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Tuesday, June 29

Such a change

What a difference Risperdal makes in the lives of those that take care of an ailing Alzheimer's patient. I must say that I do not have any more crazy antics that make us chuckle instead of pull our hair out.  We get to laugh because it is truly funny.  Case in point:  Sunday afternoon.  Mom mentions to Dad that she wants to go to the place that dings.  I am sure he started sweating at this point because the only place that I know of that dings and she once liked is a casino. 
Ironically, it is what her mother liked (a lot) and my mom took her as one of her big last outings.  So Dad calls both my brother and I and ask our advice.  I laugh and Kevin laughs.  We ask him if he is crazy or suicidal.  He mentions that mom really wants to go. Again we ask is he crazy.  Let's see first, loud noises-not good for her over sensitive hearing.  Second, smoking facility-not good for the smell plus my mother is psycho about smoke.  Third, confusing machines, not good for her mental state.  Four, the long long long drive, not good for Dad, mom, and fellow drivers on the road.  Five, there is not one possible good reason for taking her unless he is seriously mental.  Six hours later and not one phone call.  I am thinking either she is taken away, Dad is taken away, or both.  I get this amazing phone call from an extremely happy and mellow mother stating how much fun she had. WHHHHHHHHHATTTTTTTTTTT??? My mother having fun and at a casino... Miracles continue to happen and I am completely perplexed.  My brother is completely perplexed. My father is completely perplexed.  The only one who is not, is my mother who is as giddy as a child at Christmas. Wow.


Sadly, though, the risperdal is definitely changing my mother.  She is having a much harder time at the simplest of tasks.  Some days she is unable to use the phone.  She cannot brush her own hair well. She is unaware of days and time now.  Even her ultra sharp memory for an Alzheimer's patient is dwindling.  She refers to my daughter as that girl and has an increasingly difficult time with me when I discipline Kenzie.  I am talking about just telling Kenzie no.  I am at the point where I can not have both of the kids with me and even bringing Kenzie is almost out of the question.  Connor I still can bring because my mother is not as possessive over him.  She displays such jealousy if Kenzie wants anyone else's attention or if anyone talks, plays, or interacts with Kenzie.  Also, the things my mother says is now being mimicked by my daughter.  "I am stupid, I hate you, I wish you were dead, Oh S***, and some other choice statements.  Not Good especially considering she starts VPK in two months.  I can image her pre-K teachers now....Oh Boy.

Friday, June 25

a week of surprises

I notice that I am blogging less and less. I wonder if it is because of the hectic life or just staying away from my computer? Or maybe the outside chaos that my thoughts and feelings arouse. It seems that no matter how many disclaimers I put or how many times I mention it, people are overly concerned for my well being. What is funny is that there is no need to concern yourself with how I am. I cannot say it simpler, this blog is just a way to express all the craziness that makes my life my life. The one thing that drives me crazy is drama since we are exposed to it everyday with my mother. To think that the stuff I write has created some of its own drama is more bothersome than some of the things that ensues my life. If I say or do something that bothers someone, I apologize now and hope you understand that I am expressing things as I see them. Ok so now, onto the life of me.


I have had a great yet busy week. I decided to surprise my husband for father's day with a trip to atlanta. The kicker is he was not to go. This way, he would get an entire weekend (four days, three nights) free from the craziness of my family, the children, and yes as much as I hate to admit, me. I in turn was getting a great hotel stay at a beautiful place with more room than I ever hoped for. I packed up and drove my two little ones and myself to hotlanta. The kids were amazing and did so well. We made it in record time and i was able to make it there by myself. At one point, my children were so sweet, they were actually holding hands. I was able to spend time with friends during the entire weekend, swim in the pool, watch a lazer show, and just enjoy myself as much as you can with two little ones in tow. After two days, my little ones started to act quite the opposite of how they usually are. Particularly my girl. She decided to become quite sassy and disrespectful. And of course, my son, who hates anything but his home, began to show himself. I usually do not complain about my two hcildren because they are not the cause of stress. They usually are such great sports and I find it fun to raise them. However, this weekend proved rather difficult. I realized that in my aims to please others, I bypassed some schedules, rules, and the way I usually deal with my children. This combo definetly was not a good mix and I suffered from it. Back at home, the children were slighltly better. I am realizing taht I can no longer go to my mother's with both of them. I also realize that many of the things my mother says, my daughter is now doing and saying. She will throw a tantrum like her and say almost the exact words. Today, my daughter told me she wished I was dead. I was bothered until I realized that my mother just said this very thing to me about a week ago in front of Kenzie. This one comment made me reflect on my daughter and sons behaviors and it saddened me to thnk my mother has a direct affect on them in this area. I will return tomorrow for my son (who is ill) is now crying for me. Night!

Saturday, June 19

What a crazy week. I headed out today with the two children and we arrived safely after spending 12 hours in a car. I am surprised at how well it went. Up until the last half hour, my children were angels. Connor started getting stir crazy and became very irritable. I was feeling the same way. Especially after rush hour. I do not like rush hour. Now I am sitting in a very beautiful hotel suite with my children fast asleep, enjoying complete silence. It feels strange but refreshing.


I realize that some of my readers become concerned when I write certain things. Please understand that for me, this blog is a place to update people but also to vent. I do not reread what I write, I just start typing until I am too tired to go on. I promise I am completely at ease with my role in life and am adjusting to the craziness just as we all adjust to the situations that life throws at us. I never mean for someone to feel as though I am having difficulty or stressed out. Rather, I find such joy in life and find my life amusing quite often. You would not believe how often I laugh at the silliness of it all. Trust me when I say that all I write is just a release-a chance for you the reader to glimpse at a life of someone who is taking care of another.


Anyway, yesterday as I was finalizing my trip plans, packing, cleaning, organizing I received a phone call from my mother asking me to dye her hair. Yikes!!! My entire being wanted to say noooooo I have a very long night of packing and an even longer day of driving tomorrow Instead, I said sure be there around 7; Oh what a night. The risperdone seems to make her memory span shorter, she gets very upset but then forgets. While I must say that this new twist is slighlly welcome, it is heartbreaking to see the further progression of the disease. Poor sweet mother. She was so agitated and angry. She lost her 25.00; she was angry with my father, she was up seat with me. I somehow make her laugh in the tub and remind her to try to stay positive. It just have hit a beat with her for her to remember. It is late and I only had four hours of sleep so off to bed until tomorrow when I pick up my bff.

Monday, June 14

Happy Birthday to Us

Ah and people wonder why I am not a fan of my birthday let alone holidays. Well my 34th day started with my little girl being sick. I talked to my father and all seemed well. Somehow, mom woke up and actually wanted breakfast. Dad started cooking and it all broke lose. Something about a blanket?? She wanted a blanket but not the one that was her dogs and my dad knew and did it on purpose and then she did not want it but he wanted it and she was like aahhhhhhhhh. Anyway, for the first time ever, I truly had no idea what she was saying. It is getting harder and harder to decipher her rambles. Well she kicked dad out of the house and I got the first of 28 phone calls from my mother. She was in hysterics (I use that word often but really only when she is in hysterics). I tried to hold my tongue in deference to my mother but it was not long before I made her upset by saying nothing. I hear her slamming things in the background, yelling that no one is there for her, no one makes her any food or stays with her for her birthday. I am surprised since all of us have offered to spend the entire day. I offered to take her shopping (yikes) and to lunch. She was too tired. Dad offered to stay but he is too evil. Kevin offered and again too tired. So many people believe her behavior is so aberrant from typical Alzheimer's. I am surprised by this because so many of those with loved ones in various stages of Alzheimer's express similar concerns. I truly believe in the left/right side of Alzheimer's. In a police report, they mention that those with left side damage tend to exhibit much more volatile reactions

"Contrary to what most people believe, there are actually two types of Alz. victims and each has their own way of dealing with stressful situations. Those who develop Alz on the left side of the brain tend to be more aggressive in nature, while those whose right side is affected, are much more passive. Now mind, for the most part, these "features" are undetectable until they are forced to deal with a difficult situation. Then the features arise.
By far, the most difficult to deal with are those whose left brain is involved. I'm not referring so much to their combative nature, as I am to the way they deal with trying circumstances. You see, these individuals have a very profound mistrust of everyone. And their suspiciousness and paranoia leads them to believe they are never safe...They will actively avoid anyone they believe is looking for them by hiding in the backseats of cars, in garages, and behind bushes. When confronted they are usually belligerent, aggressive, and combative (www.zarcrom.com/users/alzheimers/cmo2a.html).

So Mom is reacting crazy talking about staying in her closet forever and not eating or seeing anyone. She tells me she will not take any more of her mediation and hangs up. She calls back saying I would have left her in the closet until she died and I mention that Dad is on his way back. I am on the phone with Dad as he shows up to be the little voice in his head. We often do this since he has blue tooth and I can keep him laughing as she calls him an evil man a horrible husband who will burn in hell. I tease about her being a horrible Alzheimer's patient (yes I admit sometimes we poke fun at her behind her back but at least it helps relieve the tension). We have long removed all knives from the house, but somehow she has found the very last knife in her hand. She is not threatening to do anything with it-just holding it like a security blanket. Finally she puts it down and lets my make her breakfast. And at last she takes her risperadone. We have tried for a week to tell Mom that this new drug will help her with the Alzheimer's. Thankfully the information that came with it is not too detailed and I was able to alter it in case she has a good day and recognizes what it says. She believes it is a new drug to help with Alzheimer's and while it is not 100% true, it will help her think clearer and give her less of an edge hopefully. After an hour, it does the trick and she is much more mellow. I am not a believer in medications and hate using them to drug someone up. Risperadone is a great alternative to many other options, such as backeracting, mental hospital, or worse. She has become so combative, angry, and confused that we no longer have an option. Hearing my mother run around the neighborhood with a knife in her hand is not optimal but neither is the thought of placing her away. She can be so with it that right now is not the time. I hope it will never come to abandoning my mother and with the three of us tag teaming, hopefully we can do it. I will keep you posted on how she does with Risperadon. Ironically, the pill is supposed to make you tired but it keeps her awake. at least she does not feel really sick on it which is surprising since she is sensitive to every pill. What to do with the next half of my birthday? Lay sod and go to boot camp. Many happy returns of the day!!!

Saturday, June 12

How I love Friday Nights

You must have gathered that I did not spend much time at my mother's house this week since I have not written much. Long phone conversations but between Dr visits and dentist visits, friends in town and my brother's movie night, my brother and father handled her and I was able to get other things finished. With a daughter running a fever, I was slightly unavailable. However, I think my mother saved it all for me tonight. What a horrible disastrous night. Oy

I arrived there earlier than ever to give her cashew encrusted chicken in a white wine cream sauce. She enjoyed it and ate it all up. My father was there and she refused to look at him or engage in any conversation with him. Every time I spoke to him she gave me the evil eye. She kept muttering under her breathe and was very angry. All this anger because he "purposely" did not understand what word she was talking about the night before. She was rather upset at me because I believed him. She finishes eating and has me running six different errands while she is running in a circle with no idea about what she wants or how she wants it. The list is great:bath, clean clothes and dry them, read ssi information, do her hair like the salon, eat some watermelon, pick out a movie, check the new movies for smoke, clean the new movies, sew her pajama's so that they fit her. She is so confused as to which one to start that she is teetering on the edge. I put her in the bathroom and get her in the bath. Harder than usual-she is resisting my guiding and tensing her body. I sew her clothing as she soaks and get her out of the tub. Bath checked off, one set of clothing finished, dinner done. I move on to the next project-dry the clothing and check the movies. We move the movies to her room and set up the Ionic machine because that is how mom wants to "clean" them. She cannot find her bbq chips so off to the store I go. I buy her chips and cakes and run back home. Dad has been called away to my brother's house to fix the ac.

Next we pick out a movie "sense and sensibility" but get sidetracked to do ssi. Finish that and she is rather upset. Then she remembers her pills. Her doctor has given her new pills but she does not want to take them unless I sleep over. I tell her next week sometime and she becomes very upset with me. Kicks me out of the house tells me I suck and do not help her. That I do not love her and only make her worse. Some how I get her focused on something else and it is over for now.
We begin the movie and my mom is up and down. She gets water ,has to use the restroom, is too hot, is too cold, lights need to be turned off, Daisy needs food and water, movie is too quiet, she needs her snack cakes, and finally watches bits and pieces. She tries to engage in conversation but is having difficulty with recalling the words. She gets up for watermelon and spills it all over the bed. She lost it at this point, hitting pillows, throwing the ionic machine, pushing things off the desk, shouting, crying, yelling at me because it is my fault. I move the quilt around so the wet side is on my side and despite her incessant demands that I leave because I am not good for her, I stick it out so that dad will have his break (although with her not talking to him, he has one regardless). Finish watching the movie and mom decides at 12:30 that I need to do her hair. She wants me to do it like the hair dresser. Now for those of you who know me, I cannot do hair except with a hair iron. She loses it again starts banging the mirrors and slamming them shut again and again. Berates me and eventually kicks me out. I tell her sorry and leave. Not two minutes later she calls to say sorry. Boy this disease is wild and never dull. I am wide awake at 1:30 but know that in a few hours my little ones will wake and will need my attention. I must try to sleep...Night and hope to a nice peaceful and calm weekend. Please keep a very dear friend in your thoughts and prayer. His heart has felt such pain and I hope it heals.

Tuesday, June 8

hmmm a first for everything

Today my mother had a doctor's appointment with the man that is close to God in her eyes. He is a really good doctor and treats my mother with expertise. Today, I believe he saw her in a completely different way. My poor father-after enduring a full day shopping with multiple melt downs, he tried to go to bed but she interrupted him 22 times. Imagine trying to lay down in bed 22 times. How frustrating. This morning, Dad went to wake her up at 7:00 but she wanted just a few more minutes. She asked him to come back at 8:00. 8:00 he enters and she wants to sleep more. He wakes her up fifteen minutes later and everything breaks loose. She starts screaming like the night I was there. She is completely out of her mind and does not remember him trying to wake her up. She insults him every way possible and after multiple phone calls, I convince her to go with him. She agrees but only if he will not go inside. Well she can not read the list of things she wants to tell The Doctor and she cannot remember them so none of it got discussed. Dad and the Doctor talk briefly without mom knowing. Mom is not doing so well at the office and she actually left the house without her teeth-thankfully she did not realize this or it would have gotten very ugly. She would have been so embarrassed in front of her doctor. She never mentioned her problems with her cough, her throat, her side (possible kidney issues) multiple areas of pain and who knows what else.
Form 10:00 until 1:30, I used my phone 83 times. I cannot make this stuff up if I tried. I actually am in disbelief as I look over my phone. Hold on and I will tell you the grand daily total= 116. Wow my poor kids.
She continued to freak out at the house and she called non stop from 10:03 until 1:24 46 times. I actually decided to spoil myself and buy myself a early birthday gift. I went and got my nails done during this phone time. My daughter now is biting her nails and I thought if only I could show her pretty fingers. So the idea was created to get my nails done and unfortunately I would have liked to have relaxed while it was being down. But I do have pretty fingers :=). It also worked on my daughter She has not bitten her nails ones today.
During these phone calls, my mother is very loving to me, hateful to dad, and angry with life. There was a lot of drama-she knocked stuff over, threw her pills around, mumbled, and rambled incoherently, talked about stuff I do not care to repeat, and ended up pulling the phone out. I had no phone calls from mom from 2:01 until 4:32. What a nice break. She was so tired-she went to bed early and it has been a quiet night. I am waiting for late night. Dad at least you got a break!

Wednesday, June 2

Busy week

Almost an entire week went by since my last post. Wow how quickly time went this past week. For my dad, time stood still. For me, it went too quickly. What a crazy week it was. After Thursday morning, I went home and gathered my thoughts quick enough for a quick observation at a school and then to the kids. My brother was on duty today, but despite that, Mom wanted me to go up in the afternoon because she wanted to see the kids. After we left, my brother headed up there to spend the rest of the day and night. From my understanding, he had a rather difficult time for the first three hours and then she mellowed out like nothing ever happened. My turn again on Friday and oh boy what a day. Let me start by saying my brother and I almost called 911 twice. I received a phone call from my mother saying she was having trouble breathing and needed her nebulizer. She has not done her nebulizer in over five months. I believe she had an anxiety attack. I grab the two children and head over to her house. It was complete chaos. She is sitting by her oxygen machine and moaning eh eh eh eh eh eh ehe eh. It takes me five minutes to talk her into following me over to her nebulizer. Watching her on that machine was so sad. She could not figure out how to put it into her mouth or to hold it. I held it for her and she kept screaming that it was not working. Meanwhile, my daughter is messing with my son because he grabbed her toy. He is screaming, she is screaming, mom is screaming. I calm two of the three down and go back to the hysterical mother. Next I see my son reach into my mom's medicine drawer and pull out her bottle of xanax that has no lid. I grab it out of his hand and make a mental wish list that there was a lock on that drawer-it scares me more than anything else in that house (well the pool as well).After the nebulizer treatment, I get her over to the oxygen and run it for ten minutes. All of a sudden she is completely fine. The weird part of this that when I got there, her entire side of her right body looked funny. Her mouth was crooked, her eye droopy, her arm sluggish. I am not sure if it was just an anxiety attack or if it was a TIA (stroke of some kind??)
She now is completely relaxed and happy. Key point for later: As we are leaving, thunder rolls in and freaks out Kenzie. She wants me to hold her and gets upset with Gigi. She tells Gigi that she does not want her she wants me. I can see Gigi processing this and I say not good. But really after watching her freaking out, Kenzie must be slightly confused. I rush my kids back home get ready and head back up there after a quick kiss to hubby. As I arrive I can tell this is not going to be good. She is quite frantic and agitated. I made her a plate and had her sit down to eat. She is half naked because she is getting ready for her bath. During dinner, she is very upset and she is bashing Kenzie. As a mother, this is very hard to take but realizing this is coming from my mom, I grin and bear the barrage of insults being bestowed upon my daughter. She keeps commenting on how evil, mean, and rotten Kenzie is. She now hates Kenzie and says that if Kenzie ever comes over, she will run into her room and not say
We get through dinner and she starts attacking me verbally telling me I am awful and am trying to take her life away. I am jealous of her and want to do all the things she does. She is getting more and more out of control and I am getting more and more upset. I start defending myself-wrong move- and end up getting kicked out. She is screaming for me to leave so after it escalates to the point of danger, I go. I drive around for quite a while. Many phone calls later from mom, kevin, and dad and I arrive back at the house. I knock and the dog does not bark. I walk around back and she is there in the seat. She is talking very chopping and without full words but is confused to why I am there. She is screaming get away from me devil, devil child, devil you evil devil. More like hissing at me. I tell her to come in and she says she is not going to go in. I walk inside and check on her in five minutes. She is mellow and relaxed and again I ask her to come in. She refuses and says it is peaceful and she will go in later. I continue to check on her off and on for the next half hour. She falls asleep and is completely out. I try to wake her and decide to carry her in but she wake sup and screams as though I was breakng her. I lower her down and she is back asleep. I go inside the room and sit down to wait for her to get up. About ten minutes later I hear a soft meowing sound and go out side to see her. She is saying eeeeeeeeee softly until I come near her and then in a high pitch eerie screetch, she does that eeeeeeeeeee. She opens her eyes as wide as she can like she is in complete terror, completely afraid of me. She then screams even louder and starts the hissing again. Devil child devil child get away from me. Leave me the **** along. HELLPPPPPP HELPPPPP HELLLLPP> EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. This continues outside for about five minutes and I am able to convince her to get inside somehow, I really don't remember how. For the next two hours, I am in my worst nightmare. For half an hour she is literally an inch from my face, pointing her finger, screaming, cussing, and yes physical (first time ever) She actually pushed me at one point, grabbed my nose and twisted it, and even slapped me. I have never been in a fight before, never had anyone in my face, and never had the feelings of fight or flight kick in like that. To have someone an inch away completely naked, threatening you and saying the stuff she said was such a horrific experience,one that I hope I will not have to repeat anytime soon. The reason she was so upset is because she was cold. She believed that I left her outside and is cold because of it. She did not remember me coming earlier, she did not remember me sitting outside with her, she did not remember me trying to get her to come in. She told me I should be in control and tell her what to do. That I should make her listen. She screamed such profanities and such evil remarks. After she stepped back, she went to call Kevin and my dad. At one point she could not make any words. She was speaking in complete gibberish for at least ten minutes. She would scream to them and come to scream at me. This continued for another hour and a half.She told me to leave to get out and I actually stepped up and told her no. That I could not leave her in this condition. That she wants me to take care of her and I am going to do that. IF she wants me to leave she will have to call the police and have them remove me. I actually had to shout over her to make her hear me and when she realized that I was overpowering her with my voice, she listened got very upset and left the room. She then came back to tell me how I abuse my children, I slap them around, push them into walls, hurt them all the time. She continued to insult me with such meanness that I finally lost it. I broke into tears which was the best thing I could have done. After insulting me for crying, she left again and then came back. I had my brother on the phone this entire time and he was such a great support. She came in and started to cry saying she was so sorry. Inside I just wanted to yell at her and tell her to leave me alone that I was so emotionally drained that I did not want to see her. Instead, I grab her in my arms, tell her it is ok and would she like her bath and watch a movie. Probably the most difficult forgiveness ever but needed to be done else she slip back into it. So 12:30 at night and bath time starts. I end up in bed around 4 that morning but at least it was peacefully wonderful.
Saturday I head home around 8 and spend some time with my family. I actually get to sleep most of the day away since Kevin is on mom duty and Jason on kid duty. The only difficulty was that mom wanted to go to the airport to pick up my father with me and we were able to change her mind. I enjoy the relaxing hour and half drive to get my dad, letting my mind wander and relax. Dad shares his adventures and seems so much more relaxed and happy. He needed this and I am glad for him. Sunday was his day and I have no idea how it went at this point-I barely remember each day. Monday and Tuesday were amazing days for my mother. Monday we celebrated Kenzie's birthday and I am amazed at how God works. He gave Kenzie a relaxing and enjoyable party. My mother was spot on and so wonderful. It was such a great time. But now, I am tired and ready for bed so more adventures for another day. God bless!
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