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Alzheimer's is the cruelest thing ever...having a hard time

9 years ago

My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in early 2012. Looking back I started seeing signs of it as early as 2010 when she suffered from breast cancer. Until recently she was able to live alone (she is a widow) in her house of 45 years in the country. I lived about 10 min. from her and was able to check on her often. For most of 2012 I have been handling her medicines using a pillbox and she still won't remember to take them without assistance. Just before Thanksgiving of 2012 she had to ask me to help with her finances which she had in complete disarray. I have been handling them ever since. At first she allowed me to sign on her account and have it set up online to keep track of. She can't remember the day of the week, the month or the day and usually the year. About a week before Christmas her mind really took a bad turn. She heard some shooting (she lives in the country where people do target practice) and was afraid to go to her mailbox and that her animals would be shot. No amount of reassuring helped. I found out she was driving around at 3 am more than once looking for her cat who was NOT missing. For some reason my mom kept obsessing about her cat being missing if it was out of her sight for a minute. Then she called us really angry thinking we were trying to sell her land out from under her which we would never have done. Nor did we have the legal right to do it. She was completely delusional and paranoid. She was still driving and would show up at my house being EXTREMELY aggressive. She threatened to burn the neighbor's house down and shoot my husband. I took her to the doctor (Heaven knows how) and they found nothing dehydration....just Alzheimer's. After about a week of intolerable, obsessive behavior she suddenly went back to her relatively normal behavior. Like someone flipped a switch. That lasted for about 2 weeks and it happened again. She would call me incessantly day and night screaming and ranting. We had taken the guns out of the house for fear of everyone's safety. She suddenly realized it and accused us of stealing from her. She screamed and ranted and paced and called and threatened until I was near the edge of a breakdown myself. The last straw was when she went to the Sheriff's office in town and reported us for theft. Fortunately I have connections there and they understood her condition. However, my husband followed her there to see where she was going because i didn't think it was safe for her to drive and she drove all over lost for nearly an hour before she finally found it. They refused to let her drive home and made me come get her. This infuriated her and we had to take her keys. She physically attacked me for it and screamed and ranted and raved until we gave them back and instead disabled her car. We didn't tell her we did it, but she by this time she was in such a state she suspected us of everything. Many many things that we did not do and she made up in her mind. Finally, after a morning of constant calls and delirium, I went to her house and she wouldn't let me touch her. She backed into the far side of the room screaming don't touch me. I finally talked her into the car and went to the ER. MHMR refused to come evaluate her saying she wasn't a threat to anyone. I had a handwritten note from her I had found threatening to kill my husband. The ER doctor wanted to give her a pill and send her home. I had had enough. A nurse friend of mine helped me navigate the sea of medical mumbo jumbo until we found a behavioral health hospital willing to admit her if she signed herself in. At this point I did not have power of attorney because she was so suspicious of everyone. Intermittently she would come to herself and not even know why she was at the ER. She cursed me all the way to the behavioral health hospital and then miraculously became mellow when we got there and signed herself in. They kept her a full week working on her meds to try to stabilize her. I got busy and had her taken from there to an assisted living which has mostly dementia patients and is a secure facility. She has been there 2 weeks...the paranoia is mostly gone and the delusions. Her meds are helping. She thinks she is going home, but that is not an option. She is eating well now after losing lots of weight from forgetting meals. She can't tell you why she is there, or how she got there...she keeps asking me. Unfathomably she can still remember how to call the auto teller at her bank and is obsessed with writing down balances and debits. She did finally sign a full POA financial and medical to me. I just keep putting her off about going home and putting it off on the doctor. He is working on her meds...he is concerned about her memory. I don't know how to tell her she isn't going home or if I should. She just turned 75 today. She still calls me a lot and I feel like I am going to get an ulcer over it or something. I feel the guilt that everyone talks about and that isn't really rational, but there it is. I guess I just needed to talk.

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