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Sometimes you see things happening, but you are too close to them to realize how dramatic they are. For the last few years, my mother has had memory problems. They are usually little things, but sometimes quite serious things that she forgets. It's not like she forgets where she put down a book - we all do that. For two years in a row, she gave Scott and I the same Christmas presents. Not just one or two the same - ALL of them were the same. She used to tell me about how my dad had an anxiety/panic disorder (as do I) and that it was one of the reasons he chose to retire when he did. She had even given me his disability paperwork that talked about it. Last year, when I mentioned that it shouldn't surprise her about my anxiety disorder since it is hereditary, she freaked out and said my father NEVER had an anxiety problem. Flat out denied it. She had no memory of it happening or ever having discussed it. She sometimes forgets little things when she is watching the kids and gets easily distracted. Scott and I will find dirty diapers out places where she forgot she was in the middle of changing the kids and never put them up.

Today, she seems especially bad. I'm glad I'm in the house when she's watching the kids because it almost scares me to think of what she might forget next. Every day she comes over and we go get the kids from school. Same route, same time, five days a week. Today, we're about halfway there and she asked where we were going. When we got there and were telling everyone we would see them on Monday, she kept asking why they didn't have school tomorrow. (It's Saturday!).

At what point do you consider it something to worry about versus just normal aging? She's 70 in April and I just don't think of her as elderly, but I guess she qualifies whether I want her to or not.


( 4 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Oct. 22nd, 2004 07:43 pm (UTC)
My grandmother was like that. She had Alzheimer's. Has your Mom been tested or seen by physician concerning her memory loss? I hope I'm not scaring you but if it is Alzheimer's the earlier you/she knoes the better. There is better medication now that slows down the process and will enable someone to live in the early/middle stage(s) for quite sometime. However, It could just old age/dementia setting in early.

I'm just concerned about your Mama after reading the degree of her memory loss. That in itself is scary.
Oct. 22nd, 2004 08:58 pm (UTC)
I have a feeling I'll have to go with her to her doctor, because she isn't really ... trustworthy with things like that. She complains all the time about all kinds of things, and she gets really nervous. When I tell her she needs to bring something up to her doctor, she usually tells me that he brushed her off. I have a feeling that it is because she meekly brings it up, downplaying it, so he doesn't realize the extent of what she is saying.

I've gone with her before, when she was being treated for cancer, because she would always forget to ask questions and come home with absolutely no information - medications she didn't know what they were for and things like that.

I'll see when she is going next and list some things I want us to talk about with her doctor.
Oct. 25th, 2004 02:58 am (UTC)
this sounds way too familiar with my mom, sadly. the memory lapses started innocently enough; the first ones i can recall being of concern involved her cooking. she'd completely forget a MAJOR ingredient (imagine lasagna without the noodles), or substitute salt for sugar in a cake recipe. as the years progressed, it became much worse. she'd see & hear people in her house (a little boy dancing in the hallway @ 2am, etc.) and hallucinated wildly. the more i read about Alzheimer's, the more it explained what she's going through. my heart goes out to you, Trish. I've heard the disease runs its course in 8-12 years. There are some drugs to delay the onset IF you take them early, but i suspect they mean VERY early in the progression.

Nov. 1st, 2004 07:08 am (UTC)
Like Gene, my heart goes out to you. I've watched a grandfather and one of my mom's aunts. The difference between the two was the time in their life that the disease hit them. My grandfather was late in life (similar to you mother) the onset was gradual and you will get used to good days and bad days. That doesn't make it any easier for you, but it could be worse. The aunt's onset was early in her life (45 or so) and the onset was very swift. In less than a year she went from slight forgetfulness to literally wandering naked across the pasture across from her house. That was 15 years ago and she lasted like that until last year.

Tell Genebob and Jillbob that Farrisbob said hi. You knew me as Mike Stevens. For what it's worth, you guys can check out the goings on in Oregon at


Take care,
( 4 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )