Monday, April 11, 2016

To Post or Not to Post

Although I have not been posting, I have been writing. I've been writing down my thoughts and memories of Mom's dementia from its beginnings. It is such a big thing in my life right now, but writing about it has been difficult. Oh, I want to write about it. I want to get it out like some rant building up inside me, but it sometimes seems too personal - maybe more personal for my mom. Maybe it would sound like I was not respectful of her and her privacy. In no way would I want to show disrespect or seem like I am sharing our dirty laundry.  Nor would I want to seem to make fun or laugh at Mom. The thing about dementia/Alzheimer is that it is a mental illness. People say and do things they would never do in their right minds. It is not just their memory loss that is the problem, although that is a big problem.  Their whole personality changes. They are often angry, frustrated, depressed, childish, etc. Things you have explained to them before are new to them every few days. We hash through the same problems over and over with my mom getting angry at us. She doesn't remember why she cannot drive any longer. She does not remember why we took over her banking. She doesn't understand why she needs assistance in living - can no longer live alone. It is not just memory loss, it is her thought process that does not always work. I don't want to make my mom seem awful or crazy or senile or any other words that someone might think if I wrote about this time in our lives.

Last year when I was on the campaign trail for our friend running for district judge, we went from door to door talking with people. One day a good friend of mine knocked on a door and  spent quite a bit of time talking with an elderly lady. My friend asked if he could put a campaign sign in her yard. Yes, she said that would be great. He went and got the sign out of his vehicle and began putting the little wire sign in the yard. The lady came back out of her house screaming and ranting for him to get out of her yard. He did so without saying a word. Although my friend understood what was going on, because his own mother suffers from dementia/Alzheimer's, it was a weird situation when it was going down. I am not sure another person would have understood what was happening. And we all think, "Wow, that lady was crazy!"

If you think that would have been a weird situation, try being in similar situations every time you are with your mom. It no longer feels like it is your mom. It feels like you are with a stranger. Sometimes I want to just talk to Mom like she is my mom and can reason and have a normal conversation. But we are getting to the point where those times are few and far between. It is tough on me and my brother.

So, I wonder if writing down our experiences would help someone else. If someone out there would not feel like the lone ranger, then maybe writing this would be good. I don't know for sure. I'm not sure I can post my feelings and experiences. But I may write them down just to make myself feel better.

13 comments:

CenTexTim said...

We went through the same thing with my mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's. The last couple of years she was a totally different person - and not a very nice one. Not a pleasant time.

I wish I could be more encouraging. They say it affects people differently. I hope and pray that things go well for you and your family.

Bag Blog said...

CTT,
It is a tough time, but I'm learning. Thanks for the hope and prayer.

Jo Castillo said...

Ah, so sorry to hear about your mom. The same happened to mine. At the time, they weren’t sure she had Alzheimer’s but the Dr said that sometimes dementia can cause a change like my mom would take on my dad’s personality because she missed him so much. Could have been, but it was very hard to help and be with her. She had to be restrained at times. She loved to play the piano and sing and in the nursing home she wouldn’t go near the piano, I guess she was frustrated not to remember. She didn’t know any of us. We were transferred to Peru and visited her just before we left. David wore his dress blues and when he walked in she said, “Oh, David, how happy I am to see you!” I think that was the last recognition she had of us.

I still want to talk to my mom. She was always happy and encouraging to me. I could do no wrong in her eyes!

I hope you can write and talk to someone. It should help. Many hugs….. If you can’t write about it publicly, write about the good times here and that may help, too.

Hugs and prayers.

Bag Blog said...

Jo, I'm sorry about your mom. It is funny that she would recognize David. I'm glad you have that memory. Thanks for sharing about your mom; it helps me lots.

CenTexTim said...

I saw the story below and thought of you and your Mom. Don't know if it works or not, but it might be worth trying.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/health-family/karen-garloch/article71181937.html

Anonymous said...

My friend is having a similar problem with her mother. She has decided that she is her enemy, and it hurts her so much, when they have been so close for so long. FF

Bag Blog said...

CenTexTim, that's an interesting article. My mom has a boyfriend who takes her dancing once or twice a week. I thought the exercise was good for her, but maybe the music helps her too.I like the iPod idea.

John said...

Lou, thanks for the thoughts concerning your Mom. My Dad is starting down the same road. He's not as advanced as your Mom but me and my sisters are starting to see the problems you are describing. It's tough to see your Mom or Dad that way, after having such a wonderful relationship with them. I guess we need to relish the love and memories of past times with our parents, and accept them as they are now. Easy to say, hard to do.

Moogie P said...

It's such a wicked, thieving disease. I have been fortunate not to have to have gone through it with friends or family members. Perhaps that's one good thing about coming from such a small family.

Definitely write about it, if only to get some stuff out of your head. You don't have to publish it all.

Thinking of you and your mom.

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