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When your heart breaks daily
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 6:00 PM
Joined: 12/7/2021
Posts: 5

Hi everyone, 

I'm pretty new to this forum and with long-distance helping my mom, recently diagnosed with dementia. I live in CA. She's in OH very close to 1 of my uncles and 2 of my cousins. 

How do you cope with feeling so helpless? Sometimes it's the little things that get me. She sent me a text this morning that said, 'I hope you have a good day. I don't think I will. Mind fuzzy.' It breaks my heart. I help in all the ways I can but I can't fix it and I can't make her happy and I can't turn back the clock so she has the mind she had even 2 or 3 years ago. 

I'm working full time, running a business (freelance writing) on the side, looking for a new full time job, and running early in the mornings for my health and sanity. This is early days in the journey and I feel like this will break me.


Stuck in the middle
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 6:11 PM
Joined: 6/4/2017
Posts: 2007

I cope with feeling helpless with the serenity prayer.  I pray for the strength to change what I can, the patience to accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Worrying about your mother's health is like worrying about climate change and the threat of nuclear war.  Unless you can do something about it, let it go.

Keep working, keep running, and send her an upbeat text, as in "Doing great, Mom, hope your day turns out well!"

Quilting brings calm
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 6:16 PM
Joined: 10/16/2020
Posts: 1107

All I can do is keep busy.  As my user name says, sewing  quilt blocks keeps my mind busy, as does reading.
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022 6:49 AM
Joined: 12/7/2021
Posts: 5

Thank you both. I'm pretty good at worrying even though I know worrying does not do anyone any good. Got to keep working on that.

Thank you for reminding me of the serenity prayer.

Writing is my quilting. It's so much better for me than worrying.

Stress cleaning isn't what I'd call a healthy habit, but the end result is nice! Oh gee, the top of my refrigerator is so clean now! 

I would love at least some empathy from my cousins, who visit with her at least once a week and are my eyes, but I'm not feeling it. They just say, 'oh it's such a shame about Aunt xxx.' 



Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022 9:52 AM
Joined: 7/14/2021
Posts: 2

I feel ya, HeatherRae. I'm also far away from my mom who is in early/mid stages of Alz. For the past 6 months or so, I poured myself into researching dementia and taking over her finances/bills. That helped me feel more in control and like I was helping... But of course, none of us are really in control of this. Lately, I've just been talking to her daily and dealing with the challenges that pop up (surprise orders on Amazon that she doesn't remember making, confusing mail, text message scams,etc.). 

I'm also feeling scared about what is to come next. Just when I get used to a new level of functioning, she loses something else. 

I don't have any suggestions or anything. Just commiserating. 

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022 11:58 AM
Joined: 12/7/2021
Posts: 5

My empathy. I can relate. When I went to visit her over Christmas, one of the things I did was clean the daylights out of her kitchen and bathroom. It needed it, but at the same time it helped me feel like I did something. I accomplished something. This week, a victory because I got the phone company out there to fix her phone and TV. (I think she just pushed some buttons and made the settings and router go wonky, but what the heck. They're fixed.)

But big picture, it's really out of my control. And I'm also scared about what may come later. It could be next week, it could be next year. Who knows? Not me!

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