My mother just did a 180 into dementia a little over two weeks ago. We believe she has vascular dementia caused by chronic heart failure, and that she has slowly been suffering from dementia-like symptoms, but has been able to hide them. However, two weeks ago, she took a massive downhill slide.
I am an only child, and we lost my father about six years ago when I was five months pregnant. It was a very hard loss, and my mother slipped into a deep depression, but remained functional.
She started having chronic heart failure about two years ago, but things took a turn for the worst about a month ago when her ejection fraction fell between 15 to 20 percent. And the past two weeks have been a nightmare I can't seem to wake up from.
She and I are very close and always have been. Even as a teenager, I reserved Saturdays as our day to spend time together as our weekly ritual, and that has continued for more than 20 years.
Because of her heart problems, my mother is chronically tired, so I usually call her every morning around 9 to make sure she is up and about and feeling okay.
Three mondays ago, I called as usual, but got no answer. I tried not to panic, but after an hour I decided to run to her house to make sure her car was gone (thinking that would give me peace of mind -- that she was out and about, and had just forgotten her cell phone). But, when I got there, her car was in the garage. Long story short, the paramedics had to come and break her door down.
They found her on the floor of the bathroom convinced a man was in front of her holding her hostage. Apparently she had been having this hallucination for several hours....
I found out in the days following, she thought I was helping this man. To make matters worse, she was also convinced I was torturing her small dog the whole time as well.
They found nothing wrong with her at the hospital, so they released her. I convinced her to stay at my home over the next couple of nights because I was hoping she was just having horrific nightmares, and having someone to watch over her would ease her mind.
Over the next few nights she had fitful sleep, and even awoke at three in the morning screaming the most awful scream I've ever heard; I'm afraid that sound will haunt me for the rest of my days...
To make a very long story short, we have been in and out of hospitals for the past two weeks.
My mother's delusions are becoming more and more frequent and hurtful. I and my husband have become her targets. She won't let me see her because she thinks I am out to hurt her. She has even gone as far as to beg her friends to please tell the FBI that if anything happens to her, I'm the one who "did it."
She is also acussing me of stealing jewelry. One piece of which she lost two years ago herself and made a claim through her insurance and got reimbursed.
I have now gone for over a week without seeing her -- a woman I've never gone more than one day seeing, unless I was away on a business trip.
And I haven't been able to tell her I love her without her hanging up on me.
The doctors tell me that she has probably been having a series of small vessel strokes all along and That they are finally taking their toll. They cant be sure because they cant do an MRI due to her difibrillator/pacemaker.
She has been lucky enough to have a few girlfriends who have dropped everything to come and stay with her, but they have to go back to their families soon. And they are telling me there is no way she can live on her own. They are also flabbergasted because they say the woman they know was totally devoted to her daughter and loved me unconditionally, so her adamance about me trying to do her harm is unbelievable.
I am so heartbroken. I feel like I lost my mother (not to mention my best friend), and she has been replaced by a vicious woman who only looks like her.
I am embarassed to relay all the cruel things she has spewed at me; things she knows are my worst thoughts I have about myself. These are the very same things she used to try to convince me weren't true.
I'm getting so beat up and shut out, that I'm just about ready to give up. But I'm afraid if I don't keep trying, she will be lost forever -- as well as all the happy memories I have of our past. I can't help but feel there is a tiny grain of the truth of how she feels about me in every hurtful thing she says about me now, and it's affecting my memories of our past together.
I'm about to leave her to her own devices. God forgive me. But she won't admit herself for psychiatric evaluation, and the doctors say their hands are tied unless I sign an affidavit to have her commited. And I'm afraid if I do that, she will believe that she is justified in thinking I've been out to get her.
Any words of wisdom?