1. florence43

    florence43 Registered User

    Jul 1, 2009
    Went to see mum yesterday and it was good and bad...

    When I arrived she wasn't in her bed. My first reaction was that of a TV drama...Aaaaaah...SHE'S DEAD! Then, it was immediately replaced with, oh, She must be down in the lounge. She's so often in her bed, that I expect nothing less on a visit. So I went to find her and she was all slumpy in a chair, but looked content. She smiled when I arrived and I chatted to her and gave her a cup of tea in a beaker. It kept dribbling out the side of her mouth and I made her giggle when I said I'd not missed my vocation in nursing! Then I painted her nails.

    She has beautiful nails. Absolutely stunning. Yet she never wore varnish, not even the clear kind. She didn't like the colour when I asked her, but actually she was answering "no" to every question I asked yesterday! She fell asleep when I massaged her hands and it made varnishing a little tricky, but she seemed to quite enjoy it. It was a really special, intimate hour spent as mother and daughter. But then I had to go. She needed socks and I told her I'd be back in half an hour. As usual she just stared at me, but I continued to smile this ridiculously happy smile.

    It was weird because the TV room had "Hollyoaks" booming out loud at all these residents who's combined age must be 500, and I felt part of a surreal dream as they sat and watched one part which showed a man about to kiss another man in a tender embrace. For a lot of the people watching, if the world didn't make sense before sitting down to watch TV, it certainly didn't afterwards... It's a modern day teen-soap, and I felt it was a bit out of touch with their generation, but...that's just a detail.

    Anyway, on my return, as has happened so many times, mum was terribly sad. I approached her in the chair and she had tears rolling down her cheeks again, in silent anguish and pain. I couldn't bear it. I tried to cheer her a little but she just opened her mouth to speak, but as always, can't. So the tears just poured. She painfully and slowly lifted one arm just to wipe a tear and I felt like howling.

    And there we sat, mother and daughter, in silence, holding hands and crying together. I just sat, as she did, and let the tears roll til they dropped of my face. When she looked at me we just cried again, the two of us. It was all we could do.

    I said "I don't know what to do, mum. I don't know what to do", and she just stared at me and cried.

    I spoke to a member of staff and as I was waiting, another elderly resident called at me "little girl, little girl". It was funny and very poignant, because she was seeing me exactly as I felt. Just a little girl.

    But I asked the staff to move mum to her room and they did so immediately. She seemed more at peace when I left but I felt the life had drained from me. It was a semblance of what mum must feel too.
  2. Christin

    Christin Registered User

    Jun 29, 2009
    Sending you a hug. xx
  3. piedwarbler

    piedwarbler Registered User

    Aug 3, 2010
    South Ribble
    Oh, Dear Annie

    You've made me cry with this post. I'm so sorry.

    You are doing such a wonderful job with your mum.

    So often we make a special effort to be super cheery and maybe your mum will appreciate the fact that you shared her emotions.

    I hope you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. I'm offering you my arm, grab on, and up you get. You will be strong :)

  4. Jo1958

    Jo1958 Registered User

    Mar 31, 2010
    Oh Annie, now I'm crying reading your post.
    Sending a (((Hug))) and hoping the socks help to keep her feet cosy.
    Kind regards, Jo
  5. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    Dear Annie, a big hug to you. Now we are all crying for you and your mum, all over the UK.:(:):(:confused: Me too!

    But the funny thing is, afterwards your mum was tucked up and comfy and probably doesn't recall a moment of it, although, with luck, she still feels a sort of halo effect from your visit and your company.

    If she cries again, perhaps ask her what is making her sad. Perhaps she will tell you (perhaps not, too.) Perhaps there will be something small that will make a difference to how she feels.

    (I don't think my mother ever cried in the presence of those Lindor chocolates with the soft melty centres. I wish they were on prescription!)

    I hope you have a better visit next time, but you did really well for your mum anyway. Take courage, you are doing your very best. x
  6. sunray

    sunray Registered User

    Sep 21, 2008
    East Coast of Australia
    Annie I am crying too. My mum lost language about three years ago and she often makes a little crying noise and I feel so helpless as there is nothing I can do.

    Like you I massage her hands and rub hand cream into her hands, it is such a mother and daughter thing to do. I also sing softly to her, old songs and nursery rhymes, Sunday School choruses and anything else I think she might recognise. Sometimes I hear her softly humming too. On those days I cry in the car on the way home - crying for what used to be.

    Better to be a softie and cry than to be hard hearted and not care as some do.

  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Dear Annie,
    Please try and focus on the first part of the visit which was so lovely.
  8. florence43

    florence43 Registered User

    Jul 1, 2009
    Now I've started again...

    Sorry everyone!

    You're all crying and hearing that you're all crying has made me cry!

    I usually cry in the car, driving home, and I usually hold it in when I'm with her. Not sure why yesterday was so different. I expect it was because it was just the two of us. My little ones all have colds and infections so I kept them well away. They probably keep me strong when we visit together, because they're too young to know why I cry.

    But I tried to ask why she was crying yesterday. I ask every time but her mouth just moves and no sounds come out. It's agonising to watch, but instinctive to ask. But I did try something different yesterday too. Must be that I'm watching too many hospital dramas because I asked her to squeeze my hand when I say the part of her body that might hurt. I started with her head (because she sat with her cheek practically on her own shoulder and I just couldn't move it straight for her), and after 3 or 4 seconds...she squeezed. I asked again, and she squeezed. I asked her if her legs hurt (as I suspect they do) but no squeeze. My gut feeling is that she's just squeezing my hand because it's nice to have a hand to hold, but I wasn't taking any chances so I got her straight to bed.

    I don't know why she can't hold her head up straight. The chair was not the reclining sort. It had a very straight back and she slumps down over time, so when she was put back in in again and propped up, her head just stayed to the side, on her shoulder. That meant the tears just feel straight from her left eye and onto her shoulder, but the right eye created a little "tear pond" at the side of her nose. That was what she tried to wipe away.

    I asked if she was in pain; I asked if she was just fed up; had she had enough? But her mouth just opened and closed. Her eyes just stared, then cried.

    I'm so sorry for making you cry too. I know it must bring up memories for so many and the current day for so many too. It was such a hard day, and I don't have a diary, so this was it I suppose. But I'm sorry! Please dry your tears and think what a lovely day it is...because it is. Not a cloud! xxxx
  9. scarletpauline

    scarletpauline Registered User

    Jul 19, 2009
    How can we help crying with you, it's so sad, we all feel your pain. Love and hugs. Pauline xxx
  10. Jancis

    Jancis Registered User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Dear Annie,
    Please don't be sorry for making us cry. We don't need much of an excuse, it's the only way of release sometimes. Your TP "diary" is beautifully written and so expressive.
    I hope your mum can see the blue sky through her window today.
    Take care, Jancis x
  11. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    North East
    Oh Annie - it must be totally heartbreaking to watch your mum cry and feel helpless to understand her pain. I'm really not sure I could cope with that. Mum seems to grimace a lot, but I've never actually seen her cry for quite a few years now.

    I've done this so many times, and really feel for you.

    Take care Annie

  12. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England

    I'm crying too reading this....but you know I think that crying is one of the greatest gifts we can give because at least it shows we care. We spend so much time having to be cool and business-like dealing with the admin. side of the illness that we forget to cry at times until the tears are out of anger or frustration. Yours were tears of love..most precious.
  13. shauna

    shauna Registered User

    Sep 10, 2010
    Dear Annie My heart goes out to you its such a hard journey with
    dementia and so hard to see your mum cry . I have had some bad days with my mum , when she just cries and i feel so helpless that i can not ease her pain. You are a wonderfull daughter and are doing all you can and your mum knows that.I think those special moments you spend with her alone will help you through.I know when im having a bad day and i sit and hold my mums hand and she smiles at me it lifts my spirits. I send you hugs and kisses and hope you are ok . Keep posting as this is a great place to be when you need support

  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Annie

    Deep down your mother will know you are crying for her, not for yourself and it is the best way to communicate how much her illness hurts you.

    It`s all right. Dementia is an illness which will make the toughest among us cry. But when you left her she was peaceful. xx
  15. SheilaL

    SheilaL Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    South Lakes
    I'm filling up here too - but we can all empathise so don't worry. It's the sheer helplessness I think - that there is absolutely no way we can reach out and find that lovely mum/dad/husband/wife/uncle/aunt who made up our lives ... they're disappearing like mist in front of our eyes.

    Sending a huge hug xxxx
  16. nicoise

    nicoise Registered User

    Jun 29, 2010
    The tears are never far away...

    Your post made me cry - but only because it was such an intimate moment between the two of you, without words but a shared emotion.

    I find the tears are never far away these days - just sadness at the whole bl**dy situation.

    It just takes a hug, or a "I love you very much" (I'm lucky that mum is still able to speak and make sense at times, I know) and I'm off - but by myself, or later when I think about it.

    Thinking of you x
  17. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    What a poignant description of your visit Annie. Thinking of you and your mum. x

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