Bipolar: Free To Live

I'm Free!

Here I am in North Carolina in a sweet cottage only two blocks from the ocean.  I’m staying in a 700  sq. ft  dream house with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.  I love it!  It may be small but it’s larger than the room I’ve been staying in before. 

My parents have Alzheimer’s/Dementia – I was living with them to make sure no harm could come to them.  But, the harm seem to come to me.  They just didn’t care about anything.

I was staying in a small, I mean small, bedroom room in the back of my parents house and sleeping in a small twin bed. I hardly left the room unless I went to the book store or to take my parents to the doctor or grocery store.  It got to the point where I couldn’t stay in the same room as my parents I know that’s sad, but they treated me like I owed them all the time.  I was taken advantage of and talked to terribly.  They forgot the reason I was there. I love my parents and that’s why I moved in two years ago when it was decided they needed help.  But, the longer I stayed there the worse it got.  I wasn’t treated like a daughter, but a servant.  It was so hurtful. 

My mom started drinking more and more. She told me she was 84  and she could do what she wanted and she did. I  told  her drinking and pills didn’t go together, but she said she didn’t care.  She was ready to go to her maker.  I’m a recovering alcoholic and I watched my mother  go to the refrigerator every afternoon at 3pm and pour a glass a wine after wine until she passes out in her chair.  She would forget to take her medication so I said, “Mom do you realize how hard it is to watch you drink?  It makes me want to drink with you.”  “Sure, join me,” she would say.  I couldn’t take it any more.  I had to think about my survival and well-being.  I had to leave.  Now was the time to be a mom and grandmother.

Having bipolar and living in this kind environment was not good for me.  I found myself crying and feeling unloved.  I had to ask for hugs.  Mom, told  me once that she just wasn’t like that because my dad never was nor her parents.  I need hugs.  I liked the feeling when a warm loving person can  put their arms around me and say “I Love You.”   

I desperately wanted to be needed.  I have a son, grand children, and a beautiful daughter-in-law that I want to get to know.  My son was in the army from the time he graduated from high school until he left the army 6 1/2 years later.  Then he left for a great job in Wilmington, NC.  The whole time I felt abandoned and alone.  The part of me that I treasured the most was gone.  That was 8-years ago and now my dream has come true.  I’m now getting to know my son again, as well as my grand children and daughter-in- law.

My son has become more attentive. Maybe he sees that I’m not healthy as I was 6-7 years ago.  He has always thought of me as that young good-looking mom who could do anything.  He was always proud to introduce me to his friends. When he saw me get off the plane holding a walking cane I think the moment changed.  Now, he seems to be more attentive and calls me more than he did before.  I feel loved and needed.  I now have my family that I’ve so wanted for a long time.

Today, I feel great.

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Alzheimer’s Looking Good For My Dad

My Dad who has Alzheimer’s, has been making me proud.  He has been working hard keeping his mind and body active.  He’s not ready to go yet.

Dad plays solitaire on the computer for hours.  Then when he gets bored with that he will go outside and work in the yard.  He’ll be out there in that heat digging up bushes and replanting other bushes.  Dad recently painted the concrete patio.  I mean he keeps himself real busy.  I have to continually watch him to make sure he doesn’t have an other stroke.

In the  morning it’s always interesting to see what dad shows up.  He can be so negativity and complain about every thing even editorial from the newspaper.  There are times where he looks so blank in the face, along with memory problems. He’s been obsessive about a few things like his clothes.  He washes clothes every other day.   He goes to home depot constantly buying things.  He’s been buying clothes when he  use not care what he had.

In the long run I’m glad he takes care of himself most of the time.  He has so many medications to keep up with and has been able to organizing them very well.  Sometimes he gets confusion and comes to me to ask questions, which I’m gladly to help.  I still watch him especially when he’s out in the heat.  If I don’t go out and tell him to come in he would stay out all day.

I just wish my mom had so much energy.  But she’s just letting herself go.  I don’t know half the time if there’s really something wrong with her.  She ‘s always making grunting noise.  You ask her how she feels in the morning it’s always “Oh, I’m down in my back” or, I’m not up to parr.  Nothing good.  It’s hard on me because I see her sometimes so happy, but it can change in a minute.  She just wants to sit in her chair or lay in her bed all day.  She stays depressed.  The hardest part is keeping up with her mediations.  You ask her if she has taken her medications.  “I don’t know,” is always her answer.  She got a clean bill of health from the doctors except she does have arthritis.  If she was taking all her pills she shouldn’t be having some of the problems she states.  She has vertigo and is suppose to take med’s for them morning and night.  She always complains about the vertigo.

I came to the conclusion that mom needs a lot of attention.  she gets her feelings hurt and it’s nothing to see her burst into tears.  There’s nothing we can do for her she insists on feeling this way.  I just go to my room and close the door.   I love my mom very much but it seems like I’ve turned into a mom instead of the daughter.

In the meantime, I will continue watching them and make sure their okay.  I love my mom and dad that’s why I moved in to take care of them. Love you mom and dad.

Sonogram Testing for Hepatitis C – Experiencing Bipolar Downfall

I’m having a fall out.  If I lived on the second or third floor I would probably jump.  I just want it to go away.

I couldn’t catch my breath. I was dizzy and unbalanced, sweating, anxiety, crawling out of my skin – this is what I’m feeling at this moment.  The trigger was a lot of chatter that felt like it was drilling a hole in my brain.  I felt like I had the flu with the body aches.  I was totally depressed, irritable, angry and just wanted to be left alone.

I’ve just got back from having a sonogram at the hospital on my liver.  It was so much fun!  NOT!  In fact, it hurt.  That told me it wasn’t good news.  So I’m thrilled.

The doctor called me and said the sonograms pictures showed something was going on.  It seems my liver and my kidney are having problems.   I told the doctor that I wasn’t felling well, and was told if I got worse I should  go the emergency room.

I have Hepatitis C and they are checking for cancer, cysts, and cirrhosis.   The scene in the sonograms did not look promising.  After the tests it’s like the sonograms stirred up some trouble. The pain is severe, and I feel like I suddenly have the flu.  I don’t understand.

Having bipolar and going through this Hepatitis testing is very stressful on me.  I just had to  hibernate in my room today.  I didn’t feel like talking to any one.

If only someone could understand how I’m feeling.  Do you?

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Facts

Alzheimer’s & Dementia killed and is killing my mom and dad.  I live with it everyday as their daughter and caregiver.  I’m watching my dad trying very hard to stop the disease from taking, and my mom is letting it take her over.

As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, daily living, social life, and of course, your family.  Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.

It killed my grandmother, aunt, & uncles and now it’s trying take my family.

I to have been diagnosed with early stages of dementia.  Bipolar has already taken me and now with dementia it is harder to fact.

If you would like to be part of a cause that is very important to the to those who have this disease, the family, and caregiver you can go to http://www.causes.com/causes/317813.  Take the pledge – thank you!

Being A Caregiver – Parents & Alzheimer’s

Being a caregiver for my parents is the hardest job I have every done.  It takes a lot of patience and love.  Having Bipolar & early stages of Dementia make it even harder.  Now, things are getting harder.

Mom’s memory is getting worse.  She’s 83 and it’s getting to point that I don’t know who she is.  She’s nice one moment and then happy the next.  Sometimes she acts like a little girl and sometimes she’s the devil himself.

Or, one minute she’s great and wants to go out to each, and then 5 minutes latter she doesn’t feel like it & goes to bed.  At times, I don’t know who I’m talking to.

One night while reading mom appeared at my doorway.  She looked very confused.  She said, “I thought I was in the hospital.”  I said, “No mom your home now.”  She responded, “No, I’m suppose to be in the hospital!”   She looked so confused.  I got up and walked her to her room and put her to bed.  It’s like she had no life at all. I’m pretty sure she has Bipolar with her different moods – up and down.  She can sit there and rock back and forth playing with her hands and just crying.  When I ask her what’s  the matter she tells me she doesn’t know.

Mom has mentioned that she wished the lord would take her. She’s tired of living – she just sits in her chair all day long.  She can’t stand to cook, because her knees hurt, and the arthritis in her hip is becoming unbearable.  At times, with my Bipolar, I have a hard time dealing with it.  I have early stages of Dementia and the two together doesn’t mesh. Sometimes the anxiety is so strong I feel like I’m trying to crawl out of my skin.

My dad as Vascular Dementia/Alzheimer’s, but he’s not as bad.  He keeps himself busy all the time.  He also has Sundowner Disease.  I mean he can be really down.  Both parents posture has changed – they hunch over and walk very slow.

I live with them and take care of them the best I can, but it’s getting harder.  I just pray whatever happens God will be there for all of us.  I constantly ask for directions and I know when the time comes he will be there.

Making a Choice Could Change Everything in Life

Right now by life feels so confusing to me.  They’re a lot of decisions to make and I don’t know how to make them.  It’s probably the most important decision I’ve ever made and it’s killing me.

I have bipolar with early stages of Alzheimer’s, along with Bipolar. Both my Dad and Mom have Alzheimer’s, and I am actually their caretaker.

I’ve been living with my parents for over a year taking care of them and me.  It’s getting exhausting, because neither one will cooperative.  Mom wants something and dad talks her out of it. Plans change every day.  I took mom to a doctor to get her colon checked then she suddenly decided she wasn’t going to have any test.  I was very made.  And  mom didn’t even remember it.

I can’t deal with it.  I need a life.  However, the point is I’m so afraid that I leave no one will watch over them and sure enough, if I leave, something will happen.  Mom’s already talking about leaving this earth because she’s tired.

You know what’s hard?  There are times that I don’t feel good and I just want to lay down.  Not one person asked me how I feeling.  I could be in my room having a hear attack and they would notice.  when I told mom today that I really felt bad.  Her replied was, “I was feeling kind of bad today do.”  I wanted to scream! “You feel bad everyday!”  Just once I would like someone to come to me and put their arms around me and say I love you and it’s going to be alright.  I haven’t had that in a very long time.

Living in the Life of Alzheimer’s/Dementia/Bipolar

Everyday seems like a test.  Each morning I wake not knowing what to expect.  Is my mom my mother or is she someone I don’t know?  Is dad who he is or someone I don’t know?  Am I me or someone I don’t know?  That’s how it is everyday on the wake of a new sunrise – who am I.  The problem is no one knows.

Yesterday, Dad and I went to the store and bought some flowers and other items.  The one thing we did get was a hanging basket for mom to put in front of her kitchen window.  That way she can look out and see it.  When we got home she was so happy about it.

Later that afternoon dad went to hang it up and asked me what height he should hang it.  I said, “Well, I think Mom should answer that question.”  I went and got mom and told her dad was hanging her basket.  She got up smiling and went to tell dad that she wanted it a little higher.  I didn’t hear the answer, but mom came through the door slamming it and looked, well pissed.  I asked, “What’s the matter?”  She replied that Dad said, It’s fine.  Your daughter said it was fine.” Then she pushed me aside and went to her room.  Of course, I went to find out what was the matter. She said, “He said no matter it’s okay.  He only cares about you!”

I was so shocked!  Upset that my mom accused dad pf favoring me.  She was jealous of  our relationship.  I felt like I was in a soap opera.  I said, “Mom, I can’t believe you just said that.  Why are you mad at me?”  “I’m not mad at  you,” she told me. “Then what?”, I said  She looked at me with this really scrunched up face and start to cry.  I could tell it was a fake cry.  She started rambling don’t you come in here and tell me that I said this and that!  I was like I’m not going to listen to this.  You’re not you. And she wasn’t.

I went to my room hoping that the next morning she wouldn’t remember.

It came true.  She didn’t remember.  In fact, she was happy go lucky.  But that only lasted for about 3 hours. I cooked breakfast for the both of them and was hoping we would have a nice day.  Instead, mom slept in bed all day.  Dad watched TV, and I stayed in my room writing and adding new items to my eBay store.