About Me

My photo
melting but not down

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

rapids ahead

Well I chose a great time to come off Prozac. I think mum is on her way out. Its nearly 4 am and I haven't the energy to think up a softer way of saying that. Sorry if it sounded too blunt. I've been feeling very unsettled since the care home phoned yesterday afternoon to tell me that they'd had to call the doctor out as mum had refused to eat or drink anything all weekend. She now weighs 4 stones 12 (68 pounds), has low blood pressure and is very wobbly on her feet, falling into things all the time. The doctor decided it would not be in mum's best interests to admit her to hospital, thank goodness - she hated being in hospital and it would only confuse her more to take her out of her now familiar surroundings. The doctor told the staff she thought the not eating and drinking was symptomatic of mum's increasing dementia so I guess its unlikely that things are going to improve much from now on. I tried phoning the doctor to get more information but couldn't get through.

I left work early last night and went to see mum. She'd been in bed all day. The carers were just making her comfortable when I arrived. She was awake but didn't seem to recognise me - she didn't speak, other than to say 'no' when I asked her if she'd like a chocolate, hoping to tempt her into eating something. The staff said she hadn't spoken all weekend. She soon closed her eyes and they stayed shut while I drank the cup of tea the staff had brought me. I couldn't tell whether she was asleep or just resting. I couldn't talk to her, I would have had to shout for her to hear me and it didn 't seem right when she looked so tired. Instead I stroked her hair and sat close by for a while. What happens next? Uncharted territory. Going back to bed now :-(


Greg said...

Oh Lily, I'm so sorry to read that your Mum is doing this. It's desperately sad. I expect all you can really tell yourself is that you couldn't have done anything differently - your Mum is too confused for you to be able to look after her at home, so she's in the best place there is for her. She's plainly not thriving, but there really isn't anything that you could do. Sometimes it's nobody's fault.

I can't imagine how I'd cope if my Mum started to starve herself - there's a small part of me that would be reluctant to take away from her the one aspect of control she still wielded in her own life, but I haven't faced it and I know I'd probably cave and have them feed Mum with a drip or whatever they do. Did you ever have the "no extraordinary measures" conversation with your Mum before she succumbed to dementia?

I wonder if a new hearing aid might bring her out of it - reconnect her - she must feel so much more isolated by having lost that?

I hope things are better tomorrow and that you get some sleep, somehow. Your own exhaustion isn't going to help anyone.

G x

Clippy Mat said...

thinking of you Lily.
It does seem as though she may have reached the end of her road. Stay strong.
It's been a long road for you too.

Lily said...

Mum just wasn't the kind of person you could have the 'extraordinary measures' conversation with, even before dementia. She would have thought it very 'hard-faced'. The closest she came was to say 'I hope they shoot me before I get like that' - that being someone in much the same state as herself these days. Thanks for your good wishes Greg and Clippy x

Emily said...

I am so sorry to read this. Is this something that happens often with dementia? Surely you have done everything you could for her; that "hope they shoot me" comment sounds pretty close to that "extraordinary measures" conversation to me. But still, to stand by & let her do this to herself...I can't imagine.

Do be good to yourself right now; this is a big load for you to carry....Emily