Friday, October 12, 2012



Mom recently had two wonderful weeks, that seemed to abruptly come to an end. This week started off with her sounding like she had just swallowed speed. She was on an adrenaline rush. Mom was saying some things that made sense and other things that I found quite difficult to understand. I wondered what was going on ?

Did mom have another UT infection, that was causing her to be in what seemed like a semi delirious state ? Probably not since she had started an antibiotic the week before. My brother suspected that she might have had an infection. I questioned what would happen if she really needed an antibiotic. Gil my brother, being a physician, thought that this would not be a problem.

I found her one day speaking about my father, who passed away seventeen years ago, saying that she was waiting for him to come home from work. The next day she kept rambling on about some lady and how she remembered what had happened with her. She was making absolutely no sense at all. The next moment she was telling me that I was the best daughter in the world. Of course, I loved hearing those words.

I decided to ask her some questions to see if she, or better me, might understand. As I spoke these words her answers were quick and responsive. "Mom are you happy?" "Yes," she said, "I'd rather be happy and have her hold my hand."  Okay I thought ,who is her ?  Then without skipping a beat she continued to say that she was happy to be alive. Her brain seemed to be firing and sparking all over the place.

The following day she only wanted to sleep. I'm sure this was out of total exhaustion. I only could wonder what I might find later, on the other end of the phone.

 Mom's journey, since she has Alzheimer's, has climbed mountains and has traveled through valleys. The rivers have flowed and at other times they have dried up. I never know what to expect. What might I experience next?

Towards the end of the week, her caregiver discovered that mom was impacted. After she was relieved from this, she bounced back to being aware and sounding better . Almost as if, what I had experienced all week, never happened. If my mom cannot tell me what is going on, how can we as caregivers, know how to help them?

In a strange way this fascinates me. How does the brain connect and disconnect so quickly ?  I only wish that my mom could explain to me what is going on. What is she feeling? What is she thinking? Since she cannot, all that I am left with is to wonder how Alzheimer's disease can remove her vibrant ways, and watch as she fades away.

Somehow, as upsetting as this can be, I have been getting use to her when she is acting this way. Yes it hurts, and I wish I could cuddle her,and take care of her, as she once did for me. Instead I take a deep breath and know in my heart that tomorrow could be a better day.


  1. Lisa, it truly is amazing how things change minute to minute. Experiencing the disease with my mother has given me a whole new appreciation for the brain and how it works - when it works properly. It's something we all take for granted, but it's such a delicate balance. I, too, would give anything to know what thoughts are running through my mom's head at any given moment. It's such a mystery. Sending you hugs.

    Hi Lisa, my name is Lisa/Leissa and I am the daughter of Elaine Remesoff. Mom has end stage dementia and I moved back home to care for her. I too am writing a blog. I would love for you to read it. It's a struggle but I enjoy everyday with mom, even the bad ones. Knowing I'm not alone is so helpful for me and you are not alone either.

  3. Hi Lisa,

    I too have been caring for my Mom - 94 with macular degeneration and dementia. I truly understand what it is like and have often wondered what is going on inside my Mom's head. There is a saying - the difficulty of dementia is they forget, the blessing is that they forget. It was very difficult to actually sign the papers for my Mom to move to an adult family home, but it was important because I couldn't do it any longer. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 42 years and when I broke my hip after tripping over her, I was told if I go back to what I was doing, I would be back in rehab permanently. It is hard to visit her in her new home, though they are a very caring group and I know she is safer and well looked after there.

    I have always found it hard to deal with her - I would love to have a special relationship with her as you do with your mom. What a gift for you. I am so grateful for all the support and help I have while taking care of Mom - I could not have done it myself. It is so important to ask for help, it is amazing what shows up for you.