Monday, September 10, 2012

Alzheimer's is ......



I have been debating whether to write this or not and at this time I am not sure if I will ever publish it.

I am so angry that ever time I accept the fact that my mother is declining daily, a major event happens to her that just causes a free fall in her mental state. 
 I had been so thankful that she was still walking and was able to chew (it's surprising how the simple things in life become so important). 

 Then I received a phone call from the Home that Mother had fallen and was complaining of pain in her hip. 
 I immediately requested they transport her to the 
ER of the newest hospital in town. 
 My hubby and I were waiting when the ambulance arrived at the ER.   The ambulance crew and the staff at the hospital were terrific.  They were so kind and gentle and worked hard to accomplish their duties around Mother's mental state.  It took three of us with lead aprons holding Mother in place to just get the x-rays.  Mother doesn't understand to hold still and she was totally delirious. 
 After that they made her as comfortable as possible and made us feel very welcome.
  Then we were told that she had fractured her hip and would require surgery.
 Her doctor advised us that surgery was basically being performed as  pain relief (I don't believe any of us thought my mother would ever walk again).  I knew at that time that all the odds were against her, a woman that had been so so very strong her whole life.  I was so angry that one broken bone could be her downfall.  She had surgery the next day without complications. 
 Then begin a very long 7 days in the hospital with either my hubby or I in the room with her at all times.  She didn't eat for 5 days and we tried to prepare the family.  The doctor decided to stop all drugs for 24 hours and see if she could fight her way out of the fog.  And yes, my mother  who could never be described as weak, came out of it.  She woke up and was alert and we were able to get her to drink an Ensure.  My hubby went flying to the nearest grocery store for bananas (Mom's favorite food at this time and one that she always recognizes and just loves).  She lived on bananas and Ensure for the next 24 hours and then started eating small bites of regular food.  I can't write about this week other than this but I was happy when we were able to have her transported to the Skilled Nursing Unit  (Rehab ) adjoining her Alzheimer's Care Unit.  
 She spent 21 days in this area and it was tough on her.  She didn't eat hardly anything but the staff would help feed her when I wasn't there. The staff was good but just not as knowledgeable in dealing with Alzheimer's patients.  After the first week they would take her inside the Alzheimer's area during the day where she was more comfortable and the staff she knew would care for her.  I wasn't able to officially move her back there yet since she still had staples from her surgery and needed to be healed first.  After the staples were removed and she was healed, I met with Hospice and made the very tough decision to ask for their help.  I had always felt that when I called in Hospice, I would be giving up on my mother but I am not.  I am continuing to fight for her but will not fight her,  it took some time for me to realize that I was at the point of doing things to her not for her.  
Since I took guardianship I have taken over so much of my mother's freedom and now I wish to give her as much freedom back as I can.  She had been refusing to take any of her medication (blood pressure meds etc) not because it was a conscious decision but just because she doesn't understand nor can we convince her that she needs it.  The staff would grind up her medication and mix it with applesauce and of course this worked but not for long.  I continued to help try to trick my Mother into taking her medicine but when I accomplished this one day and I saw the look on her face when she realized what I had done and spit the applesauce out all over.  I knew this was not right for me to do this to her anymore. I spoke to her doctor and we reviewed the meds and changed everything we could to medication patches.  My mother also refused to be pushed in the wheelchair anywhere, she would grab doorways and put her feet down and shove and it was impossible to go anywhere.  
The week before I had to take her to the surgeons office and I just can't speak on how hard that was on her.  She keep trying to get out of her wheelchair and keep trying to shove the wheelchair around, I was exhausted and thoroughly drained by the time the transport brought us back to the Home. 
By bringing in Hospice (which my mother now qualifies for) I am able to let her do what she wishes, no more physical therapy which she doesn't understand and doesn't like and not to pushed in a wheelchair anywhere. If fact she refuses to use the wheelchair and is walking where she wishes, she is slow and limps but I am amazed she is even alive much less walking.  She knows her way around the Home and knows where her room is and knows if she goes in the kitchen she can get a banana.  It is quieter and darker and more soothing for her.  So we were so happy she was back at home with all the enmities of Hospice care and we had helped her pull through this. Then...

We went to visit her yesterday and she had lost her teeth.  I am so angry, not at anyone, it's nobody's fault.  But she has lost 25lbs in the last 3 months and nutrition is so important to her right now, we are all trying to tempt her to eat and we will buy her anything if she will just eat.  But I am not trying to trick her to eat nor will I force her to eat anymore. But now she has no teeth and it's another major setback for her.  We have spent the last two days helping the staff search the entire facility for them.  I just wish that money could solve this one because it will not.  My mother will not even sit long enough for her hair appointment and we have the facility Stylist come to her room to cut her hair.  I know there is no way a dentist could get an impression to make her another set of dentures and that would be just torturing her. 

Update as of today:

Now I am sitting in the hospital with her because she has again fractured her hip...

  I just don't know what else to do so I am just  so angry.....      

15 Lovely Comments:

  1. Oh, dear! :/ I am sitting here in tears just imagining what you are going through! My heart goes out to you! I love your picture at the beginning of this post - it's a great reminder! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you, your mom and your family. ((Hugs))

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  2. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  3. Evelyn, you and your Mom has been in my thoughts since I read your post about her condition a while ago. I am so sorry things are getting worse, but it seems there are a lot of people that really cares about her, there is not much I can say that will make you feel better but at least you are doing everything in your power to help her and try to make things easier. {I had that chance with my own Mom .. but blew it}
    Lots of hugs from myself and my family.

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  4. God Bless you for all you are going through and God Bless your Mama for all she is having to endure. It is extremely hard. I will keep you, your Mama and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Wish there was something I could do to help you but can't so hope you will know you have people thinking of you and praying for you. Hope this will help some. Take care of yourself.

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  5. I am so, so sorry that this is happening to your family. Your anger is so understandable. Alzheimer's is a terrible, terrible disease. it is especially hard on those who watch the decline. No words can help you but I will remember you in prayer.
    Lorraine

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  6. Evelyn,I am so sorry your family & mother have to go through this. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  7. Alzheimer's is such a mean disease, my Aunt suffered for a few years from it. It sounds like you are doing everything you can, and now you must accept that you are on the sidelines keeping watch to ensure her comfort and safety (as much as you can) the rest is out of your hands.

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  8. I am so sorry to know of your struggles. I haven't walked in your shoes, but have friends who have, and know it's a 'one day at a time' journey. Praying for God to give you wisdom and strength for all that is ahead. It hurts my heart to even think of what you are dealing with every day. May the good Lord wrap His loving arms around you and give you good rest. You can only do so much....God will do the rest. Trust Him.

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  9. I don't know what to say. I'm sorry you have to travel this road . But I'm glad you have your hubby and kids to help you through. You are a strong woman. And your mom is so lucky to have you taking care of her. Somewhere inside she's saying thank you to her baby girl.

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  10. Evelyn, I'm so sorry to hear about the recent events with your mother. I can't imagine what you are possibly going through. The mind is such a tricky thing and so hard to figure out. Why does it have to be so hard? Keep your quote in your mind and know that you are loved and your mother is proud of you. Many prayers your way!! Nichi

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  11. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. My father passed away from Alzheimer's in May, and I still remember how hard it was to try to help him and have him not understand. That's one of the worst things, is that your loved one no longer knows you, and is afraid of what you're doing (even something as simple as pushing a wheelchair). You're in my prayers.

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  12. Alzheimer's is one of the cruelest things..... for her and you.

    ~Bliss~

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  13. I'm so sorry for what both of you are going through. My great Aunt with Alzheimers lived with us for many years beginning when I was in high school. Very trying times, especially for my mother who was already older and cared for her. I pray you will find strength you never knew you had.
    Liz

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  14. I'm sorry. This is so difficult for you and your Mom. Your love for her shines in every sentence. I know you are angry. The worst kind. There is no one with whom to be angry.I have you and your Mom on my prayer list. God be with you. Regena in TN.

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  15. I can't imagine what you're going through... Praying for you and your mother.

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Thank you so much for your sweet comments:)))