Is it hard for you to Remember the Good Times

@AmbiePam (50259)
United States
November 17, 2010 6:38am CST
Yesterday was a very hard day with my mother. Most of you responding are familiar with my discussions about my 51 year old mother with dementia (I don't say Azheimer's because I never know if I'm spelling it right, and I don't want go check it every time.) She hasn't forgotten people, places, or things like one would think would happen. With her "kind" of dementia, it's more like she lost common sense. For instance, yesterday my dad put a frozen dinner in the microwave for her lunch. She came into the living room with a package of ham deli meat. My dad asked her why she had that when he was fixing her lunch and she said it was because she was eating the dinner in the microwave. She opened the deli meat and said she was eating the microwave dinner and that was why she had got the deli meat out of the fridge. I told her I would bring her the dinner and put the meat back and she yelled at me and refused to give the meat to me to put back. And that was the LEAST of what she did yesterday. She also told me nothing is wrong with her mind so she doesn't get why we think there is. Meanwhile, my dad dresses her because she can't figure out how to put on a T-shirt. She sees me as a villain. So lately I've tried to think about the times when I was a child and I'd see her car pull up in the driveway from when she got home from work. And I'd run to the front door to greet her. Or the time I made her pickles and pudding and she ate it anyway. Or when I would get scared of a storm and she would make me a little bed beside the big bed she and my dad had. It's getting harder and harder to remember the good times. My mom was my favorite person in the world. And she never yelled at me. So I totally realize the person I have now is not really my mom. I know that. But I just wish I could remember more of what it was like "before". In difficult situations with people, or even a workplace that has gone through troubles times, is it hard to remember the good times?
7 people like this
29 responses
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
17 Nov 10
It is extremely hard remembering the good times when you're living with so much concern/worry...even anger. After it's "over", you do start to remember the good times, but that's little help now, I know. There is help dealing -- books, groups, caregivers, etc. I'd seek out that help for both you and your Dad.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
17 Nov 10
Maybe sometime. Right now with my dad's cancer surgery and then his treatments coming up take priority.
1 person likes this
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
18 Nov 10
Yup and my prayers are with you and your family...
2 people like this
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
30 Nov 10
Thank you, AmbiePam, for the BR. I'm wishing you days full of remembering the good times. You will let us know how your Dad does after surgery, right? My prayers and best wishes are with you...
• United States
17 Nov 10
WOW,I never though a woman so young could go through this. I feel so much for you. This has to be hard. I would say your doing the best you can to remember I hope you get some peace with this soon. Don't be so down about it there may be good times to come hope you have a great holiday.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
17 Nov 10
With my dad's cancer surgery coming up I just feel overwhelmed. My health isn't good and although I want to take care of both of them, it's going to be difficult to care for them both all by myself. But I totally want to be there for them, no doubt.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Nov 10
Oh,your plate is so full right now. There is no one who can spend a few days with you?? I wish I were near by you I would help you.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
17 Nov 10
That's very sweet of you. My sister lives three hours away. The only relative that lives close by is a cousin of mine, but she works full time.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 10
I'm sorry that you're going through that. It is very difficult to be the care giver. Sounds like you and your dad could use some help. I've been there, not to that extent dementia wise, but other areas of concern with health. I cared for three parents and a few care giving jobs. Its just really, really hard. If you ever need to vent you can look me up around here. There isn't much you can do other than be extremely patient and know that its not her fault, and take care of yourself. And yes, I've been through a lot and I totally understand how hard it is to remember the good times.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
19 Nov 10
That is very kind of you.
• Philippines
18 Nov 10
Ahw, that was such a sad situation. I hope you're mother can still be back to normal. I don't know how you actually feel right now but I know how change feels. It's a bit hopeless and you feel ignored. Is she always going to be mean to you until today? That's so hard. Me and my mother now are not as close as we were before, and sometimes I remember the good stuff I did to her too almost like yours. Sometimes I feel like I'm ignoring my mother too much when she still loves me until now. I also realize how she feels and my relatives and sometimes friends, would tell me that she's crying because of me. I feel sorry for her, and I do not know how to do things to get better in a touchy way. I'm very shy to show my feelings.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
18 Nov 10
I'm sure you are very good to your mother. But I would encourage you to find ways to reassure her that you love and care about her. I know it's hard to be open with our feelings. My mother will never get better. Unfortunately, this disease of the brain only gets worse.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 10
So very sorry to hear this about your mother. It has to be quite hard especially when she is so young. For me I believe it is hard to recall the past good times, because deep down I am not accepting of the reality that it can no longer be. Many blessings for your mother and although Alzheimer is not curable, I sure hope with all my heart that she can be okay. Someone near and dear past with this illness and I understand your mixed emotions, so many blessings to you also.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
18 Nov 10
I pray every day there will be a cure. If not for my mother, for future generations. I mean years ago we didn't think polio or smallpoz could be cured, and now they have been eradicated from so many countries. It't just that issues with the brain seem to be too puzzling for our medical community to get a hold of.
1 person likes this
• India
18 Nov 10
Any moment in our life cant be forgotten it may be good or bad so both are remembered always but we try to 4get our bad times & move forward in life with positive attitude by looking life in a positive direction some important days or occasions in life are noted down & remembered always.
2 people like this
• Philippines
18 Nov 10
I am saddened by your story..anyhow, the more that you have to be with your mom, she needs more affection from you..
2 people like this
• Philippines
18 Nov 10
First of all, you made me cry again Ambie. I know how hard your situation is. About remembering the good times I always remember the good times. When I am not feeling okay I have to remember the good times so that i have a good vibes inside of me. I guess because your mom have a dementia that is why you said it is hard to remember the good times. Sometimes it is hard to remember the good times as there are more bad times that you can remember whenever you are facing a problem. My advice do not forget the good times if that is the only thing that can make you happy.
2 people like this
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
18 Nov 10
My...You have a lot to deal with Pam! It is so very sad to have lost your mum since she’s had this illness, I can appreciate how you must be feeling; she is still here in body but she is not herself anymore and as time goes on you may become a little afraid that the good memories may disappear from your mind. Do you have a memories scrap book where you can journal the good times? You could add pictures and mementos…I don’t know if that would help you but it may when things seem particularly difficult to cope with. I am sorry you have to manage so much; I hope things get easier for you...
2 people like this
@bunnybon7 (37704)
• Holiday, Florida
18 Nov 10
so sorry. ambie, i also thought thats young to be getting alzhiemers. i cant remember the good times with my mom because there were so few. but i do realise that she may have had the brain tumors that killed her all her life and couldnt help that she was so mean to me most of my life.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104208)
• United States
17 Nov 10
It takes a conscious effort to remember the good times. One thing that is therapeutic, that you might enjoy doing, is to make a photo album, just for her. Copy any photos that it might hurt to have destroyed, and make up a book, even if it is just on paper, in sheet protectors, in a notebook. This is one of the activities they make up for Alzheimer's and other dementia patients. If she is so inclined, give her stuff to fold, like a whole pack of wash cloths. Were you able to get any books on Alzheimer's to read, or look at any of the Naomi Feil information online? Hugs to you Amber, this is hard. You might also tell your mom some of your best memories.
2 people like this
@katsmeow1213 (29044)
• United States
17 Nov 10
I feel so awful for what you're going through. I wish I knew what to tell you to make you feel better. It is hard to remember the good times when it's all pretty much bad. Just think of all the marriages that end in divorce because the couple can't make it through a rough patch!
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
17 Nov 10
SHe is still your mom she is in thre somewhers. My mom got this later like the last 3 years and her short term memeory was not god I never knew for sure if she remeber talking to me on the phone unless she said she was waiting for me to call. Well I couldnt call her had to wait til brother went he called me then I would talk to mom. SHe used to tell me alot about her aunts and uncles way back and things when she was little at the end nope I asked all the questions and she would anser but they were always the same I had asked the time before! sighhhhhhhhhhhh
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
17 Nov 10
She came into the room the other day telling my dad the phone was for him. Only she didn't have the phone with her in the other room, and it didn't ring. At least she hasn't shoved me in a while. Although yesterday she raised her hand to slap me. I moved out of the way pretty fast.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
18 Nov 10
sad but she is still in thre somewhere still your mom have to forgive her as she knows not what she does!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
20 Nov 10
Oh for sure.
@cyrus123 (6383)
• United States
19 Nov 10
Yes, I sometimes think it's hard to remember the good times when you're going through troubled times. As I've told you before, my mother had alzheimer's when she passed away but she never got violent and I'm thankful for that. Before she had her strokes, she did get grouchy at times and that was unusual for her. She and I were very close and she was always so easy going. She was like a different person when she got alzheimer's and there were a few times when she didn't recognize me. She would get very disoriented when her mind got so bad and say she wanted to go home when she was already at home. My sister and I used to take her for rides so she would think she was going home. Of course, we always came back to the same house. She had to quit driving because she got to where she would get lost wherever she was going. I remember one time I got to thinking about when she used to pick me up from school everyday. It just seemed so strange that she ever even drove a car. She would also hallucinate about other people being in the house. It was so sad! Like these other mylotters have said, you really do have a lot on your plate and I feel for you. Please know I've been praying for you.
1 person likes this
@cyrus123 (6383)
• United States
19 Nov 10
I trained to be a nurse's aide while mother was still living and I'm so thankful I took that training. It really came in handy with her.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
19 Nov 10
Thanks for your support. I really appreciate it. I actually have plans with her today. I'm up right now at 1:33am because I had a migraine, but I should be good later today. I told her we were going to have a girl's day. I wanted to do something with her, but I also wanted to give my dad a break. So he gets the afternoon today all by himself. She wanted to go to Mardel, so we plan on going there, and then I'm taking her to the dollar movie theater, plus lunch. I told her we are going to have a fantastic day. And I plan to make sure we do.
@niairen01 (1018)
• Philippines
18 Nov 10
I can relate with your situation. Although not with my mother. It's with my auntie. Although in her case she's having a hard time remembering anything from 2004 onwards. Did your mom undergone a serious emotional depression or problem? In my Aunts case she did and it is not merely because of age. I pity her because it seems that her family has loosen patience with her and would fight with her knowing that she already has a condition. I know it is not easy. We invited our Auntie over our farm for about a week and I would tell that it made our headache!!! she's always asking about something that's already been answered over and over and over again. And would tell stories about the 2004 past and we would tell them that it is over and done with. I think what you need with your mom is about 2 to three maids. If you can afford it. or if not you and your dad or other relative would alternate on taking care of her. This is because we are only humans and conditions like that will continue to test our patience. If only one person is taking care of a person with dementia will definitely loose patience and thus would be tiring and would lose interest over the patient. So if several people would alternate then this problem will be avoided. There's no medicine for it right? just anti-depression and calming medicine. And the doctor would always say... She only needs Love, patience and understanding. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
18 Nov 10
No way could we afford a maid. She hasn't suffered an emotional trauma. Unfortunately, this runs on her side of the family. Only everyone else in her family who had it before her, was like 65 before they started showing symptoms. So for her to be 51 and to be so bad...
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
22 Nov 10
I feel for you AmbiePam--I really do. I think from some of my past discussions about my own mother, my life was anything but easy in the last few years of her life. And yes, it was so hard to remember any "good times" as I could only see the way it was at that time...turbulent to say the least. I read elsewhere where you don't really have anyone to help you out in taking care of both your father and mother. I didn't either. My mother refused any outside help. She could have had a visiting nurse but put her foot down about that, don't ask the arguments and screaming matches we had...so I was her caregiver and at times resented every minute of it since I felt that my mother didn't appreciate all that I was doing for her. Oh I do understand what you said about person you know know is not your mother...I often thought, yeah, she looks like my mother, sounds like my mother, but she isn't my mother--she was like a complete stranger to me in those final years. Crap...no wonder I had severe anxiety issues while she was alive (((((((((hugs))))))))
1 person likes this
• India
18 Nov 10
Well... Many times it happen with me when I feel that I am not able to remember my good time but it happens only at that time when my good time is going on. But if I am running through my bad time then I can easily remember my good time as I get some relief and happiness after thinking that. I have had very nice time upto this much of my life comparing to my friends and companions. Some time I think about other fight with life I become too much sad and think of myself what I would I do if I will have to face the same situation. But I always get a way when ever I get a fight with any situation or you can say I have nice suport from friends family and I am lucky too... some of my friends call me lucky basturd also due to these reasons...but I can't change my fate with them ...and same follow for them too... Thanks...
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
18 Nov 10
You are going to have to try to find a balance and this is so hard for you to do. I am so sorry that you are going through this as your Mom is comparatively young and could live many more years. You perhaps should write down the good times and read these notes when you get despondent. You are carrying a heavy cross but with the help of God you will get through this
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 10
The good times wash out of my memory faster than bad memories. I've began to occupy myself with bad times, and this does make me worry a lot. It leaves a bad mark in your mind that is so hard to get rid of, and each time you think of it, you feel offended of your abilities. Its like the only thing that catches into my memory are thunder storms rather than sunny days. I'm using this comparison because its becoming negative thinking for me nowadays. Its difficult to stop thinking like this, but eventually I have to let go of such memories.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
17 Nov 10
That is a tough situation to deal with....and I know it must be hard to keep the faith and remember the good time.....the problem with dementia is that they live in a different world that we don't understand....and so we are left out. My grandmother had dementia....so sad. And it is diffucult to find the good times when the heart is hurting so badly from the situation....I know it's not much consolation...but we are all here for you...and we love you!
1 person likes this