One of those days

Sorry for the long silence today, but this is the first time I’ve gotten near a computer since 11:00 this morning.  It was a very complicated day today with regard to my mother and, while she’s fine, I’m tired.  I’d like to write, but I don’t have the energy to martial my thoughts.  I seem to have expended all I’ve got explaining to her that there weren’t two German couples sharing her hospital room; that they didn’t leave the room through the window; that her physical therapist isn’t her niece; that the nurses aren’t running a wholesale business at the nursing station, so that she can trust the medicines they give her; that she is allowed to eat the hospital food; etc.  Reality is a very loose concept for her now, and she drifts in and out, passing effortlessly from awareness to delusion.

I’m going to go watch Bones, which is my current version of mental chocolate.

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  • Earl

    Oh BW….this is SO HARD!
    When Dad was declining, and in his hospital bed in Mom’s (giant) living room, it was incredibly trying/funny/tragic.  This highly educated, incredibly skilled, and just plain cerebral man… the middle of talking about something with complete lucidity would ask “Can you see the opening up there in the ceiling….with the squirrels coming down through it?”
    And I was only visiting….not living with it day by day like my Mom and my two sisters.
    I’m holding you up in prayer each day, dear friend…….

  • Bookworm

    Thanks so much, Earl. Fortunately for me, my Mom is in a very good care facility, so that I don’t have to deal with her 24/7.  I visit her daily and, for the most part, enjoy Loopy Mom.  She’s a bit paranoid, but her flights of fancy are charming, whereas Cogent Mom is a very depressed person.  Yesterday, though, involved a lot of driving and family, and she melted down entirely and got quite aggressive, which was unnerving for the rest of the family assembled there.  Later, Mom had no memory of what had happened, and say say only that she thought “things ended badly.”

    One of my friends once disputed me when I said he is a nice person.  “No,” he replied.  “I’m a decent person.”  Yesterday, I figured out what he means.  Nice people do nice things because it’s the effortless, natural thing to do.  Decent people do nice things because it’s the right thing to do.  I’m a decent person, because there’s nothing effortless or natural about caring for Mom.  But it’s definitely the right thing to do, and that I do with pleasure (and whining).  (By the way, I still think my friend is a nice person, as well as a decent person.)

  • Ymarsakar

    Did you try engaging your mom in conversation about her husband, in the good old days, to see if that changed any of her patterns?

  • Tonestaple

    Seems like I’ve read that music can be helpful with dementia.  Songs from “her day” perhaps?  Late 40s, early 50s maybe?

  • Ron19

    I had some of the same with my mother’s mother, during my high school years.  Her mind was going downhill, and reason made no impression with her.

    Ymarsakar has a good suggestion. I’ve seen it with old people and young who are unwilling to listen to reason.  Instead of wearing yourself out fighting an unbeatable foe, just say “Uh-huh, what did you see, what did they do?”  It may not be entertaining, but she might be appreciative of being believed, and you don’t have to carry the conversation.  Save the teaching moments for your children.

    And continue loving her unconditionally.

  • Bookworm

    I enjoy listening to my Mom’s delusions.  They’re charming and, if you challenge them, she gets agitated, so I don’t.  It’s much more exhausting when she’s not delusional.

    Mom is tone-deaf, so music doesn’t help, and in her dotage she’s become very hostile to my long-deceased father, so I’m careful not to mention him  Mostly, I just say, “oh,” and “tell me more.” 

  • Ymarsakar

    I think that very hostility is actually precisely why it would break the deadlock if you steered her memories back to when she was happy with him. Using visuals, smells, and pictures generate greater emotional connections overall.

     “Very hostile” from someone who generically is negative about “everything” and “everyone” suggests a particular origin point.