Mum didn't recognize me.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Sdgarret, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Sdgarret

    Sdgarret New member

    Mar 18, 2019
    My mum didn’t recognize me yesterday. I am now a confused mush of emotions. Firstly, shock. I don’t know why - I should have been expecting it. But not this fast. And no warning. How long has it been really? Second, guilt. How did I not realize? Why didn’t I make more of the time we had? Third, jealousy. That she recognizes others but not me. Linked, shame. How can my own mum forget me? I hate that I am the first and It hurts so bad when she confuses me in-front of friends and family. Lastly, loss. An unbearable dread that there is no going back. I am on my own. Foreboding - how hard is the future going to be when she doesn’t know me?

    NORTHSIDE Registered User

    Jan 28, 2017
    I'll add my name to the list. Only not my Mum, my Wife. She is 60 and diagnosed with Alzheimer's 5 years ago. I always try to break her into the day gently with a cup of tea in bed. So a couple of days ago I returned with a cup of tea got back into bed she looked at me and said quizzically, 'Who are you?' matter of factly I replied 'I'm your husband', she was quite content with that and seemed reassured and happy. But I suppose its just the start. Still as everyone says on here - one day at a time.
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I know what a shock it is, SD, and how sudden it can be, so sending sympathy. One week my mother's eyes would light up when she saw me coming - the next, they were just blank. After that, although I think she was vaguely aware that she somehow knew me, I was just a 'nice lady' who made her cups of tea and brought her chocolate.

    The other thing that changed equally quickly - from one week to the next - was that she forgot how to get in and out of a car, and trying to steer her in would panic her, so I could no longer take her anywhere.
  4. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    High Peak
    Mum is at a stage where she thinks there are several versions of me and I am never the favoured one! There's the nice one who she never sees (I suspect this is a younger version of me - she says I am too old to be her daughter :rolleyes:) and the one that 'flounces in when she pleases'. (That would be me.) Apparently this J brought her some awful shoes. Erm... that would be me too. They're actually her own shoes, that she'd bought several pairs of in different colours a few years ago. When I gave them to her she was delighted. Now they are hidden at the back of her wardrobe... :D
    Think I will blame things on the other J in future.
  5. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    Sometimes mum knows that I'm her daughter, but other times I've been the hairdresser, a carer, a nurse a cleaner, and on bad days I get "oh god it's her again".

    She doesn't recognise other people - except for my brother, and he can do no wrong:(
  6. Rolypoly

    Rolypoly Registered User

    Jan 15, 2018

    Sounds like my mum.

    I never know how I’m going to be greeted when I visit...with a smile, with some recognition of a familiar face but not sure, with disdain or with a blank look. I’ve also been ignored. Although it’s hard, I try not to take it personally but the knife can twist a bit when someone else walks in and she’s all smiles for someone who rarely sees her. That’s dementia for you!
  7. Highland Dougie

    Highland Dougie Registered User

    Mar 20, 2019
    Had very similar last night when I visited my mum, she was walking towards me and I could see she was distressed, saying to me have you seen Douglas, I said to her "hey mum its your lucky day, its me I am Douglas, she replied "no not you, I am looking for Douglas, the other one" I then mentioned my brothers name, and that there is only him (who lives 700 miles away) and myself, she then says yes I know you are Douglas but now I don't know who I am looking for! I changed the subject and tried to discuss something else to calm her down. My heart goes out to you as I know it is breaking mine!.
  8. elvismad

    elvismad Registered User

    Jan 8, 2012
    Oh that is so how it is with me and mum. Mostly now she does not know me. I am just someone who walks the corridors with her :(
    So very sad. I can only get there once a week - mum is over 100 miles away and I work- so I guess at least she doesn't miss me.. I miss her terribly.
  9. Ohso

    Ohso Registered User

    Jan 4, 2018
    I see mum every day, and today she was talking about not feeling like she was in the right house ( I have read this is common so gently explained to her why she moved from the house she does remember) then to cajole her out of feeling sad I jokingly said, "as long as you remember my name that is all that matters" well, the look of panic that crossed her face made us both realise she didn't, I quickly offered to tell her and said it...she immediately said "I was just about to say that" and the moment passed as I moved on to something else, then as if to reassure herself she called me by name a few minutes later, but my heart ached just a little.
    Mum is getting over a UTI so the last week has been a difficult one and I have no doubt forgetting my name was just a glitch, but, it has kind of prepared me in a gentle way for the time when she does forget me, my face, that I am her daughter, and all the lovely times filled with laughter we have had together, so I feel for all those who are already at that stage and beyond and thank every one of you for sharing your experiences to forewarn the rest of us xxx

    That said, I dont think anything will prepare me for her remembering someone else but not me, that will split my heart in two.
  10. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    At the moment I think the Banjoman knows who I am but I’m not sure he always knows my name. When he was in hospital earlier in the year he did ask me “What do I call you?”. We have known each other for nearly twenty years, been close for over twelve years and I have looked after him / been listed as his “carer” for about four years as the LBD has taken over.
  11. Moog

    Moog Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    Kent. UK
    I'm not sure if Mum recognises me or not. I often tell her who I am, or make reference to myself in a funny way she used to use years ago in the hope that somewhere inside it triggers some recognition.

    Dad now often refers to me as 'his friend'. The carers will say that he got through to your answerphone and afterwards asked "if my friend is coming over soon".

    At first it was a shock. However, they seem to know I'm close person, and clearly more than a carer or non-family friend. E.g. if I recline in the chair next to Mum's bed, she'll sometimes tickle my hair or feel the contours of my face/head, and that's not something she does with anyone else.

    It's been said many times by many an expert, that dementia sufferers forget conversations, names, etc but remember the emotional feeling that person left them with. This is so true. You could even go so far as to say, that label become meaningless and they sense the inner you.

    So every time I enter Mum's room, I become her happy playmate: I arrive with with a naughty treat or a silly comment to make her giggle - usually something making fun of myself. "Blimey this chair's hard - good job I've got plenty of padding on my bum!", etc. She love whispered conspiracy stuff "Quick pop this choccy in your mouth, it's yummy, but don't tell everyone else, they're just for us" Even though Mum is late-stage dementia it cuts through to an extent.

    In a way, if even though your loved doesn't know 'what' you are (son, daughter, husband, wife), but seems to know that you're a nice, trusted person, to me that's priceless. That keeps me on my toes as I don't want to them anything other than safe, reassured and cared for in my presence. From what Dad says and Mum reactions, they clearly know I've got their back.

    Best of luck xx

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