I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

28 January 2010

Where are you going?

My mom has really stepped up her roaming at night.  She is usually fully dressed by the time I hear her squeaking the floor above our bed.

The night before last, she was up at 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30 and again at 5:30am.  The last time, at 5:30am she was dressed, coat on, shoes on her feet, an extra pair of shoes in her hand and her purse clenched in the other hand.  I get to the top of the stairs and she says, "Where were you?"

Still half asleep, I look at my mom and say, "Where are you going?!  It's 5:30 in the morning.  It's still dark outside.  Come on, you need to go back to your room, everyone is still sleeping."

Sleep deprevation.  I understand why it's used as a torture technique.  There is nothing worse than being woken every half hour through out an evening.  Several days of this in a row... God, it's maddening and cuts the line of reason from my brain.

Yesterday sucked.  Mostly because I was extremely tired and a bit peeved that my mom walked around the house with her coat on all day, clutching her purse, waiting to go somewhere... but not with me.  Yesterday she told me that she "hated the sight of me" and that I was keeping her prisoner.  I wouldn't let her leave the house and walk the streets with no destination.

She is mad.  This latest decline started almost 2 weeks ago when she got sick in Costco.  Sick through her back door, which is where I draw the line with Care Giving.  For years I told my mom that once incontinence happened, I wouldn't be able to continue caring for her. 

Our worst nightmare happened. 

It caused a horrible reaction in my mom.  She became more demented and began to not like me.  Reminding myself that it wasn't my real mom talking became more difficult.  I'm far from an angel, I told her that I am looking for nursing homes to put her in.  This made things way worse... yesterday she told me that she hates me.

I've been through these rough stretches before with my mom.  When I'm going through the episode with her I feel like I'll never get out of the place we are in, defeat begins to take root.  I want to cry and most of the time, I do. 

When I cry these days, it's serious crying which seems to snap my mom into "mom mode."  She becomes clear.  She becomes my mom from when I was a little girl, the woman who always had my back and comforted me when my family would tease me.  Every day my dad would say, "Six O'Clock, time for Susie to cry."  I'd start crying, everyone would laugh hysterically.  My mom, she would wrap me in her angel arms and tell them to stop, to leave me alone.

I wonder if I care so deeply for her now in her old age, when she's like a helpless child, because she protected me from my family's fun on my account.

Gradually my mom calmed down yesterday.  We talked.  I cried.  She became my mom for a short time.  Bach's Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic remedy for relaxation, helped.  We both took 4 drops under our tongues.  My mom finally took her coat off around 2:00 yesterday afternoon.  At 2:30 I asked her if she wanted to go to Trader Joe's with me to pick up a few things. 

We talked on the drive.  I explained to her that she has 2 options.  Option one which I feel is the best option, is for her to go to the "Senior Club" during the day and sleep at home in the evenings.  I will prepare all of her meals and take her to all of her doctors appointments.  The second option is that she goes to live in "the place that I don't want to say" - she knew it meant a nursing home.  My mom she said, "I like the first option."

Wondering why during her final stage of life she is on the move and looking for home, leads me to believe that any change in her routine will cause unrest and her abandoment issues from childhood to come front and center.  

Part of the problem these days is that I have a job.  I have not started it yet.  I need my mom to go to Adult Day Care, there's no way I can work with her home.  She's afraid that I'm going to leave her in the nursing home, a fear that makes her nuts.

My mom doesn't like Blaire House, ever since the nightmare bus ride home.  She won't go, not without a fight.  She's uncertain, she's got deep rooted abandonment issues that are exascerbated by any change in her routine.  However, she still remembers this one phrase, "Susie, I'm still your mother!"  She seems to only remember this phrase at the most opportune time for her; it always stops me in my tracks.

Last night she didn't recognize my husband as she came out of our sitting room, she looked around the house and said to my husband, 'You have a nice place here, I like the atmosphere."  She was looking at our house as though she had been seeing it for the first time.

I tucked my mom in at 8pm and again at 9.  She was in a happy mood.  I gave her Reiki and Hypnosis suggestions.

1 am... squeak, squeak, squeak

My mom was up, fully dressed and standing in the kitchen.  She saw me and said, "What time is it?"  I told her that it was 1am and it was time for her to sleep.  We walked back to her room and I helped her to put her nightgown back on. 

When I woke this morning, my mom was still sleeping.  I checked to make sure that she was still breathing, she was so I know that she didn't pass last night.

I walked into our sitting room and noticed my mom's coat, purse and a pair of her jeans with a clean pair of depends wrapped in the pants sitting on the chair and table.  I wonder where she thinks she's going all the time? 

My question that I ask a lot these days, "Ma, where are you going?"


  1. Wow, this is so sad to read. I'm sorry. I know Alzheimer's is very difficult to treat, but have you by chance read the Better Brain Book? There is a section on treating Alzheimer's with supplements in there. It is definitely geared more towards prevention but I think I also recall suggestions for the degenerative phase of the disease. Maybe it would help some of the symptoms, I don't know. Best of luck to you and your mom.

  2. Hi Brad,
    Thanks for reading my blog post.

    Yes, I have the Better Brain Book. Dr. Perlmutter is awesome! I also follow his blog, the Renegade Neurologist.

    My mom is on all the natural supplements. The only pharma med that she's on is Lisinopril 10mg for her HB issue. Blood pressure is improving however the more she takes the natural supplements.

    I've noticed that when she is upset she gets more demented. I use hypnosis and Reiki to help her to relax. I like to believe that it's contributing to more good days than not so good days. The only flaw with this plan is I MUST be positive or it doesn't work.

    I feel that it's important to document our experience with natural supplements, food as medicine and the use of holistic healing modalities for my mom's Alzheimer's. At times I feel like a little scientist, recording data for future generations of doctors to review and continue the study in order to understand the decline of the AZ mind.

    There is a boatload of information available as well as support groups to help care givers caring for patients who take pharmaceuticals for AZ. Unfortunately, I have not found one for those of us who are using natural remedies to treat Alzheimer's.

    Today, my mom is having a really good day, even though it's snowing and we can't go out.

    I've also noticed that when she has a good solid rest at night, she has a great day when she wakes.