Saturday, December 13, 2008

About My Mom . . .

I started this blog as a way to cope with the emotions of being a caregiver for my Mom. It has been a long time since I last posted here.

Caring for an Alzheimer's patient is draining--physically and emotionally. It requires a lot of time. About the time of my last post here my Mom started to go downhill in her years long battle with Alzheimer's. She was also suffering from multiple blood clots.

I spent the spring and summer helping to take care of her along with my sister and step-dad. My mom was hospitalized in early September due to complications from the blood clots. She passed away on September 18th.

I debated whether or not to continue this blog. I am no longer a caregiver to an Alzheimer's patient and I do not want to mislead anyone. But I have decided to continue to post here because I have some experience dealing with dementia and I hope to be able to help someone through my words.

I would appreciate your comments on this blog. Let me know if my words have helped you or how I can help you.

I have also started a website on this subject Dementia Caregiving 101. I look forward to serving you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Caregiving

She cuddles with a stuffed bunny
And talks on the phone when no one is there
She eats her salad with her fingers
But I hope she knows I care

One minute angry
The next minute scared
She doesn't understand things
But I hope she knows I care

A smile, a hug
Then, "Who are you? Why are you there?"
I just do what is necessary
Because I know I care

Copyright 2008 Paula Farris

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Remember

"Do you remember that we are going to the Dr's office?"

"We are? Why?"

"To check on your broken toe, remember?"

"My toe sure does hurt. How did I hurt it?"

"You hurt it when you tripped, at the same time that you broke your nose."

"I broke my nose?"

"Yes, remember? The firemen came and you had to ride in an ambulance to the hospital."

"I didn't like the hospital. I couldn't remember why I was there."

"I know. That is why it is important that we take care of your toe, so that you don't end up back in the hospital. The Dr. will check it today."

"I'm going to see the Dr. today? Why?"

"Yes, remember . . ."

Sometimes I wish I could forget.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reflection

The light shone
And I thought
She's not all gone
But that light
Was a reflection
of what once was
And now is not
Anymore

Paula Farris, Copyright 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

Will It Be Me?

Will It Be Me?

Will it be me
On the outside looking in
And not recognizing what I see

Will it be me
Lost and confused, loney
And not knowing that it's me

Will it be me
To have to experience
To no longer be

All that I was
All that I am
All that I had hoped to be

Will it be me?

Copyright 2008, Paula Farris

Alzheimers--A Word I Never Wanted to Need to Know How to Spell

There are things in life we don't want to ever have to do--bury a child, lose a limb, have a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease.

Memory loss, dementia, or an actual diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease none of them are pleasant. None of them are easy. All of them are heartbreaking.

To watch your Mother--your 4-H Leader--your cheerleader--the woman who nursed you when you were sick, need you to nurse her . . .

I never wanted to need to know how to spell Alzheimers.

And I certainly didn't want to have to deal with it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Dementia--A Poem

Why Do You Speak for Me?
By Paula Farris

I can hear you
I know you said my name
My mind may not know how to answer
But don’t ignore me just the same

I am trapped inside this blank slate
Fleeting memories floating by
I know that they were part of me
But I cannot tell you why

I see and hear and touch and taste
A scent can tug at the edges of my thoughts
I know that at sometime I was more
But all of that is lost, is lost

Who are you?
Who am I?
I don’t remember . . .
Even enough to cry . . .

Copyright 20008, All Rights Reserved

After Talking to My Mother Like She Was My Child . . .

I knew I had to start this blog.

Writing is therapeutic for me and right now I need all the help I can get.

My Mother has "memory problems"--dementia is the medical term used.

The Dr. hasn't called it Alzheimer's Disease, hasn't even tested for it. But from the research I have done having a name for it wouldn't make it any easier to handle.

Right now Mom is in the hospital with a huge blood clot in her left leg. The clot extends from just above her hip down to her knee. Today she had a procedure done to insert a tube through the clot to release a pwerful clot busting drug (TPA?) into the clot to try to break it up so that they can go into her leg tomorrow and remove the clot.

Because of the high risk of bleeding she is in the I.C.U.

They gave her Morphiene for the pain, but after awhile that wears off.

When she woke up briefly, she was very disoriented, scared, confused, and in a lot of pain. And I had to convince her that she COULD NOT move her left leg.

I had the benefit of that leg being in an immobilizer and also being tied down with a restraint, but when you are in pain you try to move to relieve the pain.

I had to talk to my Mother like she was my two year old.

"Mom, you have to be still. The Dr. isn't being mean by tying you to the bed. He is trying to help you. When you are in the hospital you have to do what the Drs. and nurses say so that you can get better. Do you understand that you are in the hospital?"

She replied, "It hurts. . ."

Dementia is sad.

Paula Farris