Friday, March 1, 2013



As today's phone call came to an end, my mother told me that it was a "pleasure" to hear me sing to her. The word "pleasure" was a different word then she normally uses in her new limited vocabulary.  I loved the sound of it, as it made my heart skip a beat. My soul cried out to how much I miss seeing her.  Since my brother lives nearby, he gets to visit her once a week, which leaves me feeling a little envious.

 I experienced mom this week in some different troubling ways.  Her caregivers and I watched to see if she was behaving strange, because she was either constipated, having another UTI(Urinary Tract Infection) episode, or that Alzheimer's was naturally reclaiming her. This time I was able not to get upset and stay in the moment. Could I be getting immuned, or perhaps learning not to panic?

I must admit that I did call three times in one day, just wondering if she was doing any better. Fortunately, mom rarely ever needs to take any medication for anxiety. Yet this day I requested that her caregiver give her half a pill to hopefully bring some tranquility back into her life. As the day went by, the pill seemed to have helped.

Mom had been rambling on about her fingers and continuosly counting them, explaining that someone had slapped her hand. She insisted that she had to return home, although she was already in her home, as she claimed that she had much to do. I made certain that her fingers were not sprained or broken, since mom could not tell us if she had accidentally hurt herself. Could she have closed a closet or draw on her fingers?  I am not certain, and we will never know.

The following day she made more sense, yet her question left me with an empty feeling. She wanted to know if I had any friends. "Yes mom, I do have friends."  I was feeling rather sentimental  as I expressed to her, how blessed I was that she was my mother and also my best friend.  Mom then shared , "I use to have many friends but since I am now in the house all the time, you loose your friends." "Mom does this bother you?" "No not really,"she explained saying that these things do not upset her.

I can only wonder if mom feels all alone and terribly isolated. There are very few people left in her life. She has her caregivers, my brother and myself, yet in her universe, she no longer has any friends or neighbors that ever come to visit. What emotionally can she be experiencing in her world, that she no longer can share with any of us?  I found that what I was left with, was an emotion of just wanting to hold her, and tell her that everything will be just fine

As the week progressed she bounced back and intrigued me with her words of wisdom. Once again mom was saying that she was happy to be alive. I have noticed that after she has had a disturbing experience, she always returns with being grateful for her health and life. It is amazing and a blessing that mom can somehow, someway really understand and appreciate just being alive. I listen carefully to this amazing ,wise lady, and I hold her words close to my heart, just knowing that each day that we are alive, truly is a gift.

Note: the picture above was when mom was free from Alzheimer's.


  1. Is there a senior center close by, that your mom could go to? Some of them have "adult day care", so she could visit with others like her. She is truly blessed to have you love her so much.

    1. Hi D,
      My mom's cargiver's take her sometimes to a senior center where mom can sing & dance, which many Alzheimer patients enjoy doing. She use to love socializing. It is difficult now for her. She seems to distance herself from "strangers". It's not mom speaking, it's the Alzheimer's . Thank you so much for you thoughtful comment. Lisa

  2. Hi Lisa, I've been following your blog on twitter and your posts are very inspiring to say the least. I'm doing a research on challenges family caregivers face when caring for their older relatives and I though you might have some interesting insights to share on this. Please feel free to contact me on if you would like to get in touch.
    Best wishes,

  3. Hi Brenda, it will be my pleasure to speak with you. I will contact you within a few days. Thanks for reaching out. Lisa

  4. Lisa,
    Thank you much for sharing your journey in your book "My Mom My Hero." I was very encouraged reading your loving attitude of sharing each day with your mother and accepting the relationship as she is now. From everything I read or research, I believe my 71 year old mom has dementia/Alzheimer but there is not a diagnosis from a doctor because I can not get her to the doctor. She has not been to a doctor in 20 years and refuses to go. I dearly love my mom. We also have phone calls-one in the morning and one at night. Most of sweetness, love, and giggles. But so many times that is not possible. She is so angry and unhappy and I am sure she is afraid. Many times she has suffered from delusions of everything from phone calls we never had where she thinks I am saying mean things to her to thinking I am trying to take her home after I pay her real estate taxes. I was kindly trying logic such as "Our jobs & house are in XX town. I couldn't use your home and you have a reverse mortgage. If I were bad enough to want to take your home, legally I could not." After talking with the Alzheimer Assoc. and reading their material, I have tried to not correct her with all of the false things she says but simply encourage her with, "Oh that would be hurtful. I do not feel that way about you Mom." to bringing her the receipt for her taxes showing her the house is in her name only or distracting her with happier thoughts. Most of the time she refuses any change in her delusion. She will talk non-stop with accusations so that I can not speak or simply says "that's what someone said." She has been on this road for at least ten years. Seven years ago, I realized she occasionally was not remembering events we had shared together or aware of the time frame such as if it was a month or years ago. I tried to talk with her about it but she became so angry and made horrible accusations. My father refused to accept it and help me get her help. During this time the two of them had terrible fights-verbal and at times physical when my mom would attack him. He only shared this information after he decided he couldn't take it, left and divorced her after 50 years of marriage (now 3 years ago).
    I am desperate! She lives alone on 5 acres outside the city limits of a small town. I live 2 hours away and visit most of the time every 2 weeks or more if possible. (I have elementary school children so time is limited.) She allows me to buy her groceries and clothes (all she has is a small social security). But necessities like mowing around the house to keep her safe have become a huge problem. This weekend I was mowing and she picked up a limb and swung it at my head and told me to go home that she hates me. I would pay someone to mow but cannot afford it, since it is a large property, and continue to afford the gas to get there. We are also helping my husband's mother financially. I have had people from her town to call and complain to me. Several complaints and one large problem is her driving. I am so afraid she is going to hurt herself or even worse, someone else. But I have been told that legally, as long as she is feeding & caring for herself, not life threatening to herself or someone else, and not being in public not knowing where she is that I can not take any action.
    I'm sorry this is so long but I am praying that you or someone else might have information that will help me.

  5. I forgot to post my email for anyone that might have information to help. Thank you.

  6. Glad to hear that you still spend some quality time with your mom. It is true that, with Alzheimer's, everything changes in a blink of an eye and it's sad to not remember anything. Just stay by your mother's side, for it can help make things easier for her. Nothing is stronger than a family's support.