Even when I'm happy, I'm sad

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by CollegeGirl, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Mam and dad came round this afternoon. Mam sat down and had a cuppa and a couple of biscuits, and we 'chatted' while dad and my hubby talked about some electrical stuff. I showed her some school photos from when the kids were little and she enjoyed looking at them, although she didn't know who they were. We even had a bit of a song, singing 'My Old Man Said Follow the Van' and laughed at the end when none of us could remember the last couple of lines :rolleyes:.

    All in all it was a lovely visit, she was pleasant, calm, stayed sitting the whole time, and 'joined in' in her own way. Dad was amazed because apparently she'd been an absolute nightmare all day right up until they came in.

    So I was happy. But I'm also sad, because even on a very good day, my mam will never ever be the way she used to be, will she? Today was the best it's ever going to get, and even though it was nice, it hurts. It hurts so much.

    I know you will all understand just what I mean.
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Go to Lyricsplayground.com and input the title of the song and you will get all the words. I am rubbish at copying the web address but it is very accessible.
  3. Eleonora

    Eleonora Registered User

    Dec 21, 2012
    Abingdon Oxfordshire
    Last two lines:
    You can't trust, ' The Specials' like the old time coppers,
    when you can't find your way home. That's what my mother used to sing - hope others will agree with me.
  4. turbo

    turbo Registered User

    Aug 1, 2007
    Hello CG, I'm pleased it was a good visit from your mum and dad.
    It is no wonder that it hurts so much. Dementia robs both the sufferer and their loved ones of so much.
  5. ellejay

    ellejay Registered User

    Jan 28, 2011
    If I want mums attention now, I have to call her Ethel. "Mum" doesn't work any more.

    The gifts that please her are little tins of biscuits or sweets that have Disney pictures on, it feels patronising, but "grown up" stuff doesn't do it now.

    Lin x
  6. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Yes CG-we do understand.

    It's horrible what we cling on to isn't it? Having your Mam with you and having a laugh is nice-but it's also very sad because we cling on to anything that seems like our loved ones as we knew them when they were well.

    It does hurt; personally I can't imagine feeling any more hurt than I do now. I'm also angry-and I don't like that feeling either:(

    So we carry on each day trying to be the best spouse/daughter/son etc. and hope that each day we will see some little chink of our loved ones. Something that reminds us of happier times, when we didn't feel happy and sad at the same time.

    You are doing a great job of supporting your Mam and Dad and I wish I could write something to make you feel better.

    Take great care

    Lyn T XXX
  7. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    It's dreadfully hard CG, bad days make one want the peace to come quicker and good days just seem to dangle the loss and heartbreak before your eyes.

    Bitter, oh so bitter...sweet life. X

  8. babystar

    babystar Registered User

    Apr 10, 2013
    Sending hugs. In theory we should appreciate the "good" days but they only have a habit of accentuating our loss. Can totally relate. Try and stay strong x
  9. littleman

    littleman Registered User

    Nov 12, 2014
    The hurt is always there, it has taken me a bit of time to reply.
    My dad died three yrs ago from AD and in 2012 my wife was diagnosed with PCA, she is going blind and she has AD also.
    Every day I see a difference in her, the worst of it all is when she says that her vision is getting worse or she cannot remember who I am or the children's names, what do you say to make her feel better.
    This disease is so cruel it really is.
    We all experience this I'm sure so my heart goes out to all who are suffering and to your loved ones.
  10. Isabella

    Isabella Registered User

    Jan 4, 2014
    I feel exactly the same. For some reason these days my mum seems to find me very funny, she chuckles away when I talk and I like to see her happy, but it's sad, because I remember the long conversations we used to have and I know that it will never be like that. She's in some other reality now that I can't understand. But as long as she seems ok, that's what I hold onto. There are so many tragic stories on here. As long as mum still laughs, even if I have no idea what she's laughing at,that's such a blessing. And I remind myself that mum would be very cross with me if I didn't try to enjoy life, so that's what gets me up on those days when I want to hide away!
  11. Annebags

    Annebags Registered User

    Sep 2, 2014
    Yes, even the best days are sad.

    At least mum enjoyed herself. Sadly that is as good as you get.
  12. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Thanks all. I'm glad she was happy for a little while today. She didn't know my name but called me love and pet, and when they left she even waved to me from the car. That means a lot to me these days because as many of you know, there have been some horrible and distressing times previously.

    That's two visits in a row that have been good and I'm hanging on to them.

  13. Pepper&Spice

    Pepper&Spice Registered User

    Aug 4, 2014
    The "good" days can be just as cruel as the bad days cos sometimes you get reminders or little glimpses of the person they were and it turns the knife once more :(
    It's a cruel cruel disease to rob you of the person you love little by little, leaving a shell where deep inside something still holds onto life.
    Mum has seemed bright today but tonight she said she needed to get ready cos her daddy was coming to take her home and when I went in to see if she was ready to go to bed she asked me when she was going home cos she'd had enough of being here. She has lived " here" for over 50 years and I was born in her bedroom !
    Mum has Vascular Dementia so it's not just the recent memories that can disappear but anything in her life - she had no idea of the date of her marriage when asked by the doc but reeled off her address just like that.
    Sometimes she knows me, sometimes I'm not sure & I'd rather not know :(
    I do so understand CollegeGirl that the "good" times are hard, you almost start mourning all over again. I say mourning because that's how it feels - my mum isn't here anymore, not the kind, sweet, loving person who held me tight not 18 months ago when I was in despair of being made redundant. Now she would look at me blankly not even knowing I was upset let alone why - it's almost like a form of autism as all things revolve around her and her moods and she doesn't see how others feel or even understand ?
    Take care,
    Lots of love
  14. Lukasthomas

    Lukasthomas Registered User

    Jun 13, 2014
    Pepper&Spice, I wish there was a "Like" button on this forum, like on Facebook, because all your comments on this post are exactly like my situation, even down to the 50 years my mum has lived in this house. Every afternoon, about 2.00 p.m., the same questions get asked: Who's coming to collect us? When are we going home? What time is that bus because I don't want to miss it? and so on and so on. Sometimes, when reality hits me, I feel completely overwhelmed that the funny, loving, generous woman who was my mother has been taken over by this dull-eyed stranger who has no interest in anything or anybody. Sad, sad, sad.
  15. Anongirl

    Anongirl Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    Babystar's words sum it up for me.

    I drive to mum's CH with a lump in my throat wondering how I will find her. On the days she isn't as agitated and she smiles at me while we chat I find myself looking at her and missing her so much I just want to cry :(

    I understand CG and I'm so sorry any of us have to suffer this xxx
  16. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Me to a T.

  17. lilysmybabypup

    lilysmybabypup Registered User

    May 21, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi CG, it surely is bittersweet, I completely understand. We can be with someone, and everything goes without incident, but we will never really be with the one who has slipped away, and it's confronting. On a really bad day we feel entitled to be angry and justified in being upset or resentful, on a good day we think we should count our blessings. Sadly, dementia colours all the days, bad and good, with a grey cloud.

    What I do know is, so much of the time I spent with Dad may never have happened had it not been for his Alzheimer's. I probably would have seen him a couple of times a week and just had lots of casual chats with him which would have blurred into a collective memory. But I had so much time with him, almost every day, not always good, but more good than bad. I have each memory deeply etched in my heart now and I'm grateful I had that chance. Maybe the good days are ones you'll recall fondly far into the future, but right now they're too close to the bone.

    I think every feeling we have as we helplessly watch the one we love diminish is a valid one and it's ok to feel them, and express them without any judgement.

    I wish you many more good days than bad, I'm so glad you had a lovely time with your mum.

    Stephanie, xxx
  18. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Thank you Stephanie - I'm sorry, I have just seen your reply, I'm not sure how I missed it. Your understanding - everyone's understanding on here - is very comforting. I'm so glad you have those wonderful memories of your times with your dad.

  19. Lou99

    Lou99 Registered User

    Apr 24, 2011
    Oh I do CG - heartbreaking, but grab those times of happiness - stay there in the moment and feel the connection with your Mam. No cure for dementia, we have to come to terms with that - but you will one day wish like hell she was there with you whatever way she is acting..... x Lou x

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