Had our March 3 appt with the neurologist for mom. I wanted to know if her dementia is vascular. He asked her some questions, including the "remember these 3 words".... (she couldn't remember one and said that she didn't know it was important to remember them and laughed a little embarrassed at me and the doc) - He scheduled an EEG for her, some blood work, and an MRI. Mom agreed to all of the appts, so I made them for yesterday and today, respectfully speaking.

Well, yesterday morning she called and said, "I've been thinking about it, and I don't think there's anything wrong with me and I want you to cancel the appointments. I will not go."

I groaned.
I tried to tell her they can do an OPEN MRI (which, while not as effective, is better than no MRI at all) and she flat out refused. She wouldn't even go for the EEG and the last word on it is that she will "consider it" in the next month but right now she feels fine.

I told the doctor. He said ok, basically you can't do anything unless you want me to give you a note forcing her to see a psychiatrist to deem her incompetent and only then can you get the tests completed against her will.

I opted to wait. I don't want to go down that path at this point. I am going to continue talking to mom and trying to explain the importance of getting our ducks in a row, and hopefully against hope she will agree in a month or so.

Of course she doesn't think there is anything wrong with her; it's the people around her every day (i.e. ME) that know that something is wrong.

Her short term memory is SHOT. GONE.
Getting worse. But other than that, for all intents and purposes, she functions quite well for 91.

Yesterday though, I was driving and started having an anxiety attack. Light headed, heart palpitations, tried to breathe in the nose out the mouth while driving and mom is just chatting away... she needed groceries and I really needed to come home and be alone for an hour, so I said, mom, I'm going to drop you off at the store. I will be back for you at 3:15.

She cheerfully agreed, and I gave her a few bucks to pick me up a 12 pk of coke. She is out of peanut butter but I see she didn't write it on her list so I wrote it for her.
I told her to NOT get the name brand coke. I said please get the STORE brand it's $2 cheaper.

I got home, and about 15 minutes later at 2:45 I get a phone call from the service desk at the store.
It's mom.
WHERE ARE YOU? Did you leave me here?
I said mom, what are you talking about. I TOLD YOU I was coming home and would get you at 3:15! She said oh no you didn't, I thought you were parking the car! (why in the name of all that is holy would I drop her off if I was just parking. Any time I go to the store WITH HER which is almost always, I park and we BOTH walk in together....)

Then she said, "I am embarrassed! How am I supposed to pay for my groceries since you have my card!"
I said MA! You have $300 in 20's in your purse! We just took it out yesterday!
Well, I didn't know that! she retorts back.
Then she says, NEVER AGAIN will you do this. I am ready now. Come get me.

My head is spinning. I said you're ready now? How did you pay for your groceries if you didn't know you had money?
She remarks, "I found my money and I paid."

(so how am I in trouble for supposedly leaving her at the grocery store flat broke again?)

Crazy is what I am going.
I picked her up and she was mad at me all the way home.
Then she started crying... and I'm apologizing and I don't even know what for.

So that is where we are with the neurologist!

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
sorry about my typos ...

Big hugs to you Nikki. I cannot imagine experiencing that. I don't have too similar an experience but I do know hoe frustrating it is getting my mom to go to the doctor. I wonder if this story experience might help persuade your mother now.

The other advise on here sounds very good. It isn't just about her anymore. Maybe you can find a way to get her tested without her knowing before hand. Or maybe you ask her to do these things for your own peace of mind. My mom once came back from a stay at my sister's with a cough. My husband was pretty insistant that I take her to a doctor about it. This meant she and I had to go to an urgent care clinic. The whole time we waited (two hours) she made comments about our being there. I took the cowards way and blamed my husband, since she believes wives should obey husbands. And it turned out the "little cough" was an infection she got from her grandkids.

I had my first panic attack while driving Many years ago when my precious daughter got into some trouble.. I had to pull over to remember where I was going. Now my folks are living with me and I sometimes have mini ones. I had a huge week of attacks when my mother had to go to the hospital and almost died I did not realize how bad Dad's ALZ was.. and the stress of that and Mom being sick made me almost catatonic. I would sit and stare after we got home and I got Dad to bed. Then I had to take him to his follow up neuropschy apt.. where he was not even on the chart. So I feel for you! Just be glad she remembered your soda at all! Talk to your Dr about something for you, It may help XOXO

Nikki, it's strange that we don't know each other on the group, but I feel like you are a friend. We are going through so much of the same things. Your mother saying NEVER AGAIN were you going to do something reminded me so much of my own. She was looking for someone to blame for the confusion she felt, and you were the target. As my mother is losing competence, she looks for things to blame. Yesterday she couldn't make it to the phone in time, so the answering machine picked up. She launched a verbal assault on me and the answering machine, telling me to turn it off because it was HER HOUSE. These things make me think about the NO WIRE HANGERS scene in Mommie Dearest. I don't know how we handle them. No wonder we have panic attacks.

I've had a few bouts with panic disorder and know that I'm always at risk for a panic attack. It helps me to make sure I've had enough to eat and to carry a bottle of water with me. Water for some reason calms me down. It's nice to have something so simple that works. Something else that helps me a lot is to go for walks that are long enough to get my heart beating well. We have lots of little hills around here, so it's great cardio work to just put my walking shoes to good use. It gets rid of that old nasty epinephrine and cortisol that keeps me so anxious.

Something I've found that works with my mother that you might want to try is to make her cancel her own doctor appointments. Sometimes my mother will change her mind about going somewhere if she has to be the "bad guy" in talking to the people. If you think it might work, you may want to give her the number to call them to cancel. It's worth a try.

Big hugs to you, gf. You're not doing anything wrong. I think it is good that we stand back and realize that it is not us usually. We're not perfect, but we're working through something that is very difficult.

Nikki, when my mother in law had her appointment, I did not even tell her she had it. We got to the appt and she never asked a question as to where we were or why. How long did the neurologist evaluate her? My MIL's eval was about 2 hours. It is possible he got much of his info needed if the eval was thorough. Your mother can not make her own decisions at this point..... Hang in there! It is not a fun process.

Either you get her back to the Neurologist, or see the Psychiatrist. Failing that you drop dead yourself. Which will it be? 30% of caregivers die before their patients do. When you are dead you can't help her and she could easily burn the house down and end up in a rubber room. The decision is yours, not hers.

Well, you've learned something new: don't drop off mom at the store anymore.

And I hope you are able to start getting some respite. I had a panic attack when I was with my dad at the hospital while he was having tests and a procedure done. It started out slow but morphed into me sobbing and desperately needing to get out of there, which I couldn't do. We were at a Catholic hospital so I asked the greeter-person if I could talk to a priest but there weren't any. A nun? Nope, out of luck there too. Keep in mind I was sobbing my face off so the greeter-person took pity on me and walked me to an office and asked if there was a social worker somewhere that could talk to me. Some very kind strangers found a social worker for me and she met with me all the while my dad was having this procedure done. In the end she suggested I call my brother, which I did. He offered to come to the hospital to relieve me but by the time all of this had taken place my dad and I were on the last leg of our day at the hospital. But just him offering helped.

I needed a break badly. Just like you need a break. I hope you can find a way to get it.

Stay strong... I truly understand your pain... my dad is 82, moved into MY house w/me, but everything I do is wrong. He contradicts himself at every turn, I have finally learned to just nod my head to acknowledge that I am listening (not agreeing) and go about doing things the same way that has worked for me for the last 40 years being on my own!!! Sister has a family of her own, brother lives in a different state. I vent to them, it helps. I go outside and yell at Dad (he is in the house out of ear shot) that helps so I don't get sucked into argueing with him and treating him in a manner that I really don't want to... it's not an easy thing, I know, but in the end I will have what I wanted to accomplish. NO regrets when he is gone. I will do what I can for him to make his last days as good as I can. Recently my anxiety/panic level rises everyday when I get close to home from work, not sure what to do about that though. I work four 10 hour days and love my job, that helps a LOT!!

oh, and a final remark that she is not remembering... she bought the name brand soda.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter