Stupid again

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
Oh how we go up and down, emotional see-saw emotional roller coaster!

I am feeling up again with very little good reason. The source of my up is that on Tuesday we managed to get Dad in a car and took him for a drive...first time since May 30, which was his birthday...since then he has never escaped the home. Kind of felt like we were doing something naughty, escaping the home, escaping the dementia, escaping the feeling that everything just keeps getting worse. To top it off, on Wednesday we walked him up to my house and he did seem quite thrilled to be in a real 'home' again, or was that my imagination? The carpet took his feet by surprise, made me realise he hasn't stood on carpet for months!

Things are no better and will only get worse but during those two moments of escape, life felt 'light' for a little bit. Silly isn't it?
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Nat

it is a bit of a revelation, isn't it, getting a grip on what is really important? And pleasure from that?

'Normal Life' these days [whatever that may mean.. I've lost touch, being in our own WeirdWorld ;) ] has become a bit of a false edifice, with the meaningless becoming terribly important, and only a slight bow [if even that] towards what really matters.

There's a lot of 'worrying' about the Third World problems, and conscience can be salved on that by making another credit card donation, without any personal involvement. Worrying about global warming - well, we can use a green bin to sort that out. Worrying about health - joining a gym solves that [??] and what a great social activity. Got to have the latest technology of course. And so on.

When one gets into caring for someone with dementia, all that seems so trivial, compared to attempting to make life as bearable as possible for the patient, and in doing so, for oneself.

Short trip out vs holiday in the tropics?

Piece of cake vs gourmet meal?

New cushion for Jan's chair vs wide screen plasma TV?

.... I know which of the options I'd choose!
 

Mjaqmac

Registered User
Mar 13, 2004
939
Dear Nat

So glad to hear you're feeling up for a little while. Enjoy those moments, they are so precious. I remember taking my mother out of an assessment unit after 4 months and realising it had been 4 months since she'd stepped outside, seen the birds, smelt the air etc. I felt naughty too and whistled The Great Escape theme as we escaped that place forever. We went home and it felt so good. She's gone to an even better place now.

I used to listen to trival conversations where people moaned on about silly things and thought if only they knew how some of us had lived and are living! Alzheimer's puts life in perspective if nothing else.

Hope today is a good one for you.
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Hi Nat, so glad for you. We all need these small 'up' moments. I share a birthday with your dad, so shall think of him often. .Heres to many more 'up' times, Connie
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Hi Nat, not silly at all. As the others have said, little things mean a lot. I can remember the last bunch of sweet peas I help up to my Mums nose to sniff shortly before she died. She smiled and said, Oh aren't they lovely, she was my Mum for that moment before the dementia crowded in again. Treasure each of your own moments, they will be so precious to you. Love She. XX
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Sheila

it is an interesting point you make, about their snapping out of the dementia, if even for a moment.

I have found this to happen with Jan when something out of the ordinary occurs.

It is as if this bypasses the dementia for a moment.

bit of Brucie metaphor coming up
I see the dementia as a kind of goalkeeper. It knows all the normal moves and approaches and can stop the 'ball' getting through. But if one tries a move it has not seen before, then the ball may get past. Of course, it will know that routine in the future, so we need to keep coming up with innovations to get by it, and to get through to our loved ones.

I have found that, in using different intonations - sometimes staccato - or different words, or holding her differently, or taking in new foods... any of these things can cause her to snap out for a moment. When that happens, it is magical and we can both smile again, together, because Jan knows it has happened as well.
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Looks like you just scored, Bruce :)

I think this is the kind of thing I try to do with Dad, to elicit a positive response by varying my actions. When I know he's not in the mood for one type of approach, I adapt a different one. For instance, if he's grumpy, and jollying him along isn't working, I'll start to just listen to his complaints while making sympathetic noises. Some form of agreement and congeniality is nearly always appreciated by Dad.

Nat, glad you had a good day - it doesn't seem a little reason to me, perhaps because I now know these things are so important. (e.g. my Dad singing every word of "I'm forever blowing bubbles", the other day. A year or so ago I wouldn't have found that so remarkable.) I did want to ask how you handled the 'going back to the Home' scenario? Mum often takes Dad back to their house for a cuppa, but always dreads when he has to return, fearing he's going to settle back at 'home' again. Having said that, she doesn't seem to have that much trouble because, wherever he is, he's always willing to 'go back'....
 

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
I did want to ask how you handled the 'going back to the Home' scenario?
I think this is a case of letting the dementia carry on, it thinks its being so clever blocking Dad's normal behaviours, so we kind of sneak him back into the home without it realising that its actually doing us a favour for once, don't change our tone, don't make any sudden movements and the dementia doesn't even realise. If Dad does see past his goalie, he gets upset for a little while, in which case we do something other than walk straight back in to the home for a bit, but this 'goalie' is getting so good these days, I can rely on it to block him again in a few minutes or so.

Sad isn't it?