missing persons

…from a pillow.

I got my mom a pillow with a photo of the whole family on it (including her). It seems to be her favorite thing, even though she was never that sentimental when I was a kid. Anyway, she called me in a panic this morning. Apparently people are taking the people from the photo(!). She swears that the “young girl on the end is missing”. She wanted me to take it for safe keeping, so no one could take any more people from the photo.

It’s just a photo printed on a pillow. No one can alter that photo. There were five people when I printed it, and there are still five people now. No one is getting lost or taken.

She seemed incredulous when I said that no one could take any of the people from the photo. It’s more than her mind playing tricks on her, it’s her mind believing what she should know to be impossible.

Apparently she’s having a bad day. I hear from one doc who sees her regularly that he is observing more bad days than previously.

I’m sorry to her that there are more bad days these days!

But about the “missing” people from the photo…you can’t rely on logic to calm her fears and distorted sense of reality. Logic, rational thought—you can’t rely on that being of any value, especially when her assertions are based on the fact-free “reality” she encounters. If I were in your situation, I’d try telling er not to worry because you made sure to attach the people permanently to that pillow so that nothing can happen to them. And that if she sees anyone missing, it’s simply because they wanted to go for a walk and will be back inn just a little while. And if that calms her—great. If not, then the challenge is to come up with an “invented” reality that will do the job.

=sheila

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That will be tough. I’m not used to lying. Probably part of why I’m not considered socialable. It really bothers me telling a lie, which is also probably why I’m not very good at it. :frowning:

While she was concerned about the missing person, I think I got through (this time) that there were only five people in the photo, and there still are. I think.

I’m not sure if I were to lie that it might also strike her as ridiculous. Maybe her logic isn’t working that way, and if I said “they went for a walk” she might think I’m either making fun of her or patronizing her. I can’t really know what’s going on in her brain, other than it isn’t working right.

Her default seems to be paranoia. People are messing with stuff. People are taking stuff.

1poorguy

That will be tough. I’m not used to lying.

You’re not lying, in the sense that we think of it. The point is NOT to deceive, but to facilitate and to calm. It’s like with a small kid with an irrational fear that is creating enormous distress. You say what you hope will be calming to the mind and emotions of that young child

And it’s not really a lie. If you tell your mother that you made sure the people are attached to the pillow with a special glue that no one can dissolve—it’s kind of true. Theh image is attached to the fabric. If you add that if by some chance one of them does disappear, it was only to go out for a walk—or to the bathroom—you’re trying to make sense within the limits of her demented awareness and comprehension, because you’re trying to relieve her anxieties and distress.

Just s your approach to your mom’s delusions can’t be tied to objective logic, your characterization of your approach also has to leave objective logic/reality off to theh side. These aren’t lies. They are remediations to help calm your mother’s frightening delusions. If your “lies” are effective, then they are valued, kind, and caring help.

I’m not sure if I were to lie that it might also strike her as ridiculous. Maybe her logic isn’t working that way, and if I said “they went for a walk” she might think I’m either making fun of her or patronizing her.

She is NOT going to be reacting to you as if she were suddenly capable again of rational thought. It’s not gonna happen. Dementia gradually leaves reality and objective logic behind.

And let’s say you’re right, and she looks at you and tells you your nuts! SO??? She’s not going to stop loving you. The floor won’t open up beneath you. You won’t lose your job or anyone’s respect. If that really really does happen—theh 2 of you can have a good laugh together!

-sheila

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"I’m not sure if I were to lie that it might also strike her as ridiculous. Maybe her logic isn’t working that way, and if I said “they went for a walk” she might think I’m either making fun of her or patronizing her. I can’t really know what’s going on in her brain, other than it isn’t working right.

Her default seems to be paranoia. People are messing with stuff. People are taking stuff.

1poorguy "


Try taking a photograph of her holding the pillow - or the two of you holding the pillow.
Date the photo and have it as some evidence that the pillow is unchanged.

Howie52
Sometimes when memories are dim, many folks recall things that were “more or less than reality.”
There are a whole loot of folks who believe wholeheartedly in supernatural or extra-terrestrial
activities. The Twilight Zone certainly had plots where photos changed. And throw in as sorts
of fiction where photos are never static.

The more you see the less you can fully testify to as impossible.
But you also might ask who she thinks is missing and where that person might have gone.
After all, she may have a memory linked to one of the people shown - and that memory might
be triggered and then forgotten.

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I’m sorry you have to deal with this, 1pg. Hopefully not often.


SORRY FOR KIND OF DERAILING YOUR THREAD…

I never thought I’d be glad of the hubster’s gibberish so I’d have no idea what’s on his mind. He annoyed the heck out of me in the early evening yesterday gibbering intently for probably an hour…felt longer…

I, too, would have trouble playing games about paranoia. Of course, I have my own mind games to play. My new bathroom ditty, sung to the tune of “Let’s all go to the lobby…(snack advertising at movie theaters)”:

Let’s all go to the toilet,
Let’s all go to the toilet,
Let’s all go to the toilet,
And have ourselves a pee!

Speaking of toilets, when he woke me up at 6 this morning (yay, not 4 or 5!!!), I found not only his poo in the toilet, but the toilet bowl brush lying on its side next to the toile (duh-duh!). I’ve not yet examined it closely enough to see if he might’ve used it to shove his, er, firm poo down the pipe, but at first glance looked clean…but hey, breakfast first! I prefer not to do anything, even thought, till I’ve had my cuppa hi-test.

SORRY FOR KIND OF DERAILING YOUR THREAD…

A dying brain is a dying brain. However it manifests, it’s still a dying brain. (Yeah, I don’t sugar coat it for myself either.)

She hasn’t progressed along those lines yet. “Just” paranoia, and word-finding, and forgetting the names of everyone on that pillow except for me and 1poorlady. Only five people, but can’t seem to pull out 1poorkid’s name nor 1poorlady’s mom’s name. And she has forgotten a long-time family friend, now referring to him as “Judy’s husband”. She remembers “Judy” because Judy calls every week or so, but we’ve known the husband for 50 years (older brother’s best friend from high school).

I know this sounds horrible, but I hope she expires before we have to move her to memory care. Her “old self” would absolutely be horrified at the prospect of that, and would probably have preferred death. But that old self is mostly gone now. She has yet to be a wander-off risk, so AL is adequate for now.

She also hated being patronized or talked-down to. But maybe, as Sheila said, her new reality wouldn’t perceive it as such. Hard to know for sure.

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She also hated being patronized or talked-down to. But maybe, as Sheila said, her new reality wouldn’t perceive it as such. Hard to know for sure.

It’s not hard to know. Given the clear loss of brain tissue involved in logical thinking, memory, etc, plus the significant reduction in neurotransmitters in her brain, it’s crystal clear medically/neurologically that her current reality would in no way experience your translations of truth/objective reality as talking down to her. She will be soothed by whatever you convey to her that will reduce or eliminate her fears.

It’s hard for YOU to know. So what’s important is for you to be able to recognize your difficulties with not relying on objective realities when you try to calm her down—and not allow that to interfere with your ability to help her.

And who knows. Perhaps it will end up being helpful for you too, extending your skill set beyond relying exclusively on objective reality. It’s the challenges we encounter, when our usual coping mechanisms don’t work very well, that push us to grow.

Look at Alstro—where she started out when the ways of coping she’d relied on successfully for a good while suddenly began to stop being relevant here and there, and then more and more and more—and where she is now.

=sheila

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Look at Alstro…where she is now.

Yeah. I would never have thought I could cope with what I’m coping with–I thought Depends would be the end of the line. But now I’m cleaning up pee & bums with the best of 'em. Even learning to shave a guy. Already mastered cleaning his ears & cutting his nails. Able to handle gibberish & fruitless trips to the bathroom (when not too tired).

ASIDE
Just today I got some bad news about both of my brothers–elder bro developed a heart problem and may need a pacemaker (no diagnosis yet). My disabled younger bro was wiped out financially by his business assistant, who left the country. He may have to move in with us. sigh.

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ASIDE
Just today I got some bad news about both of my brothers–elder bro developed a heart problem and may need a pacemaker (no diagnosis yet). My disabled younger bro was wiped out financially by his business assistant, who left the country. He may have to move in with us. sigh.

Oh…my…goodness!!!

=sheila

Yeah. I would never have thought I could cope with what I’m coping with–I thought Depends would be the end of the line. But now I’m cleaning up pee & bums with the best of 'em. Even learning to shave a guy. …

And coping with his inability to use language to communicate in either direction, with unpredictable behaviors, unexpected behaviors…and use your more highly developed patience, your creativity…

=sheila

He may have to move in with us. sigh.

Talk to a social worker. He is not your financial responsibility (i.e. you’re not married), so there may be a lot of aid available to him (depending on what your state offers). Your assets are not his, so if he’s destitute then there probably is something available. SNAP, Medicaid, disability, nursing homes, etc.

Sorry that life seems to be piling-on you.

1poorguy

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…if he’s destitute then there probably is something available. SNAP, Medicaid, disability, nursing homes, etc.

My disabled brother receives SSI income (disability), and lives in a government-subsidized apartment. He has brain damage and is almost blind, but other than that and diabetes he’s OK physically. So, not a candidate for a nursing home or even assisted living.
Many years ago I looked into a group home for him (larche.org had one in his neighborhood). He qualified, and Medicaid would’ve paid for it, but he prefers his own apartment, with his own bathroom, so wanted nothing to do with that.
He has a social worker who helps him with paperwork, takes him to doctors’ appointments, etc.
For awhile he had a piecework job in a “sheltered industries” place, but last I heard he gave that up, unfortunately. It paid a pittance, but got him out of the apartment.

I have a cousin whose mentally handicapped adult brother moved in with her after their mother (with whom he had been living) moved to a nursing home, and he drives her crazy. I’m so glad my parents set my brother up in his apartment 30 years ago. They were planning ahead. As should you. Where will your brother go if you predecease him? Send him there now.

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He presumably still has his brokerage investments–I think it was just his business and personal bank accts at one bank. I hope. I told him to call his broker (whom he normally speaks to quarterly). I don’t think his assistant ever had anything to do with those accts. So hopefully far from broke enough to get assistance. I would go over and help him make the calls he needs to make, but I’m pretty maxed out on stress and exhaustion and don’t want to keep the hubster at his apartment for long. So I called elder bro to see if he could come down and help. That’s how I learned he’s in the midst of getting a “heart conductivity”(?) problem diagnosed. He’s unwilling to interrupt that process, although he’s planning to come down later in spring, his health permitting.

I know bro isn’t my legal responsibility, but he is my brother. When I first moved here, he took me out to lunch something like twice a month, and usually paid for both of us. He also took our parents out for Sunday brunch every week from the time they moved down here until Mom broke her hip. Something like 25 years.

It would be hard for him to live here for the same reason it was hard for my mother after she broke her hip. Guest bath cannot be enetered with a wheel chair or even a walker. Narrow door. I also don’t know if he can step into the master shower even with its grab bars. His feet aren’t all that functional (peripheral neuropathy–one is pretty much totally numb).

I also won;t allow him to watch loud tv all day–drove me craazy when my mother did. I mostly read when I’m not doing housework, caregiving, or playing online games and listening to music. Loud news tv/movies all day…nyet. He also sleeps very late and stays up very late. Not compatible with us. And once I go to bed, I can’t stop him from raiding the fridge and pantry, which he does at his apartment, driving his aide crazy since she shops for him, lays in supplies, and he eats them up too fast. It’s how he medicates depression/anxiety, I’m sure.

DH woke up at 11:30pm to pee (I fell asleep during the SOTU speech-). He fidgeted for an hour after and finally peed again around 12:30am and went right to sleep. I think I got back to sleep ~1. Part of the fidgeting was removing the pillowcase from one of his pillows and putting his feet in and walking in it. Gotta give him his props–I would’ve fallen over, but he didn’t(!).

I was awakened at 4am by the sound of pee hitting the floor. He peed a huge puddle right next to his side of the bed. I jumnped up so fast, I didn;t put on my glasses and didn;t notice the extent of the pee, slipped in it and fell on my right knee and elbow. Elbow still hurts a little, especially when I bend/unbend it, knee hurts a bit more. Swelling is gone, but…grrr. This is the way in which the hubster is “dangerous,” not with violence.

Cleaning ladies are due any minute (they’re usually late coz I’m not first on their schedule–I don;t wish to cope with having to leave my house at 8am for 2 hours)…sometimes an hour or 2 late… I’m planning on taking DH to the barber for a hair wash, haircut & shave, if we can manage it. He let me wash him up this morning. Despite changing his Depends at 4am–when he convenietnly took off his jeans–it had a little pee in it at 9am so I changed it again. And washed his bum as he pooped this morning and uses like 2 squares of tp to wipe (??).

For some reason his constipation is much better. I’m not even giving him colace or probiotics any more. But back on our usual high-fiber diet and w/pulpy oj and prune juice for him. And no more supplement pills (maybe something among them was constipating?). And back to drinking daily teas, most of which are good for digestion, even plain green and back tea.

He spat out his gummy vites this morning. I’d save a little money not buying them…

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“slipped in it and fell on my right knee and elbow. Elbow still hurts a little, especially when I bend/unbend it, knee hurts a bit more. Swelling is gone, but…grrr”


The visiting nurse just left here a bit ago - and you might need to have someone look at the knee
and the elbow. Either some doctor’s office that can do x-rays or some clinic that can evaluate if
something more is needed.

Howie52
Don’t mean to throw gasoline on the fire, but you do have some arrangements planned should you
ever need to go to the hospital for your own needs - pace-makers tend to run in families?

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I know bro isn’t my legal responsibility, but he is my brother.

Of course. I’m just saying that his finances aren’t mingled with yours, so he may (or may not) be eligible for aid. If he would have to move in with you, that implies he is strapped for money.

With your husband they would look at joint finances (which is why several of us in the peanut gallery suggested contacting a lawyer for advice/strategies).

Unless his assets would enable you to hire more help (a LOT more), you’re already stretched to the max. Killing yourself won’t do your brother or husband any good at all. It will, in fact, cripple them even further.

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I know. And he doesn’t want to move in with us anyway. He’d like my cooking, but not my rules. I was panicking. Unlike you folks, I’m not good in a crisis, not experienced at solving financial messes, not good at handling officialdom (police, insurance…).

Meanwhile, DH just had a seizure. First time in daytime. Luckily sitting in his recliner. Cleaning ladies are very late and I had just handed him a small plate of cheese & crackers to tide him over.

Was able to move cleaning ladies to another day. Meanwhile, he keeps trying to get out of his chair, but is too weak. Rats–he’s clever. Just got down on the floor on his hands and knees. sigh. OOh, luckily got back into the chair without help.

If he hadn’t had the seizure I could’ve considered getting x-rays but no leaving the house today. I’m 99% sure there’s no serious damage. I fell harder last year, it hurt more, I got x-rays, and nothing. Elbow and knee recovering. Not evben swollen or bruised looking.

Luckily he’s fascinated with the den waste basket at the moment, and playing with it while gibbering. Except being too weak to get out of his chair in the usual way, he seems like himself. Such as he is.

Bro’s best friend is visiting him today. I asked her to help him apply for his social security online and call his broker to make sure those accounts are safe. He also needs to open another bank account. And look into anything auto-paid form the cleaned-out checking account… Even without my husband, I’m not the best person to help handle these things. I can think of some of them, but hate dealing with officialdom. Both of my husbands handled that stuff for me…until a few years ago… I’m more of a needlessly intelligent housewife.

Can’t remember if I mentioned this…apparently his assistant was catfished by a Phillipine hottie (sending intimate pix to a 57-yr-old man).

but you do have some arrangements planned should you
ever need to go to the hospital for your own needs - pace-makers tend to run in families?

One of my kids will come down. Just like DS did when I broke my leg and DD did when I had my second leg surgery.

If I pass first, they will put him in a facility more convenient to them (probably near DS in MA–probably the same facility as his GF’s grandmother who has ALZ).

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update–I was able to help him to the toilet to pee, then help him into the bedroom. Walking slowly but not wobbly. He stood there for a long time, then let me help him into bed. He fell asleep pretty fast. Sent a msg to his neurologist about the seizure and the fact that insurance will no longer cover olanzapine.

There’s this noise he makes leading up to a seizure. SOunds like a swallowed hiccup. I’ve heard him make it a couple of times shortly before a seizure. He made it several times yesterday afternoon, evening, and especially in the night.

Glad he didn’t have this seizure at the barbershop…

Elder bro’s BIL has epilepsy and recentlyhad a couple of seizures while visiting him.

WHole lotta scheiss shaking down…

Ah…called back by a nurse for details about my msg to the neurologist. Since his next appt is in 2 weeks, we left it at that.

Since he never ate lunch, I just gave him a pbj (he declined the gouda and crackers I had offered just before the seizure), which he ate up enthusiastically. Won’t drink anything, though. Seems confused by the glass and cup. Hope he’ll eat the trout and roasted veggies I planned for tonight.

weirdness…

His December seizure was the night before the cleaning ladies (who come once a month). His January seizure was the same. And cleaning ladies were supposed to come today. God doesn’t want me to have cleaning help?!?