Friday, June 14, 2013



Mom had been doing so wonderful up until the other day when another Urinary Tract Infection(UTI) occurred. Except for her getting these frequent infections and having Alzheimer's ,and macular degeneration, she is relatively in good health.

Regardless, this was a very enjoyable week that I was able to share with her. We spent much time on the phone serenading each other with songs and spelling words, from cheerful, to beautiful, to encyclopedia.

 Mom was sharp and received from me an A plus for her efforts. She sounded out several words that she was able to spell correctly. Encyclopedia was not one of them. She took her time as she approached each syllable, for this word was certainly a challenging one . I delighted in how well she seemed to be doing.

She then chimed in with, "I heard you called to speak to me." "Yes mom, I called because you brighten my day." At this moment  she had clarity and was able to understand and follow along with my conversation. Not all days are like this ,yet when I come across one, I celebrate as if the most beautiful fireworks are filling up the sky .

The following day mom was so happy and was speaking about almost everything under the sun. She was funny, and continuously shared with me," that if you have your health then that is all that matters."  I am so amazed how she will always recall these words, either right before she has a UTI,  or directly after she bounces back from one. On this day she was not rushing me off the phone, as she continued to recite different rhymes that she was making up. She was quite funny and she sounded  proud of herself .

 Her thinking process was sharp. After at least twenty minutes of speaking mom interrupted herself and said to me "what is your name?" I answered softly "Lisa" as she then asked me "what is your last name?" I responded using my maiden name which of course is the same as hers. Her answer was,"Oh, that's good." Her next statement was,"do not be so formal and you can come and visit me whenever you want." It's times like this that being a long distant caregiver is so very difficult.

A few years ago, the very first time mom wanted to know who I was shocked and upset me . Yet now I have learned just to enjoy what she says and play along with her. It makes her happy and I also feel  moments of joy.

I spoke to her caregiver and warned her that I thought mom might be having another episode of a UTI. I have realized that whenever mom is so talkative and descriptive about "life" the infection shows up. It's almost like knowing there is a storm on the horizon.

Sure enough the following morning Trudy her caregiver, explained how she found mom. Her clothes were all removed from her draws, a standing lamp was lying broken on her living room floor,which  truly frightened me. That morning and for the rest of the day, mom only wanted to sleep. She was probably up most of the night as her adrenaline was pumping, and she wandered around her home moving things all over. For the next several nights mom's caregiver will surely be staying over.

All of this represents for me the calm before the storm. It still amazes me how an infection can cause her to hallucinate.  I wonder why she  has these impulses to act out and empty her closest and draws. Only if she could share this part of her world with us, would I ever be able to understand any of this.

Each day I still collect her scrumptious kisses that she so generously sends me through the phone. Kisses that I seal in my heart and keep in my pocket. This way my mom can always remain close to me.

My book My Mom My Hero is dedicated to the  special people in all our lives. A story of love and relationships. Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide. Made Amazon's Best Seller List.


  1. Thank You Lisa! I've been my moms 24/7 caretaker for 2 1/2 years (physically ill when I moved in and now worsening memory) . In the beginning it was really a battle.
    But now, as I read your blog (just found it via your book yesterday) I realize how wrong I've been in my treatment towards her. I'm crying over the fact that we've argued about almost everything. I need to adopt your views towards this ugly disease. I'll be looking for a support group, as I believe this will help me to refocus my treatment of her. I love her, it's just been uphill all the way. Maybe with a little help, I can start enjoying the time I have left with her.
    And, she has the first MRI next week to find out if it is Alzheimer's. Lynn (ps. Can't comment as anything other than anonymous)

    1. I hear you say that you and your Mom argue...we can't do anything right with Mom...there will be 2 of us in the room and she will say she needs someone to take care of her. We let her stay at her brother in laws as long as she will, because we can't take her emotionally...she wants to go to the doctor 3-4 times a week and all she talks about is meds and sickness...drives us all nuts!! She tells me that I will be in her shoes one of these days and I won't have anyone to take care of me!! When she is gone I think about how much I love her and want to be with her in these last years but then I can't stand it when she is around!! Just being honest!!

    2. Thanks so much for your honesty. We all realize what a difficult journey this is . My prayers are with you , your mom and your family. Please try to acknoledge that some of the things she does is not her but this horrific disease.

  2. Lynn, how I wish that I could write you directly.I only hope that you will see this. What you wrote brought "happy" tears to my eyes and my heart was so very touched. I just want you to know that for me when my mom was not ill we fought and did not get along. After she became ill I fell madly in love with her. I have an unconditional love for her that is now so deep.Being your moms caregiver 24/7 has to be one of the most difficult things in the world to do. I also go to a suppoet group that has been wonderful Such a safe place to share your feelings. We laugh, we cry and we all understand. My group leader always stresses to all the caregivers that they MUST also take care of themselves. I am here for you always. Sending you some deep hugs.Lisa

  3. Funny how good we get at diagnosing things, isn't it? I was at a caretaker's conference last week. One suggestion? Q-tip! Quit Taking It Personally!

    I think there's a moment where we have to decide whether we really need to be right. Do I keep correcting Mom when she thinks it's Tuesday and it's really Saturday? When she thinks I'm her mother and not her daughter? Or do I let go of my need to be right and just go with whatever she's saying now?

    I went back and forth for a long time, depending on what the issue was, but eventually, it didn't matter any more. It taught me to be creative!

  4. Lisa,

    I Found Your Blog through The Amazon Edook. My mom lives with me. she is 76 and i am 41. i have 2 young kids a boy 8 and a daughter 13. my grandmother had alzeheimers and so does her younger sibling. my mom is starting to forget things. like you my mom and i faught a lot when i was growing up. the last thing i ever wanted was to live under the same roof with her again. i am truely trying to get to an acceptance point like you, but i resent all of it. i want to focus on my beautiful children but she has become the problem child. my parents divorced when i was 18 and i am the only child. so all the burden falls on my. your stories are helping me and it is so wonderful to hear i am not crazy for some of the feelings and the things that come up. i can read your posts and say to myself, 'wow, just like me and my mom'. thank you for sharing. it is helping me and as i read so many others. please never stop. i have a long road ahead and you are lighting my way. i am improving daily on how to cope with all this. thank you and you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers as i know you are traveling the road ahead of me and so many others.

  5. Susan, I'm sorry I have no email address to get back to you and hope that you see this. I am touched by what you have written and I can not tell you how much I appreciate what you have written. I'm sorry about your mom and I know that deep inside of you there is so much love and understanding for her. Having young children and being an only child I can only imagine how challenging this all is. I also go to a support group at my local Alz Assoc. If you live near one you might want to reach out to them . Yes this is a long journey and it will be very diificult if you have to do it all on your own. Please know that I am here for you and I sincerely mean it. Lisa

  6. Lisa, Don't know if this will work, but I thought I'd try posting from a desktop...
    We're already adapted a few things to help based on your blog. And your comment to me from above "My group leader always stresses to all the caregivers that they MUST also take care of themselves. I am here for you always." meant so very much to me!!!!!! Just knowing that someone else that's going down this path is there with me. Thank You again Lisa,
    Lynn :) Big Hugs!

  7. Lisa....oh if only my mom could talk again...walk again. When I read your blog, even though your mom has dementia, I long for a time like you have with your mom.

    My mom went through a time over 3 years ago of emptying drawers, closets, and making the grand decision (?) of throwing items away (clothing, important papers, valuable items, etc) as well as giving valuable items to others who for some bizarre reason chose to keep them as they "feared" my mom would be angry if they tried to give them back. I know that material items aren't important but some of these items were jewelry pieces / heirlooms. I would be proactive for your mom in having her valuables documented and even put away for safe keeping (in a safe perhaps). This is especially important if you have outside help coming in. Would you believe that items after the caregivers came in have turned up missing? We use to always go through the garbage as well because my mom would throw the silverware in after she ate.

  8. Hi Lisa,

    I hope you're well! This is Dana from APFM. Can you send me your email again? Here's my email: We're doing a caregiver getaway promotion and I want to send you some info. Thanks!