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LisaB
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:55 AM
Joined: 4/11/2012
Posts: 29


Hi folks!  My name is Lisa.  I live in Indy and in October, became the primary caregiver for my MIL, Margaret. My husband is her only child and my FIL is 83 and not in the best of health himself so we moved her from Michigan to Indiana with us.

Margaret and I were very close before this, so it's been hard accepting that she is not the person she used to be.

 

As a result, I've become close to a shut-in.  My MIL is chancy at best in public.  Grocery stores overwhelm her, sensory overload, restaurants are impossible as she has completely lost her filter for what is and is not appropriate to say in public.   Example:  At IHOP for breakfast.  Only IHOP on this side of town, so it's packed.  Two 60-ish ladies are sitting across from us; they're obviously farm ladies, look like they kicked the manure off their boots to come into town.  We're in Indiana, it's a FARMING state, this is not unusual.  My MIL  wonders aloud, "Do you think they're lesbians?" 

 

Mostly, I would like to talk with others who understand these horrible diseases and are going through the same things and bottom line, I'm lonely.   

 

I am a huge smart alec, voracious reader, true crime hag, and a crazy dog lady.

 

 

 

 


LarryD
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:35 AM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 1321


Welcome LisaB,


I am a smart alec also. At least I used to be before all this serious stuff came along. I still have my moments but mostly I just make it one day at a time. 


Like you, I read a lot. Mostly because of the cr-p on television these days. I do like some of the older movies and the encore channels. But still I have probably read 200 mystery novels in the past couple of years. My wife gets agitated if there is too much noise in the house and my earphones I bought to listen to TV get hot so I read. I especially like fiction that is based on and consistent with real events in history.


Visit the site often and you will make it. You are to be commended for taking in your MIL. WE had my MIL live with us for a while and when I would come home from work she would say, "Well, there's Mister Perfect" and then usually go to her room. I might add she didn't have dementia, just a couple of beers in the afternoons.  




KML
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:58 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


Hi LisaB:

 

Welcome.  Caring for someone can become all consuming for the caregiver.  It's good for you if you can find a way to have some time to yourself, as well.  It's pretty hard to always be in caregiver mode, the burn out rate is high when you don't get a break.

 

Have you checked out any adult daycare programs your MIL might attend?  They can be pretty good and offer socialization to the person with dementia and a break for the caregiver, too.

 

I, sometimes, too, have to run interference for my dad, he doesn't always have his filters in place and says things he thinks are funny but not always taken well.


dutiful deb
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:32 PM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1876


Welcome, LisaB.

 

I care for my mom, who at this time lives independently. My first task in the mornings is to call her, then I do what I need to do at home, before heading to her house and doing things for her before I go to work at noon. She has a window of time that she is feeling up to getting a lot done, usually between 9:30 and noon.

In the evenings I call her again to check on her. She calls me a zillion times in between, usually to tell me something her cat did or to ask me if I have her tupperware lid.  She does the same things in public as your MIL.  On Saturday during an outing we saw a woman who looked as if she'd been ill--bloated features and a shaved head--and my Mom said out loud something like "Boy, there's  look for you. Think it would work for me?"  

.

I cope by using a variety of things--my faith, a sense of humor, taking a morning "off" to read or watch old movies. Last week I watched Arsenic and Old Lace, and it just wasn't quite so funny as it used to be.......demented old ladies, the delusional uncle Teddy,  a quack doctor and a mad scientist...too real for comfort! And of course there was the handsome Cary Grant, who at the end was just grateful to learn he wasn't really related to any of them.

 

Welcome, and bless you.......Deb


KML
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:00 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


Arsenic and Old Lace, one of my favorite all time movies as a kid.  Saw it many times.  Makes me smile to hear the title, simpler days when dementia wasn't even in the picture, just little old confused innocent ladies.  Elderberry wine, Right?
Winger
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:04 PM
Joined: 3/30/2012
Posts: 2


Hi... I care for my Mom and she is not the person she used to be. It can be frustrating at times. I, too, am a smart alec and try to laugh everyday. It helps. I check in on this site often to read what other people are going through and it puts in perspective difficulties I have. I cannot go anywhere without my mother at this point. If I leave the house, she goes. I go to a different room, my mother follows. She stays up until I go to bed. I have even pretended to go to bed to get her in her room and then get up to give myself a few precious hours of being alone! How supportive and caring you are to invite your mother in law in - family is family and this is what we do. I limit where my mom goes out in the community, she tends to yell at waitresses that they are too slow!
LynnB
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:35 PM
Joined: 2/1/2012
Posts: 178


Hi LisaB,

 

You sound a lot like me.  Our family has a very dry sarcastic humor and shortly after realizing my mother had some sort of dementia (at that point I didn't know if it was alz or VaD), I noticed that she no longer "got" the humor.  Family gatherings started getting tense.  My parents just moved into an IL facility but before they did, I had to be very careful of what they said in public.  My dad is 83 and at that age of "I don't care what anyone thinks, I'll say what I want" and mom with VaD just doesn't realize it's inappropriate.  Hard to deal with since she used to be a kindergarten teacher and now says nasty things about people and very little filtering.  I can't wait to hear the reports from the IL facility when their comfort level there goes up and out comes something truly inappropriate! 

 

I have 3 brothers who have been useless in the process so far, so lonely, yes.  My husband is a very good listener but I hate to use him to vent too much.  My siblings never check on me to see how things were going (before last weekend, my parents lived down the street from me) with our parents or with me.  They'd listen if I called them but they never think to check on me.  To me, it's worse than being an only child and dealing with this.  It's a horrible disease and I don't wish it on anyone but we have to do what we can to support our LO and each other.

 

Keep checking the boards, at the very least, you will find that you are not alone and learn from others who have already dealt with similar issues.  I don't have much time to be on here, but when I am, some of the loneliness disappears.

 

good luck,

LynnB


rose_ro
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:38 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431


I have really thought I would have a mom making these ''off'' comments...instead, she's always saying these nice things to people who help her   I'm not kidding, she has more of a filter now than she did years ago

 

Welcome, we all seem to be 'family challenged,'' sigh...

 

Has she had an MRI, started memory meds?  been tested for Vit B and D deficiencies, anemia, thyoid problems, even lyme disease, all can affect cognition...


rose_ro
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:41 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431


Winger wrote:
Hi... I care for my Mom and she is not the person she used to be. It can be frustrating at times. I, too, am a smart alec and try to laugh everyday. It helps. I check in on this site often to read what other people are going through and it puts in perspective difficulties I have. I cannot go anywhere without my mother at this point. If I leave the house, she goes. I go to a different room, my mother follows. She stays up until I go to bed. I have even pretended to go to bed to get her in her room and then get up to give myself a few precious hours of being alone! How supportive and caring you are to invite your mother in law in - family is family and this is what we do. I limit where my mom goes out in the community, she tends to yell at waitresses that they are too slow!

   Hi welcome, if you'd like to start a thread to introduce yourself, people will offer you help and ideas also
LisaB
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:27 PM
Joined: 4/11/2012
Posts: 29


Thank you, everyone, for the kind words and warm welcome.

 

It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who can't go out in public anymore with my patient! 

 

My MIL is already at Stage 5/6 with a few Stage 7 symptoms thrown in for good measure.  She was really good at covering before she was finally diagnosed at Stage 3.  Thankfully, she's not physical or angry.  She does take Aricept, but we weaned her off the anti-depressant.  It really didn't seem to do any good and it was the third one she'd tried.  Having had a few "issues" myself, I was familiar with anti-depressants and the doctor and I agreed that the side effects far outweighed the benefits.  I'm not altogether convinced on the Aricept, either.  I know when she was first prescribed, she didn't take it because she was still cognizant enough to not want to.  That river in Egypt, you know.  The Aricept doesn't seem to do much anymore at all even though she still takes it.  I stand over her and watch her take it after I caught her trying to give it to our dog who will eat anything. 

 

It doesn't help that she's a Brit and Quiet Desperation is The English Way. That goes for my FIL and my husband as well.  My in-laws immigrated in 1970 and we spend a lot of days back in the north of England in 1960-something talking about people and dogs and pubs that have been gone for decades. 

 

My husband and I alternately call her either TW or DC.  TW is That Woman, referring to Wallis Simpson and DC is Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey. 

 

I do try to grab a few hours alone every week.  I rely on my sense of humor and my husband's support.  And now, my new friends here.

 

So what's the deal with the clothing issues?  My MIL will only wear one pair of pjs and constantly throws away her underwear and bras and insists on trying to wear my clothes (I'm a size 12, she's barely a 6, you can imagine how that works out).  She just flat out refuses socks under any circumstances. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Daughterinlawhurting
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:34 PM
Joined: 1/18/2012
Posts: 175


Hi Lisa I also care for my MIL. She is stage 5-6 Alz, I have been very lucky with her. No real major problems, other than she has lost interest in anything. She was watching tv and still reading (knowing she wouldn't rememberanything but at least she was reading it at the time). Now she won't do any of that.

Only time she really watches is while she eats. Then she goes rite back into her bed rolls over and thats how she wants it.

She does a good sense of humor. She went out yesterday and had a pedi and nails done. She is sitting in the chair and the girl turns the chair on. ( I took in the evening cause they are almost empty come 5 pm) So, we are talking with her. The girls also know about her ALZ,

She looks over at me and Says very loudly, Arline look my titties are shaking OMGosh we all just busted out laughing. Its times like that, that make it worth some hard days. LOL


LisaB
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:01 PM
Joined: 4/11/2012
Posts: 29


Anyone familiar with that site, SH*( My Father Says?  I think it was a very short lived TV series as well.  Anyway, we should start a site, SH*( People With Alz Say And Do.

 

You have to laugh, or you'll fight urges to duct tape them into their favorite chairs.


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:16 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16444


Welcome to the message boards, LisaB and Winger.  Occasionally some of us patients post on the Caregiver board.  Do come and visit us on our two boards, "I Have AD" and "Younger-Onset AD." 

 

Visit the chat room in the evenings.  It's a great place to socialize and get support when you can't get out of the house. 

 

Iris L. 


LisaB
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:31 PM
Joined: 4/11/2012
Posts: 29


Iris, I meant no disrespect for those with these diseases.  It's heartbreaking, there is no other way to describe it, because it's frustrating and there's no cure or treatment that really works, and few resources.

 

I teased and joked with my MIL all the time when she was 100%.  She did with me as well. 

 

I love her. If I got all mushy right now on the outside, everyone who knows me would think something was wrong with me.  Something new, that is.  Heh.

 

My front is humor.


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:29 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16444


None taken. 

 

Iris L. 


Ronnie1
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:18 PM
Joined: 1/25/2012
Posts: 61


Hi and welcome! I first joined the board about two years ago, then got busy with being Mom's caregiver. Got back on again when they "re-did" the format and have gleaned a lot of info from friends here. Mom is 77 yrs. old, and prolly about stage 5 and 6. She's had 5 falls since January, and been to the ER that many times. My siblings and I have made the decision to place her in a nursing home on Monday. It was a hard decision but we know it's the best place for her.

 

You do have to make time for yourself. Mom's been going to an adult day care center since last July, which gave me the days to pick up substitute jobs. But then we moved out of my brother's house, and when it became just the two of us, I couldn't take any assignments because she was picked up around 9 a.m. and returned at 3 p.m. and that didn't jive with the assignment hours.

 

So I use the day time to do laundry (lots of sheets), get groceries, pay bills, etc. I got me a NOOK tablet and have used that when I take Mom to the doc so that I can read or play games or surf the net while we wait to get called in. I also treat myself once a week to lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, with my NOOK on hand.

 

And while you may find little to laugh about...those moments do come when you least expect them. Especially when Mom remembers an embarrassing family moment of yours, and proceeds to tell everyone about it. And we joke (among the sibllings) that we can now serve her Chinese food or seafood without her remembering she doesn't like those foods. In her current state of mind, she's pretty much up to eating anything...as long as it's tasty....

 

Just hang in there, and come back here for insight and just to let off steam. You're not alone....


LisaB
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:33 AM
Joined: 4/11/2012
Posts: 29


I wonder about a day care for That Woman.  She's completely overwhelmed even going to our local Meijer store, which granted, is HUGE.  For those of you not in the Midwest, Meijer is like Wal-Mart but a step up?  In between Wal-Mart and Target. Anyway.  We've had some very rude comments in public and I worry about not only what she would say but if she would be upset or feel abandoned if she went to a day care.

 

And yes, the food thing with That Woman is hilarious!  She's a Brit, her idea of spice was to put a little pepper on it.  I'm Italian and I love to cook so she is now eating stuff she never would have.  Plus, Indy has excellent bar-b-que and who knew my prissy MIL loved her some pulled pork sandwiches and waffle fries!