My Mom was first diagnosed with vascular dementia, but the doctor eventually said she had Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Before we actually understood that there was a serious problem, she started to grossly over communicate. I had gotten her a personal computer about eight years earlier and she enjoyed email and surfing the internet. Right before her diagnosis, it was not uncommon for her to forward or communicate via email her thoughts on hundreds of posts daily to me and sometimes others. When I finally got so frustrated and mentioned it to her, she denied doing it or said she only sent one or two a day.
She also started calling me (her primary caregiver) and others incessantly. There were times she would call me ten times in one hour, because if she thought of something, she had to tell me immediately (just so she wouldn’t forget). I love my Mom dearly but she was driving me nuts. I knew this was the beginning of her decline because I remember my Great Uncle Bill (who had dementia) doing this to my Grandparents several times an hour, and my Grandpa actually screaming at him over the phone to stop.
When I was going through this it was difficult to handle. I was a wife, mother of two kids, and had a very demanding job, and now had a mother who I was her person. She depended on me for everything. Now, I can look back at it and chuckle, but it was overwhelming then. I ended up taking her PC away from her (after several people kept calling me to complain) and when she moved to an assisted living facility, I eventually took her phone away from her as well, because I visited her three times a day, and eventually moved into the room with her.
Now that I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s I am faced with the reality that I may actually end up doing the same thing to my loved ones. Unwittingly, I will begin to drive them nuts, and that makes me so pensive, so sad. I hope that they can exhibit some patience with me and realize that its the disease and not me doing this. I know support groups will help them with this, and they did see it with my Mom, but I fear that they have a tough road ahead of them.
As I just proofread this post, I just realized what I wouldn’t do again to her my Mom’s voice, to get those phone calls again, even if she was driving me crazy. We often appreciate people more after they are gone. How sad. Patience is a virtue.
Not today, Alzheimer’s, not today.