This post is not about dating or sex but it is about relationships and finding strength....I apologize ahead of time for the rambling that is about to take place. I've called my friends but being a holiday weekend, no one is around right now and really don't want to breakdown just yet. I'll fore warn you this is a depressing post...I'm taking Greg up on his motto of the forum of "you can discuss anything, and regret nothing"....
When I got up today I thought that I would have a half day at work and then start to enjoy the long holiday weekend with going to BBQs, doing stuff around the house and even start to read a new novel..Well I did get that half day of work but the weekend will not be as I thought...today my father had to do one of the most heart wrenching things you can do in a marriage. He had to call the cops on my mom because she lost it......
Some background..about a month ago, we had to take her to the emergency room because she was suffering from severe headaches and thought she was going to die. We spent Easter weekend in emergency and had all the possible tests available to run on her.. everyone of them, CAT scan, MRI, EKG, blood work, etc, to say that she was in better health than people in their 20s....She even went to the doctors last weekend, where they ran another series of test and nothing showed up..unfortunately there are no tests to see what is going on in the brain....As of early this week she did not suffer from Alzheimer/Dementia....sure she was a little forgetful at time but who isn't at 86.....she was depressed that she had lost a lot of her eye sight and was legally blind and that she couldn't move around as much as before, but nothing alarming...
This morning I a got call from my dad on my cell phone which is very unusual..my parents never call me at work unless it's something real important..Kinda funny looking in hind sight but I wasn't going to answer the phone because I'm don't get many calls..for some reason I decided to see who was calling...When I answered I heard my father say something that my mom had lost it but was kind of expecting for him to mean that she had passed away...instead I heard this horrific screaming in the background of woman who sound a lot like my mother who was going crazy...she was screaming that she thought my father was going to kill her and then started screaming how she wanted to die and was letting out blood curdling screams..my father who is 78, not in the best health himself was trying to be strong but for the first time in my life I could tell he was scared...he had to drop the phone to try and restrain my mother from hitting him with some kind of monster sized stapler and hurting herself...as I was listening to this and I realized that family will never be the same again....I quickly left work still listening to what was happening in the home that I grew up and hoping that everything would be fine...me and that damn hope and wishing (note to self, lose those 2 feelings)...somewhere half way home the line went dead...by the time I got to my parents house I saw the ambulance pull away and 2 cop cars in front of the house...after getting the story from my dad, the cops and neighbor...I saw this old man sitting at the kitchen table coming to realize that he just lost his wife of 53 years (my heart is breaking)...
I'm a pretty strong person, but today I realized I might not be as strong as I have been in past situations where it wasn't personal...I lost my mom today but there is a woman out there that looks like her under observation in a hospital....I feel soo alone right now and trying to find strength for myself and to be there for my dad...unfortunately my sister and I are not on the best of terms, so there is even a greater stress awaiting me..she has her own BPD issues...not religious, so not going to start to be a hypocrite now..I know I'm not the first to go thru this and won't be the last..I'm trying not to be too sentimental and emotional, so I can figure out to needs to be done and make clear decisions (I'm a project manager, can you tell haha)....but for those who have gone thru some really bad stuff, where did you find the strength not to breakdown...do not worry, no signs of me wanting to quit life, or suicidal thoughts...but I don't know how long I can put on a brave front for everyone...hate to admit it but I'm scared....this really SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for letting me ramble on..
Your mom has some challenges, but I think it is premature to say or think that you have "lost her". Let her go through the process of 72-hour observation. Her breakdown may have been fueled by meds and/or alcohol ... and if not, then perhaps a doctor can put her on some new meds that address the condition. Since you are a project manager, then you know this will be a "process" ... and that it will take some time ... but my guess is the outcome won't be as bad as you seem to foresee right now. Just take one step at a time. I'm very sorry to hear about this, too - should have said that first.
Oh, CJP, I am so sorry you and your family are going through this. Sometimes, just getting through a few minutes at a time is a huge accomplishment. Understandably, you're shocked, frightened, saddened... your mom seems to have become a stranger and no one can communicate with the real person she is inside. And you don't have a clue what's going to happen. All you can do is wait and worry and pray.
My mom was given morphine once after surgery when she was about 81. She went bonkers! She was hallucinating and pulling out her IVs and all that stuff. This lasted for many days even after they realized it was the morphine. The side effects lingered on... she would even have these flashbacks weeks later and suddenly start acting wacko for no reason. My brother thought she had Alzheimer's and so did the doctors. Everybody was trying to get her committed to some kind of nursing home, but I knew she was in there somewhere. She finally got back to normal after months and is doing very well. But her behaviour was incredible when her mind was being influenced by those chemicals. Like Gregory said, just one step at a time.
Just be there for your dad and he'll be there for you, and you'll both support each other. You will find the strength... to just get through each minute at a time while you are waiting to find out what is actually going on.
You ramble all you need to. That's what we're here for.
When you're alone you vent, cry, curse, punch something that won't hit back, or break anything (unless of course there is something you want to break), write, post on-line.
Keep trying to contact people you can trust, even if it is the long weekend.
You will do what you need to do, when you need to do it....listen to your instinct (if it doesn't feel right it probably isn't)
I don't know how we do it, but we just do, when we need to and the faith in yourself that you can too
Take it one step at a time, one moment at time, and breathe, breathe, breathe
Top Female Midlifebachelor.com Contributor & Goddess
yipes! Hang in there!! My mom has advanced extreme Alzheimer's, bedridden, I've walked the road with my dad for the past 10 years. Its scarey for sure. My dad tried to hide a lot of her behavior. I just realized this morning when talking to a friend at work that this week is one year anniversary of taking on my parents finances as their power-of-attorney. Ask your dad lots of questions in a calm information-gathering manner, because her caregivers will need that info. And get ready to listen listen listen. Then get support for yourself whether it's a group or friends or counseling. I visit my sons family counselor every 6 months just to unload :-) its an understanding he and I have! Wishing you the best, post away here. Good chance one of us has been through whatever you are embarking on. Doesn't it hurt to see your parents split by that? I will always wonder what all my dad hid in regards to her behavior they are the silent generation.
Also FIRST keep yourself healthy and well. Leave time fot walks or working out or whatever you need. (heavan forbid we bachlorettes should allow our hips to widen during times of parenting our parents, right Sam?)
Sorry to hear that. I think we can all talk of times like that--for me it was my husband's cancer diagnosis. When the doctor said "we can try this kind of treatment" we both asked "try?". We wanted the truth and he finally told us there was nothing out there that had ever worked on this kind of cancer.
We both gained our strength through our faith--you say you're not religious and don't want to start being a hypocrite, but it's always there for anyone to reach out to. I don't believe anyone who will say they're religious and not have to admit they're a hypocrite too at one time or another. Anyway, won't preach but there are studies out there documenting the positive effects of prayer--meditation will have the same effects too. Please do whatever you need to including not always having to put on a brave front for everyone (even if it's "just" us).
CJP, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. All the advice others have given is spot on so I won't reitierate it. All I will add is that these situations are marathons, not sprints. You can very easily burn yourself out quickly. Take care of yourself and be willing to take others up on the help they offer. Remember, you can't be there to take care of them if you fall apart.
Thanks everyone for the support and encouraging words, it really helps...
Update: Last nite they discharged my mother and diagnosed her with adjustment disorder and dementia. Told us to remove/hide all the knives and any sharp objects that she could use to harm herself or someone else. They also gave us a list of different service agencies that could help us. Since she doesn't take meds and is not a drinker it was easy for them to diagnosis her, especially in the condition she came in. She is on mood stabilizing drugs and depression/anxiety/panic drugs...She is pretty out of it from the drugs and just wants to die when she has more lucid moments and then starts crying. She sometimes knows who I am and my father, but it comes and goes. She is speaking more in her native eastern European language, which I haven't spoken since I was 7, so its difficult to understand alot of what she is saying...it seems as if she also is having flashbacks to the time when she was in the concentration camps(5yrs). I spent the day at my parents house trying to make minimal changes but hiding all sharp objects. The doctors told us not to make any major changes, so that will help minimize her confusion and disorientation. They also recommended that we get her tested to see if she has Alzheimer so that we can try to get more specific treatment.
My dad starting opening up a little and talking about how he was noticing small things but didn't want to put things together. Then I found out that is he pretty much blind in one eye and is having breathing problems in addition to is current problems with super high blood pressure and diabetes....he doesn't want to see a doctor just yet...we also tried to talk about what to do with my mother but he couldn't and didn't want to talk about it. Pretty much he wants her home but doesn't really know if that it is wise and if he can handle it. He just wants some time to absorb this. He has never been a nite in their house without my mom in their 53yrs of marriage. I can see that he is scared, but doesn't want to show it....today was challenging but better than I expected. I know there is alot more of them ahead, and now I'm understanding the concept of one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time a little better....I am trying to hold onto the little faith that I do have...I'm exhausted and hope to get more that 4hrs of sleep tonite...today is almost over and we made it through....even with all this stuff I do know that I still have a good life....I'm grateful for that and to the people on this board, you guys are great...