Loving and Living with Alzheimer's: Musings and snippets of my life experiences while dealing...coping...loving...helping...family members suffering from Alzheimer's. If you can relate, then I hope you will follow my blog and also would love to hear from you as well. Kristy
Alzheimer's is such a sad disease, sometimes it is good to laugh a little... Last week Mom complained of stomach pain, but she couldn’t tell me
where it hurt.I asked the staff nurse
to check on her.Here’s the conversation:
Nurse: So, Flo, your daughter says you are experiencing stomach
Mom: I am?
Me: Yes, remember? You said your stomach hurts?
Mom: I don't think so.
Nurse: Ok. How have you been doing? Any
Mom: Well, my stomach hurts.
The nurse and I exchange glances.
Nurse presses lightly on her abdomen: Any pain when I do
Doctor presses on various areas of her abdomen, pelvic
area and lower back: Doctor: No pain, when I touch it here?
Doctor: Does it hurt worse after you eat?
Mom: I don't think so.
Doctor: Ok, Flo, let's have you lay back on the
table so you can point out exactly where it hurts. We may need to
order an ultra sound.
The nurse assists mom in removing her blouse.Underneath the blouse, her bra is on
backwards and is clasped across her belly.The nurse unclasps the bra.
Struggling with Guilt “I could never put my mother in a nursing home.” “Don’t you feel guilty having strangers take care of your mother?” “I’ve heard horror stories about what goes on in those places.” At first I felt shamed by people’s reactions. Then I felt the need to defend myself. Following that, I was angry that I felt the need to defend myself. If you are like me, you struggled with your decision. It wasn’t one that you made lightly. It’s not as though I dropped my mother at the door with a paper bag of belongings and scurried away, leaving no contact information. If you are caring for your loved one at home, I respect you for your commitment. I'm not in a position where I can care for Mom on a full time basis. So I spent months visiting different places with Mom until we found the best accommodations for her. I visit frequently, sometimes with no advance warning, to monitor the care she receives. People who aren’t in your situati
Turning Sorrow into Joy Around the same time that my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, my toddler grandson moved in with us for awhile. I rejoiced as Tyler learned to speak and increased his vocabulary. But I was saddened when my mother struggled to remember words and names. As Tyler advanced from baby mobiles to building blocks, my mother could no longer figure out how to dial a telephone. Tyler loved to pretend that he was driving our car. Mom was turning over the keys to us, knowing she would never drive again. My husband and I would shop for educational but fun items that would challenge Tyler and stimulate his brain as he grew. At the same time we would shop for Mom, trying to find items that would simplify her life, such as remotes and telephones with the fewest number of buttons possible. Having Tyler with us at this difficult time was a Godsend. It helped me come to terms with the fact that although I was facing a progres
Alzheimer's Can Be a Selfish Disease Alzheimer’s can be a selfish disease. That doesn’t mean your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s is a selfish person, at least not intentionally. But it affects the lives of those around them in selfish ways. When Dad passed away, we were unable to notify some of our relatives in another state about his funeral. Prior to his death, Mom had delusions that he was seeing certain female family members behind her back even though it was impossible unless he had a time machine. So my sisters and I had to make the difficult decision not to notify them about the funeral, not even his death, until after the fact. We wanted Dad’s funeral to be dignified. We didn’t want this difficult day to be tainted by Mom’s rants, false accusations and malicious glares. We took the easy way out. What made it even more difficult was that afterwards we couldn’t even tell them the reason they were excluded. We were afraid they might not unde