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New level of hard
Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2019 2:40 AM
Joined: 8/14/2019
Posts: 19

My GMIL (Grandmother-in-Law) is stage 6, diagnosed Dec 2017. It's been a very rapid decline these last 8 months or so. My husband and I have gotten very used to her not knowing who we are and getting confused moment to moment. We have learned from how to keep calm, utilize therapeutic fibs, enter their reality, etc. We've seen her get a little angry at us or other people. And for the most part I think we have handled it pretty well. Of course it hurts, but we have become accustomed to it.

She has been a poll worker for the past 14 years. My husband and I told GFIL (Grandfather-in-Law) that this was no longer something she could do. When the mail came into the house recently, he handed her the envelope from the county for sign up. We keep telling him to stop doing things that will get her riled up. She got very excited because she would be able to make some money. She has a recently developed habit of hiding items she deems important. 

One morning after breakfast she said something completely unintelligible to me and walked into her bedroom. I followed her and asked her what was wrong. She was agitated telling me that my husband had stollen money from her, torn up a newspaper. I figured it out, it was the letter from the polls! She started pacing around the house, tried to tell her husband - who only yelled at her and told her she was hysterical and wrong (this man will never learn). I told her we could look for it. She was convinced he had torn it up or stolen it so he could work the polls himself for the money. I offered to give her the money or have him give it to her, that didn't work. She was inconsolable and she didn't like any of the solutions I could come up with. Finally I convinced her to let me help her look for it. It was in one her drawers under some clothes. 

In the mean time she had called my husband to scream at him, call him a thief and a liar, tell him that he was never allowed in her house and that she was disowning him. I found out later from him that the call was so hard on him he just collapsed into a ball of tears when she hung up on him. While I was suggesting solutions she was calling me terrible names, calling him terrible names, and yelling at me for being stupid and not knowing the kind of person I had married. Even after finding it she was upset. Her husband scolded her and told her to call her grandson and apologize.

This is the first time we've had a bad experience with her at this level directed at us. My husband is beside himself. And I feel for him so much. We do so much and are careful to be calm. And I know that there is no reason with this disease. I guess I was just hoping he'd be spared a little longer. He doesn't want to see her for a bit, so he can recover emotionally. I don't blame him. And I don't know what to say to him to help. He's been so depressed since it happened.

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2019 2:48 PM
Joined: 2/3/2018
Posts: 600

princess, has there been any appointments with a geriatric psych doctor? If so, were they able to suggest meds that would help alleviate some of the worst of this dementia manifestations like anger and paranoia? It certainly wouldn't completely erase these behaviors but it would probably minimize them a bit to be more manageable for both your GMIL and you and your fella.

Good luck to you all as you work through this.

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019 4:57 PM
Joined: 8/14/2019
Posts: 19

Thanks Victoria for this insight. It's worth a talk with my husband.