Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ocean Waves and Trickling Streams

The bulk of my angst this past week has come from my mother’s illness and not so much her being in a rest home. I feel an overwhelming sadness each time she says something distinctly dementia-like. The sadness plants itself in the center of my stomach, causing all sorts of gastro-intestinal problems. The pain floats up like a thin smoky haze and wraps around my heart, causing palpitations and anxiety. I think I have more physical symptoms from my mother’s illness than she does!

She has taken another tiny step further into her disease. She no longer remembers she has a bed at the rest home, what floor it’s on, that her clothes are there. Last night she asked where my best friend Lisa was and thought the rest home was Lisa's house. She has been sundowning every day again so we need to incorporate a new medication to help with that. I’ll be meeting with her psychiatrist on Monday to discuss. It will be a fine balance knocking out the sundowning while not turning her into a zombie.

Seeing the decline, assured it will only get worse, and knowing that we have years of this ahead of us is truly making me physically and emotionally sick. Somewhere in my brain I know her being at the rest home is the best thing so the angst from that ebbs and flows like an ocean wave. But the sadness of her illness is a steady trickling stream.

I long for the day when I will have some happy news to post. When mom and I will both feel better. I pray for it everyday. Just a little relief. A tiny bit to get me through without so much of an internal battle.


  1. Lisa,
    Just discovered your blog. I am starting to deal with Sundowner's Syndrome with my husband who has Mixed Dementia. He is usually positive an is not on meds for that yet. Yes the disease hurts the caregiver more than the diseased.
    Glad that you can write to express your experiences.

  2. Carol, thank you for reading. (I love your screen name..haha!) Yes, the disease really does hurt us, I am convinced more than our loved ones. That is what I have to remember too...Mom is probably suffering a lot less than I think she is.

    Best, Lisa

  3. Lisa, sending many prayers and much love. Mim

  4. Thank you Mim. I'll take them both! :-) xo

  5. Hi Lisa, Even when I don't post I look for your posts just about every day. Reading your blog gives me strength. I hope I will be as kind and as gracious when our situation gets to this stage. You are an inspiration! I hope you and your mom will have at least one really good day this week!

  6. Lisa, you may find some really good support at
    The messages boards are amazingly helpful!!!

  7. Thank you. I will check it out. I need all the help I can get right now!

  8. I believe you can get to a place where there is some joy. I definitely still feel sad about my mom's illness, but with the stress of her move into a nursing home a year in the past now, I am able to just laugh and have fun with her. And I get pleasure in greeting other residents by name and interacting with them. There is no way to ever not think this stinks. But I think there is room for some joy in the connection you and your mom have.

  9. Lisa,
    I have been checking your blog. I hope all is going. Ok. Dad is settling in at the ALF, now if we could only get Mom to realize he has a disease and is not purposely driving her nuts.

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