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 Has anyone out there.......

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fourt9rkim
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PostSubject: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:13 am

Now for some REAL LIFE drama...not the shit we've had for the past couple of days.... Rolling Eyes

I've already posted this on my personal blog for about a year....those of you here who know me already know what this will be about, but I still seek wisdom/knowledge on how to better handle this situation.

Has anyone out there ever dealt personally with dementia or Alzheimers Disease? My beloved 85 (86 in June) year old mother is suffering from SOMETHING along this line....and being the stubborn redhead/Cherokee/German woman that she is, she refuses to believe ANYTHING is wrong with her....dad and I are the crazy ones!

I do live at home with them, simply because I want to be here for them. But she is driving me almost to the point of taking up drinking!

She is also 'a heart victim' as she likes to call herself...she has Severe Left Ventricle Dysfunction and is on meds for it. But ever since starting on the meds, she has suddenly believed that she 'came here' to our home from somewhere else...also believing that she was living with her mother...who has been deceased since 1984!

Every day when I come home, she thinks that I am stealing her clothes! Evil or Very Mad

There's more to it, but I have someplace to be in an hour. I'd just like to know if anyone else has dealt with this with a loved one, and how in the hell did you keep your sanity??!!
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*~Sherrie~*
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:54 am

My great grandmother was like that the last few years of her life. She thought her daughter was her mother instead of the other way around. Everytime I'd go to visit her, she'd say to my Grandma "Betty, who is this young lady" She also couldn't figure out why the TV was talking to her. It's hard, even more so if you live w/ that person. Just be sure to take some time for yourself Kim, you need to make sure to take care of yourself as well. If you ever need to talk, you can PM me and I'll give you my e-mail address Very Happy
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SueinFlorida
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:01 pm

My father wa diagnosed with alzheimer's disease at the age of 51 and lived with the disease for over 20 years. I tried to take care of my father as I was his only living child left and it just about killed me. This disease is harder on the family than the person with the disease.
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:35 pm

My grandmother suffered from dementia for the last few months before she died last year. Hers was kind of patchy...sometimes she would be normal and know everyone and make sense. Other times she would smile at the whale in the front yard or get angry that people were trying to steal her house (my aunts and uncles were taking turns staying with her...she didn't always recognize them).

For better or for worse, I dealt with it by not seeing her. I know that sounds terrible, but I just couldn't stand to see this strong woman that I loved so much be this way. The last time I saw her was exactly 3 months before she died. Luckily, she was herself for probably 85% of that day. My mom spent many weeks with her during those months as did her siblings, and I have heard their stories. I just cannot imagine dealing with it on a daily basis, especially when it is your own parent. I give a lot of credit to the caregivers of people going through this. And I agree that it is harder on the family than on the person with the affliction.

You are a very strong person. I wish I had some advice for you, but please know in the absence of that you do have my full support and encouragement.


~Tracy
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fourt9rkim
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:04 pm

Thanks everyone. This is probably the HARDEST task I've ever had. Mom is not to the point where she doesn't recognize us...she still knows who we are. It's her damn temper that is driving us crazy. And she refuses to go to her doc....and I have been told by her that I am NOT to interfere in her healthcare. Rolling Eyes If she didn't get so damn mad, we could handle this much easier. Plus the delusionional thoughts that go along with it. Thinking that we load her up in the car and drive her 'down to the river' for the night. affraid Thinking that she has left us several times and has come back. Nope...she's never left us for an extended period of time!

I have two older brothers...both out of state...the one closer in age to me knows all about her condition...he detected it when he came home from Afghanistan in May, 2005 after a 9 month stint there. He moved up to Washington state in October, 2005 and I call him alot to keep him up to date. My other brother is so oblivious to anything not pertaining to him. So I don't even bother talking to him about her condition.

I love her dearly....but there are days when I can't stand to be around her! No wonder I haven't taken any time off from work since almost a year ago! Work IS my vacation!

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*~Sherrie~*
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:31 pm

Have you thought about making an appointment for her and then telling her you have a Dr's appointment and ask if she'll go w/ you. I don't know if you could trick her into it that way, just a suggestion.
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fourt9rkim
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:49 pm

Tried that...and paid for it DEARLY. She just doesn't want to admit that there is anything wrong with her. We had to call the paramedics one evening last summer because she collapsed in the hall...dad told them about possible dementia, and one of them quizzed her and she passed...but they asked VERY simple questions, and they only asked about 3 questions.

I worry about dad now, because I see him starting to become forgetful.... but that could be stress induced. But I told him about a month ago that I wanted to be able to talk to him openly about his health, and that I wanted to know that I could ask him to go to his doc for assessement at any time....he said he would be open to it. Mom has always been very STUBBORN and bullheaded...dad is stubborn, but he's also very mellow. And they wonder why *I* am so stubborn?? Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:12 pm

I can completely relate to the whole stubborn mother thing. I can't get mine to go see a Dr. either, she promised me if I'd go see a Dr, she would too. I'm still waiting for her to keep her end of the deal. Have you tried calling any of the Dr's and hospitals and explaining you are concerned for her but can't get her to come in and see if any of them have a suggestion? I know how frustrating it is to deal w/ a stubborn person when you are stubborn yourself Laughing
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Ceilidh
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:38 am

Hi Kim,
I donīt know if I qualify to add my two cents in here, but Iīll give it a try.

I have no one in my family (at the moment, who knows what will come...) that suffers from dementia, but you mentioned that it got worse after she got new meds. Medication can do very strange things to your body and sometimes mind. Did you talk to the doctors about that? If there is any chance, that it would be the reason, try to change the medication.

My mom had polio when she was 7 years old. About 50 years later things happen that they call Post Polio Syndrom. Now sheīs on a breathing machine at night...
But anyway, I know it is everything than easy living with a very stubborn person (got one here too). I donīt now, if the doctors in the US make house visits, like over here, but maybe that is worth to try?
I know this is easy to say for someone not dealing with your situation.

Take very good care of yourself, donīt let it all be on your shoulders, ask for help if you can.

And remember this board will always try to cheer you up when your down!
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fourt9rkim
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:29 am

Ceilidh wrote:
Hi Kim,
I donīt know if I qualify to add my two cents in here, but Iīll give it a try.

I have no one in my family (at the moment, who knows what will come...) that suffers from dementia, but you mentioned that it got worse after she got new meds. Medication can do very strange things to your body and sometimes mind. Did you talk to the doctors about that? If there is any chance, that it would be the reason, try to change the medication.

My mom had polio when she was 7 years old. About 50 years later things happen that they call Post Polio Syndrom. Now sheīs on a breathing machine at night...
But anyway, I know it is everything than easy living with a very stubborn person (got one here too). I donīt now, if the doctors in the US make house visits, like over here, but maybe that is worth to try?
I know this is easy to say for someone not dealing with your situation.

Take very good care of yourself, donīt let it all be on your shoulders, ask for help if you can.

And remember this board will always try to cheer you up when your down!

Of course you 'qualify!' Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

I called my mom's cardiologist a couple of months after she begin her new meds, asked them if they had any other patients who complained of dementia-like symptoms after starting on any of the meds prescribed. They said no...I kept calling until they finally called her in for a visit, and once the doc started asking questions, she got suspicious, and he finally told her that I had called with concerns. I had to work that day, so dad took her, and I paid with holy hell when I got home! She said I was NEVER to interfere in her healthcare ever again. Rolling Eyes

I still have suspicions about one of her meds...and now she is on the maximum dose allowable for her heart.

But I honestly think she was already in the early stages of dementia/AD even before this started. Forgetfulness, beginning to have trouble managing the checkbook, etc.

*sigh* Whoever called them "The Golden Years" should be shot!
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Kim
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:33 am

Hey Kim!

Yes, I know personnally what you are going thru. My beloved granny had it, and my mom took care of her 24/7. It is so heartbreaking. Actually, it is one of the reasons that I ended up living here in the midwest. I moved here from L.A. to help my mom take care of her. My granny has since passed and my mother sits on the board of the ALZH. Assoc. for the Kansas/Missouri area.

If you ever need someone to listen, please PM me!
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fourt9rkim
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:30 am

Thanks, Kim! I most certainly will!

This is such a heartbreaking disease....it is SO destructive to the family as a whole. Mom goes around half of the time proclaiming her hatred of us; that we just want to 'get rid' of her. No

I think I've cried more tears in the last 2 years than I have in my entire lifetime.
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fourt9rkim
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PostSubject: Re: Has anyone out there.......   Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:44 am

Thanks, my friend. Smile
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