Feel like I've lost mum already

BeadieJay

Registered User
I'm not really writing this for answers, I just need to get it off my chest :eek:

I feel like I've already lost my mum, and she hasn't even been diagnosed yet. Because we live such a long way from each other, we chat once a week and catch up on each other's news and gossip. She always asks about my kids and husband, and tells me all about the little shopping trips she's been on, or the theatre trips she's been on, or meals she's had with family and friends. Usually she phones me, and it's become a bit of a joke in our family that I have to get ready for "nan-nan's phone time". The last time we had that was about 2 months ago, since then she hasn't phoned me, but, of course, I've phoned her and pretended that I was phoning on the wrong day cos I had some news to share or something similar, because I didn't want her to feel bad about having forgotten to phone me.

She phoned me on Sunday, it was my birthday, and I was so pleased that she'd remembered...I have a feeling that she must have put notes all over the house to remind herself to call me. I can't say that we chatted, because she handed the phone to my dad after a couple of minutes. She didn't ask me about the children or anything, she's not able to hold a conversation any more.

I just feel like I've lost her. Even though she's still physically there, the person that I've known all these years is no longer there. I feel awful writing that, but it's true, and I know that I'm already grieving for the person that she was.

Thanks for letting me have the space to write this.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Dear Beadiejay

I could have written this post a couple of years ago. Even today I think "I'll call Mummy" and then realise it's pointless. It doesn't get any easier although I suppose you get used to it.

Jennifer
 

BeadieJay

Registered User
Hi Jennifer

I feel bad that I've already got used to it - that I don't prepare for my chats anymore, I used to rush the kids through supper so I could clear up and be ready to chat, and I'd remind the kids every time that they had to keep the noise down while I was on the phone to nan-nan.

Now, I look at the clock and just carry on with what I'm doing. I used to make notes of things to tell her, so that I wouldn't forget anything (it's ironic, but I have a lousy memory at the best of times!!!) Now I know it's not worth telling her anything, or even telling my dad as he suffers from chronic short-term memory loss (he's been tested for Alzheimers but doesn't have it).

It helps to write this stuff down here :eek:
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,725
Kent
Hi BeadieJay,

The grieving begins from day one of the diagnosis. It`s especially difficult when you live a distance apart.

It`s a horrid condition because the person you know, goes, and someone takes their place, who is still familiar, but at the same time, strange.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
BeadieJay said:
I just feel like I've lost her. Even though she's still physically there, the person that I've known all these years is no longer there. I feel awful writing that, but it's true, and I know that I'm already grieving for the person that she was.
QUOTE]

Hi BeadieJay

You're right, it is a grieving process. It's not for nothing that AD is called 'the long goodbye'.

The grieving starts at diagnosis, and can go on for up to 20 years. It's no wonder that we're all constantly on the verge of depression.

But there are positives. Your mum is still there. Not quite the same, but still your mum, and she loves you and needs you. And there is something very special in that dependence, as if your mum has become your child.

It's harder for you, I know, that you do not live close, so cannot experience the flashes of the person she was, the odd spark of humour, the occasional show of affection. Somehow it's not the same over the telephone.

But the fact that she remembered your birthday, and the effort that took, must make you feel good.

I'm not trying to deny your grief, goodness knows I know all about that! Just trying to show you that it is not all black.

Love,
 

leigh

Registered User
Oct 12, 2006
11
Essex
I feel the same, my mum was diagnosed this February but we had been prepared for it for about three years, as this is when her symptoms were first obvious.

My mum also lives 2 hours drive away and I only see her a handful of times a year, but I will bring her home with me for a week each time so she can spend time with my two young children, whom she adores. It is very strange how her character has changed so much in the past few years. She was always such an attractive woman, taking great care with her personal appearance (she was a natural body builder through out the 80's).

She even looks different and would appear even shabbier if my sister (who lives nearby and is her carer) wasn't around to book her into the hairdressers once a month. Her nails used to be perfectly manicured, her make-up flawless, her energy endless. She's a shadow of who she was but I love her just the same. It certainly is a slow grieving process for me, when we spend time together a little more of her seems lost to me each time. She can remember some long term memories but they get very muddled up. She may think she is talking about something from my childhood but it turns out its from her own, some thirty years earlier.

Just lately she has taken to putting her trousers on, on top of her pyjama bottoms and putting ice-cream in the fridge instead of the freezer. Overall though I think the important thing is despite the pain, is to concentrate on the here and now, make every moment with her count and make her time as happy as you can. I know how much my mum loves looking at photo's of her seven grandchildren so we are putting an album together for her birthday. Simple but will be something she can really enjoy.

Quite regularly I ask the children to paint or colour a nice picture for Nanny and we send it through the post. It makes me feel better to do something to make her smile, maybe you can think of something to send your mum in the post. That usually gives her reason to pick up the phone to me too. As like you, my mum who has always phoned me regularly since I left home 14 years ago, rarely phones me these days. I do not believe this is because she has forgotton all about me, I just think it doesnt occur to her what the phone is for unless it rings her end!

Hope you can find some comfort and something to help how you are feeling

All the best

Leigh
 
Last edited:

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
cannot experience the flashes of the person she was, the odd spark of humour, the occasional show of affection.
Hazel as you know I live with my mother and I get those moment with her your so right ,


I to grieved for the woman my mother once was and still I have moments that can make me cry for that time , but they are now all getting few and far between
 

Kathleen

Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
639
66
West Sussex
Oh yes, I do grieve for Mum, but today the roles reversed once again.

Mum was worried sick about her missing sister...........she was missing for a while, but over 40 years ago........I did what she and my lovely Dad used to do with us when we were frightened as children.

I sat down with her, gave her a big hug and kiss, held her hands in mine and told her that her sister had been found and was absolutely fine................the real happy ending all those years ago.

It was sad at the time, for both of us, but Mum forgot very quickly and was soon giggling away and talking her usual jumbled words.

I can never hope to repay Mum for all she ever did for me, but a small, simple token moment today, sharing the love we still have for each other, reminded me of just who she is and how very lucky I am to have such a lovely Mum.

Kathleen
x
 

BeadieJay

Registered User
Thank you for all your replies, and for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

One of my hobbies is card making, and my kids enjoy making cards as well, so I'm going to get them to do some to send to mum - maybe like Leigh said, it'll give her a reason to phone me, but at the very least it'll let her know that we're thinking of her.

It breaks my heart that she seems to have forgotten about the children. I know that she would be horrified by this if she was to ever realise it. They're her life; at least, they were :(

This time last year mum was recovering from surgery for breast cancer. She got the all-clear a few weeks ago, at her annual check up. I remember at the time wishing that it was me going through the surgery cos mum had never been in hospital apart from having me, my brother and sister (they're twins, so only twice in hospital), whereas I'd had 2 caesareans, plus other surgery when I was a kid. I wanted to protect her from the unknown.....Now, I'm glad (but only a very, very little glad) that she has this confusion and unawareness. I know that she has been scared of dying for a long time, the older she got the more inevitable it's become, and it always upset me to see her fear. Now though, maybe she won't have that fear anymore because of her confusion, and I find that ever so slightly comforting.

I hope that makes sense. All I really want is for mum to be protected from her fears, if that's at all possible. Her mum died in her sleep one afternoon. Her dad suffered 13 long months after a debilitating stroke. I know how I'd like her to go. If only it was that simple :eek:
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
BeadieJay said:
All I really want is for mum to be protected from her fears, if that's at all possible. Her mum died in her sleep one afternoon. Her dad suffered 13 long months after a debilitating stroke. I know how I'd like her to go. If only it was that simple :eek:

Hi BeadieJay

I can understand your wanting to protect your mum. And we wish a gentle, peaceful end for our loved ones. It seems to happen that way often for dementia sufferers, so many people here have described just such an end.

Sadly, it's the run-up to the end that's so devastating, but that's usually for the carer. The sufferer is often unaware of surroundings by that time (unless an infection intervenes, of course).

But your mum does need to be protected from fear of her confusion, and lack of understanding of what is happening to her. It's the most terrifying feeling anyone could go through. And you're doing your best there. The only thing you an do is give her constant reassurance, be with her as much as possible, just let her know that she is loved.

And I know you're doing that, and your children are helping. What a loving example you're setting them!

Keep up the good work,

Love,
 

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