Sunday, May 24, 2020

Living with Frontal Temporal Dementia

After that mega meltdown that my mom had things somewhat went back to a “new normal”. We hired a caregiver, bless her heart in spite of the many temper tantrums, meltdowns, and the verbal abuse of my mom. She has been her go-to person whenever things don’t work out for my mom. I don’t think we pay her enough, “shhh! don’t tell her that though”. Yes, she is well compensated. As my younger sister pointed out, “You can’t put a price on trust and peace of mind”.Our mom is, quite a unique patient. If you first meet her, you would never think that there is anything wrong with her. You can have a pretty good conversation with her and you would walk away saying, “Oh, what a nice lady”.

She can be nice, but that depends on many factors. She is in the second stage of the disease. It is only when you interact with her for about 2 consecutive hours, that you have an” Ah-a” moment and you notice that things are not quite right. Constantly repeating the same questions, in her world my father that passed away quite some time ago is still alive and she makes reference to that constantly once she is comfortable with whomever she is visiting with. “It was so much fun explaining that to her neighbors”.

Our mom lives alone, we have tried for her to move in with me, or my younger sister, and always, always she causes so much chaos with her presence her actions, and her horrid attitude. We have decided to leave her in her ‘Original habitat” she loves her garden, I mean geez, to a point that we had many futile arguments about it. She has fallen, thank god nothing broken. She constantly leaves the water hose on, all night long causing severe water damage to the neighbor’s property. We have formed a support system with the neighbors, security cameras, and her CG. we do realize that even with all of these precautions in place it doesn’t guarantee her safety.

We had to educate my mom CG on her disease. At first, she would get very upset and would call me in tears, because my mom had been so horrid to her many times humiliating her in front of other people. It was very hard making her understand not to take things personally, that it was the disease that makes her act in that manner. Her CG is the one that assists her with doctor appointments, accompanies her to church, and makes sure she takes her medication in a timely manner. Our mom has an established routine, which works for both. After many years of taking care of our mom, she finally understands how to interact with our mom, and for that, we are forever grateful.

Our mom is not discerning with her aggressive behaviors more on that next time. When we talk about the grandkids enter the picture. I’ll share how it has affected their relationship with our mom. It's not an easy road, it's full of bumps along the way. we will travel it together.

Be Prepared, Be Informed, Be Empowered.

I send you lots of positive virtual energy.
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With gratitude-