1. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    Hi all. It is the 3rd time this week that Susan - my wife - has opened our upstairs bedroom window. She wants to jump she is saying she cannot go on. The 2 side ones are locked. Not a strong lock it has to said. The top middle one would be difficult to get out of, and because of the style one would only fall into the gutter before falling to the ground. So ending it would be very unlikely, only broken bones maybe.
    The point is that Susan has the wish. She is at the stage of knowing what is happening, and being incapable of doing anything. Dress, wash, get a glass of water etc. She is also questioning the prescribed medicines now and is getting reluctant to take them. - Aricept, fluoxetine, propranolol.
    We have a doctors (GP) appointment late this afternoon.
    I guess this wish of hers will pass, but we have to get over this stage. She started talking about this last May / June 2006.
    Any suggestions would be useful.
    Stronger anti-depressant I guess.
    cris
     
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Oh cris how I feel for you.

    Some four years ago now Lionel was feeling the same (although for different reasons concerning his children), but expressing a great desire to end his own life.

    His consultant at that time wanted to have him admitted to the local physicatric unit, but I persuaded him to try Lionel on some antidepressants, and this along with almost daily visits from the CPN, helped Lionel through those very black days.

    Somewhat different in your case as would seem that Sally is already on antidepressants. Please tell your GP all. Even though Susan may not have the strength to even try something, you must be at your wits end seeing her like this.

    Thingin of you, please keep us informed
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,652
    Kent
    Hi Cris, I don`t know the answer but you have all my sympathy. it`s a dreadful state to be in, poor Susan.
    My husband seems to be more able than Susan, he is still fairly independent regarding personal care, but he too seems to know what`s happening and wishes to die at times.
    He is frightened of what`s happening to his brain. That`s all he talks about, his head, his mind and his brain.
    Then on good days, he thinks the Alzheimers has gone. He thinks he is better. he is full of hope.
    Then it happens again and it`s like a slap in the face.
    It`s good you`re seeing the GP today, let`s hope he has something to offer.
    With love
     
  4. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    You need to make it very clear to the GP that not only does your wife have suicidal thoughts, but that she has begun to act upon them.

    The thoughts alone should ring alarm bells with the GP, but coupled with trying to act upon them...

    It may be that she needs a different anti-depressant or something like that. It's difficult to tell whether people with dementia are depressed because of their circumstances, or because of changes in their brains, or both. Unfortunately counselling isn't usually that effective because of the cognitive and memory problems. Not much use seeing a counsellor if the patient can't remember why they are there, won't accept there's anything wrong, and forgets the session after walking out the foor.

    I would be very suprised if the GP did not arrange for you wife to be seen by a consultant psychiatrist, it sounds as though you need visits from the psychiatric nurse as well, are you not getting either of these at the moment? Unfortunately it sometimes needs a crisis to get the help you need.

    If the worst comes to the worst it could be that your wife needs a stay in hospital whilst they get everything sorted out.
     
  5. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    This, I think is where I have to be very careful. While trying to put across the situation, I do not want Susan anywhere near a physicatric hospital etc. She would never forgive me or TRUST me again. So far things go ok, because Susan trusts me, although I know things I ask her to do she has doubts sometimes. ie put pyjamas on, get washed, have a drink.
    cris:(
     
  6. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    They will do everything possible before even considering a hospital. It is a last resort. Make sure you make your feelings known. Different carers have different thoughts about a loved one going into hospital and how much they can cope with at home.

    It sounds as though you are doing the right thing - the GP is the first port of call. The things you say are so alarming I can't believe that you won't be receiving more support.
     
  7. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    Hi Nebiroth. thanks for those words. But I feel I am doing ok and there are some worse of than me. I am hoping for some respite care in a few weeks time. Never had them before, so I am not sure how Susan will react. I guess they are professionals and go softly softly.
    I sweet talked her this morning and she gradually forgot (I think) though I'm not sure how she will be at the doctors this afternoon. I hope the doctor reconsiders the medication but I guess Susan will be in a good mood, seem fine and the doctor will do nothing.
    I keep the doors locked and the keys hidden but what do I do about kitchen knives ? I was a little worried the other night when she wouldn't come up to bed. So I laid there awake for 15minutes and then went down for her. She came up then. Definitely not worth arguing. I change the subject and give a little time, that usually works.
    She seems ok now, and we have just come back from a walk (her request) and the sun is out - and in - and the flowers are in bloom, trees shedding their pink and white blossom, birds singing, sun is warm on the face it is a beautiful day and Susan fully appreciates the wonder of nature. It's amazing all the flowers in bloom. Daffs, tulips, snow dops, crocus, polyanthus.
    cris
     
  8. Eve G.

    Eve G. Guest

    It is, horribly, an impossible, no-win situation. Who among us would not want to end it all if confronted with the diagnosis and future our loved ones have? Especially knowing what we know? My mother has always been terrified to die, and I've never had to worry about her trying to kill herself. Me, I'd have a heavy date with Mr. Razor Blade and Sleeping Pill if it happened to me.

    I don't know what I would do in your situation--Susan has every right to be suicidal, poor thing.
     
  9. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    I Know Eve. You are right. Susan knows what is happening and what is to come. Susan saw her mum with the illness. She died about 15 years. Susan would have been about 44. This is what is so distressing.
    cris
     
  10. Eve G.

    Eve G. Guest

    Being suicidal really shows that her mind is working. I don't think an anti-depressant would help; how about a really good analyst to talk honestly to, someone with experience in this field and whom she can get on with? I don't see that hospitilization or meds would help, as she has every good reason to feel suicidal.

    It's just awful, is all. There is no "bright side" to any of this ****, all we can do is shoulder through the best we can.
     
  11. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    Hi all. Doctor was ok. Susan chatted to him a little. Said she did not want to carry on, he talked to her a bit, whether she will remember it who knows. He doubled her dose of happy pills - fluoxetine. Which I thought he might.
    Next "battle" now is bath time:(
    thanks for all your comments.
    cris
     
  12. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Cris,
    I am so sorry to read your desperate post, can only hope that the change in medication and the brighter days may generate more positive thoughts!

    Regarding the 'battle of the bath', I feel with hindsight (such a wonderful thing!!), that we carers often make life harder for us and our loved ones than is absolutely necessary. We so want to hang on to normality, we feel forced to 'take over' and we are continuously worried about neglecting our loved ones ....... How many tears have I shed about this bath issue, how much subterfuge have I used, and how often have I felt defeated: ensuring my husband had a bath became a regular mission, but the gaps between successful attempts became longer and longer and in the end I had to accept that it was not a safe undertaking any longer. The danger of him slipping, falling, or simply not being able to get out at all as he failed to follow my instructions meant that I stopped trying. Installing a shower would have been a waste of money, as he has always hated taking showers.
    The result is that my husband has not had a bath for more than 18 months. But in spite of being doubly incontinent, he is clean, without BO, and without sores. We have established a pretty good washing routine, and I have discovered a shampoo that can be used very successfully without rinsing: we just rub it in, towel dry it, and his hair is fresh and soft again.
    We were forced to adapt. It is not what I would consider ideal, but this is not about me, it is about him and what he can manage. Some battles are simply not worth it. Let's just fight those that cannot be avoided .......

    Sorry, I didn't mean to preach, just to make a suggestion. Whatever works for you is fine!

    I am thinking of you both and send you my best wishes!
     
  13. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    Thanks for that nutty nan
    I do not want it to be a battle and have in the past just said ok no worries leave it.
    Susan is clean we use a bidet regular - and ok. Susan always used to love a hot bath, hot to the point where i took over the running of it years ago as it was dangerous. Also 6 months ago she always said "leave me a little while to soak" I did but now I reassure her that i am not leaving, and if she gets in I wash her straight away and get her out and dry her. Job done. It is just that tomorrow she is going with my daughter for a breast check-up, and I wanted to be sure she was clean. But again if i did not suceed i was not going to worry, as a bidet and under arm wash in the morning would have been ok.
    It is just amazing that someone who has loved a good bath everyday of her life is now afraid. I know that there is no point in having an argument I will not win and achieve nothing.
    you are not preaching to me, don't worry.
    thanks for your thoughts
    cris:)
     
  14. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Nan, I think you put the bathing situation into perspective.

    Right until Lionel went into the care home last November I struggled to shower him every day, with the able assistance of our Tweedledum (Lionels carer)

    It was a battle, leaving all three of us feeling exhausted. The care home first tried bathing Lionel but unable to sit on bath seat. Shower started to go same way, think he had a couple of mishaps and falls.

    Now he is basically bed bathed each day, and is always clean, sweetsmelling and pampered when I visit. I wash his hair for him.

    I wish I had given in to this regime earlier. We live and learn.
     
  15. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Nutty Nan

    I would be grateful for the name of that shampoo.

    I cannot get Mum's hair washed or, horror of horrors, I daren't mention bath.

    Mum and Dad are in respite at the moment (coming home tomorrow, I am not looking forward to taking up the carers role again)

    The carers in respite tried to get Mum in a bath. I have been trying for 10 months, but backing off, at the least sign of agitation The result of the respite bath is, the carers have great difficulty in getting Mum to leave the lounge, to go to her room and of course that also means Dad won't leave her to go to bed either. I reckon that the threat of a bath frightened her soo much, that she would rather sit up all night, than go near water, or what she thinks of as the threat of water.

    What to do??
    Leave them dirty (I do manage to get her feet washed most nights) or upset her so much that she is ill?

    I don't know, so I take the easy way out. Keep what I can clean!

    So your shampoo might be a small help

    Thanks
    Alfjess
     
  16. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Good book to read that has all about bathing , is learning to speak Alzheimer’s Joanne Koenig Coste as it tell you why it happen , also lots of tips .

    A few Tips from the book

    The feeling of water suddenly splashed on the face can cause fear, If possible, wash face hands separately ,not in the shower .Shampooing can also cause anxiety , so shampoo only when you must do, so and use dry shampoo whenever possable .

    The ordor of an unfamiliar lind of soap may induce fear

    Impaired perception of color, depth, and contrast may keep the patient from seeing clear water, Adding a blue or blue-green coloring agant to the tub make water visible .
     
  17. Tash

    Tash Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
    251
    London, UK
    Dear Cris,

    I really hope your GP visit went well yesterday afternoon.

    If your wife continues to feel suicidal, you may wish to call the Samaritans who will be able to provide confidential emotional support. Their number is 08457 90 90 90 in the UK and Northern Ireland. Or if you would prefer to write down how you are feeling, you can email them on jo@samaritans.org.

    Thinking of you,

    Tash
    New Media Support Officer
    Alzheimer's Society
     
  18. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    Thnks for that nr. Tash. I have made a note, I might need it :eek:
    I had thought of them, but I think the problem is Susan would not be able express herself very well. This also why she gets angry and frustrated.
    cris
     
  19. Tash

    Tash Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
    251
    London, UK
    Hi Cris,

    Perhaps you could contact them on Susan's behalf, or to express your own concerns - at least, they may be able to give some advice or point you towards services in your area.

    Take care,
    Tash
     

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