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

Sunday, 30 September 2012


It would appear that the new medicine isn't having the much hoped for effect now that she's had time to get used to it. It only took a couple of days before we were back to 'normal'. I'm reluctant to continue with the increased dose because it doesn't stop the constant wandering and moving things but does make her more unsteady on her feet.

Also this week she's had a funny sort of cold/virus thing which may or may not be a UTI. The upshot of that has been no day centre and some increasingly bizarre behaviour. When the Locum GP came to see her she was immediately in full fluff mode. He was somewhat nonplussed when she greeted him with 'Oh hello darling, aren't you beautiful?' I told him he was lucky, she normally tries to kiss her social worker.

This morning is pretty typical we've had constant door trying and banging since about 5am mixed with clothes removal as per usual - thankfully the onesie idea does keep most of her covered even though she pulls the legs up as high as she can and bunches them in her groin. Plus of course plenty of other random behaviour - blowing her nose on a honey sandwich, putting the hoover on the sofa, cushions on the kitchen floor, bits of junk mail carefully placed on tables/window ledges/loo seats etc. Everything is moved with complete concentration and determination, there's nothing you can do to stop it so just have to move things back again once she's done. Often so that she can do it all over again... But if I don't put things back the house would be like Steptoe's yard in no time. At the moment she has taken off one shoe and sock and is determinedly trying to put other things on her foot. So far she's tried a tissue, the instruction leaflet out of my iPod nano box, a sheet of jumbo bubble wrap and the dog's squeaky duck. Then yesterday I had a hell of a beating around the head trying to stop her falling over. One new behaviour I've noticed is a sort of little knee bounce between each step.

In all honesty Tuesday and Wednesday can't come quickly enough, twelve days straight is just too much without a reasonable break. I have managed to take the dog for a walk a couple of times when H has been around but a few hours stitched together would be nice.


Some nice blips recently in and amongst. I like thisthis and this :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Possible improvement

The dementia team came to see us on Monday, naturally Ma was incredibly fluffy. After a long discussion the doctor has changed one medication and increased another in the hopes of reducing her aggressive behaviour, the hallucinations and her agitation. We are three days in and it seems to be having a relatively positive effect and as there haven't been any falls I have added in the second dose this morning.

The upshot of that was a calm and stress-free trip to Tesco earlier. It was raining so I got rather wet farting about with the wheelchair/Ma/wheelchair trolley scenario but other than that it was relatively easy, I managed to injure less people than last time and we didn't have any shouting or slapping from herself. It did amuse me that every time I stopped the chair and walked round to put something in the trolley Ma said with complete surprise 'Oh hello Darling!' and when we got to the till I realised that she'd been quietly taking a bite out of each mini doughnut...

She's just had a cup of tea and a Jaffa Cake mini roll and is now dozing in the chair. I'd call that a successful morning.

Maybe more later.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

My ears aren't burning, but they are definitely ringing

Yesterday was a no-show for Ma at the day centre. She wasn't poorly, just in the sort of mood which would have made the journey there too hazardous and I'm not willing to risk it, so she stayed at home and was moderately difficult and a bit slappy all day.

I was contacted by a journalist from the BBC's programme Inside Out wanting to talk to me about being filmed for a programme on elderly care and especially in my case a multi-generational family with one member acting as carer for an elderly member. This came about because I answered a tweet request for carers to answer some questions for the money section of the Guardian and was quoted in the article (which I only realised yesterday!). Inside Out want to come and do 'a few hours' filming. I am going to say no I think because it will affect Ma enormously and massively disrupt our routine for days. Plus I've been on tv once and utterly utterly hated every second of it.

She was in a better mood this morning - death threats aside - so off we went. I dropped her off as usual then went and had my 6 weekly treat (a pedicure). Bliss. Due to my apparent inability to operate a mobile phone I managed to miss all the calls and most of the text messages from Julia (the BBC lady) and feel a complete idiot. I put the phone on silent during my pedicure because the constant beeping and pinging from texts/emails/facebook upates and tweets doesn't make for a restful time and then forgot to put it back to normal. Abject apologies will be proffered tomorrow.

Collected Ma at 3pm. Several staff gave me 'that' look as I went in. You know, a slightly wide-eyed mixture of exasperation and sympathy. It seems that she was segregated with a member of staff on a one to one basis because she insisted on removing her clothes constantly and was aggressive when the staff tried to put them back on. Obviously they can't have her behaving like that in front of the other 'service users' (new one for me) because it upsets them. Getting her in her coat was a battle even before we got her to the car. One member of staff said she didn't know how I coped on my own and another said she felt sorry for me. As you know, I'm usually fairly matter of fact about it all but I must admit I very nearly cried at that point.

We put Ma in the back because the child locks are in place and that proved to be a good decision. I won't go on about the journey other than to say that although she couldn't get the door open she did manage to poke me in the head with the umbrella and wind the window down and then got soaked for her troubles - it's rained all day here.

Since coming home she has been a handful. All that has happened today has obviously wound her up so putting her in her nightclothes resulted in a barrage of slaps (hence the ringing ears!). She is now in bed.

I really hope she stays there.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Well it was only a matter of time.

A bit of a teary start to the day for me. It's G's 19th birthday today and I'm sad he wasn't able to stay another couple of days to celebrate it here and it would also have been Pa's 84th birthday so also sad about that, to the point where it has ambushed me on and off all day.

Of course Wednesday is the second of my non-duty days so off we skipped this morning and Ma went into the centre for a cup of tea and some toast perfectly happily without a backward glance. I did fiddly town-based things like going to the bank and buying cat litter then decided to forgo breakfast and come home where I failed magnificently to persuade H to go out for lunch on her last day before starting college.

So I had a sad lonely ham salad in front of Floyd's Fjord Fiesta which is a complete swizz because there wasn't a lot of Scandinavia cookery going on - Thai red curry and Moroccan kebabs anyone? - followed by some hoovering etc.

Then at about half three the phone rang.

As you've read on here, Ma can be really aggressive when she wants to be. Mainly when she's being asked to do something she doesn't want to do. Clearly this afternoon she did not want to be installed on the bus in her wheelchair. Cue slapping the staff across the face and removing her clothes down to her skin. The upshot of this is that from here on in I will be taking and collecting her from the centre. This effectively cuts my time off to four and a half hours. Right this second it's not easy to be philosophical about it if I'm honest. I'm sure I'll get over myself eventually but allow me a few days of sulking first please.


A couple of nice blips for you here and here plus the happy news that I've passed my OU digital photography course :)

Perhaps it is time to join the local photographic society and start learning how to do it properly...

Monday, 3 September 2012

Back in the room

Hello, been back for a week but not had much chance to post an update...

We had a lovely time in Cornwall - even though the travelling was pretty horrendous - and H's GCSE results were excellent, so a good week all round. Peter collected Ma from respite and looked after her for the Bank Holiday weekend. We got back on Tuesday, H enrolled at College on Thursday and George arrived with his g/f on Friday. So busy busy busy.

Having G here has been lovely, I do miss the boys dreadfully, but the change has revved Ma up a bit. She's been on a door opening/clothes removing mission from the moment she gets up until she finally (finally) falls asleep. With added middle of the night wanderings to boot. She's also still pretty aggressive when prevented from doing things which may harm her so I get roundly slapped etc. on a fairly regular basis. I'm a bit wary of trying a trip out after the IKEA episode but maybe if the weather is nice today we might tootle over to Boundary Mill for a change of scene. George and Fran are off to Leeds today to see Phantom so that means a midnight trip to Piccadilly station to collect them later, then they go back to Devon tomorrow.

More later maybe...

***KLAXON*** 40,021 views!!!!

Good Lord. Thank you so much for dropping by :)


A few blips I'm pleased with: thisthisthis and this spring to mind :)