1. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    625
    North East
    Mum is not well – there’s a bout of diarrhea going round the home and poor mum had an accident yesterday when my brother and nieces were in visiting her. She insisted there was nothing wrong with her when the staff tried to get her cleaned – I just feel so sad for her.

    I popped in to see her today and she is so befuddled in her head – more so than usual. She was talking about walking home to be with her mum and dad and I did the most stupid thing and quietly told her that they had died. I felt as though I’d punched her in the stomach – the look of shock on her face, then the tears – my god – I just felt so awful.

    I know that 5 seconds later she can’t even remember what she’s said, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. Me and my big mouth have a lot to answer to.

    Libs
     
  2. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hiya Libs

    Honey............you done what you thought best at the time, i know how you must be feeling, but please, don't beat yourself up over it, you need your strength for other battles.

    I know you must be really worried about your mum..........so be kind to yourself instead.........nice bubble bath, smelly candles, box of choccies.......it might not solve any problems, but you'll feel better and you deserve it after the day you've had!

    Hope tomorrows a better day for you.;)

    Love Alex x
     
  3. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi, Libby

    I know how you feel sugar, but you'll get used to it. It's something you have to do to some degree, is tell the truth.

    My Gran cannot now remember my Grandad dying 11 years ago, and is frequently telling us she saw him on the bus the other day, or he's up the street with "that woman" again, or he's just playing silly beggars and is hiding from her.

    Mum and I deal with this in exactly the same way as you have done. We tell Gran that Grandad died some years ago, and explain how it was every time. She always looks aghast at us, as if we've lost the plot, and then asks how we know. We produce the death certificate every time, which then causes yet another dispute over where we got it from, and how we knew about it when she didn't etc etc.

    I started a thread on here a while ago on whether or not we should agree with Gran's hallucinations etc, and the concensus was that we should. But I think when it comes to things like this, I think it's best to be truthful, distressing as it may be.

    One blessing of AD is that they forget what you said so quickly, but the drawback is that they forgot they asked in the first place and you have to go through the whole rigmarole all over again.

    Try to put it out of your mind honey, there'll be something else breaks your heart before long.

    Gill
    XX
     
  4. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    This is one of those areas that is always going to bring out strong feelings in people. I can imagine how devastated you felt at your Mum's distress, because I've had something similar happen.

    Unlike Gill, I do think we should not tell the truth if it causes deep distress. The way I see it is, if the person does not remember, every time they hear something, it is the same as the first time they heard it. In other words, the distress is not tempered by time or previous knowlede. I think of the 3am call to tell me my Dad had died. Then telling my dearest Mum, and her heartwrenching howls of despair. This was one of the worst times of my life. Would I go through it again if I could avoid it? Absolutely not.

    The way I rationalise it:
    telling the truth makes ME feel better, but not my Mum. Should I do something that makes me feel better when it obviously hurts her?

    Obviously people must be told the truth initially (no matter how painful), but after that . . . ?? Perhapps we need to ask ourselves how important it is for them to know the real truth at this stage. Will it make a real difference to their life?

    I know there are differing points of view on this one, and I certainly don't present my ideas as "the best way". This is just what I believe. Others are naturally entitled to their own viewpoints, and it does not make either side "right" or "wrong".

    Sadly this is a dilemma for us all. Just one more thing we need to cope with . . . . :( Nell
     
  5. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    Libby, we all say things without thinking at times. With our ill loved ones, a quick change of subject, I find always works well. I sometimes post on this site without carefully thinking about what I post so i hope no-one gets upset. It's the same with you and your mum. You forgot about her condition, relaxed, let your guard down and said something. Mum's understand.
    cris
     
  6. Sunlight

    Sunlight Registered User

    Feb 12, 2007
    55
    When my mother looks for my late father or her own mother I usually change the subject or else tell downright lies as this leads to an easier life for both of us. I used to tell her the truth but she wouldn't believe me and it just led to rows between us as I got so frustrated with her (I know this was wrong of me but sometimes I just couldn't help myself).
     
  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,149
    Toronto, Canada
    Libby,
    You were tired & you slipped up. Your mother has now forgotten it entirely and I think you should also.

    Gill, I understand your good intentions but what is the point of being truthful? If you were dealing with a person who didn't have cognitive deficiencies, that's one thing. But to keep telling someone such a horrible truth over and over will only have the effect of hurting the person over and over again. You were truthful the first time and that was fine. Now, quite honestly, it's just cruelty to keep doing it. Sorry, you & I will have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Joanne
     
  8. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    this is one thing I never mastered!
    if I told mum dad had died then mum was upset
    If I told her he was on holiday she was upset because he hadn't taken her with him
    if i said he was working she'd tell me not to be so blo*dy daft
    If I said he'd gone to a cricket match she was annoyed.......and so on.

    At first I felt as if I had to stick to the same story but really there was no need for that.....I varied the answers and faced the consequences!!

    is it possible to turn the question around and ask where she thinks her parents/deceased relatives are?

    Please don't feel guilty Libs......these things are bound to happen
    I used to beat myself up regularly over this....our loved ones forget......but we bear the guilt

    Take care
    Love xx
     
  9. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi guys,

    I accept totally what you're saying. We've done this with Gran a good few times now, and she's accepted it well, just asked questions. But there have been times when we've not said that Grandad has gone, we've just let her tell us where he is, if that's where she's decided he is, if you see what I mean? When she tells us where he is, we agree with her, and the subject is closed. She'll then find something else to pick at.

    I understand what you mean, Joanne, about it being hurtful over and over again, I didn't mean that everyone should take the same stance as we have done. The moment Gran shows any distress over Grandad passing, we'll leave off. She also forgets that my dad died 6 years ago, and mum found it hard to know what to say when Gran started yelling at her that Dad never goes to see her anymore, who does he think he is? There's only been one instance of this, and I had to intervene and just told her that Dad was very very busy, and he couldn't be there for her at that time?

    Each to their own for dealing with things, I guess. But I didn't mean to come across as totally heartless and uncaring. Sorry if I upset anyone with my post. Certainly not my intention.

    Gill
    XX
     
  10. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hi Gill
    i think it very much depends on the individual as to how you handle this.

    For my part.....no offence taken:)
     
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    I know what you mean
    As you did not came aross to me as totally heartless , what pop in to my mind is that film that is out in Uk that evey other day she wake up to find her husband is alive and the next day he is dead, so its a nightmare that happen ever other day (I think the film is called Premonition )

    I know its only a film , but I wonder if its like that for someone with AZ , who is reminded of a death .


    What a nightmare that must be
    I know its hard from my own experience when , I enlighten my mother on something she has forgotten and the look on her face :(
    I find it was I , that had the issue with how to handle it and not getting frustrated in relieving my own pain , when my mother does not remember what happen , so its good to read that I am not alone so we can all learn from each other , who are living in it with someone .

    I go alone with her in criticising my father for not being around anymore , as one day in the future sadly she won’t even remember him
     
  12. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    Sunlight, I don't think it was wrong to do what you do. I think it is sensible and kinder than making your mum face a horrible truth repeatedly. I have been through all this and was certain to start with that my mum had a right to be told the truth, however unpalatable. Then I began to change my mind as I saw how sad it was when she would be newly-bereaved with each new truth. Changing the subject is the diplomatic and kinder way, I think. Or I even leave the question hanging in the air and confuse my mum further by going and giving her a big hug, to distract her!

    It's impossible to do exactly the right thing all the time, so no-one should feel bad about what happens when they are trying their best for their loved ones. Love to all.
    Deborah
     
  13. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    It's funny (peculiar, not ha ha) how some things are apparantly impossible for my mother to believe, while others are easy and not particularly distressing. E.g. she has no trouble believe that her siblings are dead, even though she consistently mixes me up with her sister, nor does she find it distressing to be told that they ARE dead. However, she has convinced herself that the chef at the nursing home trained under her mother! This is a (relatively) young man, and my grandmother died in 1958! She can accept all of those facts, yet cannot take on board the fact that this particular fantasy is impossible, and gets extremely irate if you try to enlighten her. Not only that, this is a recurring fantasy (she first mentioned it last year, and we had a represe of the whole thing last week). I have no idea what started this, but have now chosen to shut up about it: the distress that it causes is simply not worth it.

    Jennifer
     
  14. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london

    why was your granmother a cook ? I wonder if this young man look like someone from her past when your granmother was alive .

    Just my an inquisitive nature, if your wondering why I am asking
     
  15. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    625
    North East
    Many thanks for all your replies - I think yesterday I was just so down with myself for putting Mum through that.

    Normally, I would just change the subject, but then usually we will sit and play a game, and on that particular day, Mum wasn't very well, so was just laid on the bed and was dificult to distract. It is an awful feeling though, knowing that you've hurt someone so much to make them cry, and without even thinking about what you're doing.

    But that look of total anguish will stay with me for some time, so I won't be doing that again.

    Thanks again everyone.
    Libs
     
  16. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Hey Maggie

    No, that's what makes the whole thing so peculiar: my grandmother owned a guest house on the south coast, and never had ANY staff except family. I really have no idea why she should have got this idea into her head, or in fact, why it should stay there: nothing else seems to!

    Jennifer
     

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