Bad Days with my Father

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Jude, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    The last three weeks have been very difficult indeed. My father became very agitiated, to the point where I took him to the Doctor and he is now on a short course of diazepan to calm him down.

    The problem with this is that he seems to be even more confused than ever. He now appears to be totally pananoid about life in general and thinks there is a plot to trip him up. Despite going through family photos endlessly, he now insists that I am not his daughter, but some infiltrator in the house. He also refuses to acknowledge my mother as his wife, which of course makes her very upset since she's got AD too. He spends all day insisting that I talk about his family who have mainly passed on; events from over 50 years' ago which I can't [this is taken as evidence that I am an imposter] his finances; and believes that all the family photos are bogus.

    The situation here this afternoon has degenerated into a scene from a rather black comedy - again! I am, on the one hand trying convince my father that I am actually his daughter - and on the other consoling my mother because my father has totally lost the plot and doesn't know who she is, either. This has been the norm for the last couple of weeks.

    I am just about tearing my hair out...!! I suppose I am going to have to phone the Consultant Psychiatrist again and try and sort something out with him.

    There is no point sending one into respite without the other because they are joined at the hip - and it wouldn't be respite for either of them and will just confuse them even more than ever. I don't need respite either really. I just need to work out what on earth I can do with them. They are both winding each other up and it's impossible to calm them down once they get into this 'loop'.

    It's getting to the stage where I cannot be in the same room with my father before he starts on 'Ah, now I just want to sort this out with you' and then we are in for another 2 hour session of lunacy. If I leave the room for 5 minutes and then return, then it starts all over again........

    Any ideas?

    Jude
     
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Oh dear Jude, it's a phase they seem to all have. I would speak to the specialist again, although I have to say, it's going to be mostly a case of weathering the storm I'm afraid. I know they do go for walks etc, but I found the only way to stop mum even for a while was distract, not react, so anything that puts a spanner in the works may stop it for at least a little while. Also, although you say respite is not needed, that could put a different slant on things for him, and your mum, as it would be them against the world so to speak if they were away from home. if nothing seems to help, you'll just have to go with the flow and you and your mum can be his very good friends. Love, She. XX
     
  3. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Sheila,

    Well, I've given up with the rationalising and am firmly into distraction mode. It's very difficult to walk out when Dad is in full blast mode. I have to look a bit interested, at least till I can divert his attention. Problem is, that his diversion level is very short and if I don't go back to the subject, then he will come looking for me to continue. I can't work out how he can hold on to these same subjects in his head for so long and forget about other things so easily.

    It's all very wearying and tedious.

    Jude
     
  4. Charlie

    Charlie Registered User

    Apr 1, 2003
    161
    Phew, I really feel for you Jude. Once someone with Alzheimers gets a bee in their bonnet it is almost futile to control it. My only advice is distraction, it seems to work with my dad (to a point) and with my 5 year old (a lot more successfully). I learnt very early on that distraction is the ultimate weapon in parenting.

    A lot of the time, I just feel that dad is really bored. Because he can't do the things he used to do and get involved in physical and mental activities so much, his mind often focuses on one thing which troubles him every minute of the day. Some days he just wanders around puzzled all day, I really don't know where he gets the energy from.

    If you dad thinks you are conspiring, I'd hand over a copy of all the bank accounts, a calculator, a pen, a blank spreadsheet and a flask of tea (decaf). That's what I intend to do when dad undoubtedly confronts me on this issue....

    It's painful, when you are confronted with these types of issues when all your doing is caring, day in day out. Phew!

    Hope things get better.
    Charlie....
     
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi all, yes Charlie, good idea, up to a point, but trouble with my mum was, she then insisted on carrying these copies of bank statements etc. around everywhere with her including to day care and other places. Sometimes she left her bag behind and so sensitive personal information was left open to all. Be warned! Love She. XX
     
  6. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    Well it didn't get better - it just got worse and worse! I spent another hour before dinner going through finances with my father. That was the 4th time today - that's 4 hours of the same boring conversation AND WRITING IT DOWN over and over again. As soon as they finished their evening meal, he got stuck in again - this time with the carers, as well. The end result was that he has worked himself up in to a complete rage against everyone and my mother has been in tears again!

    We have ALL tried totally unsuccesfully to placate him and calm him down. The more we tried, the more he insisted we were fobbing him off with rubbish and lies! In the end, we have all had to walk away and leave him to rant and rave.

    There are limits to my patience.... to the patience of the carers. The situation is rapidly becoming totally untenable.

    I phoned the Psychiatrist this afternoon, but he was out. I have to ring and speak to him early tomorrow morning. I am completely out of my depth with this situation and at my wits end.
    My father is completely out of control.

    Jude
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Respite Jude, respite, for everyones sake, you need some time apart. If he is really in a pickle the specialist has it in his power to arrange emergency respite. I really think you need this, we had it with mum once, if you don't it could really end in tears. Mum tended to explode at us around her at home, but when on respite was often quite pleasant and well behaved. She then was pleased to see us for a while on her return! Although of course it doesn't last. You have said, you and your mum are only wee people, your dad is a fit and powerful man, you must get help with this. Thinking of you, love, She. XX
     
  8. Suzy R

    Suzy R Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004
    40
    Switzerland
    Dear Jude,

    so sorry to hear you are confronted with this on top of everything else. You could try taking the valium yourself !!!

    Sadly it's a phase many seem to go through. My mother ranted consistently about some marketing telephone call she got from, of all things, Vogue magazine. She really thinks she's on their consumer panel and came out with the same story ad infinitum, funny when she can't remember anything important. She's also paranoid in the extreme and distinctly suspicious of my father, his only crime being deafness and impatience.

    My grandfather also had his obsessions, but seemed to grow out of it quite quickly.

    You just have the paranoia and obsession in one dose. You could try telling him that you are worried about your own finances, then give him some high finance magazine and say you need his advice. It worked quite well when I distracted mum with a 'new' edition of Vogue or Harpers (!).

    Take care,
    Suzy.
     
  9. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Sheila,

    Good point about airing financial stuff with all and sundry - Dad has tried to rope the carers into the discussion this evening, much to their embarrassment. They said they couldn't help and that's when he got really seriously stroppy with all of us.

    If it continues much longer this evening I shall ring the AS Helpline because, as much as I can handle the 'normal' AD stuff - I cannot cope with these constant manic conversations however many times a day [4 hours+ today] - it's just doing my head in....!!!

    He can't be bored! My parents went out this morning for a drive and morning coffee. Went for walks a couple of times this afternoon - all as as diversionary tactics - yet STILL in between all of this, it's back to the same old loop the minute he sits down.
    It's the end of the monkey!

    Jude
     
  10. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    Many thanks for you very sensible advice. The carers are going on hols for a fortnight from 27 September. I will speak to the Cons Psych tommorrow and see if I can book my parents in to respite for the corresponding weeks. We ALL need a break after this lot.

    Thanks guys,

    Jude xxx
     
  11. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Jude
    hang in there,we have been here before.
    This is the can't go on,the thought of it all ending,but you will come through Jude.Tomorrow will be better.
    I have had three months of where is the cat?Is she dead? Who killed her?
    It's deceitful and underhanded.
    Remember we had to have the cat put down? Peg went up the garden looking for it tonight,will it ever end.
    Thinking about you Jude and wishing you the strength to carry on
    Norman
     
  12. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Poor you Jude

    its a living nightmare. Mum became "that mad woman in the other room" which was obviously very upsetting. It was a bit like good cop, bad cop for a while as Mum was having to stop Dad from going out/home/to work and when I arrived from work I would sound all sincere and comforting even though it was like a dagger to my heart to hear him speak that way of her and know how much she was hurting. I was able to play the nice guy and put him in the car to take hime "home" and then we would get delayed and diverted until he forgot and we ended up back at base for a cuppa.

    Dad's "bee" was about thieves/rogues and travellers calling. He would "see" people hanging around outside (we live in the middle of nowhere). I'm sure this stemmed from having a trailer and a car stolen in the preceeding 5 years. It caused all manner of confrontations as he would insist they were outside and no one could convince him otherwise. If they were alone then it would also frighten Mum as it made her feel even more vulnerable.

    You can't tear yourself in two Jude so however negative it feels it might be worth testing out a little individual respite to see what happens. If it makes things worse at least you will know and can move on to another avenue.

    My fingers and toes are crossed that tomorrow will give you at least a little let up.

    Kriss
     
  13. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Jude, what an awful time for you! I don't know what advice to give other than respite. Mum gets very agitated about money too, as I had to take everything out of her bag a few months ago including her purse, I even had to take her jewellery off her, bar her wedding ring, as she was trying to give things away.
    I really think you need a break. I know I've moaned a bit about respite but I think I would have completely melted down without it. It's like you told me, if you don't put petrol in the car it won't go, you need some well earned petrol Jude, and that's in the form of respite. You shouldn't have to be dealing with 2 people alone (I know you have great carer's but at the end of the day it's your parents you're watching like this, it effects you differently).
    Please be kind to yourself Jude, as we carers all find out sooner or later, no one else will be! You've got to make some arrangements for your own salvation, there's been far too much stress in your life lately with the bomb etc, you need to stand back and reflect and rest.
    Jude you're a loving and incredibley kind human being, but you are only a human being, not a robot, and ALL humans need a break. You showed me that and you were absolutely right.
     
  14. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    So much for the 'mad woman in the other room' Kriss - I think that was me last night...!! Strewth - wot a life, ay?

    3.45am this morning I woke up to find my father standing over my bed and every light in the house blazing. He was half dressed, having decided that he was 'late for a show' and wanted me to get up to find him a clean shirt. Okay, so we all troop off back to the bedroom, undress and back to bed again, having convinced him it was probably a dream. He and Mum then spent a least an hour wittering on what time the coach was likely to arrive, which show they were going to see, etc.

    This morning at breakfast, my father told me that the show had been very enjoyable but that he was less than impressed with the coach loads of people making such a noise 'upstairs'. [Nice one, Dad - we live in a bungalow.]

    Time to laugh, folks!

    Thanks to all for listening to a mega-whinge. I'm waiting for the CP to get back to me regarding respite.

    Jude

    Jude
     
  15. Charlie

    Charlie Registered User

    Apr 1, 2003
    161
    Hi Jude,

    You are having a hard time. The mind plays cruel and unusual tricks on everyone and you must be finding it hard to cope without much sleep.

    Your dads imagination reminded me of a story...

    Dad went into respite (day care) last week, only one day a week at the moment but it has been a relief. Curiously he is convinced that my daugher picks him up in the coach. Apparently she is a very confident driver and doing a good job for her age. Very helpful getting everyone on the bus and very talkative. My five year old daughter is going to be very interested and shocked about her new career this weekend.

    We were really worried about the reaction at the day centre, but he marched straight in after the first visit and then spent an hour telling the folks in the mirror what an excellent day he'd had.....

    You take care of yourself!
    Charlie....
     
  16. storm

    storm Registered User

    Aug 10, 2004
    269
    notts
    hi jude, Sorry you are having such a hard time,i find the only thing i can do when mum gets into a mad paddy as i call them is to walk into another room and leave her to it, in a way i am luckier than you because she isnt physically able to follow me not very quickly anyway!.When i do go back in shes usally forgotten what she was so mad about till the next paddy.All i can offer is try and distance yourself and remember it will pass and you are not alone we are all thinking of you. luv storm
     
  17. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Thanks Storm and Charlie,

    This caring business can really do you in sometimes, can't it?

    My father seems very much improved this today - now that he has worn everyone else to a frazzle... he seems quite happy, contented and his usual 'self'. Obviously the frenzy has blown away for now.....

    Hurray for that. I just may be able to have a quick snooze this afternoon.

    Jude
     
  18. storm

    storm Registered User

    Aug 10, 2004
    269
    notts
    hi jude, so glad the storm clouds seem to have lifted,i feel a lot better now after getting things off my chest just wish i could type faster,no thats maybe not a good idea i would just ramble even more.hope we can all lift our spirits and have a good weekend,mines a G&T cheers luv Storm
     
  19. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Storm,

    I'll join you in a G&T once I settle my parents in to bed for the night. Cheers!

    Jude
     
  20. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    I'm already on the wine! This is my last night of freedom as mum has another chest infection and is ill so I have decided to pull her out of respite tomorrow. The dementia will increase with the toxic confusion and she will be a nightmare for the staff, they are not a nursing home and it isn't fair to them, it may end in a hospital trip if she needs the anitibiotics straight into the bloodstream. Oh God here we go again. I hope we can keep her out of hospital, the treatment dementia patients get in there is dreadful. Well, as Norman says,
    "Day By Day"
    Jude, get that break, thank God I've had a good 4 weeks, am only starting to feel the benefit! At least I'm ready for frontline battle again.
    (Mission Impossible theme now playing in head.)

    Magic xx
     

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