Need to concentrate on my husband's health now. This is going to get awkward.

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kaizen

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DH and I started out thinking he had one small dental issue to take care of. It morphed into a big upcoming project involving dentures, and oral surgery, not just for extractions, but a biopsy of something in his mouth. Then yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving, he had his first visit to a new primary care doctor. She did a screening EKG and said there was some abnormality. Now he has to see a cardiologist and probably get a stress test. We're trying to squeeze all the cardiology stuff in before the oral surgery, just in case there's some reason it should be postponed.

We were both due to go over and visit my mom at the ALF today. DH hasn't seen her since her birthday in July, but I didn't want to force him to go under the circumstances. Yes, it could be my mother's last Thanksgiving, but it's getting to the point where I have to start thinking it could be DH's and my last Thanksgiving together, too. So I didn't go, either. It was really nice just going out for a holiday dinner with DH and not running around anywhere else.

Right now I'm still calling my mom every night. Even when we talk about mundane things, it annoys my DH to overhear it. Now I've started to try and explain what's going on so she understands why I'm pulling back a bit. But with her hearing and her memory issues I have to repeat things over and over. And she asks a lot of questions. DH really doesn't want to hear my responses and be reminded about his health problems when he's trying to relax for the evening. So I have to tell her over and over that I'll tell her more when I see her.

With what's coming up for DH, there are going to be times when I can't call her or visit when I've said I would. It's hard enough for her to remember routine things. Whenever there's a holiday or some other change of plan, it creates a whole new flurry of confused and worried voicemails. This week she was surprised when a friend and I arrived to have lunch with her Tuesday (despite many reminders and notes on her calendar and menu). Then thought DH and I were coming yesterday because she thought it was Thanksgiving already, forgot that today was Thanksgiving and not Christmas, forgot several times that we had already talked on the phone during the day.

It's sad, the dementia, and it's becoming more of a problem than the underlying PD. It takes a lot of patience and holding my tongue to deal with it. Even when I'm not in direct contact with her, it's draining just dealing with all the voicemail issues. We need to be able to get calls from medical offices, etc., but if we leave the ringers on, we're opening ourselves to the calls from her.

I just don't know how I'm going to juggle dealing with my mom and being supportive of DH at the same time.

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Poison Ivy

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I'm sorry about your husband's health issues and that your mom has dementia.  One of those things alone would be very difficult to deal with; both at the same time are potentially overwhelming.  I think the focus should be your husband, but how to put that into practice I don't know. If I have any ideas, I'll share them.

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p123

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OP - its hard when an elderly parent takes all your time and you've got other commitments......

My Dad hasn't got dementia but hes like that. I've had to disconnect the phone many times. I've got a teenage son whos ASD we've had a lot of family issues, my wife is ill long term (fibromyalgia). And we've got a 6 year old. Sometimes things crop up and I've got to look after them. Im the only fit adult lol!

I try to explain to Dad and its almost sometimes as if hes saying "yes yes ok sort that out the back to me". I CONSTANTLY have to remind him I've got other people who rely on me. CONSTANTLY. I'd say in the last month, hes asked me to tell my wife to do his laundry (NO DAD! shes not well") offered his Autism advice twice (you dont want to know), and told me I should cancel my 6 year olds gym and ballet classes because they take up too much time!

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nanotech

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Put your Hubble first.
Do what you can for your mum, and when she gets confused donít respond with guilt or worry. Really. Donít WORRY.  Sheís  unpredictable these days so do go with the flow. If youíve told her whatís happening a couple of  times, youíve done your job.
If she forgets something, it isnít your fault.
I feel that you could be blaming yourself for your mumís confusion. Itís just her condition.
Good luck with your husbandís tests, he will get sorted! X❤️

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Medowynd

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Consider temporarily blocking your motherís number for the evening.  That will get you some peace and quiet.  Call her the next day.  I would focus on your husband and all that he is going through.

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SunnyMeadow

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Consider temporarily blocking your motherís number for the evening.  That will get you some peace and quiet.  Call her the next day.  I would focus on your husband and all that he is going through.

I would do this too. It's ok if you don't talk to your mom everyday. Sounds like she's safe, cared for and fed. Again, it's perfectly ok for you to take time away from your mother. Sad to say, but since she's having memory issues she won't remember that she couldn't reach you at night. Also, to make this easier on you I wouldn't tell your mother about your dh's health issues. She doesn't need to know about it and sounds like it's taking a lot of your time to explain to her. Keep things short and upbeat. "Everything is fine around here Mom".

Because this is an issue between you and dh, I'd only call her when he isn't around to hear your phone call.

Good luck to you and your husband.

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xredshoesx

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thinking of you kaizen

i agree that telling your mom the minimum or nothing at all about what is going on with DH may be the best practice in this situation.   turning off your phone in the evening can be an appropriate boundary too.  you have to take care of you first right now as you go into the uncertainties surrounding the next steps with your DH.


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kaizen

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Thanks everyone for your support. Sorry I haven't gotten back until now. It's been a wild week.

My mom had thought it was Thanksgiving a day early, and had started with the phone calls wondering why we weren't there. Then Thanksgiving she seemed fine with us not coming after I explained what was going on with my husband. However, on the days following she kept thinking Thanksgiving was still coming up, and getting more and more upset. Meaning more phone calls. Finally after a really nasty one, I was talking to one of the nurses at the ALF about the history of her phone calling and how she originally started on the risperidone (sp?) - and the nurse suggested maybe her dosage had to be increased. The nasty phone call involved my talking to the aide who had dialed for her, explaining that I couldn't be available all day long to take my mom's calls just because she needed reassurance. I heard her trying to explain to my mom that she should wait for my nightly calls, that I had things to do during the day. She ended by saying OK? And my mom very angrily said No, it's not okay. So it was really clear where my mom's coming from--I'm not supposed to have a life beyond sitting there waiting to serve as her security blanket.

So I called her primary doctor and explained the situation. She added a morning pill to the afternoon one. Things got a little calmer, for awhile.

Yesterday I got a call about my mom being taken to the hospital. She had called for help from her room, and apparently had chest pains. So they kept her overnight for observation, but they're sending her back to the ALF today. Sound familiar? I really hate to think this because it sounds so mean, and she's my mother and so old--but I find myself wondering if it was all a bid for attention. She couldn't remember having chest pains. Perhaps because she didn't actually have any? At one point when she was asking me yet again where she was (the hospital) and why (chest pains), she said "maybe I was exaggerating a little." Hmm. She didn't seem ill at all. When I arrived at the hospital she was in high dudgeon because she didn't know why they wouldn't let her get up, she had to pee, she was cold, and hadn't had any lunch. Very feisty. She said herself she didn't feel near death. So I don't know what to think.

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Sunny_day

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Hi Kaizen,

You have a right to look after yourself and your husband. Your mum us well cared for, there are qualified people looking after her. You also have a right to set boundaries to protect yourself. TBH my instinct would be to reduce the calls to every few days and explain to staff I will only answer calls if there is an emergency, but I accept this may not work for everyone.