A Long Day

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A Long Day

I have had a very trying few weeks. I can't even begin to get into depth on here, but it is almost 2 AM in the morning and I feel like if I don't vent I might burst. I am full of anxiety. I don't even know where to begin, but I know if I write something by the end I should feel better then I can go to bed. My mom is in the later stages of Alzheimer's I would say stage 6 on the 1-7 scale. Many of these "stages" overlap so it is hard to pinpoint sometimes. Anyhow, mom has been slowly having more and more issues with eating and toileting over the last 10 months. I don't know if I was living in a fantasy land or what but I think it all sunk in yesterday and tonight. Mom spent half of the day yesterday in the hospital and then I just got done giving her the second shower since we got home. Over the last 10-12 months she had been eating more sporadically, losing weight, having bowel accidents more and more frequently, and today she was probably dehydrated. She had what they think was a Transient Ischemic Attack (warning stroke) brought on by heat and dehydration. We were outside at a park there was lots of activity going on around us and mom had like a siezure or stroke episode. It was very brief but very scary. She was sitting at a picnic bench when she began to lean to the right and twitch. Her eyes were fixated and blank and she was unresponsive for a short time. I thought she was having a stroke. It was so scary. She obviously was transported to the hospital. There they monitored her. Her blood preasure was low for hours. Once she got some fluids in her and slept off and on for quite a while it started to get close to normal and she perked up. Then she ate some dinner and perked up even more and was back to "normal". We decided to come home at that point. When she got up from the hospital bed I could see she had soiled herself at some point (I asked her repeatedly if she had to use the bathroom). We just went straight home to shower. That was my easiest option. Then she watched TV until 10 pm with the kids and finally got settled in bed. She was up at about 11 to urinate. I had her brush her teeth at that point also. Then I was awaken again at 1 AM by the bathroom alram. She was in sitting on the toilet, but had a bowel accident in her pants. So we had the showering process again, laundry, new pj's, and now she is back in bed again. When she has an accident in her pants she is always very upset and I tend to think she thinks it is my fault somehow. Just the way she scowls at me. Sometimes she will verbalize her feelings and say things like, "it is horrible" or "oh it is nasty" or "that is bad" or "oh yuck". My heart aches for her. This is Alzheimer's. Anyway my reality of Alzheimer's.


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It's so good to hear that your mother made it home safely after that impromptu and unnerving hospital visit. While things may be trying, it takes so much strength to do what you do, and even more strength to share your anxieties. Your mother is lucky to have someone so dedicated.

Oct 02, 2012 - 3:59 PM by Nicholas T

Thank you for the kind words of encouragement Nicholas! I also hope we can avoid the hospital in the future. Tonight was another trying night (why I am still up), but that is okay. I would rather it be me than anyone else caring for my mom. I listened to a song today called Love is Patience. So, so true in my case.

Oct 10, 2012 - 3:55 AM by Toni W

Toni, I hope your mom is doing better now. I don't know much about Alzheimer's disease. But I truly hope that her stroke/seizure will never happen again. How does she eat/drink? Does she tell you when she's hungry/thirsty? Do you have to feed her every meal? My granduncle was paralyzed from waist down in a car accident. He couldn't control his bladder or bowels. My grandaunt was going through similar situations when she first started caring for him. But things were better for her when he wore adult diapers. Is it possible to ask your mon to try them? My granduncle understands the situation and he actually prefers to wear them. It might be more difficult to explain it to you mom. If someone could help you to care for your mom, I think you should take a day (or two) off. It helps to clear your mind and relieve stress.

Oct 01, 2012 - 12:59 PM by Ariel T

Thank you for your comment Ariel. I also hope we never experience the stroke/seizure again. My mom hasn't been eating regularly for 6 months now. Somedays she will eat well and others I can only get her to eat a bite or two. She will almost always eat things like string cheese, granola bars, chocolate, etc but can't live on that !!! She doesn't really ever say much. She never tells me if she is hungry or thirsty. I am ALWAYS guessing. If she starts pacing or seems anxious then I know she is hungry, thirsty, has to pee, or she had an BM accident in her pants. It is all about body language at this point for us and even that most of the time is hit and miss. Every so often she will communicate verbally, but it is rare. An example is about two weeks ago she walked up to me grabbed her butt and said "there is something there" and last night she said "damn it happened again" both times speaking of BM accidents in her pants. I have tried the adult diapers on her but she scowls the whole time, is nervous and anxious, won't sit down, and paces. My personal feelings on that situation as of now is (for the last 10 months) if her underwear are super messy and can't be rinsed out I simply throw them away this is 9 times out of 10. I buy the cheap Wal Mart brand underwear and I figure they probably are about the same price as the diapers!!!! This way she isn't unhappy. I know there will come a point where this isn't working so well, but for now it is. Tonight was pretty bad though, so don't know how much longer underwear will work. I do have help. I HAVE to have help since I have 4 childern 13 and younger. My husband is amazing and wonderful, but I also have hired help and volunteer help come in at least a couple hours usually Monday through Friday. I am VERY fortunate. I have a high school girl that comes when we have to take the kids to soccer practice and games too. She is absolutely wonderful with mom. I am incredibly fortunate to have all the help I do. If you haven't watched my video, I hope you will.

Oct 10, 2012 - 4:05 AM by Toni W

Toni i know I speak for the entire healtheo360 family when I say our heart and prayers go out to you and your family. As you know, my mom has Alzheimer's, and we are starting to see a big change in her. Last month, my sister mentioned to me that my mom and dad were spending the week at my sisters lake house. My sister and her family made plans to drive up to the house with some friends of theirs on thursday to meet up with my mom and dad so they could all spend the weekend together relaxing. My sister, her family and their friends arrived at the lake house on Thursday and had a great first day. Friday was good and then Saturday night, my sisters friends and my mom and dad all retired to their bedrooms. Sometime around 1am, my mom got out of bed and wondered into the family friends room, turned on the light (which it woke up the couple in the room) and said "Oh I didn't know you were here... when did you get here?". All I can say, like you, is that this is my families reality of Alzheimer's. Some days are good and some not to good. I guess the best we can do is hope we can string more good days together then bad ones. Thank you for sharing your story and we are always here to support you. As Always - Be Well. Dave

Sep 30, 2012 - 12:53 PM by David D

Thanks for all the support and prayers David! I remember when my mom used to get up in the night and wander around too. She rummages now at night if she is up. I am sorry to hear you are noticing changes in your mom. Take lots of picture and video. I wish I had more video of my mom when she was in the earlier stages or really before she had symptoms, but I don't. Just a few where I can hear her voice or very brief glimpses. Capture the good moments while you can.

Oct 10, 2012 - 4:09 AM by Toni W

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