1. Ruby

    Ruby Registered User

    Oct 25, 2005
    12
    Australia
    I am trying to come to terms with my 64 year old mother’s condition. Her GP is indicating to my sister and me that it is probably dementia. However, the GP hasn’t said as much to mum.

    Next week we are to see a neurologist. The GP has said the specialist may prescribe medication for mum. I am wondering if the specialist will spell out to us and mum that it IS dementia. My mother keeps asking me what I think the specialist will say. I repeat what the GP has said… I don’t think saying anything else is helpful.

    I worry what the condition means for mum’s future. She lives alone and has been a widow for over 30 years. She is gone through some sad times in her life. She has also caused me great sadness and heart ache. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I have to put some of this sorrow behind me and accept I will be supporting her in the years to come.

    Our relationship has had its ups and downs. My sister’s relationship has been worse but she is forcing herself to be involved in mum’s diagnosis. I feel guilty that I resent my mother and the pain she has caused me. I feel guilty that I want to run away and not have to deal with her and this situation.

    I feel I want my own life. My partner and I are planning to start a family. And I feel resentful that I can barely keep my work and home life going without breaking down plus trying to cope with my mother.

    Mum’s GP has described her condition has showing ‘significant deficit’. She indicated she doesn’t know how long mum could continue to live alone. My sister has suggested that I live closer. I live 20 minutes at the moment (my sister lives an hour away). As it is, I take mum to all her appointments, monitor her dossette box of medication, take her shopping, speak to her every day on the phone and call in every other day. I can’t believe my sister would suggest I live closer. I could scream.

    My partner says wait until the specialist gives a diagnosis and prescribes treatment, and we can take it from there.

    I cry every day. I cry especially when I read the TP board.

    A dear friend has recommended a counsellor I could speak to. My poor friend is getting over the loss of her husband and I keep crying on her!

    When the GP did the mini-test (I can’t remember the official name of it), mum couldn’t subtract 7 from 100, she couldn’t copy a diagram – she couldn’t really write anything. I’ve known for a while that she is able to write less and less. Her signature is probably barely legal. I feel that she has declined over the last 2 years. I realise now that I’ve been ignoring her slow memory loss but it may have been increasing over the last 6 months. Perhaps I’ve been denying what’s happened.

    I apologise for this long ramble. I feel I need to tell someone. I have been reading the fantastic Alzheimers Australia website. I’m not really sure what I should first – there seems so much to do.
     
  2. allylee

    allylee Registered User

    Feb 28, 2005
    180
    west mids
    Dear Ruby, my heart goes out to you.Our situations are very similar. Ive never had a good relationship with my mother, she has always been "difficult", resulting in the situation that out of 3 children , Im the only one left who has anything to do with her.
    She was diagnosed with AD 2 yrs ago, and Im the one who now has to take responsibility for all her care. I do in the midst of her constantly putting me down.
    My feelings are like a roller coaster, somedays I cope , and feel that whatever her past, shes now reduced to living with the degradation of AD. Other days, Im filled with self loathing for sticking around to look after someone whos caused me such heartache.
    I cant tell you itll get better, cos for me it hasnt. Our CPN has offered counselling, but Im not sure I want to open up that can of worms. Somewhere, somehow, I find the inner strength to deal with it. Im sure you will too.
    Please private message me anytime you want to talk.LOve to you and your family
    Ally xx
     
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Ruby

    It is always awful, the first awful of many awfuls, when we reach this stage.

    In some ways it is the most awful because it is the first time we realise that our lives will change in some way, out of our control, yet strangely in our control.

    Out of our control because the dementia will happen, and there's nothing anyone can do about that.

    In our control because we can try to find out all the options, then make decisions based on them, and our own situations.
    This is good advice. Listen to your partner. You will need to lean on them a lot in the time to come, no matter what you do. A supportive partner is one of the best things you can possibly have.

    Just gather what information you can. Then await what the neurologist says and recommends.

    No point in prejudging the matter.

    From your message I can see that you are both a very caring person and a logical, thoughtful one as well.

    Rambling is not just something to do in the countryside.... it has a very positive side on this forum. We've all done it [perhaps me more than many].

    Take it slowly, and day by day.

    Best wishes
     
  4. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Mum's the word

    To both of you,

    My mother hasn't got dementia but my father has, however like both of you I have had a very difficult relationship with my mother all of my life. Having a mother like this is unbelievably difficult because for one thing it is very socially unacceptable (you get little sympathy, people think you are misunderstanding her, people think you are the selfish one, you sometimes think society is right and feel like the selfish terrible daughter!). For another, if you are like me you swing between love and hate, feeling guilty about the hate, feeling stupid for loving someone that just hurts you all of the time. I am 30 so I don't know if it will get better with age but I also struggle with the little girl inside of me that desperately still wants to believe my mother is a good mother and I am wrong about her, this means I lay myself open for her to hurt me again and again in the hope that she will prove me wrong. :(

    Anyway I wanted to offer you both support because I know how it feels although I probably can't imagine the complete turmoil of your situation, I understand that it must be extremely difficult having years of experience telling you that its crazy to care for someone who has hurt you so much and also at the same time feeling like you couldn't live with yourself if you didn't look after your mother. In some ways I have experienced this because despite my mother not having dementia, there has been a requirement that I support her and look after her through Dad's illness. I have been forced to put aside my own pain and look after her pain, I keep telling myself I am not doing this for her, I am doing it for Dad, but I know if I were in your situation I would likely have trouble turning my back and I know even though I wish i could sever the ties when Dad dies, mum is going to make sure that I know she 'needs' me then too.

    Another thing I wanted to point out is that I've seen the difficulties that arise for carer's who have unresolved issues with their loved ones first hand, because my mother and father's relationship was 40 years of a love hate relationship too.(phew what a messy family!) My mother both loves my Dad but also hates him and I will tell you now that with the pressures of caring this can be a very dangerous mix. I would urge you both not to struggle too long with the caring at home, and try to think about the option of a care home. (Apologies if this suggestion seems rude, disregard it if you feel you have to.) But don't see it as doing this for your own sakes but your mother's, truly this can be the case. The care that my Dad has received at the home he is now in is far better than the emotional roller coaster he and my mother were on when he was at home. I have seen the difference believe it or not he is far happier and calmer where he is now.

    Quite possibly you both will be much stronger than my own mother in caring for your mothers and not as susceptible to allowing old angers to rise, for she is rather weak in this area (that is part of the problem) but I do know that the exhaustion that comes with caring can break anyone. Please don't feel guilty about thinking about this option, for some it is the kinder option. You don't have to abandon your mothers, you may find that you at least have the strength to visit regularly and often despite whatever behaviours she may display that could make you feel guilty. Also remember you have your own families who have to watch you go through this and pick up the pieces later.

    Anyway as the topic of mother problems is often taboo please feel free anytime to private message me with your woes, I guarantee you I will understand and not judge you. Dad is in Stage 7 now so I have fair experience of all this, as well as 30 years of confusion about my mum!

    My thoughts are with you,
     
  5. allylee

    allylee Registered User

    Feb 28, 2005
    180
    west mids
    Nat, many , many thanx for your words of wisdom. Youve echoed so many of my feelings and emotions.
    Ally xx
     
  6. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    391
    Dear Ruby.

    I feel like you in many ways, too. My Mum and I have had a difficlut relationship for what seems forever (I left home the minute I could at 16). Now that Dad has gone, I am the one dealing with her diagnosis of AD and doing eveything that needs to be done to keep her well and as happy as I can. I love her because she's my Mum, but it is SO hard because some days I can hate her for being like this. I can see shades of her from years ago, and her attitude still makes me feel as though I have done something wrong but never quite sure what ..just how it was. Perhaps it's her, perhaps it's me, perhaps it's the both of us ...but I try to tell myself that it's all water under the bridge now, and that it's not important anymore as I watch her struggle along in this state. But it does get me down from time to time, and I want to run away and leave it all behind me ....
    Just wanted to show you my support.
     
  7. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Ruby,

    By the way I noticed you are in Australia.

    I am too, and my Dad had early onset, a bit younger than your mum, he was 55 when he was diagnosed, but your Mum is very young too for dementia, let me know if you need any help that might be Australia specific.
     
  8. Ruby

    Ruby Registered User

    Oct 25, 2005
    12
    Australia
    Thank you, everyone, for your responses to my post. I was feeling rather lost and I am glad to have made this connection - thank you Bruce, Ally, Nat & Lulu.
     
  9. purchase

    purchase Registered User

    Aug 31, 2005
    50
    England
    Hi Ruby

    I too, luckily with the support of my sister,am looking aftera mom who in the past was very cruel. I have moments when I wonder what I'm doing but I tell myself that the mom that is here now is not the mom of long ago. She is a sick lady who needs our help and because I love her despite all the history I feel that I must give her that help.

    Talking on here really helps.

    Keep your chin up

    Jacky
     

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