Eroded

I know I’m not the only one dealing with a parent with senile dementia bordering on Alzheimer’s. So how is it done? How do I keep my own sanity?

My mother has forgotten I sold her car. And she’s mad at me.

Back up to three years ago when she was admitted to hospital for pneumonia. When she came out, it was decided by the doctor that she should no longer be driving. She was 83. According to our laws she needed to go for a road test and she didn’t feel up to it. So she let her license go. We all thought it was for the best.

I hung on to her car for a year and then sold it. I didn’t need it and neither did she.

For the past three days I’ve been getting calls from her, asking:

What happened to my car?

Why didn’t you tell me you sold it?

Is nothing that’s mine, mine?

Why didn’t I have any say in the matter?

If I’d known, I wouldn’t have let you sell it.

Am I a non-person now?

Do you have anything else of mine you can sell [out from underneath me]?

I may as well die and get it over and done with…

Where’s my car?

Four or five phone calls a day, every day. Each call lasts half an hour or so and and goes around in the same circle. Same questions over and over. There’s nothing I can say to convince her she knew and agreed at the time. The logic that she didn’t need it is met with, “I wouldn’t have given up my license. I’ll just get it again, then I’ll get my car back. I want my car back.”

A couple of times I’ve managed to distract her from the cycle of questions, but she just phones back and starts again.

I’m worn out. I’m an only child and I have no other family here, so I’m on my own with her care.

I’m at a loss.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Mother – #SoCS

I don’t like to talk about my mother on my regular blog, but I think I’m okay to talk about her here, where I’m somewhat anonymous. I’m not sure if any of my family follows this blog. I’ve only ever mentioned it once, a long time ago.

My mother is my only parent, my dad having died when I was young. I’m an only child, so it’s just her and me. And my kids, of course. I grew up with her, my dad, and their two best friends. My mother is the only one left. I used to think she was the lucky one, to have survived everyone else. Now I wonder.

She doesn’t remember anything from one minute to the next. She can ask me the same question every 15 seconds for 10 minutes. She’s beginning to lose her long-term memory as well. So I’ve been patient. But it’s not easy.

Lately she’s taken to accusing me of selling all she owned when I moved her into a retirement home. In actuality, she was there for the whole thing. She went through all her stuff and decided what to keep and what not to, she met the auctioneer who sold all she didn’t want. But now she asks me how I could sell everything she owns–her whole life–without telling her I was going to do it. It makes me feel small, guilty even, though I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s tough watching your parents forget. It’s hard to deal with the forgetfulness, the anger, the bewilderment… And yes, I feel just as guilty for saying that maybe she’s not that lucky for having to go through all this. But life is cruel. I’m bewildered myself.

SoCS badge 2015

You can find the rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday here https://lindaghill.com/2016/05/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-716/ 

3 Words A Day – Day 3

It’s funny how we can go through months sometimes of not making any life-changing decisions and then boom! we’re confronted with the need to choose between this and that. It’s a time of life when we doubt ourselves the most – are we wrong? Are we right?

Take my mother, for instance. Last year I had the unenviable choice between letting her stay in her own home and moving her into a retirement residence. I opted for the latter, thinking I was doing it for her own good–no matter, she fought against me. Since then her memory has been getting steadily worse, and just last week she was diagnosed with mixed dementia… a lot of dementia with a hint of Alzheimer’s disease.

I made the right choice – I have to believe that. Getting her into a home at this point would probably be near impossible. She’s increasingly paranoid over the smallest things.

Still, it’s been one of the most trying times in my life. Making decisions for someone else, particularly those who’ve cared for YOU in the past, is not an easy task.

We just do our best.

Today’s words:

campaign
about
choose
wrong
most*

https://threewordsaday.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/20150227-day-58/