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Worsening Symptoms

Mum’s episodes of crying have increased to such an extent that I had a telephone consultation with the GP (locum!) and she has doubled the anti-depressant dosage.  Mum has been on this new amount for a week now but to be honest I don’t think there’s any change.

She has definitely deteriorated over the past few weeks as regards her ability to perform simple tasks, particularly when she is tired or upset.  She keeps telling me the toaster has broken because she often forgets how to use it.  Similarly with making a cup-a-soup for her lunch – I once found soup actually in the kettle!   I may have mentioned how she has picked up her knife and fork to eat her dinner before it’s actually there, well the other day I heard a terrible grating noise and she was doing her best to carve through the TV table.  I wonder what it looked like to her?   She is also having alot of trouble getting undressed for bed – takes things off and back on several times – all the while getting quite bad-tempered.

She continues to hate the Day Centre and behaves like a small child who doesn’t want to go to school on the two mornings she attends.  Then when she comes home she tells me about the dreadful day she has had!

The confusion with the TV has also worsened and she frequently becomes caught up in a particular storyline, thinking she is taking part.  She has (in her mind) been back stage on Jeremy Kyle and also in the Celebrity Big Brother house recently, not to mention cooking on Come Dine with Me which is particularly distressing as she’s never been a good cook.  Unfortunately her taste in TV programmes doesn’t help!

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Diary

 

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Knickers and Ladders

I haven’t written much lately for various reasons.  I was a bit down last week when I was on my own without family support and didn’t much feel like writing.  Also nothing too major has happened so I sometimes feel I’m just repeating myself and writing the same thing over and over again.

My sister and brother have returned from holiday (thank goodness) and everything is carrying on as ‘normal’.  Mum continues to say she hates the Day Centre.  She always tries to tell me some sort of horror story about what happened that day but I think most of it is based on paranoia and getting hold of the wrong end of the stick.   She had an obsession about her seatbelt on the bus, last week.  She was worried because she can’t do it up and the Carer would be cross with her.  What actually happened was that Mum tends to try and undo her seatbelt while the bus is moving!  She also told me about the ‘terrifying’ experience she’d had today but it all turned out to be based on a TV programme she was watching.  No change there then!

She also told us about someone who’d been playing a game of ‘knickers and ladders’.  Sounds like an interesting game – not the sort they should perhaps be playing in a Day Centre!

The one good thing that has happened is that her sleep pattern has more or less altered back to how it used to be.  It just suddenly began about a week ago when she slept through until 9 a.m. and it’s been fairly consistent since then.  Touch Wood!  So at last I am getting a much better night’s sleep which can go a long way to helping cope.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 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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