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Old 11-03-2015, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,274 posts, read 35,818,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
Just a quick: "You're awesome and I enjoy your posts" "this too shall pass" and "try not to give her the power to take the joy out of your pocket"

In that order
AWwwwwwwwwWWWWWwwww, thank you!
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,274 posts, read 35,818,552 times
Reputation: 62626
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
you can be my roommate at the old folks home....I LOVE the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack
and Dillard's is a great store
and your theology books are always welcome on the bookshelves, of course i hope you'll let me read them
I will always let people read my books! Just don't write in them!
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:33 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,138 posts, read 20,296,314 times
Reputation: 26372
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Hahaha, thank you for your encouragement!

I'm really trying to just breathe deeply and not respond when I want so desperately to use reason and logic with her and I know it's a moot point.

She doesn't have Alzheimer's though we do think she's got some dementia developing. But she's still very articulate - and argumentative.

I'm pretty proud of myself in one very small area. I just decided to stop saying anything at all about her weight, which has dropped so dramatically (also aging her ten years in about two years). She has an eating disorder. She won't admit it. She won't accept any treatment or guidance from her doctor. She denies the issue. So it does absolutely ZERO good to discuss it with her. Zero. And it frustrates the tar out of me.

So I just decided a few weeks ago to quit saying anything at all about her weight and very little about her eating (see, I knew for example today that I shouldn't say anything even about the stupid onion ring but I did manage to rein it in pretty well!). I began to feel like she was enjoying some of the attention. When people said, "Oh my, you've lost so much weight!" for instance, she'd positively glow and say, "I prefer being slim," or even lie and say, "I don't know how - I eat like a horse."

She's always making a grand entrance into the living room, striking a pose and saying, "So what do you think of my new (fill in the blank - she's always buying a new top or belt or pants or something)." Well THAT was irritating me because for awhile she wouldn't buy clothes in her new size so all her clothes looked like weird tents.

Then she went and bought new clothes (size 8 and she's 5'10" and now those are all baggy on her) and so NO - I don't think she looks pretty, I think she looks like a bone in a sack and her behavior is alarming me! But I can't say that, so for awhile I was saying, "The clothes are pretty but I sure wish you'd stop losing weight," and she'd smile sweetly and say, "I enjoy being slim" and then flutter off to another room. My dad and I are alarmed because she is covered in wrinkles from losing so much weight so fast at her age. This has aged her tremendously and she doesn't seem to be able to see it.

So I decided to just say vaguely, "Oh, that's nice," and drive on. I guess she may starve herself to the point of disability, who knows? But there's nothing I can think to do about it.

It's so bizarre.
My grandma had an eating disorder. She fell and broke her hip and she had to stay in the hospital nearly a year before they could operate on her hip. They wouldn't operate until she was up to a certain weight...I think she had to get to 95 lbs, and when she got to that weight she was miserable because of how fat she thought she was. Once she was back home, she went back to only eating a bite or two of food a day. She died of pneumonia a couple of years later. I think she weighed maybe 70 lbs when she died. We always thing of eating disorders as something that affects young people the most, but older people can definitely get them too.


You also said your mom might be developing some kind of dementia...it would be really good to get her to a doctor and get a diagnosis. There are meds that can slow some kinds of dementia but they usually have to be started early in order to be effective. A geriatrician might be the right kind of doctor for your mom to see.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:16 AM
 
Location: England
24,605 posts, read 6,113,991 times
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Kathryn - reading through this thread, and what you have to put up with, makes me realize my wife's 90 year old mother, who lives with us, is a doll compared. She irritates me sometimes, but reading here what you are going through, I'm in clover..........

My mother was half crazy, and drove me nuts. But, she died at 68, so I didn't have to deal with her in old age. Thank gawd..........
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:32 AM
 
519 posts, read 699,311 times
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Thanks for your posts Kathryn, I am finding them very soothing as I look back on the downward slide and recent death of my own father last spring.
Then they die and you get to beat yourself up all over again reflecting on your reactions to their behavior in the last months.
My dad made us feel soo bad every time we saw him that we would argue about who would go on a given day. He was mean to us and miserable in his facility and we could do nothing!
One of the best things that I read on the out of the fog forum said that we should not expect that magic moment of clarity to ever return..thus our dad would never say sorry or I love you or even understand the insanity of his behavior.
Hugs to you
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,274 posts, read 35,818,552 times
Reputation: 62626
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
My grandma had an eating disorder. She fell and broke her hip and she had to stay in the hospital nearly a year before they could operate on her hip. They wouldn't operate until she was up to a certain weight...I think she had to get to 95 lbs, and when she got to that weight she was miserable because of how fat she thought she was. Once she was back home, she went back to only eating a bite or two of food a day. She died of pneumonia a couple of years later. I think she weighed maybe 70 lbs when she died. We always thing of eating disorders as something that affects young people the most, but older people can definitely get them too.


You also said your mom might be developing some kind of dementia...it would be really good to get her to a doctor and get a diagnosis. There are meds that can slow some kinds of dementia but they usually have to be started early in order to be effective. A geriatrician might be the right kind of doctor for your mom to see.

I agree.

Hey, good idea about the geriatrician - I hadn't thought of that.

The problem with my mom is that she will not submit to any sort of treatment plan. My dad has taken her to her PCP who immediately referred her to a neuropsychiatrist (waiting on testing results now), but even if they did prescribe any meds for dementia, I promise you my mom would refuse to take them. Just like she refused to take the meds for bipolar disorder awhile back.

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Old 11-04-2015, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,274 posts, read 35,818,552 times
Reputation: 62626
Quote:
Originally Posted by plantress View Post
Thanks for your posts Kathryn, I am finding them very soothing as I look back on the downward slide and recent death of my own father last spring.
Then they die and you get to beat yourself up all over again reflecting on your reactions to their behavior in the last months.
My dad made us feel soo bad every time we saw him that we would argue about who would go on a given day. He was mean to us and miserable in his facility and we could do nothing!
One of the best things that I read on the out of the fog forum said that we should not expect that magic moment of clarity to ever return..thus our dad would never say sorry or I love you or even understand the insanity of his behavior.
Hugs to you
Thank you for your insight.

I've done a lot of thinking about all this as I've written this all out and read the various responses. I think I have it figured out but I also think I'm going to find a therapist to help me with the frustration and grief.

My mom has always frustrated me and made me angry, with her out of control and often bizarre behavior. But in the past, she was a very strong person physically, and "had it going on" sort of across the board - good health, intelligence, artistic talent, good looks - honestly she has always been a glamorous, evocative person in spite of her temper, her bipolar moods, and her strange love of arguing.

So it was "easier" to feel anger toward her - she wasn't frail and helpless, she was the opposite - I could "lay down the law" with her (which everyone close to her has to do in order to have any sort of relationship with her - otherwise she will roll right over you like a Sherman tank) and "stand my ground" without feeling like a jerk.

But she was also energetic, creative, talkative (often about interesting topics), attractive, and very "into" things that also interest me - interior decorating, good books and movies (we both really enjoy some of the same authors and movies). So we could often find a common ground and enjoy some time together. When (not IF, but WHEN) she would veer off into something inflammatory, which was every single time I was around her, I could put a stop to that pretty quickly - but I had to be firm and sometimes do something as radical as just stopping in the middle of something and saying, "That's it - I told you I wasn't going to talk about that with you again, so now I'm leaving."

Now she's old, frail, obviously "losing it" on several fronts, and it's harder for me to "stand by my guns" with her because I really do feel like she just can't help a lot of what she's doing. Since I don't enjoy fighting or confrontation, you'd think that would be a relief, but instead I find myself back in time - to when I was a child, before I knew about boundaries, and I was stuck in the house with a mother who was out of control and who I felt I had no choice but to tolerate. And if she's really unable to control her behaviors, then that's even more reason for me to be kind and helpful and to step back and give her more room, even if that means she's going to continue to revert back to her intrusive, inflammatory basic personality. I don't like doing that because it makes me feel like the child I used to be - the one who knew there was something seriously wrong with my mother, but who was unable to stand up to her.

I want a diagnosis because I want to know whether or not she can help her behaviors and whether there is anything she or we can do to improve her health and mental state.

If it's mental illness, I know that there are treatment options for her. If she won't submit to treatment, then that's on her, you know? But we'd know we were dealing with mental illness rather than dementia.

If it's dementia, she really can't help that and there's no point in me even pushing back or expecting her to improve. But I would feel more empathy for her rather than frustration at her refusal to "behave."

If it's an eating disorder, she REALLY needs treatment and my dad and I could be more firm about it with her rather than just tolerating her behaviors as she slowly shrinks to skin and bones in front of us.

If it's largely vision (which I do believe is playing a big part in this), then my dad and I could be more insistent that she wears her glasses all the time. We could get her doctor to insist on this. Well, actually, that's not true - her eye doctor has already told her she needs to wear the glasses all the time but to no avail.

Anyway, enough of all that. It helps to have figured out why I'm so very frustrated. So now I think I need to find a therapist - or at least a great self help book! - to help me cope with this frustration. You know, I got my head around establishing healthy boundaries with my mom, did it, stuck to it for decades, and it was hard work. Now it's very mentally draining to dismantle those boundaries and try to figure out new ones.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:53 AM
 
Location: SW US
2,202 posts, read 2,017,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post

The problem with my mom is that she will not submit to any sort of treatment plan. My dad has taken her to her PCP who immediately referred her to a neuropsychiatrist (waiting on testing results now), but even if they did prescribe any meds for dementia, I promise you my mom would refuse to take them. Just like she refused to take the meds for bipolar disorder awhile back.

My Mom refuses to take anything. This year she stopped taking supplements too, even though she came up very low on testing, like for Vitamin D. She also refuses to wear compression stockings, despite leg swelling. Her doctor told me that he respects her right to not take any medications. There is little use to do any more testing if she won't do anything about it anyway.
It's very frustrating to see her this way. She was not this way when she was younger.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,762 posts, read 3,831,495 times
Reputation: 3563
Kathryn,
Be forgiving of your mom getting older.
We all get old, and our bodies and minds will deteriorate.
Usually people who aren't really close to grandparents have a harder
time with this.
It's different with in laws, they are not your parents.
You are the one that is tormenting yourself.
Forgive her for aging, it is natural.
Be patient with her, she won't be around in the coming years and
you will feel proud that you were kind to her, like you will want kindness
when it's your turn.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 899 times
Reputation: 20
I posted this last night but as a first timer, have no idea where it ended up. So here it is again.
Probably you're irritated because your mom's got some narcissistic tendencies and not being based in the reality of her former beauty, she seems ridiculous. Like when my mother-in-law was recouping from brain tumor surgery and getting chemo, she put makeup on to look good for her newest husband, but her lipstick was outside her lips, too dark and so was her blush. She didn't pluck her chin or lip hairs and her hair was gone in the back, disheveled in the front. She didn't help herself much but could not see it.

For mother to give you so little credit when you have her best interests in mind, and be dismissive and belittling when you try to assist, or insist on disrespecting your boundaries , is more of the selfcenteredness narcissists are known to do.

David J. Lieberman, well known for his work with the FBI and Intel agencies, writes some very useful books on how to get people to do what they need to do, even neurotic folks. The books are written in a how-to format with step by step instructions. no need to read the entire book.
Have you heard of 96 yr old yoga teacher, or 77 yr old bodybuilding champ Ernestine Shepherd? These people are not anomalies, they are examples of what the human body can become.

May I suggest you set aside more time than you are now, to take good care of yourself?
Exercise is phenomenal for helping you cope :--). Put distance between the future you think you're stuck with by making small changes, 5 minutes daily walk, increasing time each week until you're an Ernestine. :-)

Meditate as well to understand how your mind works. The reality is, it is only your thinking pimagine awaits you by taking control of your body and refusing to settle for the decline you is upsetting you. You can learn how to deal with thoughts that bother you and CHOOSE your own path.
Hope this helps,

Parisma
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