Evening Blues - in Dread, Desperate

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Nebiroth, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    My Dad was dianosed with AD about a year ago. He's had steadily increasing memory problems, but things came to a head when the confusion set in. At first this was after he'd sleep in his armchair in the evening, he'd wake up very disoriented about what day and time it was and whether there'd been "people in the house". Then we had a couple of incidents where he'd be very confused in the evening - asking where his "grandson" was (I am his only child and have no children). Either that or shouting matches about what day/time it was and demands that he "have his tablets". He'd insist "no, you're wrong, you're using American time".

    He started on Aricept last March, and things improved a lot.

    Just recently, though, the old pattern of sleeping and waking up confused has begun again. I know I should have been expecting this but...

    What troubles me is how awful I felt last time - I used to start getting this feeling of sick dread in the afternoon and start thinking "what are we going to get tonight?". Also I get terribly upset because it's poor Mum who gets the sharp end of things.

    Also we have noticed over the passing months that he's becoming more aggressive - he loses his temper at the least little thing, particularly when he can't get his own way or gets contradicted at all. Just goes into "I'm right everyone else is wrong" mode (which he's always tended to do in the past, but in a more reasoning way). He's also taken to swearing an awful lot, which was previously absolutely unknown. We also had some very difficult months with a paranoia problem (the man next door was evil, was going out at night and damaging our property, drilling holes in the wall to steal our heat and had listening devices on the wall). Thankfuly Dad had a checkup with our GP at that time and he thinks a health visitor reported this behavior (it was mum and me really!). The GP gave Dad a talking to about his being ill, judgement affected etc. That seemed to help - at least we don;t get daily rants about the neighbour or dragged out to inspect the fresh "damage" to the front of the house!

    I am now in dread of the next phase where we go back to the evening confusions, talking to non-existant people, trying to climb through the front window to go to the toilet, shouting matches that it is the next day and time for tablets etc.

    I don't think I could stand going through that again, or watching poor Mum go through it either. I have suffered from depression for many years and I think I could be driven to a nervous breakdown.

    Can anyone offer any words of advice?

    Sorry to pour my troubles out like this...
  2. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Yes, we all share the same GP.

    I haven't spoken to anyone as yet...the nurse is due to visit us again in April (one year assessment of Aricept).

    I'm not sure that anyone can really do anything about this. Dad's already on the max 10mg of Aricept and I don't think there's really any further treatment that can be offered..?

    The GP did prescibe a very low dose of Olanzapine after the paranoia and said Dad could take it if he got "very agitated". The leaflet that came with those scared us all to death but the GP assured us that the dose was so low that it was not something to worry about.

    I know that maybe I should grow a thick skin and not get troubled when Dad gets confused but am finding this very hard.

    I have managed to do this when it comes to the outlandish stories he comes up with, the most bizarre mixtures of real old memories and things that are just plain daft, we just go along with those I'm afraid as it;s not worth the trouble to try and contradict.

    However waking up in the evening and thinking it;s the next day/demanding tablets etc does present severe practical problems. We can't just give him what he wants in that case.

    It really tears my heart to shreds to hear poor mum getting shouted and sworn at. She keeps saying that it doesn't upset her but I know it does inside.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Nebiroth, Please go to your GP, about your own condition as well as that of your dad.

    I think this stage is one of the hardest to endure, both for sufferer and family members.

    This is the stage when the sufferer is still fighting to hang on to his independence and the family members feel they are under attack.

    I know every case is different, so I can only speak from my experiences.

    I have been through this stage with my husband. He has hallucinated, heard voices, not known me, been angry, aggressive, distant and argumentative. He has been agitated, confused, awake all night and tired all day. I felt he was a stranger and he treated me like a stranger.

    Now his anger seems to have gone. He accepts he needs help. He is grateful [not that I need him to be, but he does keep thanking me]. He has some insight into his condition, because we have talked about it whenever it was appropriate. When he becomes very tired, very depressed, very confused or distant, when he has, what I can only call a `Lapse`, he is now able to understand that it will pass,as it is a symptom of the condition.

    There is still sorrow and heartache, but our relationship is so much better than it was, because the anger and aggression have gone. [I hope].

    Perhaps you and your mum need private words with your GP. It`s good you have each other for support at least. Bear with your dad. You say he acts so out of character. Try to imagine how he feels.

    I do hope you get some help soon. Love Sylvia
  4. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Nebiroth
    When your Dad is confused and demanding tablets, could you give him small sweets, such as tic tacs or swizzles or something? Would he know the difference?
    Had this from my Mum when she was in denial, but with the help of quetiapine she is much calmer now.
  5. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    #5 Nebiroth, Jan 5, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2007
    Oh absolutely! The tragic thing is that he is hopelessly confused about some things, but very aware of others.

    He'd know in an instant if we tried substituting sweets for pills!

    I try to be understanding - from his viewpoint, he knows that what he thinks is right and true and that everyone else is wrong. We often hear the old one about "no b-----er believes me".

    It must be a nightmare to live in a world where everyone keeps telling you things that contradict what you know to be true. He is as convinced as you or I that he knows what time and what day it is. Just the same way that he knows that "someone" keeps "moving things"...after all, he couldn't possibly be forgetting where he put things away, that doesn't make sense.

    I think I would find that very frightening too.

    It's also a tragedy that he keeps telling us that the "memory tablets" will probably take "about three years to put things right". We do not of course say anything about this...

    If he is prescribed anything he reads the notes that come with it and looks the stuff up in the medical book too!

    I can imagine the reaction if he was prescribed quetiapine or anything like that.

    "I'm not taking pills they give to loonies!"
  6. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Nebiroth
    Sorry my suggestions were not of help. It appears as though your Dad is at a much more aware stage than my Mum and I think that is the hardest stage of all in this horrible illness, for the family and the sufferer. My Mum cannot read, now, so no way could she look up a medical dictionary.
    The sufferer must be tremendously frightened, who wouldn't be?
    When things are mislaid or even food eaten in Mum's house, she says someone has stolen it/them/whatever, because she won't admit she doesn't know or can't remember.
    The only consulation, if it can be called that, is that this stage will pass, meanwhile, I agree with Nada get all the help and support for you and your Mum that you can, that is if your Dad will allow carers etc to help. My Mum wouldn't back then. Even now we have a problem getting her to accept help.
    Take care
  7. Jillian

    Jillian Registered User

    Dec 26, 2006
    You have my sympathy

    Hello, I read your problems with interest and those of people who have given advice. I seem to have exactly the same problems as you with my mum, who is 88 this year. It's so difficult trying to be understanding when someone you've known and loved all your life, becomes someone else.

    I try to remember that it's not really them who can't do what they used to, I even thought my mother was being awkward when she didn't remember things, or constantly looked in her diary - the more she did this the more confused she becamse. She sleeps during the day, awake at night. She's totally disorientated about where she lives (recently moved to sheltered accommodation which did nothing to enhance the situation for her), doesn't know what day it is, doesn't know which pills to take. In some ways I think it would be better if she lived with me, but it would drive me to distraction. We've never really had a good relationship, which is another problems I have to contend with.

    I guess it's good to know that we all, on this site, have similar problems which can be shared and we're not alone.

    You certainly are not alone, and I really do feel for you. You're doing a great job, and you'll be happy you did.

    With very best wishes and thoughts


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