New Here/My Mother has early dementia, i think

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Ann422, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Ann422

    Ann422 Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    35
    USA
    I recognize my mother less and less every day. I think I am going crazy or am imagining things or just being argumentative with the one person who has always been there for me.
    I feel like she is no longer there, like I’m mourning her while she's living. I feel like my whole life is out of control. She was my rock always been there with a kind word, sound advice, a strong shoulder.

    Often she is angry with me, or says hurtful things. She thinks it is me who is angry and if I say I am not, she will not believe me. I measure my words so carefully, yet, still, she becomes angry and thinks I mean her harm. I am actually so confused about who is causing the problem that I took the test to determine if it is me that is not hearing or remembering correctly! She seems completely unaware that there is anything wrong. What makes all of this harder is that she does not have a firm diagnosis and I do not have POA so it is my sibling who has the information and whom I have tried to tell that I see these things and he disagrees with me and will not discuss it. I don't know why I am the only one to really see it. I do spend more time than the others do. Perhaps that is it?
    She is also ill with heart disease which makes this whole thing even more complicated. She is 88 years old and very frail.
    I almost feel guilty for "seeing" this possible dementia when others do not. In fact, I feel guilty for just about everything these days as I am so alone in these thoughts so I come here to this board to read and, now, to talk. If anyone can relate to my feelings, let me know. I hope this post is not too much of a rant. I have been reading your posts and see that my mother might be in the early stage of this disease. Short memory problems, some repetition, not understanding what I say when we talk and then, as she hears me differently, she becomes angry. Very hard to explain all of this. Some times, fewer now, she is "normal" and her old self again and THEN I think I am imagining it again. But, I know something is "off".
    Thank you.
     
  2. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Ann,

    What you say all sounds very "normal" for carers of those with dementia who aren't getting any help. You will get a lot of support from everyone on here. Welcome to TP.

    You say your mum doesn't have a firm diagnosis. What do you mean exactly? To what extent is her doctor aware of your concerns? The first step is to see him, I think. (Ironically this is what I am finding hard to do myself!)

    Best of luck,

    LS
     
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,547
    Female
    England
    #3 jaymor, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
    Hello Ann and welcome to Talking Point. You really are fighting two battles here, the possible dementia and your brother who is denying anything is wrong.

    I can only suggest taking Mum to see her doctor and hopefully he will get things moving. I am not sure of how it is handled in America but we do have members on here who will and hopefully they will be along soon to give you the relevant advice.

    Take care and keep posting and reading, once you are on the right path regarding care, we all tread the same path regarding the disease.
     
  4. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    839
    Fife Scotland
    Hi Ann and welcome to TP, you will find so much help and advice here.
     
  5. Ann422

    Ann422 Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    35
    USA
    Thank you for your reply. To make it clearer, my brother has POA, and here in the US, doctors will not discuss or talk to me about her condition. I mentioned to him a couple of times that I "think" she might be in early dementia. He became angry and said "I disagree with your diagnosis", and then refused to discuss it any further with me. In addition, my mother is not being told about her heart condition and other things as she never wanted to know so doctors do not speak to her .. they speak to my brother primarily. They only give her the quick test .. what is your name, where do you live, what is today? ... all of which she CAN answer. I imagine if she gets worse it will become obvious to everyone, but for the last couple of years, she can seem okay if you don't talk much to her. They speak to her very briefly (my brothers) and, so, they chalk it up to old age. Several years ago after one of her falls, she was told she had mild cognitive impairment, which makes sense, in that she has congestive heart failure. I worry because she lives alone and I fear a fire or something else. I know no one has the answer to this family problem. I just need some support in my pain and to know I am not "setting her off".

    So they DO get angry and misread what we are saying then? Thank you all. This means so much to me to find this place because I feel totally alone in this situation.
     
  6. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,547
    Female
    England
    It really is going to be a wait and see situation for you which is sad. The not understanding or missunderstanding comes from your Mum probably forgetting half of what you have said and putting her own spin on what she has remembered to make it make sense to her. What she thinks you said is nothing like what you did say and then the anger starts because you are doubting her. I am sure we have all dealt with this at some time or other.

    My husband says very little now and when he does say anything it is all jumbled and I have no idea what he is saying. I always answer him and have learned to smile and nod a lot because if I give a wrong answer he grits his teeth and gets very angry. He knows what he is saying and must think I am not listening because I have given a wrong answer.
     
  7. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    291
    I think the less somebody is required to do in their daily lives, the harder it is to see concrete evidence that they don't function as they used to. So when somebody is ill and having a lot done for them anyway, it's more difficult to see the deterioration in any way other than personality. If they were doing their own shopping and cooking and banking etc you'd see the deficits more.

    And then there's denial. I really don't understand denial - I'm the sort of person who sees a problem and wants to solve it, not sweep it under a carpet, but family denial is undoubtedly a big issue in dementia.

    Could you speak to your mum's doctor and ask him to send a nurse round to administer the Mini Mental State Exam?
     
  8. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    291
    Oh I see you're in the U.S. and things work differently there.

    My mother in law can be set off by even seemingly innocuous statements.

    When visitors were round the other day it became clear that she wasn't going to offer them tea. She never does any more to be honest. So after an hour and a little hinting about thirsty journeys etc I said "shall I put the kettle on?" Which my mother in law was very insulted by and led to a lengthy rant about how she's perfectly capable of making tea in her own house thank you and what an interfering busybody I am and ended with "well you might as well do it now if you're so keen" when she realised that she can't manage to make tea for lots of people these days.

    Things your end with your brother may change my lovely. My mother in law's family have gone from saying we take too much on ourselves and there's nothing wrong with her, to demanding to know why we haven't arranged help with her bathing because they visited and she was smelly and unkempt.

    (Bathing is a bit of a battleground because MIL always thinks she's already done it, but if we had known they were coming we would have put it on The Calendar and used it as a way to persuade MIL to have a bath and wash her hair, but as it was they only told MIL and she can't remember things like that.)
     
  9. Ann422

    Ann422 Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    35
    USA
     
  10. Ann422

    Ann422 Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    35
    USA
     
  11. Julia B

    Julia B Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    80
    Hello, sorry you feel like this, and yes indeed it could be the beginning, that's how my MIL was 2 years ago, the guilt when we feel cross is enormous, then there's "not taking it personally" which I struggle with every day...I wish I could suggest more than trust your instincts, get your brother to overhear how your mum is with you..and use this forum, tough times need kind words to dilute them, and the good people on here all have your back hon. Take care x
     
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,777
    Female
    South coast
     

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