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Can’t believe it’s more than a month since I’ve written my blog.  Where does the time go?

Have spoken to the Community Psychiatric Nurse about the crying episodes which are getting worse.  She seems to feel it is a symptom of Mum’s illness rather than straightforward depression.  I agree with her really as she’s not in that state all the time, it just seems to sweep over her for no apparent reason.  The Nurse also said that these symptoms often last for a while and then disappear which makes sense, as the period where she got up and dressed in the middle of the night lasted for a while then suddenly stopped.  (Thank God!)

Her anxiety levels have risen lately.  She seems to worry about everything – usually about imaginary problems.  The main focus is the Day Centre – she imagines that nobody likes her and constantly thinks she has offended people or been treated really badly, which makes her not want to return.

She had a crying episode last night while Mark was here with me.  She had a brief moment where she asked who I was, then asked if Mark and I were brother and sister.  She then went down the paranoia route, saying I was lying to her and this wasn’t her home and she preferred her other home; and various ramblings that were pretty unclear but obviously upset her.

The evenings are my main problem at present.  As soon as we’ve finished tea at around 6.30, Mum gets really restless.  She’s up and down from her chair every ten minutes, wandering off but not knowing why or where.  So it’s very difficult to do anything in the evening as I seem to spend all my time trying to settle her down.  She is also finding it difficult to get ready for bed – often can’t recall how to get undressed and on occasion comes back into the lounge in a totally different set of clothes.

I have been given a Carer’s Direct Payment by Social Services to fund extra care so today we had a visit from the Care Manager of a local agency.  It will be an opportunity for me to go out a little more often and leave Mum in safe hands.  She will probably like to have someone else here who is prepared to offer her her full attention, something which I possibly don’t do enough!

 

 

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Diary

 

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All alone

My sister and brother are both on holiday at the same time from today for a week. It couldn’t be helped but it was the only week my sister could manage to get away and my brother had already arranged his holiday.  I took her and my niece to the airport this morning and actually felt a sense of panic begin to overwhelm me.

It’s been a tricky week as my daughter moved into her new flat in Manchester last Saturday and obviously I wanted to help her and get involved but was unable to offer her all the support she needed.  I managed to get a night away on the Saturday when Jean covered for me then went over again on Monday and Thursday for the day but had to be back for the Day Centre closing. It’s not good when you have to choose your mother over your daughter!

Mum’s not been good at all this week.  The crying has turned into actual sobbing at times.  A couple of days ago I had to ring Jean at around 4 pm to come round and help me as Mum was beside herself and was accusing me of feeding her poison.  I think she meant poisonous ideas as opposed to actual poison!!  It upsets me when she does this as I can see it as yet another symptom I am aware may arise.

She has some sort of sense of me changing where we live and changing the basics of her life.  She keeps asking me to put it back to how it used to be.  I only wish I could!

Anyway I am hoping this week goes okay without my usual support network but I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Diary

 

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Update

I’ve finally got to the bottom of why Mum is distressed after the hairdresser has been.  We think that she believes she has actually gone to a hairdressing salon and she is sitting waiting for me to collect her.   She is getting agitated when Denise has left and a long time passes before I get home.   I have decided I need to be here from now on when she has her hair done.

We stayed in most of the Jubilee Holiday watching events on the TV which Mum did seem to enjoy to a certain extent.  However whilst watching the flotilla on the Thames, she got rather agitated and she seemed to think she was actually on the Queen’s barge.  Said she was very cold and wanted to get off!

A couple of funny anecdotes:

-Mum suddenly told me the other day that I could easily pass for 32.  (I am 63!)  I pointed out that my daughter is 33 but that didn’t seem to have any significance!

-My son, Ben, came over for the day recently and we were sitting ‘chatting’ to Mum when she suddenly gave a big sigh and said “Oh – c’est une voyage!” quite clearly.

I have known for some time that she doesn’t really follow TV programmes any longer, even ones she used to love such as Coronation St.  Indeed, the main problem as I have previously mentioned is that she thinks the programmes are actually part of her life and talks to the characters on the screen then wonders why they don’t reply.  However the other day the ad break came on and Mum was really confused.  When I tried to explain that it was the adverts, she really didn’t understand what they were!

If only we could see the world through the eyes of a dementia sufferer.  I told her this morning that she’d left her toast in the kitchen to which she replied, “I haven’t, it’s here” and patted the arm of the chair to point it out.  Then later when I brought her a cup of coffee she lifted an imaginary cup of coffee to her mouth.  She’s done that before but it’s very spooky.  Why can she see things that aren’t there and not see things that are there?

The sundowners continue to get worse.  I feel I can never really have a relaxed evening any longer as Mum is constantly fidgeting or wandering around the flat with no purpose.  Then she continually asks me questions that don’t make any sense.  Sometimes, if she disappears, I have to check what she’s up to as one of her latest obsessions is changing her clothes.  She’s just done it now, while I’m writing this, and she came back in the room with her trousers inside out!

But the worst part of the sundowners is the crying.  It’s distressing for her and also for me.  I have taken her to the GP about this and he increased her anti-depressant dose but it made no difference.  He thinks it’s an inherent part of her illness – great!   When I ask her why she’s crying she usually doesn’t know but sometimes says she’s frightened but doesn’t know what of.

She continues to not enjoy the Day Centre.  She came in yesterday and burst into tears.  When I asked her what what was wrong she said “If you’d had a day like I’ve had, you’d cry!”  She started to tell me some convoluted tale about the second world war and Belsen concentration camp, and how frightened she was.  Someone stroked her hand but she knew that was the secret signal!

I was so worried I actually rang the Day Centre.  I spoke to the Officer in Charge who couldn’t understand where it had come from.  She said they’d had a quiz in the afternoon as they often do and Mum had seemed fine, in fact she actually had a laugh with her whilst Mum was waiting for the bus.  She told me the problem is that Mum probably won’t tell them when she’s frightened but she will keep an eye on her as she has noticed that she is deteriorating.

Happy days!

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Diary

 

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TV Traumas

Following on from my last post, Mum is having more and more episodes  where she gets upset about things she’s watching on TV.  Initially I knew which programmes triggered this and so I could make sure she wasn’t watching them.  However the most innocuous programmes are now affected.  She thought she was in the village of Emmerdale recently.  This time it was the Jeremy Kyle show which has always been one of her favourites.  I was ironing in the kitchen when she suddenly appeared at the door sobbing.  It turned out she thought she was behind the scenes of the show with all the awful guests screaming and shouting at each other (and her).  She couldn’t understand why anyone would be so nasty to her!

I eventually calmed her down but while doing this, I patted her hand and she said she had realised what that was.  My sister does it to her too – its some sort of secret signal.  Conspiracy theory?

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Diary

 

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Upset and Confused

That’s it in a nutshell lately – periods of upset followed by periods of confusion!

Several nights ago Mum got really upset in the evening and  said she thought there was some kind of conspiracy going on that we were keeping secret from her.  She was actually sobbing with grief and it broke my heart.  Then she said how upset her mother would have been to see her like this.

The following night I went into the kitchen to wash up and left her watching a harmless comedy on TV.  I heard her crying and when I came into the lounge she was sobbing again.  It transpired the comedy had included a fake plane hijacking and she was terrified that it was really happening.  She got quite angry with the TV and said the programme makers shouldn’t be allowed to frighten old ladies.

Later that night she seemed even more confused and asked me which way she should lie in bed, which is the top and which is the bottom?

Yesterday morning I was trying to help her to decide what clothes to put on.  She gave a big sigh and when I asked her what was the matter, she told me she was fed up of me following her round telling her what to wear.  That told me!

I let her carry on and pick her own clothes then when she appeared she said she felt wobbly.  The reason for that was that she was wearing one shoe and one slipper.

Left her alone for an hour this afternoon and on my way home I got a voicemail message.  It was from mum and she just said ‘I’m hanging up now’.  When I got back she was crying again and said she’d been so worried about the kids and who was going to give them something to eat.  It turned out the kids she meant were my brother and sister!  I was just glad that she had actually managed to ring me as I thought she’d lost the ability to do that.  It did make me think though…….I’d only been out for an hour!

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Diary

 

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