When reality slaps you in the face ....

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Started out promising this morning when I rang mum 'Just checking you're up and will be ready for me to pick you up'..... "Oh yes, but if I hadn't been stood by the phone you would have woke me up." OK. The bizarre I have learnt to cope with (most days) .

Arrive more or less empty-handed - 'Thought it would be nice for you to choose some fresh things from the bakers etc while we are out ...' ...'Oh yes, that would be nice .....' Allow myself to fall into comfort zone that this morning's excursion will be a pleasant one ..... until we get into the car and she belches several times ... with neither warning nor apology (mum would be mortified) - and the stench :eek:....... I say nothing but discreetly wind the window down for air .....

Arrive at local 'precinct' and park up - next alarm bell .... she has no idea where we are ....been 100s if not 1000s of times ....... then I notice her walking ... well, you wouldn't call it walking .... even 'shuffling' would be a kind way to describe it ...... the oblivion that she is brushing against gorse bush as we ever so slowly wend our way down the disabled ramp ....... most people are kind and understanding but the jamboree for a charity promotion means there are children running round with balloons ..... 'Is something special going on? Have I missed Christmas?' - and my heart is sinking ..... panic I have a panic attack myself coming on but I can't abandon her ....... the nice man in the fluffy outfit handing out the balloons and shaking his collection tin sees fit not to approach me and mum for a donation .... I figure he realises we have other priorities ....... Bless that man .......

Attend to scheduled appointment and suggest we just choose a few fresh goodies and go home .... 'No, no, I don't need anything ....' Just wants to go home ..... and when home just wants to shut me out ....... 'Go on, you get off' .......

'Her world' seems to be coming just that - a world of not-so-splendid isolation and sadness ..... I just don't know what to do anymore ......:(

Sorry for the ramble ..... bit weepy..... Karen, x


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Sorry, Karen. Not surprised you're a bit weepy.

It does sound as if your mum is withdrawing into her own little world -- another step down?

In one way that might make things easier for you, but that doesn't make it easier to bear.

No words of wisdom, just a huge hug.



Registered User
May 19, 2006
Can understand you're weepy, Karen.

I remember situations as you describe with Nan and with Aunty Jean...increasing confusion, withdrawing, shutting us out, confused by things which previously wouldn't have perturbed them in any way, restlessness, lots of pacing up and down, no concentration, not really able to follow conversations any more, not making much sense, not finding the words.

But still, there were good times to be had, there were smiles and laughs, there was closeness, appreciation and love. And underneath, several hearts were breaking, too.

Sorry, Karen, no words of advice. I really don't know what to say to help, I just know the slaps in the face really hurt. Agree with Hazel...so hard to bear for those who watch from the outside.

Take care.
Love, Tina x
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Registered User
Feb 15, 2008
greenhithe kent
keep strong

sorry you had a disappointing morning, you did your best,we want the best for our relatives and its hard when they cant appreciate it,keep strong bclark


Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
Hi Karen

It is sad, when you get up and think things are going to go OK, then it all goes terribly pear-shaped.

'Her world' seems to be coming just that - a world of not-so-splendid isolation and sadness ..... I just don't know what to do anymore ......
That just sums it all up

Take care


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Karen,
Perhaps your mother really is slowing down now, and the hustle and bustle of shopping areas is a bit daunting.
Perhaps she no longer sees the purpose of shopping, doesn`t know what she needs, is unaware of the contents of her cupboards, is not attracted by displays..............
A sad time, the realization of decline, it has probably been creeping up gradually, and something hit you today.
Love xx


Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
Hi Karen.

Sorry you have had a bad day. These things do happen from time to time and they are difficult to deal with.

They are the sort of days when you are sure you are in charge and handling the situation when you realise that there is somthing not quire right.

Hits you hard, but what hits harder is that you have not noticed it before and perhaps you should have.

Then you start thinking, well, if I missed that, what else have I missed?

I think all carers go down the same path at one time or another Karen and we all get weepy when we realise what is happening to our loved ones. Sometimes from frustration because we missed something or have noticed something but can't help and sometimes from the realisation that the person you are caring for is going through some transition which precludes you.

It is difficult to be positive at these times but just remember, if you had not been there to help Mum, would someone else have accompanied her?

You are doing what you can and you will be there for her when she needs you.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Thanks everyone - what has hit me today (as I reflect on it more) is the sense of 'pity' ..... I could see it people's eyes ...... it has hurt me .... I can only be grateful I know at least it won't have registered with mum .... the last thing in the world she would want ....... so maybe she is safer now in her own little world? And next time we have to venture out to nasty places because the world can't come to her I'll be a bit more ready for it? :(

Karen, x :(


Registered User
Jan 15, 2008

I'm not surprised you were sad and weepy today. I too can related to your feeling that people look at your and your Mum with "pity". I notice that strangers know almost immediately that my Mum is "not right" and adjust their behaviour automatically. It makes me a bit depressed, to be honest, as Mum has no idea that people are doing this.

You are doing great, though. You care about her enough to take her out to brighten her day - good for you. Keep going.

You are in my thoughts.



Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hiya Kaz

So sorry you have not had a good day, its the emotional roller coaster, just when you think things are fine, well no worse, then something happens and it hits you in the face that maybe all is not as good as you thought. I understand you weeping buckets, its what we do, then we pick ourselves up and carry on. So from one weeping mess to another, sending you a massive hug, and a box of Kleenex:rolleyes: Take heart, this maybe just 'one of those days', you know how many times mum has amazed me and bounced back, and Im sure your mum will have better days ahead, and so will you.

Keep strong honey.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Thanks again everyone - and yes I can confirm that a huge weep (and copious amounts of chocolate :rolleyes:) seem to have helped .... and when I arrived as 'clock monitor' :rolleyes: this morning mum was bright as a button and looking terribly capable - that of course, in her own little 'empire' .....

Hits you hard, but what hits harder is that you have not noticed it before and perhaps you should have.
Grommitt, I have reflected today that I, too, was out of my comfort zone yesterday .... our 'outing' wasn't a normal Saturday morning excursion (not to our normal 'safe places') and I maybe have needed it to shake me up a little. I am reminded of those embarrassing moments as a child when someone comments 'My, you've grown at least an inch since last time I saw you' - and as the chid you cringe ..... but in reality - you probably have grown at least an inch - but those around you day in, day out haven't commented (or even noticed) because it's so subtle .... (until you need bigger clothes!!!! :D) Last night I penned this:

"I saw my mum today through someone else's eyes
Who couldn't hide their staring at her obvious demise"

I think the reality check is that she has actually deteriorated far more than I have been admitting to myself .... and I have to hold my hands up on that score ......:( A tough lesson - but one that was going to come at some point ..... Hopefully, I can learn and move on ...... once I've yanked my head out of the sand, of course :eek:

Much love and thanks again to everyone, x