Being a caregiver to a dying loved one can leave you drained of emotion, exhausted and frustrated. All perfectly normal feelings. I felt quilt mixed in my bowl of emotions. I grew up knowing my grandparents wanted to die at home. I would grant the wish if possible. They inspired me, saved me from parental abuse and blessed me with unconditional love.

Helping my gramps when making difficult life decisions, while working hard to remember she’s my grandmother. There were uncomfortable conversations, articulate to doctors how she is progressing and butt heads with family members. I ran a tight ship, no problems telling people it’s time to leave, not allowing people over everyday. God blessed me with the ability to turn my depression down and step up to next level. Love for my grandmother drove my decisions down to the last morphine stick.

As our population ages the number of caregivers increase. It can seem overwhelming at times. If you don’t have a blog I would suggest checking out, it gave me an outlet. Caregivers choose to open their hearts to the emotional and physical challenges. 

Dementia Induced Thoughts Of Suicide

Today I used one of four “in case of emergency” pills to keep my Grandmother from hurting herself during a dementia related meltdown brought on by my Grandfather going to the grocery store. She’s had many of these episodes since her stroke almost two years ago. Today I saw the beginning of the end in her face. As I look at the three pills in the bottle, I try to accept that we will need to “ease” the trauma more times before her memory is gone.

Her stroke caused dementia, and at 84 she continues to slide down hill. The meds do a good job of controlling the anger and aggression but on days like today nothing short of a miracle works. Yet we have never reached for “the emergency” stash and this sinks in as I watch her doze off from the effects.

Today she did not recognize her own home and thought my grandfather abandoned her in some body else’s house while going to the grocery store. She became enraged and very self-destructive by hitting herself in the head while saying that she would rather be dead than left “here” by herself. I tried to calm her as I always do but today nothing worked. I tried to get her to focus on what I was saying but it was too late, she was lost in her painfully reality. It was a very hard choice but a drug induced calm over self-inflicted harm is the right thing to do.

While waiting for the drug to work I showed her photos of her and my grandfather from 24 years ago, a photo of my father on a pony when he was a child and many others I took off the walls to see if she could connect to anything. She recognized my dad but several other family members where a blur. It was so painful to watch her lose touch, it ripped my heart out.

Those four pills where the “holy grail” and they took me back to the night of her stroke when Grandpa went home to try to nap and she got upset that he was not there. It took six of us to hold down a 82-year-old who barely weights 100 lbs . Her aggression reached a point she needed restraining. Her arms tied to the bed yet she managed to fight. I used all of my weight to hold her down to the bed, yelling at the nurse where the hell is a shot to knock her out. The nurse did not articulate to the doctor the urgency of the situation so he did not approve a sedative. I told her if she could not articulate the need, pass the phone to me. I would get the message across.  The doctor ordered a sedative.

Watching her lose touch with reality is like seeing your child get hit by a car in slow motion and not being able to get a word out. I’m thankful for time we spent together no matter how painful. I focus on the good moments and not hold on to difficult days likes this.

M

8 Comments on “Dementia Induced Thought’s of Suicide

  1. I came over from Hypervigilant’s blogger meet & greet. I lost my Dad to dementia earlier this year. As My family and I moved from Switzerland to Australia 10 years ago I never really had to deal with what is truly involved with dementia over the last years. Only from the distance, realising that he did not recognise me or his grandchildren anymore when skyline or on the phone. It’s a brutal illness for everyone involved. He was well looked after and I was lucky enough to have had the chance to say goodbye to him and I know he recognised me when I was there…

    Like

      • It wasn’t fun at time, I’m a stronger person today. God watched over, carried me for many years, I am blessed to be saved. I’ll have to check you out, see what you write about. What a pleasure to talk with you, even though I hogged the talk.
        Have a great week.
        🙂
        M

        Liked by 1 person

      • No worries, I like the exchange here on WordPress. I do write about many things. I had a good life so far. There are obstacles but mine have always been small ones compared to what other people I’ve met here experienced. Glad we connected.

        Like

      • It takes a village and WP is a milage for sure. It was great to talk this morning. I took a quick look at site, looks inviting, I’ll stop in, I forgot to tell you about a site I’m a co-founder of, Survivors Blog Here, it’s a collaboration team with different issues and backgrounds.We support mental illness, abuse and violence…topics are more trauma based.
        Have a great one.
        M

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I can relate so much. My husband and I cared for his mother in our home for 11 years before having to place her in a nursing facility. She gradually became more and more demented, to the point where we spent five years never traveling together, so one of us could be home with her. It was the most exhausting time of my life, but I still miss her two years after her death. Caregivers are never given enough credit for their sacrifices. Just know you are doing the most important work ever, and there will eventually be an end to it.

    Like

    • I wrote the post post in 2005 & 2009, but apply anyway. A large population are baby boomers, more than any other time so I hear. Starting a business or investing in companies that offer services has a good change of being a winner.
      Have you ever hear of Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures? I joined American Counseling Association and the Sept. 2016 issue talks about. A follower of mine was telling me about the seizures that start go for some period of time then leave, He mentioned No seizures of 5 and next time for 10 years. I happen to read the monthly mag, thought go him right away and just left a comment. Although in their example a Neurologist so-so identified as a psychological issue. I had not hear of but I’m also a layman not a therapist. I’m assured by my therapist it was my true calling.
      I was just curios if this was more common for people under stress, trauma and anxiety. Wow ? something new for me to learn.
      Back to your comment, people you love can act or say things they don’t mean. I had to learn to keep focused on the illness. God was guiding me each time, my depression takes a back seat while caring for. After they die was the problem You physically and mentally drained, extreme stress and I usually fall off the ledge and stay in Psychiatric Hospital. We at at the bottom ECT is the only way out. I would have committed suicide long ago. I’m blessed to still know when I’m falling and call me doctor. He takes care of the rest. I had stayed other times but had breakdowns after reached died.
      Looking back at how my life started and the person I am today, all I think of is my grandparents unconditional but tough love. It was hard thinking the only two people who loved me unconditionally were gone. It still hit a soft spot. I was for sure a completely different person after being a caregiver. God gave me a good lesson.
      I’m chatty today, hope all is well, if any reading comes to mind on the seizures would you drop me a line.
      🙂
      M

      Like

I want to hear your thoughts. I can take it!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: