I had an interesting dream the other night. I was riding a bike with my Mom on the back of the bike. We were coming down and hill and when I went to apply the brakes, I realized they weren’t working. We were heading towards and intersection so I put my feet on the ground, dragging them trying to slow down. I told my Mom to hold on, we were going to have to tip the bike to avoid the intersection. The bike was tipped and my Mom was screaming at me asking me how I could do that to her. Then (still in my dream), my husband rode over and asked if all was ok. I told him what happened and when we looked at the bike, we realized the brake line had been disconnected. Then my mother chimed in stating that she had disconnected them.
No dream crazy dream interpretation needed. This is how my life is. Me dragging my feet trying to slow down what is happening. My mother constantly sabotaging her treatment and care. Her yelling, me bringing her along. Tipping which ever way we need to so we can understand and get things done. The helplessness we both feel. The control we both crave for. When I told my husband Graham of my dream he laughed. Not much of a dream if its what happens in everyday life!
There is a struggle that is going on in my home. The struggle is dementia against my mother. Unfortunately, the way my mother sees it, its me against her. Some days there a little blips, other days battles. The underlying theme is her anger at me.
From where I stand, I am trying to keep my mother safe, follow the doctors rules and care for her mental and physical self. My mother is at a point where she need supervision. She does not need constant and full care, but she does need to be given her meds to make sure she takes them. She needs to be reminded to eat (though there are times when she won’t stop eating), and she needs me, my family and anyone else who can to keep her company.
In one of the times where I handing her the evening medicine, she refused it. She stated that she feels fine and doesn’t want to take it. I then explained that the doctor has ordered the medicine for her and when she goes back to him she can speak to him about it. She finally relented and put the pills in her mouth. She didn’t swallow. I then stated to her that she should not to let them dissolve in her mouth. The medicine does not work properly if she does not swallow it. Well, that was it! She had gotten very angry with me and shouted “You are not the boss of me!” I was taken back a bit, I didn’t think I was acting like her boss. I felt that I was acting out of love and concern. My response was that I was following the doctors orders and I am sorry if I upset her.
I realize it must be incredibly difficult to lose control. My Mom is done with driving, so she depends on me or other family members to take her out, friends take her to church. The food in the house may not always be her choice since I purchase the majority of it. She is given her medicine by me. My sister in law brings her to and from the center she attends. None of these things are my Mom’s choice. She has lost control of her own life. Her mind does not work for her as quickly as it used to or at all. When my Mom gets frustrated like this, I try to let her know that she does have choices. It does break my heart that her choices are truly limited. I want her to feel like the Boss.