Monday, October 09, 2006

The Sounds of Silence

It’s finally quiet around here. We had to use a combination of three drugs (Lorazepam, Seroquel and Haloperidol for those interested) to get mom to quit screaming and ranting (Hallucinations), rest, and to get her combativeness under control. Saturday night she hit me while I tried to change her diaper. I am sure you would agree that she would much rather be drugged than to be abusing me. Its so quiet now that it's spooky.

A couple of weeks ago mom began choking on her food – she was losing that part of her brain that told her how to swallow. Last week she began to refuse food and water and we had to force her through coercion, bribery and down-right threats to get her to eat even a little bit. We could have had feeding tubes put in, but that would mean that she would either have to be tied down 24 hours a day or put in a comatose stage in order to keep her from pulling the tubes out. That is no kind of life. If there were a chance that she would get better, that would be different. But this is Alzheimer’s and there is no better. It was decided that there would be no feeding tubes and we would let nature (and God) take its course. The worse part of this has been the hallucinations – the week-long screaming and ranting rage that lasted almost 24 hours a day (this was before hospice) – my mother lying in bed screaming like an animal and yelling obscenities at people who weren’t there. Also no way to live.

The prognosis is a week to 10 days – it really depends upon her physical health (good) and her body fat – so it could be 2 weeks. I will try to keep you updated as things progress.

32 comments:

Devon Ellington said...

I'm so sorry, sweetie. This is such a difficult time for you, and words are so inadequate. Please know that many people are praying for you, holding you and your mom in your thoughts, and just hope the transition is as gentle as possible. You've gone through such a terrible experience, and you've faced everything with courage and grace. Love to you. I'm here if you need me.

Rene said...

What a horrible disease. The hallucinations sound awful, the poor lady. I hope you can get some rest.

CrystalG said...

I will keep your mother and you in my thoughts and my prayers. (((HUGS)))

Susan said...

My heart goes out to you. Your in my thoughts and prayers. Big Hugs

Tori Lennox said...

I'm so sorry, hon. *hugs* You're in my prayers.

Meretta said...

I echo all of Devon's sentiments and remind you that we're all here for you. While some of us are far away physically, you are close to us in our thoughts and hearts.

Be strong dear Eve, as you have been, but remember that we'll help carry you when you need it.

Melissa Marsh said...

Please know that I'm thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers, Eve.

Siobhan said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers, dear Eve. It's a horrible time for you but you will get through it. Your poor mom, its so sad. Take care and try to get some rest if you can. Lots of love, brave one.

Anna Lucia said...

Huge hugs to you. I'm in awe of your strength and grace under fire.

Your Mum will be so glad to release you from this.

Susie said...

(((eve & mom)))

Toni Anderson said...

Eve, So is she at the hospice? Is it far from you? Did I miss that? Hopefully she get get some rest and peace from the drugs. You too.

I'm so sorry for you. Be strong, take care of yourself and sleep. You have looked after your mom wonderfully.

Sigrun said...

Big, big hugs for you and your mom. I know the same thing happened to a minister's wife that we knew: she started shouting obscenities when you'd hardly think she knew all those words (this was before obscenities were as common as they are now). You really wonder where these things come from. As I said, we were spared that with my mom. She wouldn't respond at all in any meaningful way. She just lay there.

How brave you were to go through all that with her at home still. We actually got to the stage where we didn't exactly tie my mother down because she kept trying to get out of bed and therefore kept falling but the nurses tried to "barricade" any way out and even put a pad in that rang at the nurses' station if she move to the point of getting out of bed. She also had to have mucous removed from her lungs every so often and at the end, constantly.

Yes, folks. It is a horrible disease because you feel that you lose your loved one long before the body gives up. The essential person, the mind, the personality is gone and all that remains is a shell. That's how it was with my mother.

We're with you in thought and prayers, Eve. We won't forget you or your mom. And no, I'm sure she doesn't want to hurt you in any way. And I'm sure the staff urged you to allow them to do this. Amen to what Devon and Meretta said.

Hugs, thoughts, prayers for peace and peacefulness for both of you.

Glenice said...

Toni--I know Eve will show up sooner or later, but I thought I would let you know that Mary is home...Bebo will be staying there also for this week...

{{{{Eve, Bebo and Mary}}}}

Brandy said...

Oh goodnes. Sweetie I am so sorry. I am raying for you and for your Mom.

Olga said...

What Devon said. I'm so sorry you have to go through all this. My thoughts are with you, Eve.

catslady said...

I'm sure in some way your mother knows you are doing everything you can for her - {{{{hugs}}} to all.

Marty said...

You and your mom are continually in my thoughts and prayers. What a trial for you both. Lots of love...

Anne McAllister said...

keeping you and your mom in thoughts and prayers.

Sigrun said...

Glenice, thank you for letting us know that Eve will not be alone during this very difficult time. That is a comfort to us as well.

Though life should continue as normally as possible for you, Eve, I'm glad to know that someone will be with you to see that you really take time to rest and heal from the physical exertions.

Hugs, thoughts and prayers for all three of you.

Toni Anderson said...

Yes, thanks Glenice :( Hope the girls are doing OK.

Michele said...

I'm glad the med's are working.
Hard to see someone you love endure that kind of fear.

More **hugs** your way to you and your mom... comfort and strength for you and TCL for your Mom.

anne frasier said...

i'm thinking of you.

and yes, thank god for the right cocktail to give her some peace.

*big hug*

Dennie McDonald said...

I am so very sorry....

it's every child's worst fear I think

Bebo the broken hearted SIL said...

I'm going to post here to update all:
First & foremost THANK YOU to all for hugs, prayers & your wonderful support. It is much appreciated.
Now for Mom: The "cocktail" seems to only be working minimally right now. We keep trying various combinations, but nothing seems to give her relief from the pain in her legs/hips and from the hallucinations for more than 4hrs at a time.
She's gurgling periodically & it's awful to hear & know that this is really the signal that the end is so near.
Today she responded to us when we were working with her; Friday she recognized her sister. But the brief periods of lucidity only make the reality of this more devastating.
I've been helping Eve w/ Mary for the past 6yrs. I love her like another mother & I can tell you that our hearts are simply broken.
Yes, I will be staying with them at night now. Family members are coming & going, but not staying. Their presence only disturbs Mary at this point. Hospice is providing meds, equipment & support as well.
KEEP PRAYING that Mary is released from this particular hell quickly. She deserves the blessed peace of passing.
Personally I would urge all to support your local Alzheimer's Assoc, Hospice or VNA. They are angels in disguise.

Bailey Stewart said...

Well, there goes my post for tomorrow - LOL

Taking a little breather to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Just knowing that there are so many of you thinking about us helps in more ways that you can imagine. I'm also appreciative of the emails (which I do plan to reply) that brighten my days. (But where are the jokes?) Give me laughter people - I need it. Oh, and I am lurking a little each day and want to thank you for the thoughts and prayers that you have posted on your blogs - once again, your support has been heartwarming.

I don't know what I would do through this without Bebo the Fire Breathing Dragon - she has been a Godsend. Even if she does take my blog post subjects ...

Sandy J said...

Thinking of both of you and still keeping you in my prayers.

Supporting a local Alzheimer's Association is definitely a wonderful idea and will have to do that.

I'm so sorry, Eve and Bebo!

Lexi said...

My heart goes out to you. You and your mom will be in my thoughts. Take care of yourself.

Lis said...

I don't know what to say that hasn't been said above but *hugs* to you all, your in my thoughts.

Brandy said...

I will be praying that your Mother knows peace, whether for a short time here, or other. I feel safe in saying that you are a part of our everyday, a part of our family, now we pray for the sister of our heart.

Bernita said...

Sometimes it's not love to try to keep them here.
God keep, Bailey.

Diane said...

(((HUGS)))

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

My heart and prayers go out to you every single day.