An Update on My Mother

Yesterday being Valentine’s Day, decease I thought about ┬áthe people I love most. My husband, my children, and my mother. I know how much so many of you like knowing how she is, so many of you have written to me, telling me how much you relate to what she and I are going through. I realize it’s been a long time since I have talked about her. Sometimes I think it’s maybe too personal to be putting out there on the internet. It’s funny, I sometimes feel like I am betraying her in a way, but I know that’s just a feeling, and sharing my story helps others feel they are not so alone if they have too have a loved one with the same decease.

This photo was taken 4 years ago, when we drove to Rehoboth Beach for the day. I remember the whole way down, she never initiated a conversation. I remember thinking how sad that was.

Today if I take her out for a drive, she talks more. She enjoys looking at everything. I honestly feel that she is better then she was a couple of years ago. I know that’s hard to believe, but I think she is doing better since I had her taken off medicine for Alzheimers. I swear she is so much more alert. Even her eyes look brighter.

My mother was never diagnosed with having Alzheimer’s desease. She has Dementia. I never really understood the difference, but I do now. I guess you could say that my mother is more high functioning then the rest of the people in her unit. It’s tough because she knows it, and I hate that she does.My mother still remembers so much. She know who I am. She knows she is my mother and she knows that the photo of the man on the table next to her bed, is my father. Recently, when I visited, she said, “Can I come to your house with you, just for a couple of days. I won’t be any trouble. I ‘d like to see Bill. Maybe I can help you cook. You can put my hair up in curlers”, she said. I think she is remembering when she did live with me, she did help me cook, and I did put her hair up in curlers. “All the people walking around here are like zombies”, she says. What can I say? I know she would do better if she lived with me. There are many reasons why that is not possible. I wish that there was another unit, where should could get the care she needs and be with people she could talk to. My mother is in the nicest facility you could wish for, but unfortunately everyone with Alzheimers and Dementia are put together in one section, and it doesn’t matter what level they are. That’s the worst part. Darn.



8 Responses to “An Update on My Mother”

  1. Debbie Says:

    Thank you for sharing your, and your mother’s story. Many people will feel a connection because they and their family are dealing with the same issue. Others are dealing with other issues. I think it’s good to share. I think today many people look around and see the “frosting” in people’s lives. We don’t live in “community” these days to see each others burdens, and help each other carry them. In your sharing, I hope someone close to you helps. In sharing with us, we are seeing you, unselfishly, care for your mother as best as your ability, giving her a wonderful quality of life in these golden years. It’s sad that you can’t have her with you at home. However, when you do visit her, you create memories for you to hold close. You have great courage.

  2. Judi Hunziker Says:

    Carol, my prayer for you is faith and the strength to take one day at a time knowing that your Mother knows you love her. Having a mother-in-law who lived with us for 6 years and is now in a facility in the final stages of vascular dementia I can relate to your heartache. There will come a time when your Mom will transition into her new “home” and feel safe in the routines they provide. Keeping you and your Mom in my prayers. Judi

  3. Karen Says:

    Carol, this post touched my heart. I am living the same thing day in and day out- only my mother will no longer have those moments of clarity. We are scheduled to move her to skilled nursing from the assisted living facility she is now in and each day with her until the move is a new adventure. Keep making those memories with her while you can. I’ll keep you both in my prayers. Always know you are not alone in this struggle. There are many of us out here like you.
    We understand…..

  4. Barbara Melotto Says:

    I was very touched by the courage you had to share your mother’s story. One of the problems in this world of ours is everyone is too busy, too technical to be personally involved with each other. I am sorry you and you mom are in this position, but I can see you do give her quality time. I applaude you!

  5. Nancy Fuller Says:

    Carole…thank you for sharing your journey with your mother. It made me cry as it was so familiar to me. My mother asked me the same thing. Would I take her home she would be a “good girl”, clean out some drawers and work in her yard. I regret that it wasn’t possible. When we finally had to put her in a alzheimers unit in a Christian facility it was so very hard,but it was what was best for her. It has been 5 years since she passed away and I miss her every day and wish I could hold her hand just one more time. My prayers are with you and your family as I know how very difficult this disease is for everyone.

  6. Jan Says:

    Dear Carole, My 90 year old insulin dependent and hypertensive mom had moved from one of my siblings’ and neice’s home to another. She would be fine for a while then start finding fault or being accusatory and would manipulate her way from house to house. When she was 88 she had an acute decline in her diabetic status (I’m a retired menopausal nurse dealing with severe depression, panic attacks and acute anxiety by the way and my husband is disabled with a limp!) and came to live with us. We had been married less than 4 months! Thankfully my husband a taken a diabetic course and is a caring and nurturing man.

    Through hard consistent work with much blood sweat and tears, and close monitoring her blood sugar and hypertension stabilized, and she lost a much needed 30 lbs. Her MD said that we saved her life! For 6-7 years prior there were little glimpses of her pending break although she was pretty high functioning.

    While living with us approximately 3 months prior to her severe break she was began seeing spiders and other creepy crawlies and hitting at imaginary things with her cane. Despite frequent reassurances and getting antipsychotic medications she became progressively worse, threatening us with harm, accusing us of wanting to kill her and take her money, sneaking outside her windows and bedroom door. One time she woke us at 1am screaming at the top of her voice. Two days later about 5am we awoke to the sounds of Collier Count Sheriffs calling our names. Mom had went through the garage to the neighbors and called the police saying we were trying to kill her!! At that time we insisted she be taken to the hospital for a psych evaluation and treatment. She told the police that she never wanted to come back to our home and “good luck”.

    That night she was hospitalized for 3 weeks and from there was admitted to a really great Naples long term care facility. Thank God they agreed that she could stay there until she expired and waived a large amount of her monthly fees. She continues to have dementia but with around the clock care, physical therapy and social activities she is better. This could go on forever with all the bizarre thoughts, sightings and accusations and varied manipulations to leave the facility. She is however much safer and THAT’S the bottom line. It was very emotionally and physically draining but we are grateful for the blessing of the facility. We, as you did for your mom the best for her and continue to do so. We do pray a lot though. It helps! Stay encouraged! Blessings, Jan (This is the SHORT version!).

  7. carole holt Says:

    I am always very touched when I hear from so many that have or are sharing the same experience that I am. Thank you.

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