencies in your moms area and discuss your situation and they can give you good advise on your options. Another idea is assisted living. We finally just moved both of my parents into a companion suite, so my mom and their little dog oscar can live there too. It is a lock down facility so my dad can't wander off,(wandering is another thing to be concerned about with your mom) but my mom can come and go as she pleases. The first couple of weeks have been a little crazy, but I'm hoping they will both be happy there. It took alot of persuading to convince my mom to do this, but she finally agreed. (Many conversation over the last year) You do not have to sign a contract, so it is month to month. We convinced her to try it and we kept her house for right now, in case they want to move back home. They seem to be settling in well and it is like a small community. They all help each other and keep an eye on each other and you have 24 hour staff to help when you need it. You also have privacy in the apartment where at home my mom had caregivers for my dad there all day long and that drove her crazy too. they are getting 3 meals a day and the food is pretty good. I told mom I may check on myself an apartment - 3 meals a day, laundry, house cleaning, etc. Sounds pretty good to me. I'm glad someone started facilities like these, because it is so different from "nursing homes" long ago. You can get alot of information on the alzheimer's association web site or call them and they are very helpful and nice. Thank god we have professionals experienced with this because it just kind of blindsides you. I'm sure it's even harder being so far away. I'm 70 miles from my parents and even that is a challenge. Thank goodness I have a brother & sister in her town. Will keep you and all families dealing with this in my prayers. Take care and let me know how things are going.
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Thanks for your concern, prayers and comments. I do have a question to ask why you might think this is ahlzeimers rather than another kind of dementia. Not that it really matters......It is still heartbreaking. But maybe I could have a better grip on knowing what to expect.---- So----interesting you should mention getting home help. I have been suggesting this for a few years and in 08---made the initial contact---that she could then follow up on. She has been so irrational and adamant about this and has come up with every excuse why she would never call them---(yet complaining constantly about not being able to do things). Meanwhile---she is having such difficulties---particularly getting her groceries! She has been able to hire a couple of friends to help out here and there---but they haven't been very dependable. But, good news, just 2 or 3 days ago---she finally said she would contact one of the Care programs they have in her state! And she has confirmed it twice since then, so tomorrow I will help walk her through the phone call. (This is soooo difficult being 3000 miles away!) But---I am so thankful for this. She has been so difficult---that I wouldn't be surprised if she changes her mind----or maybe doesn't remember. I have been noticing lately that her memory is getting much worse. There is an issue with my brother that she and I have talked about probably 30 times in the past few years---and last week as we talked about it again---she said "no, I don't remember anything about that." She is also starting to tell me the same thing (a comment someone made)--- 4 or 5 times in the same conversation. She is also trying to give away almost anything she can get her hands on. We visited her in August and really had a good visit. Within a few weeks---she began accusing us (my husband and I) of things again that we even did this time????---and we were back to being bad people. She does still remember and believe all of the previous issues I have talked about here---such as taking her house from her (she had asked us for years to put it in our name ---which we finally did and gave her life lease and advanced her money for several things---which would someday be returned at the sale of the house) Anything left over would be divided equally between my one brother and myself---which was her wish. The accusations are "way out there" and make no sense! There are many accusations---that she believes are true---no matter how many times I have tried to explain them all logically! And she feels so hurt that we would do these things to her!!! Very frustrating!.......Some funny things she accused us of this last time was that we left boxes of shoes in her bedroom without telling her---and that she doesn't want and that are not hers! And that we filled her spare bedroom drawers with pillows, sheets, etc. things she has NEVER seen before and doesn't know what to do with. She will say "why did you do that?" And again---with all my explanations---as to why we wouldn't do that ---she just doesn't believe me. Does this sound like ahlzeimers too???
So---yes, we are taking this one day at a time and will be so glad to get her on her state care system to get her help at home---and hopefully have her set up for future needs. I would bring my Mom out here in an instant----but she just will not hear of it. Even though she complains of being so lonely, I tell her her 5 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren would all be close by for her to see all the time---if she were out here, and of course---I would be right here to help. I guess I can understand the security of being in the home you've lived in for over 50 years---and her wants to eventually go to the same little boarding home that her mother went to. I hope you are able to get issues worked out with your Mom. This aging is all such a difficult process---and you also have all your concerns for you Dad. Don't they say "old age isn't for sissies?" Thanks goodness we have prayer and our heavenly Father we can go to for comfort and help---but I agree it does help to have others in a similar situation to talk to and share thoughts. Thank you and God bless.
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To BDmach, I say, time to get out of her house. You did your job, you accomplished the goal of taking care of her after her back surgery, but let's face it, this isn't working living under one roof anymore. Your husband should be your first priority now. Your mother can get some help that comes in a few times a week if she wants, but move out already. It's time.
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I agree that when I was reading your details, the first thing I thought of was that your mom has alz. This has got to be difficult with her not going to drs., etc. Maybe you could contact a "home health care agency". This is usually covered by medicare. They will provide a social worker, nurse, and a "caregiver" to help with baths, etc, if needed. At least they can probably send you in the right direction for assistance. Even if you have to tell a "white lie" to get someone in her home to assess the situation.... it is worth doing it to get outside help. As far as your feelings being hurt - mine would be too, but remind yourself that this has got to be some kind of medical problem causing this. Take one day at a time and keep looking for resources to help you deal with this. I'm a daughter trying to navigate through this dementia "nightmare". - My dad has dementia that is different from alz. too. I always say it doesn's matter what name you give it - it is still a nightmare. my mom has always been very caring, but I think with my Dad she is in denial or something. Now that me and my siblings have finally accepted and figured out how to deal with my dad's illness. We are still trying to figure out how to deal with my mom. There are 4 kids and we do everything possible plus have outside help and she still can't deal with it. She doesn't like our advise and does the exact opposite of what we say, but at least she doesn't get real ugly about it. We can't figure out how to help her to accept his illness and deal with it positively. Maybe it helps us knowing that other people are dealing with similar situations. My thoughts & prayers are with you!!!
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Yeah I can imagine the nightmare!!! Any explanation from you won't make sense. To be very honest, I don't like to see myself like this. I know what it means to be on your side cuz my mom is just like your mom. We can call them whatever we want to call them, but all our explanations won't matter or be sensible for them. While I am also doing full-time caregiving, I keep my mind ahead of the time that I might fall into the same trap. Since I have one child also, I don't want her to be bothered in the future by this same situation happening now between me & my mom. I therefore visit Exit International website in case... at the end of the day, it is also my own responsibility to be responsible on how to go about if my life happens to be long and goes beyond the sensible, pleasant stage. I don't want this same thing happening again, to my daughter or her future family or to whoever they will hire to care for me. I want a clear reliable exit even before that happens. The whole 18 yrs of my caregiving experience is worth enough to plan my own exit strategy. Because this 18 yrs I have sort of lived a life not my own, I am like on autopilot, and I forgot who I am just because it's too draining, time-consuming, stressful to be a caregiver, daughter, breadwinner, family referee and a sandwich mom. It is very traumatic. I don't like to see myself become my mom 40 yrs from now! No no no!
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ddarkangel. What a beautiful response from your 11 year old. Thank you for sharing that and I agree with you, I will hope I can exhibit the same pure unconditional love....
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Hi Angela, Thank you for your encouraging response. It is good to hear others also say that this sounds like Alzheimers. Since my mother is adamant about not going to Drs. and doesn't trust them, I haven't got to hear this from a professional---which would be somewhat more comforting. She does have to go to a Drs. twice a year to get albuterol. I have talked to the nurse there----who says they have suggested other tests, etc. but my Mom will hear nothing of it---and lets them know so. They say they cannot force her to do anything she does not want to. Understandable, of course. I did express my concerns for dementia, but they said they could only ask if she wanted a CAT scan to see if perhaps she had had a stroke. I thought maybe they could do some simple questions, etc...that might give them some conclusions. They did not mention any. But I am interested to ask---what happens if I call Adult Protection Services? Do they have a right to contact her? Does she have to give them permission to test her? I can't imagine her going along with any of that. She is so upset that I have mentioned that perhaps she isn't remembering certain things---or is remembering them wrong. So-----I do believe this is all a process of me coming to terms with the fact that she does have a disease and learning how to "not respond" to certain things.
In response to your question----I have confided in a few close family members, who live near my Mom, about her situation. They're kind of keeping an eye on her---but no one is really there to help her out. They all have their own families and busy lives or have their own medical worries. My mother is also pretty offensive to others---and drives them away. She thinks her whole family has turned against her because she is a Christian. Remember the 2 page letter on hell sent to me? With that kind of attitude toward others ---she can be quite offensive. She has a couple of gals that she pays to help her with her groceries and a few chores. One gal is very nice but a little mentally challenged. At some point, she will need more help. As I mentioned earlier, I had her all set up with a Care program that would come in to help with light chores, groceries, whatever she might need, but she refuses to take the next step to get the help. Unfortunately, typically, not many would be willing to care for a parent like their child. I would love to be able to do more. it's very difficult living so far away. She refuses to come and live close by me. We've talked assisted living, which she absolutely refuses to do also. Perhaps the needs will become great enough---that it will be forced upon her. It is just a very sad way for her to spend her last years---especially being so lonely and thinking her only daughter has done these awful things to her. She's heart broken-----. Her hurt is all so unnecessary---but that's the name of the game when it's dementia.
But, as I said before, I'm really trying to have the right attitude and expect the unexpected and not take it to heart and just keep loving her.
Thanks for any info on calling Adult Services or if anyone has had simple tests done by a Dr. confirming some sort of dementia.
God Bless you all for your help and concern.
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I am just in awe of how you all deal with this day and out. I have only had a small taste and know I could not do this long term. As a nurse I find it so hard when my mom yells at me to separate myself from being her child to stepping back and realizing this is not her. It broke my heart the other evening when she was oriented, she was crying and said to me that she loved me and to just ignore her words. She knows she has those periods of being mean and hurtful, even tho she cant remember them much and it hurts her to know that my kids who help care for her also feel the burn of her words. The most frustrating part is to see her struggle with the loss of the independence, and to just slowly see her fight to be herself again. My 11 year old who is very wise, has been scolded several times for things she has not done and she just smiles and tells her grandma that its ok, she wont do it again. I wish I was as pure in my unconditional love as she is. I want to be like my daughter when I grow up. nite nite all...
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CNichols, I sat and read through your situation and there is little doubt in my mind that your mother does indeed have the beginning symptoms of Alzheimer's (or dementia) and to be quite honest she isn't responsible for her behavior. The accusations, the paranoia, and odd behavior are unfortunately part of the dementia. Since you far away, this will only make matters worse for you.

Doing all that you have I completely understand how you feel unappreciated and unloved. But that is not the case. You are now dealing with a disease that does not deal with rational behavior and a world where REASON does not exist. All actions can be suspect to them, and any actions you take that they do not understand will cause more confusion and resentment on their part. Even good intentions are misconstrued, and since they cannot remember 'who did what' it only gets more confusing.
So what can you do? I would consider calling Adult Protection Services and ask them to evaluate her, leaving your name out of it. Perhaps they can get her in for an evaluationl. Why do anything else? Because you love your mother. That is obvious!

It would be wonderful if you could move her into the guest house you have for her, but even that may not help things. Moving her there won't stop her from being paranoid or stop her from saying strange things. Sad, but it doesn't work that way.

I am not an expert, but dealing with disease is not easy. Understanding that they cannot change, so we have to.

Barb: I know of what you speak too, my mother knows who I am MOST of the time, but when she doesn't I experience the same things you mentioned. At first it really upset me too, but I just had to realize that it was the Alzheimer's that had taken control that day, not that my mother wanted to forget me.

Other days, it made things much easier when she didn't thnk of me as her daughter. And if she asked about her daughter, I would tell her that she 'just called' while you were napping, and sends her best. That would at least let her know that her 'daughter' didn't forget about her.

CNichols: I can just imagine how confusing it is for you, with you being on the West coast and Mom on the East coast. Do you have any other family members or friends near your Mom that you can confide in? You need someone to be a mediator or liason for you. I pray you can find someone to help you. My heart goes out to you.

Angela
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Thank you caregiverslight---for your encouragement and kind words. It really helps to try to understand the disease a little more clearly. And secret sister---giving very good advice for Barbara. One of my first thoughts for Barbara was to move out---if there was any way possible. If you were close enough by---you could still look in on your mother and help take care of the yard, etc. It IS too bad to be letting your mother come between you and your husband. (These are years to be enjoying and supportive one another. Soon enough, we may be the ones perhaps needing care--or not have the other one.) Your mother may be having dementia set in. It apparently is different with everyone--in how it affects them-----but this negativeness, and accusations especially to loved ones, seems to be such a common pattern. I believe I read that 50% of people over 85 will have some sort of dementia! I got a letter from my Mom yesterday---that was two pages of what hell is like (quotes from the Bible) and then she tells us it is up to us what we decide. My husband and I accepted Christ in 1974 and actually got my Mom to come to church with us and give her life over to him.....so, what is she thinking?????---Apparently that is just it---she is not able to think properly anymore. I have seen pictures of what the plaque on the brain looks like. No wonder their thinking is all messed up. But-----as with your Mom, she appears quite normal much of the time---and these things just throw you for a loop!!! It is so hard not to be upset and offended!!!! Like you and your husband, I feel I have always bent over backwards to do whatever I could to help out my Mom, and be there for her---and then to have her attack, call me a liar, a thief! and on and on-----is so frustrating and painful! So, as I was offended looking at the latest letter. I was thinking---"do we really want to go back there to visit her?" As secretsister said---how much verbal abuse can/should we subject ourselves too? Yet, she is my mother, a widow and very much in need of help (and of course I love her)! So, yes we are going---and are going to try to not get offended and perhaps to EXPECT the ridiculous---and just smile at it---realizing it's the disease. I was thinking of the Bible verse in 1 Peter 4:12 that says "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings......" Last night I looked at the letter and thought this is like a test. How will I respond? I told myself I should be expecting things like this and overlook the offense that it should be giving me (and did at first)!! I realize that this scripture is meant in a little different light---but it still spoke to me---that I should be expecting that more of these things are likely to happen---as long as my mother has this disease. This is not uncommon to SO MANY people who are dealing with a loved one with some form of dementia. I am to do whatever I can to help her out of my love and commitment to her. But also, not let it ruin my life. Not take the abuse---that about gave me a heart attack. Not let it so affect me---that I cannot be the joy to my husband and other family members that I should be. This is not an easy thing to do-----and I will probably fail on my trip to see her in August---but I am going to pray that God will see me through it and will help me to realize---when the offenses come---not to take them personally, not to expect to be able to reason with her, and not think it as strange. I hope to look at each incident like a fiery trial----that I just need to respond correctly to, which is basically to ignore the comment---and then change the subject. I did have a nurse acquaintance (in charge of an Alzheimer unit)tell me, the 2 most critical things to do with these people is to "Reassure and Redirect". Maybe I should put in front of that "Rejoice"---that I can recognize the offense as a trial, and think that it is not uncommon that she would do such a thing--and overlook the offense. (I believe that is in Proverbs---Perfect Love overlooks an offense). So---I'm just working on myself here---to have a totally different mind set---which might just save me from a lot of pain. Perhaps that could be used in your situation as well (and your husband)---however you end up dealing with your home situation-----those offenses and accusations are still going to come. We need to find that balance and I guess---be willing to let go of our loved ones. Do absolutely what we can---but then put them in God's hands--and be free to do what God has called us also to be---like being the loving wife and mother and grandmother and "light" for Him. I hope and pray for an answer for you and for your marriage to be restored. clnichol
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Dear Barbara, you are a very sweet lady, and your mother is so blessed to have you as a daughter. I pray you and your loving husband have a wonderful time together of rest and refreshing. God will take care of your Mom, and give you grace in dealing with her. Thank you for praying for me, as well. You are precious! Please keep us posted how things are going. Take care! :)
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Thank You so much for your response. You have helped me so much and will try and do as you suggested. I too am still learning things about myself. I love my husband very much and don't want anything to happen to our marriage. Both my husband and I read and study the bible everyday. My husband is a very forgiving person. My Heavenly Father is the only one that sustains me through everything I've been through with my mother and other family crisis. If it weren't for Him I wouldn't be sane. Most of the time when I am bothered by something by mother does I don't say anything because I don't want to cause any friction; I'm a very nervous person. I like peace in the home and sometimes I plead with my husband not to say anything. I wish he would be a bit more patient but I know inside that it has to be said. He says that satan is influencing her thinking and I agree. I remember when my brother was alive and he and his girlfriend were staying with my mom. He was sick and had to have chemo so she let him stay with her but after a few days he quickly went back to his home because she was continuesly on him about something. He wouldn't even answer his phone when she called him at his home. I would tell him that she is old and not to pay attention.. Now I realize what he was going through and that it wasn't easy for him. I don't care about this home I never asked for it and if I knew what we would have to go through I would have tried to change my stepfathers mind about leaving it to us. He actually didn't want the others including my stepsister to have anything. He knew my sister's and brother didn't like him and they (including his own daughter) also never helped do anything for them. I loved him he was more of a father figure than my own was.
My husband did tell me to think of somewhere I would like to go for a few days. I guess I should start thinking of a place to go. I'd like to go somewhere private by the ocean. We live about twenty-five minutes from cape cod but I don't know if we'll find a place to stay because it's so busy with tourists right now but I'll try. I will pray that God gives you the strength to get through your own struggles.
Thank You Again! Barbara
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My dear sister, Barbara, I want you to know I am praying for you. May I be so bold as to offer some blunt observations and some suggestions? A mother who tries to get between you and your husband is behaving in a very ungodly way. Your marriage is important, and so are boundaries. I am a Believer, and study God's Word as well. We are to serve, but are to leave and cleave as well. Your husband is a picture of Christ in the home. Follow his lead, and don't make your mother a god. She sounds very controlling, demanding, and ruled by her flesh and the devil. It would be terrible to lose your marriage, (a picture of Christ and his church) to your mother's selfishness and mean spirited ways. Lord knows you all need help. Can you get godly counsel from a Pastor? There is wisdom in a man who follows after God's own heart.

From my own personal experience, and from seeking for answers for my own situation, as Caregiver for a Dad with Alzheimer's and a Mom with a "Severe Personality Disorder," addictions, bitterness, and a vile spirit, I have sought and found answers. And I am still learning. When the Bible says "serve," it does not mean to sacrifice our own precious emotional health to another's. Your mother sounds a lot like mine. No matter what I do, it's never good enough. That is not the attitude of a godly mother. You can still practice your faith, showing love, but by firmly establishing boundaries. Your Mom won't like it, but it is important. She is treating you like a doormat, and will never respect you, nor will your husband, if you continue to allow it. And you are allowing her to disrespect your husband, too. Don't usurp his authority and give her power over both of you. Build him up, to everyone, and don't talk about him with her, especially if you don't agree with everything he does. Talk to God about him, and your mother. Ask God for help. Ask an older trusted wise and godly woman (not a gossip or busybody) for help. She is abusing you, so decide you will no longer allow it. And she is abusing your husband. No wonder he wants to leave. Cleave unto him, and make him your confidant, your joy, your peace, and ask him what he thinks God would have you both to do. Don't hold out for the "goodies" (the house) while sacrificing to a tyrant. You know that's not healthy for any of you. Let Mom have her space, and you two need yours. You're going to need some help establishing boundaries, and it will take practice. Forgive her; forgive yourself, and forgive your husband. God is the God of second chances, and miracles. I suggest you pray for both. Don't forsake your husband's needs for your mother's. You need your husband's help to make this work, and he needs yours. Your mother will wonder what is going on. Let her wonder. Take a day or two alone with your husband to let him know you love him, and how important he is to you. Your Mom doesn't need to know every detail, or anything. Just go, and let her wonder. While away, find a plan that works for your husband. Let him make the decision, asking God to guide and direct him. Let him be the man God created him to be. Otherwise, let him go. It's that simple, but it's not easy. Don't make it harder by trying to do things your way, or trying to hold on to something that's not working. You owe it to yourself to trust God. He has a way of making things work out better than we can hope or imagine. Ask him to turn your "curse" into a lesson, and grow from it.

OK. Those are just suggestions. You can throw out any that don't seem worthy, and I won't be offended. I'm not God's agent, and have my own struggles. I'm still learning myself, and not everything is perfect in my life. I've blessed with a wonderful husband who has been patient, and steady, even though I don't always acknowledge it, or always treat him well. I don't deserve the blessing he's been, but God is good. No one has your answers but God. And mine is just an opinion. Your Pastor may have some different suggestions. I am stirred with compassion for you, and will pray for you, Barbara. I want you to succeed, and to prosper, and be a good witness and for your light to shine bright. Your love will heap ashes on the head of someone who's divisive, but you can't make her change. Being firm will rock the boat, but firm doesn't mean mean, or angry. If things remain the same, you'll end up bitter. I'm preaching to myself, as well. And the love of God is greater than this whole mess. Ask God to restore unto you the joy of his salvation. Ask and you shall receive. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be careful what you ask for, and be wary what you receive. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm praying you come back with a story of victory and praise.
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My husband and I moved in with my mother two years ago. She is now going to be 91 in Sept.09, We stayed with her because she had back surgery and she needed help. My family thought it was time for me to move in with her so my husband and I did. She recovered from the back surgery. She still has alot of back pain at times because she tries to do too much. She gets injections in her back every few months and that seems to help a lot. Other that the back she is healthy for her age and can still take care of herself. She still takes care of her own hygiene, cooks sometimes, cleans the house, loves doing yard work when she’s not having trouble with her back. She takes breaks but gets up and finds something else to do. She has had depression for a few years but has always been on and off of the medication. She is not on any medications at this time. The reason I am writing is because she is always complaining and critisizing everything my husband does and says we don't know how to do things the right way. She talking about how the lawn is cut or how we grow a vegetable garden, anything we do is wrong for her. We work our butts off trying to please her and not complain to her. But it's gotten to the point where she doesn't stop. My brother died 4 years ago and once in awhile she brings up about how my brothers tools disappeared and accuses my husband, thinking that he has stolen my brothers tools when she gave them away to others in the family. My husband has had words with her and has told her how he feels but she thinks we are the ones that are being bad to her and that is not true. We are Believers in God and study His Word daily and would not do anything to try to upset her but when she acts this way we have to say something. My husband said he is going to move out. My marriage is not doing very well. We’ve been married for thirty-nine years and don’t want to lose him after all this time. I'm in the middle of all this. I try to keep the peace but it doesn't work. She says I stick up for him and that I lie to her but I don't. If he is wrong in something he says I'll say that he is wrong but she gets to the point where she doesn't let my husband or myself say anything. She doesn't seem to comprehend some things we just can't seem to get through to her. When we tell her she forgot she gets so upset and says she remembers everything but she really doesn't. I'm frustrated and don't know what to do. I'm extremely unhappy here. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to lose my mind. I have sisters, one lives far away and the other is close by. Neither help do anything (take her to doctors appts. Stores or help with any of the yard work, almost an acre of land) for her because my stepfather (he's already passed away) wanted us to have the house because even when he was alive we were always here with them and helping them.. My mother says my sister that lives close by does everything for her. I can’t believe she even thinks this way.
This has been a curse to us! I can’t even enjoy my own life..
I hope someone can give me some kind of help.
Thanks For Listening! Barbara
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CNichols, sorry I failed to realize that your original post was a year old, and many thanks for your being so kind as to share an update. Sounds like things have not changed for your Mom, though you have achieved greater acceptance in spite of being exhausted and browbeaten by your Mom's delusions. With moments of dementia one of the things that helps is to remember that our loved ones have little, if any, control over their cognitive decline and impairment, and delusions. I so agree with you that your Mom is no longer there. What remains in your Mom is her illness, be it dementia or Alzheimer's symptoms among other physical and mental ailments. I know there is a clinical distinction made in the use of those two diagnoses, but to a caregiver like you and me, it matters not when the hallucinations, delusions and other maladaptive behaviors are active and we are simply being human and feeling hurt, confused and powerless to change the course of the disease's devastating effects. Keep reminding yourself that you have truly done your best, and angels can do no more. Your Mom is in the best place she could be based on her medical symptoms. Sometimes that is all there is when chronic health issues start raging out of control. I am proud of your courage, and touched by your loving care for your Mom. I love your reply to her that she will learn the truth in heaven. That is a beautiful way of handling such situations. Thanks for sharing such beautiful words which I can also use when I may encounter similar disbelief in my caregiving situation. I also agree with you about how acceptance comes to some of us. God bless you, and may the month of August bring you and your family one miracle after another affirming everlasting love and the ties that bind you under the banner of God's love.
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My last post "I'm ready to say good-bye to my mother" was done almost a year ago. Thank you to those of you that have responded with care and encouragement. Here's an update on where this year has taken us. We never did visit her---when she asked us not to. That was hard---as we wanted to spend time with her and help her with as much as we could at her home. Having emphysema, probably neuropathy and maybe a heart or circulation problem (she refuses any tests to know for sure), she isn't able to get much done without complete exhaustion. She still refuses help from a Care Service in her state.....Very stubborn about anything I may suggest. SO, I continually call her and most of the time ---our conversations are fine. I help her with her computer---to download her email---and painstakingly walk her through every step to get her email downloaded and then start her reading it. My husband has to leave the room as he hears us talking. Seriously, it takes 45 minutes to do something that should have taken 1 minute of less! But, I don't mind doing that---because she does enjoy the emails once she can read them, but I am noticing deterioration in her abilities, she gets very confused---and each time think---oK, we'll probably have to let the email go soon. I am learning more to change the subject when I see the very negative coming out. Most of the time I can do it----but every once in awhile---I will say "Mom---we never did that" and "don't you remember such and such that we discussed and you asked us to do". She is still adamant about those certain issues and accuses us of pretty horrible things. It's hard---because I will think---OK, she's not that far gone and we can talk pretty reasonable about a lot of things---but when it comes to these certain issues---there's no question in her mind that we did them. (It might be easier---if she were totally gone al the time) I decided that I would go back for Mothers Day (we live on the west coast---she on the east) and spend an entire week---and just have a good time! would do whatever I could around the house, would take her to her favorite thing to do ---"Beano" (as much as I don't care for it) every night of the week---if she wanted! Also---i didn't tell her about it, I decided to surprise her! (Maybe she would have said to not come!). But, I had prayed about it and was determined that I could handle anything she threw my way and change the subject and have a great time....Give her a truly wonderful week. Living so far away----having 5 children----our visits were always in the summer---so I had only ever spent one Mother's Day actually with her in 38 years! My girlfriend picked me up from the airport and I arrived with a bundle of gifts and said "surprise!---You've got me for a whole week! I'm at your service!" She cried and said she thought she would probably never get to see her daughter again. We had 2 wonderful days, having fun and getting many things done. On the Sat. before Mothers Day---the question was asked again. "Why did you do such and such to me?" The same questions...Take her house and never pay her (she had asked us to please put it in our name and she would have life lease---with her helping with costs, repairs, etc); redo her will (we had her sit down and go through the entire will with us in 02, leaving what little she might have left evenly divided between my brother and I---which was always her desire. She cannot take in what she is reading---and says crazy things about the simple will---making me realize that she cannot decipher what she is reading);On and on........ not making any sense. I responded back with my reasoning ---saying mostly "Mom, that never happened, etc" ---- It got absolutely crazy!!!!! The things she said to me! As I was listening---I determined that no child should have to ever hear a parent saying such things---and that I would tell my children ---please, if I ever got that way, to not listen to me---and just put me away some place, and don't listen to me. I decided I just had to leave---I could not take the stress of it. I just packed and waited for my girlfriend to get back in town to come and get me.
As I was silent, my Mom would come up with these rageful things to say, like "You're just guilty, or you're jealous of me, you're going the wrong way, you're filled with Satan, Get out of here! I'll kick your a__ all the way down the road!" She even said she wished she would die right there for me to see and said I should put a knife right through her heart!) Just nuts! I said "Someday Mom. in heaven, you'll see that these things are not true. She said I'll never see you in heaven!"----I left, wondering where my Mother had gone-----and wondering where my feelings of love for my mother had gone....
At my girlfriends, in the midst of tears and trying to make new plane reservation, I had an unusual pain down my left arm. She immediately gave me an aspirin and was ready to call the hospital. It finally went away. I did go back to see her that evening---and picked up a couple of things I had left. My mother had found everything she could find, that I had given her---and had it by the front door to take with me. She wanted nothing to remind her of me.....I found an early flight home---and flew home on Mothers Day......What a disaster---and I was so mad at myself for getting caught up in the emotion of it all---and for trying to reason with her---and for going home-----when I was right there---and still had many things I had planned to take care of.
I called her to let her know that I was home and fine. She said she couldn't believe that I could have started that and done all of those things to her. She had just not brought me up right!
Oh my, so what do you do????..... I feel better still calling her daily---to check on her and try to be as upbeat as I can. Most of the time I am able to change the subject---and keep the conversation going the right way, or I'll say Mom, I'm going to hang up now and will call you in a couple of days, and tell her I love her. I've still hung up a couple of times as she's called me a liar and says that I am filled with Satan.... (We are both Bible believing Christians)
And----we have another trip planned to go back this August. We are renting a camp close by, and will bring my mother back and forth. (She refuses to stay with us any more). She turns 80 in a few days. We weren't able to be there then---but will celebrate while we are there---and are also going to have a family reunion for her side of the family...... We'll see how it all goes. I will at least have my husband there---for support (if he can stand to stick around).
I've come to realize that this IS a process.....and a very difficult one----of saying good-bye----to someone I love very much. We all must face these good-byes---as that is the process of this life. But, I must say---that this is a very difficult and painful way to have to do it. My mother really believes I have done all of these horrible things to her. And the more time goes on---the more I am seeing that it has to be some sort of dementia. Some little things she will say now, like you must have brought a large towel and left it here---because it was in my laundry and I have never seen it before. Also, she asked if I left another item (a Jewish prayer shawl) in her cabinet---as she has never seen it in her life---and I must have done it because no one else has been there. The other new one--since my Mothers Day trip is that I left something in her glass in the kitchen cabinet. She won't tell me what it was--until I admit that i have done it. She also says that she has not been feeling as good ever since I did that! (She takes a glass of water to bed with her every night and takes sips through the night) she said God spoke to her one morning and said to take that out of her mouth (what ever was in her glass) and she says thank God she did. I asked if she thought I would ever do anything like that to hurt her and she said yes, you know what you did. She seems to slip in and out of reality---but she never forgets the illusions that she has determined that we have done to her.
So, forgive me for going on and on...... my poor husband has had to hear about the craziness and it is, of course, very frustrating to him to see me get hurt. Sometimes it just feels good to put things down in words---that will never hurt my mother---as no one reading this would know her.
It helps to know that many others are going through the same issues---and worse. I do believe we serve a Sovereign God and that He is there by my side to see me through this---and to help me behave in a way that is pleasing to Him. I just have to keep my focus on Him while remembering that this is a disease that has overtaken my mother---and try not to take any of it personally. Some day in heaven she will see all things clearly.
So--although I am saying good-bye--whether I want to or not--it is happening----someday--on the other side, I will say hello again!
Thanks again for your positive input and encouragement.
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CNichols, you are not alone with your feelings of being ready to say goodbye. One of my dear friends has a sister who has been terminally ill for more than a year now. My friend takes a practical approach, which I respect, though still find it hard to ascribe to. My friend's practical view is that there is a point where close family is "simply waiting for the person to die." That was hard-hitting and heavy when she first said it among a group of us who happen to be friends. According to her, "most people are waiting for that to happen, but just would never admit to it." While that is not the feeling in my own heart, I understand and hear it as a statement of practical wisdom, just as I understand the title you have chosen for your post. Please hold your head high knowing that you have done your caregiving and individual best, and there is no guilt in being ready to move on with your life. You are only human, and you are exhausted, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Who could blame you? God bless you, always.
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