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Another surreal afternoon with my Mum!

(49 Posts)
kittylester Fri 27-Mar-15 18:17:17

So, apparently, my Grandparents have moved to the Isle of Wight and Mum and I are going to visit this weekend. And, I don't need to worry about a thing as Mum is paying for everything! We were watching Escape to the Country (or in this case Escape to the Isle of Wight!) while this conversation was going on but Mum did not appear to be taking much notice.

While I was digesting this information a man wandered into Mum's room, shook my hand, got into Mum's bed and went to sleep. confused

merlotgran Fri 27-Mar-15 18:19:06

grin grin

loopylou Fri 27-Mar-15 18:25:10

It makes you doubt your own sanity doesn't it?
I spent 4 hours 'specialling' a 97 year old man on the ward who was convinced he was General Custer, at the Alamo and Butch Cassidy was my husband. He was loading imaginary Winchester rifles and telling me to load them faster confused
Very happily enjoying his 'last stand', as he repeatedly reassured me, I was exhausted, he wasn't smile
Lovely man, seemingly happy in an alternative world, bless him.

granjura Fri 27-Mar-15 18:27:10

flowers wine wine wine

did you find who the old man is? Is he her (special) friend? Bless them both... and you- in my non-religious way (((hugs)))

Nelliemoser Fri 27-Mar-15 19:27:07

Oh Kitty! I hope you can still laugh at this.

rosesarered Fri 27-Mar-15 19:27:57

Kitty! I guess you have to laugh, but at the same time it's sad.

merlotgran Fri 27-Mar-15 19:27:59

My mum was obsessed with Ozzy Osbourne towards the end of her life - I have no idea why. Apparently, he used to play Scrabble with her, entertain the 'old dears' in the lounge (her words), take her to tea with the Queen and water her potted plants.

If she'd really known him I think we'd have played Bat Out Of Hell at her funeral. grin

Mishap Fri 27-Mar-15 19:30:31

Never a dull moment!

joannapiano Fri 27-Mar-15 19:45:51

My mother in law used to get very upset by the 3 students who lived in the flat above hers, who apparently sang Old Man River night and day.
She was quite relieved to move to a nice care home when she was eventually diagnosed with vascular dementia.

JoyBloggs Fri 27-Mar-15 20:09:47

kitty grin I hope he doesn't do this when your mum's in the bed!!!

littleflo Fri 27-Mar-15 21:01:23

Been to see my 93 year old mother today. Staff asked if she knew who I was. Apparently I am her mum.

durhamjen Fri 27-Mar-15 21:11:16

Can't believe how many 90+ year olds want to be taken to see their parents when I visit my mother in law in her care home, which is actually a hotel, according to her. One of the women is sure she works there and keeps asking when she is going to be paid.
Last time I went to see her, she introduced me as Phyllis. That's only the second time she's got my name wrong, so I should be grateful. The time before that I was her sister, Bella.

Morcottgirl Fri 27-Mar-15 21:18:22

My 86 year old mother has advanced Alzheimers and thinks my brother is our dad (he died 2 years ago but she doesn't realise this), she often asks how my babies are and when I tell her they are now 48 and 46 years old she laughs and says "I know"! She use to talk to invisible children and save food on her dinner plate for them. She has a life sized doll that she carries everywhere with her and she talks to it as though it were her baby. We love her so much and feel so sad that she has very little quality of life now. Thank goodness for the lighter moments when we can have a little laugh with her.

Mishap Fri 27-Mar-15 21:51:06

My Mum used to hallucinate - particularly children. I would go to sit on the sofa and she would say "Stop - you will sit on the baby!" Luckily all her hallucinations were entirely benign - nothing to frighten her thank goodness.

AshTree Fri 27-Mar-15 23:01:58

Morcottgirl it is so very sad for you and your family to see your dear mother like this. But you know, I often think Alzheimers is perhaps a kind condition for the victims (if not their dear ones) because they are protected from a reality that they may prefer not to acknowledge. Your mother may well be quite content behind the blank face, believing her husband to be popping in any moment, talking to her 'baby'. I do understand this is all terribly distressing for you though. She's your mum, you used to be able to turn to her and now the real person is out of reach. But perhaps her 'quality of life' isn't as bad from her perspective as you imagine.

gillybob Fri 27-Mar-15 23:42:23

I know exactly what you mean kittylester I did a my grandmas second shop of the week today and presented her with a bill for £20.65. She handed me the grand sum of 35p (in 5p's) and told me to keep the change , for my three grandchildren ( her great, great grandchildren) and then went in to give my daughter (her great grandchild) £2 " to treat herself to something nice" I give up counting now and wonder how long it can continue.

durhamjen Fri 27-Mar-15 23:59:25

Not always a blank face, though, Ash Tree.
I cannot take my grandson to see his great nana any more, because we do not know when she is going to start screaming at us. The last time I visited her, she was shouting for my husband to bring the car and take her out. She kept trying to stand up and look out of the window to see if she was coming, whereupon the alarm went off as she is not able to walk on her own.
My husband died three years ago, and had never seen her in a home.
She's on medication, but it does not seem to calm her down any more.

merlotgran Sat 28-Mar-15 00:03:33

Glad I'm not the only one who had that happen, gillybob. Mum would hand the DGCs some money and say, 'Here's £2 pocket money for you, dear'

They would give her a kiss and say thank you then when we got outside they would show me two 10ps. I would then make up the difference!!

When her window cleaner ripped her off, charging her double, I was so incensed I went round to his house and scared the living daylights out of him!

durhamjen Sat 28-Mar-15 00:06:15

It'll continue until she runs out of money, gillybob, which will be a good few years at the rate she spends it!

merlotgran Sat 28-Mar-15 00:08:54

durhamjen, I thank my lucky stars that Mum's dementia manifested itself as the sweet and lovable kind that you see in TV sit-coms. It was only in her last few weeks that it became harrowing and hard to deal with.

I have a friend who is regularly reduced to tears when all she is trying to do is see that her dad has a clean shirt and a decent meal.

What are we going to be like? I dread to think.

durhamjen Sat 28-Mar-15 00:09:39

Although I often say to my kids you will tell me if I get like that, I wonder if they will. It will mean they will have to take responsibility for me. They will also have to accept I am getting older.
Interesting thought.

AshTree Sat 28-Mar-15 07:40:08

I can relate to that Durhamjen. My mother in law became docile and vague in her dementia in her 80's and 90's but she was not ever thus. As I mentioned in another thread, she lost her first child, a little girl, to pneumonia at less than 3 years old and never really got over it.

Her frequent breakdowns and hospital stays were so distressing - one extreme episode led to paranoid delusions where she accused me of all sorts of monstrous things. I had apparently aborted the twins I was carrying, I had arranged for my son, then about 8, to have both his legs amputated - she became so agitated over this that we were forced to make him take his trousers down to prove he still had his legs. That was the final nail for me and I wouldn't let the children see her again until she had come through this awful time.

So yes, I realise mental illness can take many forms. So sad for your mum and grandson not to be able to share her last months together happily. I hope he has some good memories of her, memories of the real person she was.

ninathenana Sat 28-Mar-15 07:44:47

durhamjen The sad fact is if it ever did happen to you and your children told you, you probably wouldn't believe them anyway.
Mum was in complete denial as is a often the case.

kittylester Sat 28-Mar-15 07:58:53

I feel that my Mum is mostly happy now - in fact happier, probably, than in the rest of her life. She wouldn't have liked to know that she would end up like this but is happy in the here and now!

For us, my brothers and I, laughing about the things that happen and the things mum says, helps us cope with a situation that is awful for all sorts of complex reasons.

kittylester Sat 28-Mar-15 08:00:02

I feel that my Mum is mostly happy now - in fact happier, probably, than in the rest of her life. She wouldn't have liked to know that she would end up like this but is happy in the here and now!

For us, my brothers and I, laughing about the things that happen and the things mum says, helps us cope with a situation that is awful for all sorts of complex reasons.