Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When did it happen?

I spent too much of my time today looking through old pictures. I really need to make some albums so that the kids can look too.  I came across these pictures of me and my mom.  They were taken in 2008.  At that time she was struggling with the effects of a stroke but she was still mobile.  Still cooking and contributing.  She had moved in with us and took care of herself.

She had a stroke because she stopped taking her high blood pressure medication.  If you take medication for health reasons don't ever stop.  It took a lot from her but it has also has an effect on her family.

She has a type of dementia called vascular dementia.  It is different from Alzheimer's.  With Alzheimer's the decline is continual.  With vascular dementia the decline is more like steps, long periods of stability followed by a sudden drop.  She will have a small stroke that we arent' even aware of and go down another step.

At this point all my mom does for herself is feed herself.  She can't even shift herself in her bed.  I worry about bedsores all the time. The last thing I do before going to bed is shift her and change her.

Honestly, tonight I didn't want to do it.  I am weary.  At some point I stopped being a daughter to my mom and became her caretaker.  I really miss being the daughter.  I miss the relationship that we had.  It has become so one sided and I get frustrated.  I want her to try and work her muscles.  I know that she can improve if she just worked at it.  She won't work at it.  I don't understand why.  It feels like she has given up, perhaps she has given up. 

All I can do is continue to encourage her and continue to take care of her. 

Still, I miss being the daughter.


  1. I'm not in that position, but I understand as much as I can without being there. In a way I'm glad I'm on PKD meds because one of them is also used for stroke prevention and that is very prevelant in my dad's family.

  2. Biggest hugs is all I have to offer. I am so sad for you. What a hard place to be.

  3. Dementia is such a hard disease. :( It's hard on the person when they know they're forgetting, and eventually much harder on those who love the one with dementia. Does she have a low air loss mattress to help prevent bedsores?
    Have you thought about seeing if you could do a respite stay in a nursing home to get a break? That might be enough to help you feel refreshed or you might find a nursing home you really like and trust...and then you would be the daughter again. (My job is admissions in a nursing home, so I'm kind of pro nursing home - if you find a good one.) Also you might read the 36 hour day...I have no idea how you're doing it on top of having a large family.