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Because We Need To Talk About It

  1. Walrus Aug 14, 2020

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    Just a note to everyone. I got a call today from the home my mother is at. She has Alzheimer’s and is now at the point where she needs to be moved to a secure part of the long term care place due to continued decompensation. No need to go into detail I know others here have family members dealing with the same issue I just wanted to do a public service announcement encouraging those of you who’s parents are in good shape not to skip those phone calls or meetings that we tend to do, or maybe I should just speak for myself, I wish I had stopped and answered the phone even though moms would call when you are rushing to get out the door for work or a meeting etc. someday you might get a strange call where she calls to ask you your phone number or you will answer the phone and she will ask who you are. I
    Think a big fault of mine is taking things for granted. I’ve had two best friends die, one when I was 18 and one when I was thirty. Of course I appreciated them but I don’t think I realized how much I did till they were gone. I think of apologies I never said or just thanking them for hanging out. Also food banks and homeless shelters are struggling to make ends meet. You would be surprised what they can do with a check for as little as 20 to 50 bucks. Shoot I had one guy who dropped off a five dollar bill every week like clockwork. Sorry it’s been a bit of an emotional day just wanted to pass the word along. I have said my peace, stay well I hope your families are well.
     
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  2. janice&fred Aug 14, 2020

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    Possible but not definitely without a proper diagnosis. I see BPD traits but probably a mixture of other stuff as well. Reading DSM criteria isn't anywhere near enough to know.
     
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  3. Medinatalzahra Nov 15, 2020

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    Thanks for this thread. M
     
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  4. lindo Nov 15, 2020

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    I have come late to your posts, so I am hoping that since then your pain and understandable anger have receded to the point you can enjoy life without their shadow.

    Your story reminded me of a guy I met while we were both dealing with marriage breakdowns. He had a story which shook me because it was so relevant to mine.

    He related his moment of insight during an argument with his then wife: he said to her "If I am as bad as you say I am, what are you doing with me? And if I am not as bad as you say I am, what am I doing with you?"
     
    Edited Nov 15, 2020
  5. Walrus Dec 8, 2020

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    I got to do a cool thing today. I got to call a number of people and tell them they could pick a present for themselves off of Amazon for Christmas. Not big amounts ranged between 25 to 75 bucks but it was for people who are truly struggling everyday. Many I bring to food banks and obtain rental assistance etc. for. Mind you I’m not the one paying for these presents so I don’t deserve any credit. This is the cool part. I know each one of these people needs something. In many cases desperately, but they still asked if they could use the money to get something for their nieces, nephews or a friend. I had to explain to them that technically I can’t allow that as the gift is supposed to be for them but if they don’t tell me that I don’t know and everything will work out fine. So a handful of people who won’t be receiving any Christmas gifts gave up their gift so they could pass it along to someone else. I thought that was cool and complimented them (even though officially I can’t allow that)
     
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  6. gnuyork May 7, 2021

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    I timed this the other day (unofficially) and it was +22 seconds since the day I set it on Daylight Savings Time, making it about +0.4 seconds per day (fully wound and worn every day)... Not bad at all these new 3861 movements.

    Edit: ugh... wrong thread...these ads make the page jump around, So annoying.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Evitzee May 7, 2021

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    ^^^^ Just pay the nominal fee and get rid of the ads. It's a no brainer.
     
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  8. pdxleaf Often mistaken for AI... May 7, 2021

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    Still, a good bump for a great thread.

    We had a call from our daughter last week who was away at college. She asked, was grandma bi-polar? That led to several healthy conversations that we are working through.

    If we feel depressed or can't fight through sadness, know that friends and family want more than anything in the world to help.
     
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  9. Pierre1333 May 7, 2021

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    I have paranoid schizophrenia. It's not pleasant. Currently in a crisis ward. Depression is worse though. Sometimes I'm ok. Whereas depression can be more tormenting. ( Why didn't you tell me you couldn't hear me)
     
    Edited May 7, 2021
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  10. pdxleaf Often mistaken for AI... May 7, 2021

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    It is. Keep sharing with the people who are there with you. They won't understand how you feel unless you tell them.
     
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  11. Walrus Jun 22, 2021

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    Just something of a positive note for which is sometimes a sad thread. A few months ago I had to make a decision to move my mother to a “locked ward” by that I mean a much more intensive treatment due to the progression of her Alzheimer’s. I had to sign all the papers etc and in the process I just had this feeling I was warehousing my mother and taking away her freedoms etc. but now fast forward a bit it turns out she likes her room, has friends on the unit she sits and talks with and the nurses report while not improving it appears the move has stabilized her and they are noting no major decreases in cognitive function. It’s still difficult to visit as although I am fully vaccinated I keep having exposures to covid positive people and no way am I walking into a place full of at risk people after and exposure but that’s beside the point. Just wanted to put that out as I know many people are dealing with this terrible disease Alzheimer’s and it really doesn’t seem you get good news that often during this journey. She even told me to buy myself a watch I’d like since I’m her conservator, I won’t be doing that but it made me smile that she remembered I like watches.

    So obviously I hope on one is forced to make a decision like this for a family member but if you do just remember it may not be as bad as you think going into it. I was like seriously bummed out when I originally did this, I still have to tell her about a family member that recently passed but I’m going to wait till I see her face to face again and make a decision what, if anything I’ll say, at that time.
     
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  12. jimmyd13 Jun 23, 2021

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    I havent read this thread in a long time. I don't get to spend much time on the forum. However, there is one point that I feel I have to get across: mental illness is an illness. As such, it may be treatable or it may be manageable. Centuries of misunderstanding have made it difficult to accept socially but that is the whole point of talking about it here and elsewhere.

    Mental illness should have no more of a social stigma than a broken ankle.

    While treatment still lags behind many other branches of medicine; while that treatment may involve confinement; while the illness can seemingly take away those so very close to us, we should still be able to face it for what it is.
     
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  13. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Jun 23, 2021

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    Exactly.

    But, a broken bone in the ankle can be easily detected/diagnosed, as with many other physical issues.
    The human brain however, is a vastly complex machine and as yet, there is no diagnostic tool we can just plug in to it and determine the problem.

    How wonderful it will be when such a "brain" equivalent to an MRI or CAT SCAN machine is invented.
     
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  14. Pierre1333 Jun 23, 2021

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    The human genome project gave some insight into mental illness and hereditary affliction. If you're really unlucky, traumas of previous generations can be passed on to you. So, as a European whose forefathers fought the wars, a grandfather who got involved with Kenneth Kaunda and Simon Kepwepwe and a father who lost his brother to a terribly painful disease at 13. I could be the unlucky part of the human race who is troubled by this. However I prefer to take responsibility for my mental state. Buckminster Fuller wrote that the human being is the local in universe information harvester.
    It's what you do with that info that can cause psychosis for instance.
     
  15. Wryfox Jun 23, 2021

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    I just had to do this with my Father. It is heart wrenching. I felt horrible. I was a bad son. But there was no choice. He lived alone. The dementia was easy to hide for so long, until it could hide no longer. It was almost tragic as he left his house with doors wide open, in the middle of winter, wandering down the street and eventually slipped and fell on ice...where a kind neighbor found him and called for help. He should have died that night, but didn't. He was tough, never needed help, very independent. But he wasn't anymore. He was now tired, old, and afraid. The pain is that neither me nor my sister knew how bad it was. Just old age we said, forgetfulness...a little confused...happens to everyone eventually. He was very good at hiding it. He knew....for a long time as it turns out.

    Well we found a great place for him...also a locked ward. But I agree, it's not as bad as it sounds. Dad is now happy to be around people and be cared for, and have boundaries. His world is now secure and comfortable. He is actually improved in cognition as he is not in survival mode any more. This is a huge relief.

    We've learned a lot about dementia and how it works, etc. One important thing we learned is that there are stages, with DSRS(Dementia Severity Rating Scale) and GDS(Global Deterioration Scale) being commonly used by Psychiatrists to evaluate which stage. There is a consistent degradation over about 10 years, from the point you realize things are not just old age, til your body shuts down from the extreme affects. Approximately the first 4 years you are self aware of the problem, which commonly results in embarrassment and shame, hiding it from friends and family. The next few years are a combination of being aware and not being aware. You start to get lost in the forgetfulness, no longer remembering that you can't remember. The last years are quite sad and I'll leave you to read about it yourself if you google the above terms for explanation.

    We also learned that extreme stress or injury can result in a dramatic and permanent step change in the downward process. This happened to our Dad with his fall, with the resulting hospital experience and rehab dramatically worsening his condition.

    What I would tell anyone with aging parents is to get educated early on with the warning signs, particularly if they do not live with you. What we found in his house after the fact brought tears to our eyes. The disorder in his personal space(but NOT in the rooms where we would visit), the clear evidence of struggle with his personal hygiene and financial affairs was so obvious. If you have a family member you suspect of this condition, BE NOSEY. Ask about personal and financial affairs. Do not accept blowoff answers. Offer to help in small and courteous ways. I wish we had.
     
    Edited Jun 24, 2021
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  16. noelekal Home For Wayward Watches Jun 23, 2021

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    Good words Walrus and Wryfox!

    Lost my mother in October of 2019, my dad in November of 2020. She was 85 and with dementia. He was 94 with a host of age related maladies COVID was only the nudge that took him. He was skeptical of the degree of politicization connected with COVID and would not have been happy to become a COVID statistic, a stated cause which doesn't always tell the entire story of a person's death.

    With my mother we were to learn that there are 51 different types of dementia and not only Alzheimers. I don't know how "they" know this for they frequently can't diagnose which kind of dementia it is while the sufferer is living. My mother was said to be suffering from Lewy Body Dementia.

    Her decline came on so gradually. I think back to 10 years ago and now realize that I was seeing signs of it. Dementia can be so sneaky. Sometimes the sufferer particularly will not appreciate our nosiness into their lives. What a struggle it became for our family to take responsibility and take charge over their lives. It almost required the application of high explosives to blow them off the country hillside where my sister and I grew up and relocate to a house in town. They desperately needed nursing care, assisted living at minimum, but they insisted on living independently so we acquiesced and bought them a house half a block from my sister so they could enjoy the fiction of their continued "independent" living. Was against our better judgement. One year and eleven months later they were living in the nursing home where I served as a member of the board of directors for some years. Never would I have expected that my own parents would reside there when I took on that directorship.

    The nursing home was a blessing. It provided security and order to what had been chaos. I felt guilty though. The feelings can be heart wrenching and can be conflicting as well. I found myself "feeling guilty over feeling guilty" for it was the proper thing to do, the only thing to do. Feelings of resentment can crowd in too, resentment for ill planning and stubbornness on the part of parents which worked untold additional hardship on both them and family, coupled with remorse over ones' own lack of awareness of just how bad things had become for parents and their existence. One can be living close by and be involved with parents and still not see. One can also be timorous and not "take the bull by the horns" and do what needs to be done out of some misguided notions of parental obedience and respecting their wishes.

    As has already been stated, be aware and be aggressively proactive to step in and help struggling aged parents. There will be battles to be fought certainly, but their best hope of continued happiness as well as yours will come to depend on you taking charge.
     
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  17. ahartfie The black sheep in the Spee-ee-eee-eedmaster flock Jun 24, 2021

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    I feel for you. My dad passed in 2018 at age 83 from Lewy Body dementia. What's worse, his mother had presumably the same thing, and her father had presumably the same thing, so what does that mean for my sisters and myself? His decline began in about 2011 or 2012, and he went into a nursing home at the end of 2014.

    Two things: One, dehydration can often look like dementia or altered mental activity. If a senior in your life is suddenly acting differently, check hydration levels. Two, it's a super-hard thing to flip the parent<-->child relationship switch. You have to stop being considerate and giving choices, and be gentle but firm.
     
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  18. Wryfox Jun 24, 2021

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    FYI, for older women, a UTI can produce symptoms similar to dementia. Strange but true.
     
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  19. pdxleaf Often mistaken for AI... Jun 24, 2021

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    +1 on all the advice on experiences with aging parents. Thanks to all for sharing. Hopefully it will help others going through this. It's a part of life, it's different, but there can still be pleasant times ahead together. It won't be the same, but it isn't all pain.

    The advice to take action right away is so true. We fought against others who said mom was declining. We didn't want to or couldn't see it. It happens fast. If you act sooner you may have better options than waiting until there is a crisis and urgency.

    Best to all.
     
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  20. Walrus Aug 11, 2021

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    Didn’t realize it was the anniversary of Robin Williams death till I saw a picture with a quote on it. The original one I saw said something like “People don’t pretend to be depressed they pretend to be happy. Be kind.” I don’t know if that’s a Robin Williams quote but apparently this one is. Sad stuff man I’m sure I’m not the only one here who has lost someone to suicide. What a terrible thing. I honestly do try to be kind, I’d say maybe I’m a prick like 18-20% of the time but at one point it was probably like 80-90% so that is much better. Everybody is walking wounded or fighting some kind of battle. So just a picture similar to this earlier and it got me thinking a bit. I am going to try too decrease the time I spend being a prick to others another 2.5% this year. Oh snap my wife just got home as I finished writing this I’ll try now. Be kind, much wow

    D1D2FF9A-D4CD-4CD9-B45A-0C7F554BBE89.jpeg
     
    Edited Aug 11, 2021
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