What is it – Bipolar or Dementia? Confused!

I have a dilemma – Is it Bipolar or Dementia?  Both run in the family.  Just recently and over night I have become a caregiver for both my mom who has dementia and bipolar and dad, who was okay.  Mom has been getting worse and my dad just a month ago had a bad fall and suddenly my life changed in a split second.  My dad was walking across the parking lot then – BAM!  He fell flat on his face with the results of looking like Rocky.   He was sent to the hospital then home and then back again – he became delusional. I took him back to the hospital where he got worse and worse resulting in an onset of Alzheimer’s /dementia.  I had to feed him, bathe him, change his diapers and pray a lot.  Why did this happen?  Everything fell apart.  What do we do?  My brother and I stressed and quickly got together all papers – living will, will, finances, etc. Things we were not prepared for.  After a few weeks we had to put him in a nursing home for rehabilitation.  He had forgotten how to work, his speech was bad, and had no idea what had happen.  He didn’t even know who mom was.

After a week in the nursing home he had a stroke and was again sent to the hospital.  There, he thought he had gone on a helicopter ride with a lot of people and taken to this big building where the ceiling dropped and black dust was dropped on them.  I told him that sounded more like aliens.  He said, Well, maybe so.”

He was returned to the nursing home and is still there.  He may come home in a week.  I’m not ready.

Since all this has happen Mom has gotten worse. Crying all the time and her mania and dementia have gotten worse.  She’s even drinking more. I’m afraid for her and I have a fear that some day it will hit me if it hasn’t already.  Being an alcoholic myself makes this difficulty for me.

I’ve had to hold myself together.  It is very hard to sit and listen to my dad because he is so angry and blames people for taking his money.  It was decided that I move in – there was no other way.  Mom can’t drive, walk or make her own decisions and when dad comes home he will be disabled.  They can not stay alone together.  That could mean disaster.

As mentioned in another Blog, I have taken myself off medication for bipolar and hormones and trying to treat myself with healthy food and exercise.  It seems to be working but I slip sometimes.  The hot flashes the mania and depression.  Also, my unemployment benefits have been exhausted and will not receive any funds.  So now I’m working about 28 hours or less making 6.55 an hour.  The hours may be shortened depending on the situation at home.  I will be the cook, maid, nurse, and housekeeper.  Do I have the strength to do all this?  I find no help from other members of the family.  They have disappeared.

With all that’s going on with my parents, I don’t have time to take care of me. So I’m struggling.  I have to be strong for both of my parents.  If I fall – all will fall.

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