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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Realization

At times it seems to me that Mom  just doesn’t trust me. That feeling is of course hurtful. But upon reflection, something happened yesterday that made me realize it isn’t just me.

My DD (dear daughter) was over and I asked her to look at Mom’s printer to see if it would be possible to get it to work. Mom has an older computer with Windows XP. I’ve looked into getting her a new printer, but haven’t found one that is compatible with her computer and operating system.

DD let me know it wasn’t going to work and so I suggested she look to see if she could get Mom’s computer to print on Dad’s printer through the network. Dad has a Mac. My DD was able to get it all to work (beauty and brains all in one package!) and the day was saved.

But then Mom came back to DD and told her she couldn’t find her “spell checker.” She suggested DD had done something to her computer when she set it up to print on Dad’s printer and lost her spell checker.

DD explained that was not the case (not possible)  and Mom went back to her computer. She came back and said she found her spell checker, but it wasn’t spelling right.

Mom came looking for a dictionary. I asked her what she was having problems with and she told me she needed to know how to spell “poinsettia.” She said the spell checker was wrong.

So she got the dictionary, looked it up and took it to Dad and asked him if the dictionary was right!

She didn’t trust the spell checker and she didn’t trust the dictionary. If she can’t trust those two things, why would I think she would trust me or trust anyone else for that matter? If it doesn’t agree with her way of thinking- its wrong. That’s the Alzheimer’s. There is no reasoning. Its not personal. Its just what it is.

Now from the outside- this may seem a no brainer. But really, think about it. If someone you loves, someone you are trying to help and take care of, just doesn’t believe what you say- its hard not to take it personally.

This is a learning process for me as I’m sure it is for others. When you become a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s you aren’t given an instruction booklet that explains exactly what you will go through. There are many books, many websites etc., but you don’t know and cannot expect to know what it will be like until you go through it. Alzheimer’s victims are not all the same and their reaction to the disease is not going to be the same.

It’s a journey. A bumpy, rocky journey with some light hearted moments and some painful moments and some just really absurd moments.

The realizations of the reality come in bits and pieces…

3 comments:

donna said...

I can totally relate to your post today. As a caregiver for my mom for a few years now, you would think I would understand that she doesn't get it. And I suppose on some level I do but it still is mindboggling to think my mom doesn't trust me or that she can ask me, "Where is Donna?" when I am Donna...no book or website can prepare us for this. Just take it a day at a time. Learn as much as you can and know God is in control!

Thimbelle said...

I'm glad that you have finally arrived at that point where you realize that it IS NOT YOU.

The disease process for AD is so particularly cruel, because it seems that so often, the patient goes through that time of total distrust and misery.

(((hugs))) As horrible as this is, it could be worse. Just remember that your Mom really does love you - but the brain damage is preventing her from realizing that.

Mary said...

you may find this useful:
http://www.alzheimercambridge.on.ca/Understanding%20the%20Dementia%20Experience.pdf