I've realized that in a number of ways I've become rather detached from my own feelings about Mum, myself and other things which have spilled over into my life. I tend to keep myself rather tightly wrapped emotionally, not allowing (or trying not to allow) myself to feel those dark and scary emotions which can be so overwhelming. I sometimes wonder if I have any emotions at all - the frightened, scared and sad ones, I mean. So I've decided to start a thread, as so many others have, to talk about Mum and me and our lives together. A quick background update: Mum was diagnosed January 3, 2001, one month and one day after her 64th birthday. She had been living with my stepfather in British Columbia but with my stepfather's consent and help, I moved her to my home in Ontario December 30, 2000, with the intent that she would live with my husband and I. Things rapidly degenerated and on the 3rd of January she was sectioned. She spent 2 weeks in hospital, then 2 years in a retirement home, and was subsequently moved to the nursing home where she has been ever since. I've detailed our rather tumultuous journey together in many threads here. Mum has kept things very interesting for us all. But now we are in the peaceful backwaters of her disease. She's wheelchair bound, doubly incontinent, incapable of feeding herself and no longer speaking. Still, she smiles and laughs and enjoys her food. She was put on thickened drinks last June and I found that very hard to accept. Mum had been declining so slowly and gradually that I never really saw it. Then we had to thicken the drinks again. A couple of months ago she was put on pureed foods. I know these are all logical and reasonable steps but it's taken me quite some time to accept them. In addition to that, I sometimes find it difficult visiting Mum. One of the hardest things is that she no longer smells like my mother. Does that make sense? I miss her on so many levels, and we were so very close I honestly thought no other mother & daughter were so close. In many ways I have had to grow up since my mother's diagnosis. Yes, I was an adult before, married, stepsons, responsible work, an active social life etc. But that diagnosis severed my life into two sections: before and after. I have built a new one but feel that I have emotionally compartmentalized myself a great deal. I have a lot to be grateful for - a loving and understanding husband who has been my rock, a sister who backs me up in everything, close and loving relatives and in-laws and friends. Most of the time I am grateful but it's those 'dark times of the soul' that get to me. Mum was diagnosed with a UTI a week ago but has responded well to the antibiotics. She's eating normally again - she had gone off her food a bit, which is unheard of in my mother's family. Ravening wolves or piranha feeding frenzy would be a more accurate way of describing how my mother's family ate. So I was extremely concerned when I had to cajole her a bit to eat as that would totally out of character. I'll be visiting Mum at lunch tomorrow. I always visit at mealtimes so that I can feed her and have something to do. I just cannot manage to visit at other times, because what would I do? I need to do something concrete and feeding her is good for her, me and the staff. Plus I tidy her clothes up and check to see if anything needs repair or to be discarded. I hope to be able to discuss my feelings more here. There are so many people who are sterling examples for me.