At June Care, we’re building the best-ever virtual care team. We support family caregivers as they care for their loved ones. Our Caregiver Stories series features crowdsourced posts from our community of caregivers.
This week’s story comes from Meghan Higgins, who writes a blog about her experiences taking care of her mother.
In my last post, I touched on how hard things were in the last few months. I had said that things “had been worse” but, in hindsight, the last few months were the hardest months yet.
For many weeks, I had minimal sleep due to the screaming and aggression from my mum, which would begin in the early hours of the morning.
Almost every interaction she had toward me was negative. Most of the time, she wasn’t lucid enough to acknowledge my presence or anything that I said to her, and spent a lot of time in another world, appearing to react to hallucinations. It was both disturbing and hugely painful.
It was a scary time, and it got to the point where I had to have a lock on my door to feel safe.
I’m so relieved to say that, for now, we are on the other side of this. After meeting with my mum’s doctor, she was given new medication that has calmed her down and seemingly limited her hallucinations.
It didn’t have an immediate affect on her mood but, one morning, completely unexpectedly, I came downstairs to hear my mum calling me by my childhood nickname. She looked at me, she spoke to me and she smiled. I was cautious of this being a one-off, as I know how cruel this disease is.
But, though she isn’t always as lucid as she was that day, my mum is back to smiling a lot more. She is back to talking with us; to looking at us.
She is, however, experiencing more physical symptoms, which many people are unaware that Alzheimer’s can cause. These are gutting in themselves, and it’s very difficult to see my mum with afflictions associated with the very old.
That being said, I’m taking the good for now.
I, for one, had all but given up hope with being able to interact with my mum. I had expected to be forgotten altogether in the coming weeks/months. I still might be. But this time I’m holding onto the good because I didn’t know it was possible for there to be any good. I’m enjoying the whisper of my mum that is left and the love she still has left to give.
We hope you enjoyed this story. As always, you can also submit your own caregiver story at this link. We’ll continue to highlight new submissions from next week.
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