Bad day at the hospital

fairegoldDecember 24, 2005

Not a good day. I got sent home by the nurse just now. Mother was quiet until about 3 PM when she started to get very agitated. She thinks that we are all (me, doctor, nurses, everyone in the hospital) are trying to kill her. She said a lot of very hurtful things in a very short time. When the new shift came on, the nurse who has been with Mother every evening since we arrived on Weds. told me to go ahead and go home. It's a dementia, and it just came up pretty suddenly. Mother also was physically agitated, thinks she's tied down and being poisoned. She was throwing off the covers, and I suspect that if she tries to get out of bed, they will sedate her.

I'll be back there tomorrow at 7 AM. She ate a few bites of cereal this morning, nothing for lunch but about a 1/3 cup of Ensure.

I tried to kiss her and say "I love you" when I was leaving, and she said, "No, you don't".

A tough day.

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That's so sad. I know it just cuts through to your heart. Remember, this is not your mother talking, this is a brain that no longer remembers that wonderful things that you two had. There are places in that brain that are hidden or destroyed. She may come back a little, or she may not. She is aware enough to know that something dreadful is happening and the only thing she can figure out is that people are out to destroy her. No one knows how this horrible disease will cause her to react tomorrow. It's an awful burden. Take care of yourse

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 7:55PM
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Helene, my heart goes out to you. Know that you've been the very best you can be and try not to get stuck on the words at the moment. That's all they are, just words. My cousin's 97 year old mother was the same. She was mean for about 5 years and now she's loving, pleasant and on borrowed time. The words are just her agitation and fear, not what's in her heart.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 8:10PM
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I'm so sorry, this must be so hard. Her brain, and her mind, are shutting down, hopefully, she'll quiet down soon. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 9:07PM
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Helene, i just wanted you to know that i'm thinking of you, debbie

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 12:09AM
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Thanks to you all. Between you guys, my great husband, my cousin and great friend Linda, my son and his family, and a few other close friends, you make me feel better. But no one can say that it doesn't hurt, even when you understand that her brain is dying. I suspect that I'll spend most of the day tomorrow at the hospital, but in a chair out in the hall. At least I'll feel close to her.

Thank you all. I'll report in later.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 12:13AM
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Sending warm and good thoughts your way. How very sad and so, so hard for you. As others have said, this is not your mom talking, it's the dementia. She may be experiencing Sundowners, something that happens around 3-5p, when people with dementia become more confused and more agitated. The more confused they become, they more frightened they are. I will keep you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers,

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 12:15AM
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Helene...Thinking about you all this morning. Hope the sun rises on a better day. Bless her is hard on both of you. Shalom, Derry

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 5:51AM
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Helene, my heart goes out to you. How difficult this must be for you. You have been the best daughter that you could possibly have been. No mother could ask for more. It's the disease talking, it's not your mother. It's hard to remember that, I know.

My mother (as her brain cancer progressed) would say that she'd be telling so and so that she wasn't married and didn't have any children. That was hard. I'm not sure she always knew who I was -- perhaps deep in her subconscious she did, but at times I wonder if she thought I was just some nice lady who drove her around and came to visit her.

I hope you were able to have a little rest and peace today.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 10:03PM
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Hello Helene,

I feel such compassion for you when I read your postings. You have been such a good daughter to your mother and her gradual decline must be so incredibly painful. My mother-in-law just turned 94 and is in a nursing home. She's in pretty good shape, but it's so sad for my husband to see his mother this way.

You have been there for your mother all the way, despite her behavior; perhaps that offers some consolation. I hope so.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 10:22PM
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Thanks very much. Today was much better. Her breathing is far worse, and she's getting RT treatments, but she seemed better, and the behavior of last night was gone. They did wind up giving her a Haldol (sp?) last night.

My cousin came to visit and mother didn't want her there. Sigh. Linda is my close friend, but married someone Mother did not approve of (foreigner!), so Mother is not very tolerant. Sigh.

So right now, I can't tell is she is better or not. Doc will probbaly be back by Tuesday. We'll know more by then, and he can probably look at her and her chart/tests with a fresh eye. When you see someone everyday, you lose perspective.

I can't tell you all how much your kind words mean to me, especially at this time of the year. We are not religious people, and we don't have family right here, so it was fine for this to happen on the holidays. But it also meant that I couldn't call friends, etc. Tomorrow, Monday, I will check in with a couple of the people in my support group.

Bless you all!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 10:53PM
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Glad to hear she had a better day. This is so hard, and you must be so weary. She knows how much you love her, and your presence is a comfort to her, even if it doesn't always seem that way. She's had a long, long life and raised a wonderful daughter, you can take comfort from that.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 12:10AM
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The Haldol should make a big difference. It may make her little more unaware of things, but when you compare that with the agressive aggitation, it can be a blessing.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 9:27AM
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