It's got to get better - I think........

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
Ronda Spain
This is just a sort of update for those that remember me and Monique.... 2007 was about the worst year of my life - well the most awful decisions to make - like putting Monique into a home.

Looking back I can see I was nearer to 'cracking' than I realised. Just been reading 'Cliffs' really interesting thread and it occurs to me that what we are all having to deal with, is actually mental illness - people we love going 'nuts'. We get so occupied with the symptoms, incontinence, anger, repetitive nonsensicle actions, difficulties walking and talking and and and that we sort of block out the basic problem which is that their brains are all messed up and are never ever going to 'unmess'...

It was bad 2007 - really bad... when Monique first went into the specialist Alzheimer's home it in fact went better - well no worse than I expected and she seemed to settle after about 3 months.... Not sure if it was the cause or coincidence but following a visit by her brother, who I suspect spent the time talking about all the things that were once nice but are now long past, Monique became seriously depressed and after some weeks stopped eating and drinking for several days.. her weight shot down to the point she looked like a very old Belsen inmate. The home called me and she was admitted to hospital as an emergency...

She wreaked havoc there... trying to escape - shouting for her mother at the top of her voice - I could hear her when I called the 'nurses station' and the 'consultant' had to put her on powerful tranquillisers so that other 'normal' patients could sleep!!!! Made me smile the idea of Monique making herself 'known' to them all,,,,,,,,,

All the tests showed there was no physical reason for not eating but that she was 'clinically depressed' and the hospital doctor prescribed new and different tranquilisers and sent her back the home... The effects were basically good - she is sometimes not depressed at all... Once or twice almost 'contented'... Eating better... There are now bad visits and better visits... She is of course still totally do-lally but much less depressed and anxious.;... So maybe 2008 will be better for her as well...

I am moving house to Saujon which is only 15 minutes from her Alzheimer's home... That will make the visits physically easier and ..... Not a lot more to say really... There are 53 Alzheimer's inmates in the home from 'just a bit off the wall' to almost dead... The 'animators' do their best to entertain them and 'stimulate' them, the 'staff' are patient and caring and all 53 seem to want to escape and return to their mothers or childhood home.... I now see it all more like 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest' rather than 'cancer ward'.. but in either case it will all end in the same way... So far 2008 has been good to me... Keeping everything crossed!


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Thanks for that Michael.
You write a very descriptive post, full of humour and cleverly hiding the agony.
Love xx


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Michael,
Thank you for your update.
I sincerely hope that 2008 is kinder to you. We do not realise until our loved ones are in Care, just how much we put our own health through.
Best wishes and good luck with the move.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Dear Michael

Thanks for your update. Your brutal honesty strikes like a cold shower -- it takes your breath away, but you feel so much better afterwards!

Of course I remember you and Monique, and often wonder how you are getting on.

I hope your move goes well, and that 2008 will be a good year for you both.



Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
Dear Michael

It's an odd thing isn't it, this 'togetherness' in adversity.

We're all going through our own particular version of Hell on earth, and yet somehow take comfort from how other people in similar situations are managing - or not - coping with uncopable unhappiness, reluctantly accepting unchangeable facts, carrying on because there's no choice but to do so.

I'm sure many here feel as I do, that we are amongst very dear friends - if only we could meet them.
We know intimate details of each other's lives (often strangely familiar, sometimes painful, occasionally funny) and find inspiration from them to continue the battle on our own home fronts and in our hearts.

Thanks for the 'shower', and please pop in now & again to keep us posted. We care about you, and Monique.



Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
It is good to read your update. I hope the move goes well and my very best wishes for 2008 - that is for you and Monique.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Hello Michael

Dear Michael,
Glad to hear from you. I've missed your incredible sense of humour. Yes, some years are harder than others but we plod through it all.

Please keep posting when you can - I love hearing from you.



Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
Well Michael, we survived 2007 - just about! Is it something to do with the male/female brain that we are in very similar circumstances but you seem to have come to a very logical and sensible conclusion, whereas I, still as muddled and emotional as ever, have mood swings from being willing to physically fight the staff, get him through those locked doors and home again, to a resigned acceptanc that this is how things are and I can't change them. I know when I am in the resigned acceptance mood, life is better for me. xxTinaT

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
Thank you for 'popping back' with your update, Michael.
As the months and years go by, I often think of people who seem to have disappeared and left a hole.
I wish you and Monique a calm 2008, with the odd ray of sunshine between the storm clouds. I know your positive attitude will keep you afloat.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi Michael, thanks for the update.

Wishing both yourself and Monique a calm and comfortable 2008.

I hesitate to think what the coming year will bring, so shall adopt dear Norman's "Day by day".


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Dear Michael,
Good to hear from you and sorry that 2007 was so hard on you and on Monique. I'm glad to hear that she is now more settled. Moving nearer to the Care Home will make your life a bit easier, I imagine.
Take care of yourself, and please keep updating us. May 2008 be a better year for us all!


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Michael

my best wishes too, for you and Monique, in 2008.

From my own experience, which in many ways matches yours, I would add one more thing.

you said
what we are all having to deal with, is actually mental illness - people we love going 'nuts'
My feeling is that, in caring so much about them and in trying to cope with such horror, we ourselves do more than dip a toe occasionally in the bath of insanity.

Not a permanent thing, but there are some huge times of trial for all of us and the body has to cope sometimes in mysterious ways.

The old saying, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" comes to mind a lot when in the company of those afflicted by dementia.

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
Ronda Spain
Thank you all for the nice welcome back.... Did a visit yesterday just after 'posting' - difficult with lots of scatological problems - constantly putting her hand down her pants to 'sort' constipation or what ever then returning it to her mouth or clothes or wall or.... The endless pacing up and down the corridors wanting to 'escape' - go home to mother - get out of the place... Positively hates the social activities the home attempts to provide -- endless declarations of love combined with 'beam me up Scotty' - or "I don't want to die in here" to which there really is no answer.... When I wanted to leave I had to get the 'care workers' to distract her whilst I slipped away - told her I had to work on the boat... I think the staff think she is difficult to handle - Still that was a bit of a messy visit--- there will be better ones and worse ones..

It was useful that I posted the insanity stuff - reminded me that if I went after 1 or 2 or 3 hours it would actually all be the same for Monique....

My feeling is that, in caring so much about them and in trying to cope with such horror, we ourselves do more than dip a toe occasionally in the bath of insanity.
Thought Brucie's comment was quite interesting - Just before AD arrived I did some long distance sailing and felt the lifestyle turned me into a nicer better person. I now seem to have lost that 'calm' and laid back attitude. I have a really short fuse and am angry very easily... Could be age or a touch of 'toe dipping'

will reply to the PMs shortly - thank you for caring all you guy and girls



Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Hi Michael,

I have a really short fuse and am angry very easily... Could be age or a touch of 'toe dipping'
I suspect the short fuse is simply from being ground down by dealing with the disease, more likely the toe dipping rather than age. I find people usually (not always) mellow with age.

I'm sorry to hear that Monique is going through a difficult time. It reminds me a lot of what my mother had been like a couple of years ago.

There must be something to sailing - my dad who just passed away, lived on a boat in Guatemala. He was one of the most laid back people you could meet. At the wake in Guatemala, I had them play the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" simply because it was so appropriate for Dad.

Hang in there Michael. Things will settle down eventually.