Hello everybody. I am the 24 year old daughter of my 61 year old mom. I have recently moved back to our hometown and am staying at her house temporarily (DH and I have a house under contract) along with my husband.
My mom suffered a hemmoraghic stroke when I was 12. Since then, her health has been in decline. About a year ago, she suffered another stroke and string of mini strokes (TIA) while undergoing a surgery to have a brain aneurysm coiled.
She has mostly recovered from the most recent strokes. However, she now is incessantly grunting. We have a code word "smell the cake" which makes her stop and focus on her breathing for a moment and therefore stopping the grunting. This works for maybe five minutes. She is not aware of her grunting unless I make her aware. Unfortunately, the incessant noise is driving me up the wall. People tell me to have more patience, and it is because of her sickness, but it has become almost intolerable. I can hear it when shes outside, in another room, with music on, with earplugs, it is inescapable unless I physically leave the house.
More concerning, when I take her out places (she hasn't driven since I was 12), she will often say "where the hell are we?" when we have lived here for well over a decade. I have noticed a distinct decline in inhibition. For example, just last night she barged into my room (which is not uncommon in the times my door is RARELY closed), however this time it was at midnight and I was in bed with my husband. She opened the door and said where is DH? Although we were all just talking and eating dinner together hours before. I have no privacy. She has also become very agitated when I ask her simple requests, ie, please keep the closet door closed (where the dog food is) as my dog will (very naughtily) go in there and eat right out of the food bin, or, please knock before entering my room when my door is closed, or most recently, would you mind lighting your cigarettes outside instead of inside when you go for walks, as the smell is unpleasant for me (and DH). She also is taking medication for depression, and hosts little pity parties now and then - I will never meet a man who loves me again, complaining about a different ailment every day, what will you think of me when I die, etc.
Long story short, I am wondering if she has Vascular Dementia, or some other sort. She has a history of cardio vascular problems, and her own neurosurgeon has commented that he's never seen a circuit of blood flow to the brain such as my moms - her brain basically made its own circuitous flow after initial stroke.
Please dont take this as selfish. I have spoken with family members and DH and the answer I normally get is "THATS YOUR MOM!" or "have more patience". Easy for people to judge me but I can assure you I am very kind and patient with her, but all of this is affecting my relationship with her and others, and maybe more inportantly, my mental health. I have been in this role since I was a child.
I can deal with the agitation and sometimes sassy/embarassing demeanor and lack of inhibition. But for whatever reason the incessant grunting is what's driving me up the wall. I work from home so this is a big issue. I would leave and work at starbucks, but she has previously left doors open and allowed my dog to escape, so I have extreme paranoia about that happening again and feel trapped here. I realize I have my own anxiety issues and definitely some things that would be better worked out in therapy, but I am reaching out to see if this sounds familiar to anyone, and any possible steps I can take to reduce the tension here at home, and help her if she truly is begining with dementia/alz.
Sorry for the long read, and thanks.