My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010. This is a blog about coming to terms with her absent mind.

Friday, 29 June 2012

A couple of good things

Yesterday I ordered some meals from Wiltshire Farm Foods to try, they offer a soft diet range of puréed meals which are ideal for Ma. Today she tried a roast chicken dinner and ate a good 80% of it which was really encouraging because it was far more food than I would normally offer her. I think they will be very handy for those can't be arsed to cook days or when we've been out and she needs something fast. They say that they are prepared specifically to be finished off in the oven/microwave and certainly seem to smell more appetising than your average ready meal.

So a good day foodwise. Two Weetabix with milk, cream, a banana and lactulose (shudder) for breakfast, roast chicken dinner for lunch and home made cottage pie for her tea and inbetween she's had a small iced finger with a bit of butter on and three small choc chip cookies. No carers tonight due to sickness issues so I put her to bed at 7 and she seems to have gone off to sleep ok - it's half an hour since I put her to bed and she has stayed there. So far...

Barry came today and we talked about her undressing. He is going to see if he can find any information via professional resources and tells me that the paperwork for the additional day at the centre would be signed off today so another day should be in the pipeline. It is a bit of a dead man's shoes scenario so it may be a while before we hear anything.

We also discussed getting a doll. The upshot of that conversation is that I've ordered one from Amazon. If she loves it then that will be a massive result, everything else I've tried as a distraction/comfort has failed miserably. So far music, photographs, tv, things to fold or sort have all been less than successful. If she doesn't engage with it then I can give it to Lulu (who I'm told is now standing/holding on to furniture so will be off very soon!).


Forgot to do a linky to Blip yesterday. Still going strong although beginning to panic about my final assignment for the OU and how far behind I am.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

One day I'll learn

One day I will learn not to say things like 'everything is calm and quiet', it really just sets me up for a fall.

The increase in medication made Ma 10 times worse than she was and caused her to go night time wandering again. I gave it a few days but in the end I had to stop the second tablet and put her back on the sleep meds. She is better on this regime but her behaviour is really quite bizarre at the moment and this means that I can't take my eyes off her for a second. She is hell bent on removing every scrap of clothing every couple of minutes and which is exhausting and this coupled with constant restlessness and a continual stream of conversation which makes absolutely no sense and the days are really quite difficult. It's taken me five days to complete this blog post. If anyone has any ideas on why she takes her clothes off or how to stop her doing it I'd be grateful for the help, it distresses me so much. I take her to the loo regularly because I've read that this can be a reason for it but it doesn't seem to make any difference. As I type she is in vest and pants and one sock. Oh, make that no socks now. I think my blood pressure must be off the scale.

Foodwise she is eating reasonably well but needs constantly reminding and encouraging, and often quite a lot of help as even spoons can be too challenging to use some days.

Harriet is now here and this has made a massive difference to me, I can nip up to the shop if I need milk for example and simply having another body around helps enormously. I don't feel quite so isolated any more. H has an interview at college on Monday so fingers crossed she does well, that would really make my day.


Please don't take your trousers off...

No I won't.

*trousers hit the deck*

Brrr! Isn't it cold?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Goodness me!

Where did the time go?

I suspect that a weekend away plus having to catch up with my OU course and submit a CMA by midday on Monday may well have something to do with it.

But also, as Jon said on his wonderful blog recently, no news means that things have been relatively calm and quiet and after a year-long white knuckle ride it's quite pleasant to bimble along for a change if I'm honest. This does mean that there's not much to blog about and I'm sure you would get rather bored with endless updates about the same things.

In Ma's world things are quite busy. She still hallucinates a lot and spends a fair amount of time looking for someone/doing something she's been 'told' to do/asking me where people have gone/talking to the 'others'. She's rarely very distressed by any of this although she is constantly on the move trying to resolve things. A lot of her conversation doesn't make any sense (random or made-up words feature heavily) but I try to gather the gist so that I can either agree with what she is saying or sort out what she needs. It can be a bit hit and miss though unfortunately.

The dementia community team came to see her yesterday and due to the level and frequency of her hallucination the anti-psychotic drug has been increased. This is a slightly contentious issue so if I don't see a big improvement in the next week or so I will be giving them a call. There is hope that this will also temper some of her aggression - usually when attempts are being made to get her dressed/undressed, fed, bathed or any other situation where she doesn't want to do what she is being asked. A couple of mornings have been a bit of a nightmare but I worship at the altar of Vanish Green Top which deals with everything magnificently.

The day centre continues to be a hit. It is wonderful to see her walk off quite happily without a backward glance when at home I barely get 10 seconds before she comes looking for me. I am firmly convinced that it does her the world of good to be away from here and mixing with others. And of course, I do enjoy the time off.

The back bathroom now has a new shower and flooring so we are able to shower her safely and easily even though she's not very keen, another huge personality change which is hard to get used to.

Only 8 days until H arrives. Cannot wait.