I went to see a cherished friend today

27 replies
  • OFF TOPIC
  • |
I went to see a cherished friend that I have not seen in about 2 years.

She is my mother figure, She is the one who took me under her wing
at my first real job. She is the one who got me another job. The job that changed
my life ... and changed my direction in life. She is the one who pushed me
and saw my potential before anyone else. She is the one who twisted my
arm to stop working for others. She became my office manager for 10 years.

Many times she said to me, you are the son I never had.

Today I stopped in to say hi, she greeted me with open arms and a big smile.

After about 20 minutes, she starts talking about this company she used to work for
before she retired. It took me a minute to realize she was talking about my company.

So I said so. She said no, I am talking about ( MY NAME )'s company.

Then it hit me. She did not know who I was.

Senility, Alzheimer's, something else. I don't know.

I feel like a total jack ass for not being there for her.
I am not sure what to do, but bet your ass i am going to do something.

Don't mind me i am just venting.
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    If you want to do something for that woman - get her a bottle of herbs that leach metals out of your system and have her start taking those (you can get these at most natureopath's offices). Then make sure she has a water filter that takes fluoride out of her water. That's about all you can do.
    Signature

    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8016954].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      My Mom had Alzheimer's the last six months of her life. At least that's when it was really noticeable. it's a lot harder on family & friends that on the sufferer.

      It's like watching them from a greater and greater distance every time you see them.

      If she's within driving distance, visit more often. Call her once a week or two.

      But visiting is better. How old is she? Did you visit her home?
      Signature
      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8016987].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        My Mom had Alzheimer's the last six months of her life. At least that's when it was really noticeable. it's a lot harder on family & friends that on the sufferer.

        It's like watching them from a greater and greater distance every time you see them.

        If she's within driving distance, visit more often. Call her once a week or two.

        But visiting is better. How old is she? Did you visit her home?

        I visited her at her home, its not far, less then 8 miles from my house.
        and less then 2 from the office. That is one of the reasons i feel so crappy.
        I drive by her house almost every day. Its always just one excuse or another
        as to why i don't stop in. I think she is 70 + with no family.

        I believe i mentioned to you, about my first sales mentor who had a heart attack
        while playing cards in Vegas. This is his wife.

        @Heysal any suggestions? I know nothing about herbs.
        Signature

        Selling Ain't for Sissies!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017001].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          I visited her at her home, its not far, less then 8 miles from my house.
          and less then 2 from the office. That is one of the reasons i feel so crappy.
          I drive by her house almost every day. Its always just one excuse or another
          as to why i don't stop in. I think she is 70 + with no family.

          I believe i mentioned to you, about my first sales mentor who had a heart attack
          while playing cards in Vegas. This is his wife.

          @Heysal any suggestions? I know nothing about herbs.
          Anything that increases circulation will help. Aspirin, walking, several herbs.

          You could offer to drive her to get groceries, things like that.
          Does she have Life Alert? That would be a great gift.
          Signature
          One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

          "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017037].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author ThomM
            Ken my half brother had Alzheimers and it's possible my father did also (my father had so many things wrong in his later years that the doctors quit trying to find out what he had). So anyways I started taking coconut oil as a preventive. Turns out it was good for my back also
            Research on Alzheimers | Coconut Oil
            Alzheimer's & Coconut Oil | LIVESTRONG.COM
            Signature

            Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
            Getting old ain't for sissy's
            As you are I was, as I am you will be
            You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017079].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Anything that increases circulation will help. Aspirin, walking, several herbs.

            You could offer to drive her to get groceries, things like that.
            Does she have Life Alert? That would be a great gift
            .
            She is a pretty strong .. aggressive woman. Life alert ... Is a great idea
            I am going to do that ... even if i have to super glue it around her neck.

            groceries, she would not accept. Maybe i can get her t go shopping witht me.
            I will try that.

            I said I pass her house almost every day, truth is , it is twice a day
            and over the last year or so i have just honked when i see her out side
            working on her garden.

            From now on... until the curtain closes i will stop by at least once a day.
            or more if I can. I owe her.

            Herbs. I am looking them up now online. It is rather confusing,
            and If she doesn't know who i am.. i am not sure how i will get her to
            ("drink?") them
            Signature

            Selling Ain't for Sissies!
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8018209].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    Don't feel guilty - you didn't do this and she would be the same whether you visited her or not.

    Some memory loss is 'normal' and not all weird behavior in the eldery is Alzhiemers - it can be caused from many medical conditions -

    I have a whole slew of people to feel guilty about over my lifetime. Nothing I can do about it now that they are gone -

    (so you are lucky you got a little preview before the curtain call - and maybe you can spend some time with her - that is probably the best thing you can do for her).

    So nice of you to have a heart -
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017138].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Beverley Boorer
    You have to remember that people with any form of dementia are still happy in themselves. It is their loved ones who suffer the most. So long as she is taken care of when she can't do it herself is the main thing.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017201].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    A close friend and I were talking about this subject recently, she's dealing with this with a family member and didn't really understand dementia or Alzheimers or how it affects people. She was most curious about how their reality is affected from THEIR perspective. I explained it to her like this:

    Imagine you wake up tomorrow, go through your routine, get ready to leave the house and your boyfriend says "Where are you going" and you say "I'm headed over to Ron's, I'll be back later" - then he says "Who's Ron?". You roll your eyes, thinking he's being a smartass and continue for the door. Then he says it again. "No, seriously, who's Ron?" He seems concerned. You say "Are you retarded? Hello, my business partner, my best friend, the guy who's kids we've babysat about 100 times? We just had dinner with him and his wife last week, what's wrong with you?"

    Suddenly he looks sad, like his dog just died or something. He says "Tara, we've been over this. There is no Ron. Please sit down."

    And your head is spinning... you start to feel a little confused. You're thinking what is he talking about? We work together on all kinds of things, we've gone zip lining together, we've hit up all the local bars, we've gone to the Dali museum, we've taken trips out of state, etc. You know I'm a real person. So you look in your phone for the pictures we've taken over all the years and places we've been, but they aren't in there. As you're searching, you realize you don't recognize any of the people who are in the pictures you took. Then you remember the picture we took when we were exploring those caves, but it's not on the wall where it usually hangs in your livingroom. There's a photo of some other people there, but you don't recognize any of them. You can't figure out what's going on ... so you scream at your boyfriend, demanding to know what happened to the picture and why he took it down.

    And he, still very calm and sincere with a look of sadness in his eyes, says "Tara, that was 40 years ago. Ron passed away about five years ago. His kids are all grown up now"

    It starts to sink in. And now, at that moment, you're living through the emotion of your best friend's death all over again who, in your mind, was alive and well just yesterday. And as the pieces come together, you realize you can't remember your life. Your "boyfriend" is actually your husband of 30 years. Your own kids are grown and out of the house, and you can't think of their names or what they look like. You look at your husband again, only now you see him as the old man he is - and you look in the mirror and see an old lady.

    But imagine all of this happened TOMORROW - here we are today, having this conversation, planning what we're going to do next weekend. And then tomorrow, that's your reality. That's what it's like. It would be torture.


    The best thing you can do is simply be there today, and not take it personally that they don't know who you are (or who you were). They can't help it, or rationalize it when you try to explain them a reality that's different from the one their brain is telling them. Just listen... because whatever it is they're talking about, it's something that was important to them - that's how they were able to hold on to that memory when so many others are fragmented. If it's you they're talking about, it means you had an impact on their life in a meaningful way. They deserve to keep that - it's all they have. So the best advice I can give you is don't take it personally that they don't recognize the person standing in front of them, they can't help that. Take pride in the fact that out of all of the lost memories, it's the memory of you that stuck. Hold back your tears, because they won't understand why you're sad. Think about what they're going through the way I described it above, and be a good listener as they tell their story. Even if they told you the same one yesterday. Our instinct is to "help them" by correcting them, filling in the gaps, but don't - if they're happy in their moment, let them have that.
    Signature

    -
    Ron Rule
    http://ronrule.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017354].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Ron and Ken;

      The last few weeks my Mom was with us, every time I visited, she would remember me from a different time. Sometimes I was a kid, sometimes I was going to get married soon.

      Every time I started crying, she would have no idea what was upsetting me. My wife would stop me from trying to explain it to her.

      But as long as she was aware at all, she knew who I was. At least she knew my name.

      Ron's post hit home pretty hard. But it was dead on accurate. You just see parts of them disappearing.....until they just aren't there anymore.

      The only times it upset her were in the beginning, when she would forget her phone number, or forget a common word. After awhile, she didn't know what she was forgetting....or imagining. One day she was pretty chipper. I talked to her for several minutes before I realized that she got me and my Dad mixed up. I had to leave. I had no idea how to tell her that her husband had been gone for years. Claude was my Dad's name too.

      I promised myself I wouldn't let it happen to me. I could never put my wife through that.
      Signature
      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017505].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    @ ronrule,
    That post almost made me cry.

    Thank you
    Signature

    Selling Ain't for Sissies!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017485].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    When we went through it with my great aunt there were times it was hard and times it was hilarious for all of us, her included. She was more self-aware than a lot of people who go through it were, which helped - sometimes she would realize something she said made no sense to the people in the room and come back to reality and acknowledge that she "just time traveled".

    When the dementia got worse it was harder, she was in a nursing home then and she would go up to the desk and ask where her son was - they would assume she was talking about her 50 year old son who visited her regularly, but she would describe a little boy. The staff there had gotten familiar with her lapses and would let it play out, they would say he's on the playground or he's with some other kids upstairs and they would send him down in a little while. It was easier on everyone, her especially, to just step into her reality than try to bring her back into theirs.

    She would tell this joke... An old woman goes to the doctor and the doctor says "I have some bad news, you have cancer and Alzheimer's" and the woman says "Whew, thank God I don't have cancer!" Coming from her, it was funny every time.
    Signature

    -
    Ron Rule
    http://ronrule.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8017707].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Hi Ken,
    Thanks for the share. I am so sorry you are going through this.
    As Patrician said, it ain't you fault.

    On the herbs, and other stuff, you're going to have to
    work with her bio-family if she has any. HeySal always suggests
    PubMed for research. I know a certified herbalist who doctors
    refer to for additional help and would suggest finding someone like that.
    Also, I'd look for a naturopathic doctor.
    (PM me if you want to me to see if the herbalist can do anything for you from here
    in Colorado.)

    Regarding other stuff, in conjunction with her bio-family, there's likely, eventually,
    medical treatment, medical power of attorney/guardianship, in home or attended living,
    and the will and estate stuff... Whew.

    Dan
    Signature

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8018491].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Herbs. I am looking them up now online. It is rather confusing, and If she doesn't know who i am.. i am not sure how i will get her to ("drink?") them
      I strongly disagree about that approach. This is not YOUR family member. It would be presumptuous to try "treatments" - and not your place to do it. If she has family or caregivers you could suggest this to them but it's not your place to be giving her any sort of meds - herbal or otherwise.

      Truth is - we all have people we care about that we are not as close to as we used to be. That's life as we live it. There is nothing for you to feel guilty about. If she doesn't know who you are - you would be visiting daily for your benefit, not hers. By all means, reconnect with her as much as you can - but don't expect to fix a situation you aren't responsible for.
      Signature

      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.
      It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8018594].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        I strongly disagree about that approach. This is not YOUR family member. It would be presumptuous to try "treatments" - and not your place to do it. If she has family or caregivers you could suggest this to them but it's not your place to be giving her any sort of meds - herbal or otherwise.

        Truth is - we all have people we care about that we are not as close to as we used to be. That's life as we live it. There is nothing for you to feel guilty about. If she doesn't know who you are - you would be visiting daily for your benefit, not hers. By all means, reconnect with her as much as you can - but don't expect to fix a situation you aren't responsible for.
        WOW, that thought never occurred to me, but I think you are right about the herbs. When the family finds out, it may be taken the wrong way.

        But I don't agree about the visits. I think we do everything for our own benefit. Even doing favors for friends is to make us feel better about ourselves.
        But real friends? They do favors when it isn't their responsibility.
        They do favors even when their friend doesn't know they helped.

        Just my perspective.
        Signature
        One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

        "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8018733].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          I agree with visiting - but do it as you can. Promising daily visits seems more like penance than friendship. Point is - there's no guilt for Ken here. We all lose touch with friends at times and we all age, too.
          Signature

          Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.
          It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8018741].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

            I agree with visiting - but do it as you can. Promising daily visits seems more like penance than friendship. Point is - there's no guilt for Ken here. We all lose touch with friends at times and we all age, too.
            It might be penance. I had to think on that a few minutes.

            I am ok with that.
            If it was not for her, I would be a completely different person then I am.
            She was there for me when i needed it
            ( even tho at the time i did not know i needed it )

            So its only fair to return the favor.

            Your right about the herbs .. not to sure what to do. I know she doesn't
            have any living relatives.

            I don't have any legal standing to do anything. Period.
            Not that I want any.

            When they bought the house she is in now, i helped them fix it up
            fix the floors, pool , paint.. stuff like that.

            Maybe that's what i will do, when i stop by .. just fix anything that needs it.
            Or help her weed. She loves to weed her flower gardens.
            She hates keeping the pool clean. It looked clean to me, so some
            one must be doing it.

            Anyway, stopping by and helping around the house / yard cant hurt.
            Signature

            Selling Ain't for Sissies!
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8019254].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              I think that's an excellent plan - and that would be friendship, not penance
              Signature

              Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.
              It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020030].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Visiting, going to funerals... is also about supporting
    the remaining friends and family. And vice-versa. Dan
    Signature

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8018882].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    That's a difficult one Ken.

    I just arrived home, at about 12:15AM after leaving the nursing home where my mother-in-law lives. She as been there for years with Alzheimer's Disease.

    She is dying, and probably will go to the life after life some time tonight. My wife's sister is their mom at the moment.

    The same thing happened to my father-in-law, and to my mother. It was not pretty. The only one spared was my father.

    ThoM mentioned coconut oil. Mary Newport, MD is the one who discovered coconut oil worked to bring back her husband's mind. Here are two videos about it...



    My wife recently finished reading about about other Alzheimer's research in which the scientists doing the study were able to completely reverse Alzheimer's Disease in lab mice that had been bred to develop the disease by feeding them powdered cinnamon. The equivalent dosage for humans is about 1 teaspoon per day.

    I bake my own granola, and like Mary Newport does for her husband, I put a glob of coconut oil, and a teaspoon of cinnamon on it, then warm it in the microwave. It is a yummy prevention.

    :-Don
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020276].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    Curcumin (found in turmeric) is reputed to help combat Alzheimer's disease:

    The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer's disease: An overview
    Tumeric-Derived Compound Curcumin May Treat Alzheimer

    Edit: Ken, sorry I jumped in like this. I hope you find solace in dealing with this situation. Someone I cared about deeply also fell victim to losing her mental capacity, due to a series of strokes, and I often feel pain and guilt in thinking I hadn't been there for her.
    Signature

    Project HERE.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020319].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

      Curcumin (found in turmeric) is reputed to help combat Alzheimer's disease:

      The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer's disease: An overview
      Tumeric-Derived Compound Curcumin May Treat Alzheimer

      Edit: Ken, sorry I jumped in like this. I hope you find solace in dealing with this situation. Someone I cared about deeply also fell victim to losing her mental capacity, due to a series of strokes, and I often feel pain and guilt in thinking I hadn't been there for her.
      np any and all pertinent info is welcome.

      The truth is .. i have no idea what to do.
      I have decided that I will just be, there. do some tasks, if they don't make her mad
      awesome ... if they do .. .do some thing else.

      I only know for a fact, that I will hug her, and cook for her ...
      the rest is totally up in the air.

      I really .. really wish she had family.. so i could call and get back up.

      unfortunately she doesn't.

      I will be her back up.

      She met my wife before she was my wife, asked me if she was just another notch
      in the belt .... I said, ... maybe ....

      she yelled at me ... and i quote.

      Are you f**king retarded !!!! WTF ... is wrong with you?

      no joke.

      she did not curse often, so when she did.. you knew you wre supposed to be listening.

      btw 10 + years ... happily married ..


      and you are right... more then any thing .. i feel guilty ..

      intellectually i know better ... but .. emotionally ... I f'ed up
      Signature

      Selling Ain't for Sissies!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020419].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8375792].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Ken

      Sorry for your loss.

      People often feel guilty about something they did or said after the death of a loved one.

      You aren't the cause of anything.

      I know that doesn't help you right now but it is true none the less.

      Regards

      Dan
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8376037].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Not clear, Ken - do you mean "not dead gone" as in "removed to a facility"?

      You feel bad because your heart is saying "I should have done more - I should have prevented this"....but listen to your HEAD.

      You can't be responsible for her life or well being - you visited when you could and you have other responsibilities in your life, too.

      You are not a nurse and you can't halt the progress of Alzheimer's or plain old age.

      If she was taken somewhere else - it's for her own wellbeing. Find out where and go to see her. That might ease your mind.

      i was there when it happened.
      That should ease any guilt you feel - when it happened, she was NOT alone. You were there.
      Signature

      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.
      It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8376088].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      she is gone, not dead gone ... but gone.

      i was there when it happened.
      What do you mean "She is gone"? When What happened?
      Signature
      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8376250].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wendallb
    The last time I saw my grandmother she did not have a clue who I was and it broke my heart to see her that way. This can happen to anyone and it has no time frame, it can fast or slow but still very sad.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8376144].message }}

Trending Topics