1. kms

    kms Registered User

    Mar 15, 2004
    3
    I'm so pleased I came across this forum as many of the messages I've read have already helped as I begin the long journey of helping my Mum through this horrible illness

    I already feel very guilty because many of you out there have so much more to deal with than myself but let me tell you a little of my own situation

    My Mum has recently ( a month ago) been diagnosed with AD and cardiovascular dementia. She's 72 and I am in my early 30's. Her symtoms suggest she's in the beginning of the middle stages of AD.

    Although she's only been diagnosed recently there have been many symptoms for about 5 years, it's just that we've all been in denial and then in my own case, avoidance was my coping strategy.

    I'm finding it very difficult to cope with the lack of hope and inability to help the way in which I want to. My Mum and Dad live 3 hours drive from myself, I'm a single parent with an 8 year old child and a full time job.

    My Dad is being remarkable in what he's having to do and take over from Mum but never being a patient man, he's bad tempered, shouts a lot and his own health is being affected.

    We haven't had a good relationship for years, (non-communicative, different personalities etc). Mum was the link between myself and my brother and my Dad and now that link has gone it needs to be replaced and this is proving difficult to say the least.

    The overhwelming sadness and then anger at both what is happening to my gentle sweet Mum and the toll it is taking on my Dad and the fact that I can't just "up sticks" from my own life to be of more practical help for both of them is meaning that I spend a lot of time crying and being angry.

    Then I feel selfish and pathetic and wonder why it feels so raw and why I'm not able to juggle all the balls, other people have so much more to deal with.

    Lots of you who have contacted the forum appear amazing in the way that you have coped through many traumatic situations and constant giving. I know what will happen in the course of this illness and I want to appreciate what I still have left of Mum and what she needs from me now.

    I was just wondering if anyone had any tricks or words of wisdom for coping with this initial loss as I have got to get a grip and find a way through this so i can help both my Mum and my Dad.

    |Thanks

    K.
     
  2. Jellybeanjugler

    Jellybeanjugler Registered User

    Mar 14, 2004
    6
    NJ
    Hello well I have never been through the situation you are in but I can tall you about a few others who have. I work in a nursing home and we have a small group of people who come in to feed their family every day. Before dinner they all sit together at a table and play cards or just talk. It seems that this helps them to relax a little and they each have someone to talk to. I think the best thing for you to do is make sure your taking care of yourself and find someone who can relate with you. This chat board is great for that.

    Also you should try to get in touch with your family. You may need them in the tough times to come. Maybe you have had trouble in the past but mom needs you now and hopefully they will be willing to commit for her. She may even feel a little better if she can see you all together.

    But the most important thing is that you didn’t lose your mom. Your mum is still there and even if she’s a little confused and you feel she’s not here anymore she’s still your mom. She will never leave you in heart. Just show her all the love you can and make her feel comfortable.
     
  3. Rachel

    Rachel Registered User

    Feb 15, 2004
    6
    North Wales
    Dear kms

    Just wanted to say I understand a little of what you're going through, my mum has also been diagnosed with AD and my dad was also her main carer. We also had quite a volatile relationship! Sadly dad died suddenly in February, he and my mum had been together for 60 years. I am lucky in that my brother and his family live in the same town as mum, but that doesn't stop me from feeling guilty that I can't be as much help as I would like to be as I work at the weekends and can't get down (2 hrs drive) often at all. I'm sure he also feels that he is bearing the brunt of the caring, which he is. Anyway, sorry if this is no help, just to let you know that I'm thinking of you.

    Rachel
     
  4. kms

    kms Registered User

    Mar 15, 2004
    3
    Thanks Rachel and Stephanie

    Your messages have helped - i'm realising that there are no easy options with this illness.

    Rachel - did you ever or do you still consider moving to be nearer your Mum?

    Relationships that have proved difficult in the past aren't suddenly going to change overnight - the people involved are still the same, it's just the situation that has changed.

    It's not like the movies is it, where family members suddenly become united in times of strife!!

    And you're right about what I still have with Mum - we were able to laugh at the weeked about the fact that she could start behaving badly in a tea shop so that we would be served first - there are benefits in every situation!

    I think humour maybe a release - Mum has always had a good sense of humour and still finds situations funny. A few of her social skills are slowly being eroded and being replaced with a more honest or direct approach - what I mean by this is that she's a lot more honest in her opinions now - if somebody makes her a meal and she doesn't like it she'll tell them. Also, when we were looking round a shop the other day she liked the old music that was playing in the background and starting to sing along! For a few moments I felt slightly embarassed but then I thought, sod it, if Mum wants to sing - why not?!

    thanks again for replying
     
  5. Rachel

    Rachel Registered User

    Feb 15, 2004
    6
    North Wales
    Hi again.

    Unfortunately there is no way I could move nearer my mum, my husbands job is here and I have 3 children settled in high school, doing exams etc. I did think about the possibility of moving mum nearer to us if it was what she wanted, but it all seems so difficult, plus I have heard that it can increase confusion if people are moved away from what is familiar. It's great that your mum still has her sense of humour, mine just seems so totally different not like the mum I knew at all. As I've said in my other post, she seems to have no interest in doing anything at all, doesn't like the day centre as she says they just sit there but to be honest that's all she does at home only in a more comfortable chair!!

    All the best

    Rachel
     

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