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melting but not down

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

sad, so sad, sometimes she feels so sad.....

I visited mum last night after work. She was already in bed but not asleep. "I'm glad you've come" she said, "I have to get all this stuff packed up before I go home tomorrow". I offered to make her a cup of tea to change the subject and tempted her to eat two jaffa cake bars. Although mum didn't have a go at me this time, it was still an upsetting visit. So sad - she couldn't understand why her brother and sisters hadn't kept in touch with her, leaving her feeling abandoned and lonely. I didn't have the heart to tell her they were all dead, she would have forgotten within minutes anyway. She talked a lot about her "grumpy old" father who she thinks is still alive and living 'at home', she was bewildered by his apparent dislike of her. She commented "I suppose you'll be getting married soon" and was surprised to hear I already was, "I would have given you a nice wedding but I was in here" she said regretfully. (Mum and dad didn't come to my wedding 30 years ago - they didn't approve of Mr Lily.) She's contemplating getting married again, if she finds "the right one".

The staff tell me she has settled well and is eating reasonable amounts but they're monitoring her fluid intake as she's very resistant to drinking much at all. I'm going to take Mackeson and Sprite in on Thursday, to see whether she'll do better with her old favourites. They organised a second visit to the memory clinic and said she'd 'done well' but I'm not sure what they meant by that as mum is going to have a CT scan of her brain - they must suspect further deterioration. She does a lot of wandering about during the day so her ankles have swollen, she's had blood tests and depending on the results, I think they're going to alter her medication. I've asked them to take her to the hairdresser's today for a cut and perm, it will give her a boost.

Although I'm not as acutely stressed as I used to be, now that mum is safe and getting the care she needs, I'm still not functioning properly. I'm often up in the early hours, unable to sleep, and mostly feel a bit 'flat' which dulls the pleasure of socialising. I wish mum were happy. Then maybe I wouldn't feel so guilty.

12 comments:

Granny on the Web said...

I haven't visited your blog in a while Lily. Heartened to read things are going not too badly. I can identify so well with your feelings, and I think you are coping so well.
Love Granny

RNSANE said...

You are allowed to relax, Lilly, and enjoy your life a little. You have done the best you can for your mother and she is responding to the care she is receiving. Don't beat yourself up!

Clippy Mat said...

I wondered how things were going. You've done all you can, and more. Hope you feel better soon. :-)

Emily said...

Oh, oh, guilty? You? You've worked so hard to get her here! You can't actually make her happy, you know. She sounds like somebody who is unhappy by long habit.

Hairdresser appointment is a good idea.

She's not socializing there?

Joan said...

Oh my dear, if you could only cut yourself some slack... you have done your level best, and sometimes that's all that can be done.

J said...

(((Lily)))

Lily said...

Thank you all for your kind words. If anyone has any tips on how to cope with/respond to a loved one with dementia, I'd be very grateful x

rilera said...

Oh Lily, I know how you feel and oh the guilt. But you have done your very best. She is safe. As for coping with the dementia, I recommend a book called The 36 Hour Day. It really helped me to understand what Mom was going through and how to answer questions. It's heartrending I know, but try to relax and visit as often as you can bear it. It sounds like you are a touchstone for her. (((hugs)))

J said...

There's no set way that I know of. What works one time might not the next. Their world is so screwed up that nothing seems to work for long. They're always living in their own little world and many of the things and people that would make them happy... just aren't really there anymore.
You are doing all you can. Try not to feel guilty.

rilera said...

J you are so right, it changes from day to day, even hour to hour. What works, changes so quickly. It's like a roller coaster.

Lily, (((Hugs)))

bulletholes said...

Hi Lily! I love you! I direct some new friends to here from ytime to time, people that are taking care of their folks. I don't see that they are commenting.
You kids that are taking caRE OF YOUR PARENTS HAVE A REAL SOFT SPOT IN (oops) my heart, you know...

Lily said...

bullets - I'm blushing! I think you're pretty cool too x