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.

22 May 2010

I'm Grateful

We're having good days, as good as can be expected with my mom.  She's taking R-Lipoic Acid, L-Aceytl-Carnitine and Coconut Oil every morning.  It appears to help her to focus on tasks, more than she had been previously.

My mom reads and re-reads all the letters that she gets from my dad.  She loves reading "his" words that tell her how much he loves her.  She needs reassurance.

I'm learning about my mom, things that I never knew about her, mostly that she is a bit insecure.  She is jealous of other women, the ones in her hallucinations.  She is worried that these women are going to "steal" my dad away from her.  I'm beginning to realize that this attitude began when she was a little girl and abandoned.

She was the youngest of 4 children, born to Italian immigrants in Roxbury, Massachusetts.  My mom's mom never spoke English and my mom never spoke Italian... she never spoke to her mom.  I can't imagine not being able to communicate with ones mother.

My mom's dad, who adored my mom, worked in the sewers of Boston during this countries first Great Depression Era (I think we're in a depression now but no one wants to admit it.)  My grandfather contracted pneumonia, before penicillin was discovered; he died when my mom was 6.

Her mom lost their home.  They slept in church pews and finally went to live with family.  My mom's oldest brother went off to fight in WWII and was killed in action.  My grandmother was committed to a mental institution.  So was my mom's older sister who always watched out for her.

My mom was left with just her brother Al, a brother that didn't do much for her throughout her life.  Even when she asked him to help her financially when he had money and she did not, he said no.  Instead he told her that she should manage her money better.  My mom never got over his not helping her and her family when she needed help the most.

My mom is now confronting her abandonment issues head on through mental manifestations that appear and often upset her.  Fortunately, we address each issue, one at a time.  It's not always easy for me personally, but we get through it.

The Love Letters From Heaven, notes that she writes to my dad and I send a reply, help.  Playing the role of my dad, she is able to relive the love that they shared.  My dad loved my mom, he loved her so very much, that when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1979, he made a point to walk with my mom every day; preparing her for the inevitable, an untimely death 7 months after diagnosis at age 49.

My mom's life seems to be one where she loses her family.  First she lost her birth family to death and insanity.  Now, she's lost her family, the one that she created with my dad.  No one comes.  No one calls.  She asks for everyone all the time.  What do I say?  Nothing.  Instead, I cry because my mom is sad.  She wants her family around her but they chose to stay away.  Yesterday she said to me, "My only wish is for my family to be together again."  I don't know how to make it happen for her, my family doesn't speak to me.

My family believes my mom should be in a nursing home.  I do not.  I did have help from one sister but during my mom's kidney infection, my mom was totally insane, it scared my sister.  She told me that she can't help me, my brother can't help me... no one can help except a nursing home.  I don't agree... I need regular respite breaks, ones that I can count on.

Currently, this much needed help doesn't exist for me.  My family doesn't want to listen to what I've learned about my mom's health, they don't hear me when I speak.  There minds are made up, they will not listen to what I need, they chose to tell me what they think I need.  My family has chosen to close their minds, discrediting me and what I have learned about our mom's health.

My mom doesn't need to be in a home, not yet.  She has plenty of good days.  She can use the bathroom, wash and dress herself.

She hallucinates about my dead father and brother.  The letters help.  She spends hours reading the letters and trying to write back.  Yesterday, she was focused and happy to sit in the yard, looking in the trees for my dad and the angels.  I was able to clean the house.

Here I am, heading in to 4 weeks of Care Giving, 24 x 7, no time off and none in sight.  I teeter on the edge, digging deep within for strength to get through another day of care giving.  I force myself to find the happiness, because there is happiness in life, we just have to open our hearts to see it. 

Family.  We all need one, especially during tough times of illness.  I'm grateful to have a family that loves me.  My husband is awesome, he is my anchor and the greatest blessing in my life.  He is my family, he is the only one who understands my life as a care giver. I'm grateful for his friendship, love and companionship during the rough days.  Together, we will get through this tough time and when we come out on the other end, we will have peace.


  1. Susan, what outside resources have you looked into?
    Day facility?
    Home health?
    Home Instead?
    Private Care?

    Have you been in touch with the Alzheimer association? They can at the least point you in a direction for outside help since your "inside" help is unreliable.

  2. Thank you for the list of options, Kathy.

    No, I haven't been in touch with the Alzheimer Association, but I will call them today.

    My mom isn't as bad as she was a year ago, she sleeps through the night. Personally, I'm fried with talking about my mom's hallucinations and looking when she says "Oh Wow... Look!" I always look and she always says, "You can't see that Elephant in the yard?!"

    Respite will help us both a lot.

    I did have her go to daycare for 3 visits. She hated it with a passion, especially when the bus driver got lost on her ride home. She never went back, she was too scared. It took me weeks to peel her off the ceiling.

    Thanks for the tips!

    I found this URL that I'll post in this comment for others who may find this post and need the same help with options.