Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
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Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
Reinventing myself personal growth program
Guided Meditation C.D.s
Now available in Paperback
Creative Visualization guided meditation techniques
How to Meditate, what is a healing meditation like
Weight Loss and  Emotional eating
Fear of abandonment
Stress reduction
Vital Energy oxygen therapy and breathing
Soul Mates and self love
arthritis chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
Self Esteem
heartbreak
White Light and healing energies
Spitituality without religeon
Happiness
what is love
Sex - What the women are saying now.
psychic Cords
Money Prosperity Wealth
Parents. Who are these aliens?
Incest
Living in the shadows
Affirmations and Mind Power
Words as Medicine
Absent Healing and Chakra Balance
Better Questions Better Solutions
Are we thinking our own thoughts?
Beauty Myth
bipolar
Inspirational quotes
Im right you're wrong
Letter to My son
Songs to make your heart sing
Contact Sonya Green
Sonya Green new articles
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“I wonder what Lucky is thinking?’ she said for the fifth time.

“Mum, stop asking me that, I don’t know, he’s a dog and he probably
thinks dog thoughts, he might want food or a pat or perhaps he wants to
chase bunnies, but I don’t know what he is thinking, and I wish you would
stop asking me”.

She looks at me with her sad eyes and I feel guilty; too often I have to
catch myself and soften down my school ma’am voice.

“Mum, I’m trying to finish a crossword puzzle and all of your questions are
distracting, why don’t you go and make us a cup of coffee?”

“I can’t, why don’t you?”

“Why can’t you make a coffee?” I ask, now in my mildly irritated voice.

“I don’t understand the kettle.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s different to mine, and I might break it”

Inhale – exhale, stare… and remain speechless. I think about arguing,
but decide it will be easier to make her a cup and hope it will shut her up
for a while.

As I hand her the coffee, I say calmly, “We are going to be here for two
weeks together, I expect you to do your share and I am certainly not
going to treat you like a queen and wait on you hand and foot.”

She sits a while and then just as I pick up my crossword she chirps, “It’s
easy for you, you are young and you know where things are and how
they work.” A quick change of tactic and she follows with, “And, don’t
treat me like a child, I’m not stupid you know!”

This conversation played itself out in countless ways for the next fourteen
days.
(I was minding a friend’s property and decided to take mum for a
little holiday as she had been having what appeared to be little panic
attacks and I didn’t want to be so far away in case anything happened
while I was away.)

Somehow, regardless of  how we resolve who does what and how she
can keep herself entertained, it all came down to me being the parent of
my now eighty year old, going on three year old, mother.

It’s really strange how you know something and yet you also don’t know
it. We (the rest of the family) had often spoken about her weird behaviour
and even said the words Alzheimer’s and dementia, and yet, something
subconscious just blocks out all of the links and associations between all
of the bizarre events.

The fact that mum was quite often lucid, engaged and capable made it
very easy to pretend that everything was okay and that the crazy days
were random. We didn’t go looking for proof that she was losing her
mind. No, we went looking for reassurance that everything was good and
that a few idiosyncrasies were just how she had always been and that
any increase in oddities was only age related and normal, in a quirky kind
of way.

As adults, most of us look back on childhood and our parents and
question much of the actions and beliefs that shaped us. But, as young
children, we don’t psycho-analyze them; we just accept that what goes on
in the home is how things are and our whole reality is based on whatever
that level of normal is.

We thought mum was psychic. It’s true, she was very intuitive and often
down right clairvoyant about many things. When she mentioned seeing
visions or hearing voices we just accepted that. As teenagers my sister
and I, became interested in things of a psychic nature and also
experienced many…well, whatever that is.

Mum, dad and my elder brother were all church going people and had
their own ideas about the spirit world and whatever that was. My point
being, it was normal for all of us to accept different realms; where
unexplainable things were acceptable or even logical according to our
own beliefs. So, when mum said she saw Jesus in the kitchen we were
not at all concerned.

We rarely noticed her spaciness, and again, it was normal to us that she
would often be jolted out of her reverie; she drifted in and out of
conversations and just stared into space. My sister was the first to say,
“Mum lives about a foot away from her body.” On having that stated, I
guess we became more aware of it.

As I said earlier, no one links it all together, most of the time everything is
normal and for the greater part, I suspect, no one really wants to know
that their parents are getting old, let alone, confront the possibility that a
parent might lose their mind or even die. No one wants to think about it,
no one goes looking for evidence of it, no one wants to be confronted
with it – so, every good day was reinforcement that everything was ok.

All of the quirky stuff adds up now that we are here and looking
backwards:

The years of hoarding,
Exaggerated worry
Calling things watchmacallits
Saying, ‘what did I come in here for’
Losing things or blaming people for stealing
Hiding things
Locking and double checking everything
Repeating herself
Asking questions, but not listening to answers
Zoning out in mixed conversation
Staring into space
Buying expensive and useless things
Money, numbers and dates became confusing
She stopped cooking and ate mostly toast and biscuits
Quick mood changes and childish tantrums
Indifference to friends and usual habits
Obsessive thoughts about bad people
Wondering if people in the TV can see her
Fear that people are in her house hiding things

A few years back we had to sell her home and move her into a security
block. We became concerned when she took to calling the police and
accusing a neighbor of using high pitched sound equipment all night.
She was so convinced, and in such despair, that she couldn’t eat or
sleep and became quite abusive to the man living in the house. Even
then, we didn’t realize that she had dementia and we couldn’t be sure
that the guy wasn’t doing all she said. Anyway, she moved and for about
a year everything settled down and she felt safe secure and happy.

More recently, we have realized that she needs total routine. She has
been functioning on old memory not on awareness. She didn’t shop for
what she needed but walked around the shop picking up things she
recognized like cleaning products, cooking utensils and cosmetics, but
not much food.

When anything new or different happens she becomes panicked and
then unfocused and that’s when she doesn’t know that she is moving
things or doing things which leads to the constant loss of things.

Unfortunately she can not comprehend that she is hiding things and
losing them and has somehow managed to convince herself that
someone has broken in and stolen or moved everything. This is highly
stressful and frightening and of course that in itself leads to more anxiety
and more problems.

What really pissed me off is that she mentioned this to the pastor at
church. He came over to pray with her and saw a few crystal ornaments
and Egyptian ceramics my sister had made years ago. He said to mum
that those idols were of the occult and that having them in the house had
allowed satans bad spirits into the house and that she was under occult
attack. That Sunday he did the whole sermon, using mum as an example,
about the danger of worshiping idols and how in the end of days good
Christians would be tested.

Well, since then we have been left with the unshakable belief that she
has bad spirits living in her home and stealing things. She has lost heaps
of weight and fears going to bed at night. It goes on and on, and I won’t
detail it but I will say, no one from the church has called or visited for
more than two years, but at least she hasn’t gone back to church since.
She still believes what they told her; she just can’t get organized enough
to get there…and I will not be taking her there for sure.

So, a year ago, we managed to have her assessed by A.C.A.T. a Govt.
aged care organization. They have been wonderful. She has seen a
psychiatrist, has access to a social worker, and has medications which
decrease the anxiety and her memory and general functions seem  much
improved. We have also been given help by another Govt. initiative and
they have arranged meals for her, a personal assistant once a week to
take her shopping and do light housework, and each day a lady comes
for half an hour to check in on her. Things seem manageable – for now.

We feel very lucky with the help we have been given, but I am fully aware
that if we had not actively pursued it and gone with mum to each
appointment, it is unlikely that she would have been diagnosed at all.
People with dementia don’t know that they have it and they don’t
remember how they have been behaving nor do they know that they
have forgotten what they can’t remember in the first place. When asked
how they are, they say, ‘I’m fine thank you, how are you?” Years ago, my
mother was put on blood pressure medication when it was the anxiety
which caused the blood pressure to be elevated. I believe that every
elderly person, with or without dementia, should have someone go with
them to doctors. We had to see three hopeless ones before we found the
right one.
If you can't remember what you ate for breakfast - how do you
know that you were lost down the street a week ago?

Sadly, the reality is that the meds are holding back the disease, but it will
progress. The home help is to assist people in their own homes and give
them as much independence as possible  - until they can no longer cope
and ultimately need full time care. It’s a daunting, gut wrenching shadow
that hangs over us, knowing that sometime soon, we might have to pack
her up and send her off to an aged care facility.

It has dawned on me recently that we have been grieving for a long time.

I won’t go there right now, I feel it like a shadow at the back of me waiting
to cover me and swallow me. My mother is disappearing, but she hasn't
really gone. I probably won’t even know the exact point in which she
leaves. I will look at her, look into her eyes and she might smile but she
won’t be there.

For now, I would like to imagine that she might say, ‘I wonder what Lucky
is thinking” and then she might slip away.

Copyright Sonya Green
www.reinventingmyself.com
Reinventing Myself - Sonya Green

I thought my mother was psychic  
but it turned out to be Dementia

by sonya green
reinventingmyself.com
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