1. Anne Watkins

    Anne Watkins Registered User

    Nov 8, 2005
    6
    surrey
    I have been the prime carer for my mother who had early stage Alzheimer's. The Psychiatrist, based on tests, felt she had moderate to severe Alzheimers but my mother could be left alone 2 days a week and was able to use a microwave to heat up soup for her lunch when I was at work. She was able to take care of all her personal hygiene without help of prompting from me - having a shower every day, dressing and undressing without help.

    I feel so wretched as unfortunately my mother passed away 3 weeks ago of a heart attack which was unexpected. I used to shout at her out of frustration and she hated it when I shouted although I was finding it easier to cope with her care over time. I had been looking after mum for 2 years 4 months since my father died of Stomach Cancer. I have 2 older brothers - 10 and 8 years older. They basically left me to cope with the running of the house, caring for Mum and holding down a stressful job. They felt their jobs were more important than mine - I work in a Jobcentre.

    I know it is stupid but I feel guilty about shouting at mum as I know it distressed her. I feel I could have cared for her better but I don't know how. I took her out every day, helped her maintain her friendships, cooked, cleaned and did the washing. My brothers would take mum out about every 4-6 weeks for about 1-2 hours. I had to ask them to do everything. I am sorry about this waffle but I loved my mum so much and miss the chats we had as although her short term memory was bad she was able to give such good advise and had a wonderful sense of humour.
     
  2. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Dear Ann
    Welcome to Talking Point.
    It sounds to me that you looked after your Mum very well.
    You have nothing to reproach yourself for in that area.
    We all lose patience at times (I just have) and shout at our loved ones ,nothing abnormal in that.
    Don't beat youself up you are very normal.
    Come back and post again when you feel the need .
    Best Wishes
    Norman
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Ann, I am so sorry your first post to us is such a sad one. Please don't berate yourself over your mum. You loved her, you did all you could for her. O.K. so you lost it sometimes, you are only human.

    Please take good care of yourself, your Mum would be so proud of you for all you did. Connie
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Registered User

    Feb 25, 2005
    44
    Hello Anne,

    So sorry to hear of your sad loss and the way you are feeling, but yes, you are normal, no doubt about it.

    As carers, there are times when our ability to care for our loved ones is stretched to the absolute limit. Life can be stressful enough without the additional worry that goes with caring. It can be no suprise that we sometimes react out of frustration.

    Having cared for my wife for several years before she entered a care home, I am always thinking back and now regret various events or something I said to her in the heat of the moment. I feel terribly guilty and find it hard not to punish myself over it, even though I know it serves no purpose other than to make me feel wretched. Caring on ones own heightens the stress significantly. We are far from perfect and to err is to be human.

    Although at times I find it hard to practice it, the right advise is to try and forgive ourselves. Better to be positive and think of all the good times when we gave our love and care in abundance.
     
  5. Anne Watkins

    Anne Watkins Registered User

    Nov 8, 2005
    6
    surrey
    Thank you all for your kind words. It shows the true power of love that we feel the way we do. If we didn't care we would not and could not feel the range of emotion we do. I don't regret for one moment the time and effort I put into looking after my mother. That is what everyone has to remember. You do the best you can in the circumstances and know in your heart of hearts that you do care and love even in the darkest of times.

    Thank you all once again for your words. You have really helped me at a dark moment.
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Anne, I am sorry to hear of the sad loss of your Mum. You sound as though you did everything you possibly could to care for her. What you are feeling Anne, it's part of the grieving process, we berate ourselves with these questions, why did I do this, should I have done that, would so and so have made a difference. We all do it. I know I still do and my Mum has been gone over 16 months now. I am sure your Mum was well aware how much you loved and cared about her. Please try not to beat yourself up so much, we all have days when we shout, we are after all, only human. Caring for someone with dementia is hard work. I am sure the good days way outdid the bad so don't worry about it. Please get on TP and share your feelings with us, many of us here have lost loved ones to this infernal illness and we may be able to give you some comfort. We can definately offer support. With love, She. XX
     
  7. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Dear Anne

    You loved and cared for your Mum in the best possible way and she would have known that.

    You feel guilty for sometimes shouting at her, but guilt is all part of living with Ad , I find. Your brothers are the ones who should feel the guilt, but if they are anything like mine, they won't show it even if it is within their capabilities to feel it.

    You are probably emotionally and physically exhausted after struggling on your own to care for your Mum.

    Take comfort in the fact that Mum has been spared the end stages of this cruel disease and is now with your Dad.

    Look after yourself and be kind to yourself, you are a very caring person and one I am sure your Mum and Dad were very proud of.

    Kathleen
    xx
     
  8. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Anne, of course you're normal ... on the other hand

    ... You're also an extraordinary person, but suffering from an overdose of grief (x 2), emotional exhaustion, shock (at your Mum's unexpected death) and an entirely justifiable indignation that you have had to carry all this by yourself for so long!

    Please, PLEASE don't latch onto the fact that sometimes you snapped at your Mum and dwell on it so much. That's part of normal family life, surely, not some heinous crime. And besides, one of the few 'blessings' of short-term memory loss is that she forgot about each occasion long before you did!

    Think of all the help you gave her, enabling her to remain fairly independent and retain her self-respect and dignity. Without you, she could not have maintained that relatively normal level of living. You have nothing to reproach yourself about; to the contrary, you should be very proud of yourself, as I'm sure both your parents are proud of you.

    I feel that your Mum's needs perhaps caused you to bottle up your grief over your Dad's illness & death (which were awful in themselves - I've been there for that one), so in a way you are now faced with doubly intense feelings of grief, mourning and loneliness. Having been so close to your Mum, in every sense, your missing her will naturally dominate your thoughts and feelings right now. It's difficult to choose the right words to say this, but I hope you'll take this the right way - your Mum (and you) have been spared the slow decline & "long goodbye" which many AD-sufferers go through. She died knowing you loved her, knowing who you were, and still knowing who she was. There are worse ways to go, as you know from your Dad.

    I feel for your grief, but I utterly deny the guilt-monster has any place in your life.

    If possible, can you take a holiday? I think you need one, or perhaps even a little help from your doctor to help you through this difficult time. In your place, I think I would need to re-assess my world, and decide what you want to do now, for yourself.

    Your brothers? :confused: Forgive them their weakness, and move on with your relationship to them. Holding onto negative feelings can't do you any good, looking back on how things were can't change anything which has happened.

    Keep us posted,

    Best Wishes
     
  9. Anne Watkins

    Anne Watkins Registered User

    Nov 8, 2005
    6
    surrey
    thank you all

    I would like to thank you all especially Lynne who have responded to the thoughts I have had since my mother passed away. Lynne, your words have hit home in such a positive way. I am seeing my GP on Friday. No-one really knows what it is to look after someone you love in such a situation as this. I admire the workyou all do and the support an organisation such as this offers.

    Thank you all. Take care
     
  10. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Dear Anne

    I too lost my mother 7 months ago. I cared for her for 17 years (the last 4 with Alzheimers) I had a good old rant and rave too at times, I would have imploded if I hadn't.

    You're actually not normal, you're a very special and extra-ordinary person to make the sacrifices you made and gave so much of yourself to the wellbeing and care of your beloved mother.

    Good luck at the GP, stand tall and be proud of your achievement in caring for your mother and put behind you the times when your frustration and hurt at the illness came through. It was the illness you were shouting at, not your mother. We've all done it.
     
  11. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Dear Anne

    Good luck today with your visit to the GP, hope all goes well for you.
     
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Anne, how did things go at the GP appointment? Thinking of you, love She. XX
     
  13. Anne Watkins

    Anne Watkins Registered User

    Nov 8, 2005
    6
    surrey
    Thank you all for your enquiries. I didn't go to my GP in the end because I am feeling better about everything that has happened. Being back at work has helped me a little to get some kind of normality going.

    If it had not been for the postings on this site following my original message I may not have been quite so settled in myself. To realize that I am not alone in the way I felt has been invaluable. I am taking one step at a time and should I find that I am not coping I will go to my GP for help. I have learnt from the death of my father not to bottle up the grief.

    Thank you all once again for just being there. It is that support that is priceless.

    Anne
     
  14. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Dear Anne

    Thank goodness you're feeling better, that's brilliant news. Well done for having the strength to pick yourself up and go on.

    There'll be plenty of support here should you need it.

    Thinking of you and wishing you health and strength.
     
  15. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Best wishes Anne. Don't be a stranger.
     
  16. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Anne, glad your feeling better, we are here any time you need us, love She. XX :)
     
  17. Hugh

    Hugh Registered User

    Sep 23, 2005
    25
    You are supernormal!

    Just saw your sad post and wanted to join the rest by saying you are SUPERNORMAL!!! You have done all and more than is possible for a human and your Mum would be/is thankful and proud of all she received from you. Mums are preety strong people I find - at least mine is and she is 86, in a nursing home and well down the road with this vial illness AD which is gradually taking away her life. I lost it with her the other day but she undesrtood why just as your mother would have done. She loves you always Anne. I found CRUSE very helpful when I was trying to come to terms with losses in my life - I heartily recommend them in case you ahd not considered them yet. x Hugh
     

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