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Old February 8th, 2013, 12:47 AM   #51 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear about this turn of events.
Thanks. It's getting increasingly difficult...

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Maybe when she choked, the lack of oxygen affected her brain?
I didn't think so originally because when the paramedics transported her she was moving some air, plus she never lost consciousness. But now I really don't know what to think. She's become more and more disoriented today...or maybe I should say delusional. Tonight she was extremely agitated. She said that she had ordered Chinese food and wanted to know "where the hell that man is!" I asked what she had ordered and she said fish--for me. I said "well, it's okay that it hasn't come because I don't eat fish." She asked me why. I said "I don't eat animals." She looked like she'd never heard me say that before--and I've only been vegetarian since 1988. We were watching "Chef Wanted with Anne Burell" at the time, and when one of the chefs was on screen my mom said "that's the man I talked to!"

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Regardless, my thoughts are with you. These things are incredibly hard to deal with. Also, I know it's easier said than done, but don't forget to take care of yourself during this difficult time.
Thanks so much.

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Old February 8th, 2013, 01:06 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Good for her. That's how it should be for people our parents' age these days, you know? For almost two years I've been pointing out to my mom folks, like Betty White and Bob Barker, who are her age or older and are *BUSY* working their asses off. And every time I see or read about someone who's 100+ and still working or going to the gym, I tell her about them. It's like, look, if they can do THAT, surely you can do your bleeping exercises!
Yep, all that hard work has paid off.

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I understand probably not wanting to go into detail here, so don't, but I just want to say that you REALLY need to look into all this stuff now, before something happens.
...

You NEED to persist until you get some answers out of her. I can't stress strongly enough how things can change from one moment to the next, and how once you're in a crisis it's too late to figure all this stuff out. Try sitting down with her and starting off with something like, "Mom, I know this is difficult and perhaps uncomfortable for you to talk about, but..."
After she had a day to think about it, she's planning on making some changes to address all of that when I go to see her later this month. She says that she wants to give me financial power of attorney now, and some other things. She has a list. Thanks for your support!

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...I have no idea how you were pushed out, or how bankers took advantage of her, but there MIGHT be recourse if you have time to get it done. I haven't gone into here at all but we had something really bad happen--my sister and her husband defrauded my mom out of her house--but we found out (it's a LONG, complicated story, which I'll skip!) and were able to reverse it before it became irrevocable. (Side note: My mom SHOULD have had them prosecuted for fraud, as I don't think $1 million worth of fraud is anything to sneeze at, but she chose not to. They're allowed no contact with her and I had them on the hospital's security list when Mom was there.)...

Would you feel comfortable explaining what happened?
I really don't want to threadjack and make it about me. It's similar to what you went through -- a criminal conspiracy to steal my mom's house and money. I don't know if the banker was involved, or simply overstepped his authority. (He did NOT have any power of attorney.) I'm sure I'll never know the whole story or get any kind of earthly justice. I'm just looking forward to the day that I can be free of them all!

But enough about me...
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Old February 8th, 2013, 01:24 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Things are going downhill at an alarming rate. Mom's been totally disoriented for days now, having no idea where she actually is...

It looks like the doctors, nurses, and hospice coordinator were all wrong and Mom is NOT going to snap back to her pre-hospitalization lucidity. I keep telling everybody (the nurses, the social worker, etc.) that it was LITERALLY as if someone flipped a switch that night Mom choked. Up until that moment she was perfectly, 100% present and coherent. But from the moment I saw her in the ER she was confused and saying weird things. I'm grateful for her sake, and mine, that up until last week she was 100% in control of her faculties. I know that many people have the added burden of caring for a relative with Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia.
Could it be a stroke or some other brain ischemia, perhaps due to oxygen deprivation while she was choking? I don't know. All I can say is that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. Peace be with you!
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Old February 8th, 2013, 01:40 AM   #54 (permalink)
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I should've gone to bed an hour ago...those pesky sleeping pills are doing their thing. So I'll just address this for right now:

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I really don't want to threadjack and make it about me.
Don't worry about it--I love thread drift!
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Old February 8th, 2013, 04:18 AM   #55 (permalink)
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My thoughts are with you MoodyBlues
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Old February 8th, 2013, 12:25 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Could it be a stroke or some other brain ischemia, perhaps due to oxygen deprivation while she was choking? I don't know.
I really don't know, but at this point there's nothing that's going to be done to figure it out, as there's no point.

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All I can say is that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. Peace be with you!
Thank you.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 12:05 AM   #57 (permalink)
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My cousin and niece came over today, and Mom totally recognized them...but didn't know where we were. She said a new one: "This is a special bungalow where people die." Later she said it's an apartment, but not the same apartment as before. (She hasn't lived in anything but single family houses for decades.) Then we were back at the hotel at Pechanga Casino. *my head spinning*

She asked my cousin if she's in her third year of college now. Yeah...my cousin was in college 30 years ago.

The social worker from hospice asked her the other day what year it is, and Mom said 2009. A couple days ago Mom said that my grandmother [her mother] had died a year ago; I asked her when, and she said September 28 [my grandmother died on February 5]; then I asked her what year it is now and she said 1987 [my grandmother died in 1986].

What I'm getting out of all this is that it's EXTREMELY difficult to know how to respond when your mother is saying stuff that makes no sense, and especially when she gets agitated and belligerent about things I can't DO. She continually says she wants to go downstairs to play the slot machines. I'm running out of imaginary excuses for why we have to stay in our hotel room...
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Old February 19th, 2013, 11:42 PM   #58 (permalink)
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I'm exhausted. Drained. Completely, totally exhausted.

Mom's mental confusion has only worsened since the original incident [choking, and its subsequent chaos of the ambulance, the ER, the hospital stay, etc.] that triggered it. She still thinks we're at the hotel at Pechanga casino, but she's baffled as to how all our cats got here. She's asked me a few times if we have enough carriers to get them all home safely. She's also asked where they're pottying, and I just point off in some vague direction and say there are litter boxes 'in that room over there.'

Every day she asks me, her aide, the hospice nurses, relatives, anyone she sees 'how much longer do I have to be here?' and 'when can we go downstairs to play the slot machines?'

She thinks a Chinese doctor is keeping her in her room. Her primary care physician, whom she hasn't seen since several months ago, is Chinese--but female. Mom thinks this mysterious, never seen Chinese doctor that's keeping her from leaving her room is male. I've actually thought about asking my next door neighbor, who is both Chinese AND male, and who Mom wouldn't recognize, to come over and pretend to be the doctor, and tell her she's not strong enough yet to go anywhere.

She keeps taking the oxygen cannula out of her nose, and every time she does we tell her, 'well, the doctor said you have to keep that on CONTINUOUSLY for 24 hours, so now the clock starts all over again!'

Last night we were on a cruise ship, an airplane flying over mountains, an island, and in the hotel...all within 10 minutes.

I asked her today when my birthday is, and she said June 6. (It's actually December 8.) Then I asked her what year I was born, and she said 1928. Damn, I'm MUCH older than I thought I was! I asked her what hospital I was born in, and she said 'the same hospital where they took out part of your brain.' (That's actually remarkably accurate. Sort of. The craniotomy to remove my brain TUMOR was in the same hospital where I was born--on the same floor, no less. What used to be the maternity floor is now the brain surgery floor.)

Her reality is...VERY, very strange. And exhausting... We're trying to keep her calm and happy, so we're playing along with her Twilight Zone-ish, parallel universe reality so she won't become agitated trying to figure things out.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:34 AM   #59 (permalink)
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I went through this same thing with my father about 18 years ago.
After a long illness, and several close calls where he was oxygen deprived, and a morphine drip, he lost track of time, and even sometimes didn't recognize family members. He would say the strangest things, and remembered things from years ago as if they were happening in current time. It was extremely hard emotionally for all of us. We just kept him as comfortable as possible, and agreed with pretty much everything he said, since correcting him only confused him, and it served no purpose anyway. I totally sympathize with you. This is a hard position you are in, but God bless you for your willingness to be there for your mom.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #60 (permalink)
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What I'm getting out of all this is that it's EXTREMELY difficult to know how to respond when your mother is saying stuff that makes no sense, and especially when she gets agitated and belligerent about things I can't DO.
I can empathize. I've been dealing with the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent, with my mom. I just got off the phone with my mom and the subject came up (her mother was highly altered for months before she died) and I told her how it was for me. I told her that when she gets like that, I try not to let on and worry her, but that I feel my heart breaking. It's a very painful thing!

I wish you the strength to withstand it all.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 08:25 PM   #61 (permalink)
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A few times today Mom seemed to have a sense that she's actually in her own room, at home. She mentioned that "they were working on the house across the street," and that's a good thing. There really is a house across the street that's been worked on for over a year now (unfortunately, it's a McMansion put up after tearing down the nice, much SMALLER house that used to be there ). But next thing you know we're back on the cruise ship...or a hotel room at Pechanga...
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Old February 20th, 2013, 08:25 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Her reality is...VERY, very strange. And exhausting... We're trying to keep her calm and happy, so we're playing along with her Twilight Zone-ish, parallel universe reality so she won't become agitated trying to figure things out.
My mother's mother, when she was too altered to function would lie in her bed all day and cry out constantly: Come, come, come, come..." asking God to come take her, and other things like that. We took it because we loved her. We had a German exchange student with us, and it was more than he could handle. He said the house was haunted, and insisted that he had to go back to Chicago where his classmates were.

One time the "come, come, come" burst into song: "Come to the church in the wildwood, come to the church in the dale..." We all burst out in laughter!

I was just a teenager then, but it seemed only natural to not take it too seriously, and try to make it fun. I don't know if that's good advice, or advice at all. That's just what I did to cope. No right way to handle these things I think now.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #63 (permalink)
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My mother's mother, when she was too altered to function would lie in her bed all day and cry out constantly: Come, come, come, come..." asking God to come take her, and other things like that.
I understand. My mom says--at least 30 times a day--"I wish I were dead." I tell her that I don't, and I try to bring some levity into it by saying things like, "how will you play the slot machines if you're dead? they have signs at the entrance of the casino--you have to be at least 21 and not a corpse in order to come in!"

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We took it because we loved her. We had a German exchange student with us, and it was more than he could handle. He said the house was haunted, and insisted that he had to go back to Chicago where his classmates were.
I get it--all of it.

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One time the "come, come, come" burst into song: "Come to the church in the wildwood, come to the church in the dale..." We all burst out in laughter!
I can just imagine!

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I was just a teenager then, but it seemed only natural to not take it too seriously, and try to make it fun. I don't know if that's good advice, or advice at all. That's just what I did to cope. No right way to handle these things I think now.
It's definitely a 'learn as you go' situation. I'm just winging it, hoping that my choices are good ones.

I can't recall, and I don't care to look right now, if I posted a realization I had a couple days ago. It's that Mom's sudden, dramatic mental change is actually a blessing in disguise for me. It's like a trial run, or preparation, or something, for carrying on after she's gone--because she basically IS gone now, just not physically. Since she never had any sign of dementia, and there's no family history of it, I expected that her physical deterioration would continue and, ultimately, result in her death, but I THOUGHT that she'd still be crystal clear mentally and that we'd have long, wonderful chats... All that changed suddenly and totally without warning the night she choked. It's been three weeks, and I've accepted that this is her new reality, and there won't be any of those long meaningful chats I had anticipated. But this is bridging the two worlds--the one where she's alive and the one where she isn't.
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