Mum has changed - for the better

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by BeadieJay, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. I've been back a few days from visiting my parents - seeing my mum for the first time since she became ill.

    A bit of background - my dad has had short-term memory loss for several years. He has apparently been tested for Alzheimers, but "apparently" does not have it - I say "apparently" because I don't think he's ever been re-tested, and I don't think it's planned for him to be re-tested.

    Mum became ill in the Spring of this year. I thought she might have had a stroke, but a brain scan didn't show any damage. She now has short-term memory loss, and her personality has really changed - she no longer worries about anything (I guess because she forgets to worry!!).....she and dad no longer bicker :rolleyes: She sits quietly, saying very little. She's lost a lot of weight, but seems to be eating more (she had dessert one day when we had lunch out, something she would never have done in the past). I think she's actually enjoying life more, because she has no worries. I'm just not sure if this could be an early symptom of Alzheimers or dementia? She's having another brain scan soon, so hopefully that might show something this time.

    My dad has got worse with his memory. An example (I apologise for borrowing Sylvia's method, but I think it's great - imitation is the greatest form of flattery, or so they say!!)

    Dad - so J (my sister) is coming over tomorrow at 10:15 to get the cheque.
    BdJ - yes dad, I won't be coming because I'll be packing the suitcase.
    Dad - Will I see you tomorrow?
    BdJ - no dad, I'll be packing at the hotel. J will come over tomorrow at 10:15 with the children to say goodbye, and to get the cheque (for school shoes - we had intended to buy them on holiday, but the queues were horrendous!!)
    Dad - So what time are you coming over?
    BdJ - I'm not coming Dad, just J and the children.

    (Bear in mind - he's got all this information written down in his diary)

    Dad - Will I see you tomorrow?
    BdJ - see any of the above comments - they're all pretty much the same!!
    Dad - What time will you be coming over in the morning?
    BdJ - as above
    Dad - How will I get the cheque to you? :eek: :eek: :p :eek:

    and so it went on for about 10 minutes. I really sympathise with my sister who has to put up with this on an almost daily basis. It drove me crazy just those few short minutes. :eek:

    Through all this, my mum is also making notes in her diary. Even though they both write everything down, they still constantly forget.

    Another example, my mum this time - my sister asked my mum if she had been out that morning, as we hadn't been with her......mum looked in her diary, couldn't find anything about going out, but remembered enough to know that she goes out every morning for a walk, so, yes, she must have gone out that morning.

    I came home feeling mixed emotions......happy that my mum seems content with her life. She's frustrated a little that she can't remember things, but she's so calm, the frustration is just like a minor irritation to her. Dad is happier too, partly because mum no longer bickers with him or nags him :p but also because he feels useful again, having retired many years ago - he now has to look after mum.

    I also feel very sad, because mum has changed so much physically as well as mentally - her hair is now white (she can no longer colour it regularly) and she's lost weight. She seems so frail and tiny. I know that she loved having the grandchildren with her, and I'm glad I didn't cancel the holiday.

    I've read so much on these forums (in fact, when I was on holiday I kept thinking of things that I must mention when I got back to TP!!!) I'm just not sure if mum and dad have dementia or az, or if their memory loss is - I was about to say "a normal progression of old age", but I know that's not true because many older people still have full use of their memories. So maybe they do both have dementia of some kind or another.
    :confused:
     
  2. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hello beadiejay,hope you had a good holiday.From what you say it sounds like mum and dad need an assessment of their needs.If your concerned about mum (which you obviously are) can you suggest that she sees the G.P?I had my concerns about dad but he denied there was a problem,I wrote to his G.P expressing my concerns and she did tests on him on a routine visit.We are awaiting the results and awaiting a consultant visit.It takes a lot off your mind though when you can see things are being done.Hope this helps.Good luck,take care .love elainex
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,664
    Kent
    Hi BeadieJay.

    I get the impression your visit turned out better than expected, even though it was tinged with sadness.

    If your mother is calmer, doesn`t seem to be worrying and you think she`s enjoying life more, where`s the harm?

    The converstation with your father is one I recognize. His short term memory is definitely going.

    It`s very sad to know they are becoming more frail, but at least they are together, not antagonizing each other but living in harmony. It could be a lot worse.

    Love xx
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Oh bless that sound so sad , but them so good that your mother got a diary , recognizing something wrong with her memory coping in her own way .
     
  5. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia


    Dear Beadie Jay,

    Sounds like a roller coaster of emotions for you. I'm glad that you are pleased you went to visit. I'm sure your family visit will have done your parents good.

    Just wanted to say I think I would be concerned about your sister having to now deal with TWO elderly and infirm parents on a daily basis. Have you had a good "heart to heart" with her lately? Is she really coping, or is it all getting too much?

    Sorry if I'm adding to your worries, but it does sound as if your parents may be reaching the stage where they need more than just your sister's help.

    Thinking of you and sending you best wishes.
     

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