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

Friday, 26 October 2012

On trying to finish writing the next cook book

I am sitting here trying to finish writing another book in the 'Little Book of Low Carb...' series. I've got a legion of tested recipes to write down and one would think seemingly endless hours in which to do it. Unfortunately after a day of Ma wrangling my brain is too knackered to think about anything more arduous than what will happen next on Corrie or who is due to go out of Strictly. During the day there are other obstacles.

[me] 'Right, time to get the aubergine recipes written up...'

[Ma standing next to me] Forrityporritybaabaadidderybiddipydooo...

[starts typing] Aubergines are really useful for lots of things - for porridgey (what?!?) no no not porridgey for potato! a potato substitute...

[Ma bends closer, speaks louder] Borrityporritynerrilyferrilywinderynoonoolerryferryberrytorrityta...

Repeat (for hours) and fade.


Someone asked me earlier if Ma was channeling Dr Seuss. Frankly after 12 solid hours of it I am seriously considering channeling out my own ear canals with a chisel.

Feeding her tonight was an impossible task because she would not stop. She's had a reasonable amount of calories today, albeit on the run and snuck in here and there when she drew breath. Quite a lot of it she spat out again in a rage, but you can only do what you can do. My secret weapon of choice at the moment is a hot chocolate made with milk and double cream and a bowl of little chocolate bits (Whispa Bites, Giant Buttons etc.) which she will pick at - and also stuff in her pockets but I hope that's so that she can eat them later and not for me to wash accidentally. Some hope.

Changing her pad and onesie ready for bed wasn't much fun either. Three bites, five punches, knocked off glasses, many kicks and countless slaps later she is now moving the all the dining chairs into the hall. I have given up. I'll move it all back when (if) she finally goes to bed.


It's looking like today's blip will be one I took this morning of some contrails in the sky. Nope, not proud of it at all really but it's all I've had a chance to take. Still quite purty though.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Much rejoicing

As from tomorrow Ma will be going to the day centre on Thursdays too. This means three days a week which is wonderful. I know it's only one extra day but it makes such a difference. I still have to take and collect her because of her behaviour but I don't mind if it gives me another four hours off.

I've been away for a long weekend in Northumberland which was really great, staying in a huge country house and cooking for 13 lovely ladies. Simon came to help and I would have been in a bit of a state without him there quite frankly. The weather was glorious and we managed to get out and about to see Cragside and some of the coast. Beautiful. (pics on Flickr)

Naturally Ma went into respite. When I collected her the staff mentioned that she had been a bit aggressive towards some staff members and also to a couple of the other service users. This means that they will now have to talk to Barry regarding her stay over Christmas and I really hope this won't affect her being able to stay. I suspect that sometimes the environment is a bit too stimulating and hope that they will be able to find somewhere in the home which will be more calming for her.

I'm sure I've got more to say but Ma is being a bit distracting atm. Hopefully I will remember to update this later...


My Blip yesterday hit the Spotlight page - always thrilling :) It was my 300th consecutive blip which still amazes me. Only 65 more to complete my 365 challenge.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A bit of a non-update

The lack of updates recently has a lot to do with the fact that there's not a lot to report. Or put another way, things are not much fun right now but I doubt you want to read endless posts of me whingeing.

Ma is deteriorating in little steps at the moment. Her speech is becoming more and more difficult to interpret and although she can still 'hold' a conversation of sorts when asked direct questions the rest of the time is filled with nonsensical ramblings. Unless she is asleep she literally does not stop talking. It is exhausting. Other things such as feeding her self or having a drink can be very hit and miss too. She doesn't understand the concept of using a tissue to wipe her nose but will happily use anything else that is to hand...

She is still in constant motion too and will move absolutely anything she can get hold of. The dog lead was in the loo the other day and someone began to suggest that I need to keep everything our of her way but then realised that this is pretty much impossible. So I spend a large amount of my day following her around, putting things back. Unfortunately the suggestion to leave things where she puts them in the hope that she will then move them back again doesn't work!

The violence is also an issue. Now a daily occurrence, it's not much fun being punched repeatedly by your mother. She has also punched a couple of members of staff at the day centre, so at least I know it's not directed at me personally. You do start to wonder sometimes.

We had 12 days of her in her onesies (because she was unable to go to the day centre) and not a single incident in all that time. Last Tuesday was her first day back in normal clothes and within 10 minutes of being washed and dressed I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet, the walls, the furniture and Ma. I admit that I did cry quite a bit.

All of these things are distressing and upsetting and each little step takes her further and further away from the person I knew. It fosters emotions you know are not appropriate but it's hard not to feel annoyance or anger or even, at  times, hatred. But then you just have to get over yourself, shove the guilt into a cupboard, stick a smile on your face and get on with it.