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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

Re: Is this common?
Sep 28, 2008
Little Deb,
We can all have nothing but an opinion, but I have seen three cases of this type behavior. My mother who is progressing very rapidly now hadn't known who I was or my name in over a week. No other family members names, mumbling which we might understand 10 random words in an hour conversation, ate two or three bites at mealtime, and refused to drink more than maybe 8 oz. per day. Before this time, she had fought tooth and nail. They had her in three different chairs and she succeeded in getting out of all of them. Staff was beginning to call her Houdini. Never a still moment until the time I spoke off a little over a week or so ago. She calmed, sat quietly and mumbled, didn't seem to know if we were there or just another staff member, refused to attempt using the toilet which she had insisted on, and seemed to be losing her swallowing reflex.
Last night I walked in and saw a smile on her face from 5 foot away. I took her in the geri-chair into the room so we could talk staying very close in order to hear. I listened to her again call my name and that of my brother, tell me how she had loved my daddy and that she WAS a good mother. Listening her count from 1-9, I asked what she was doing and she told me practicing. She then sang two lines of Amazing Grace for me. She became consumed with observing my hands. I finally lay one down on her leg and asked "What are you looking so closely at my hands for?" She lay hers down by mine and said, "Look, they are alot alike." Where her reality had been the days of her childhood for two months, it last night became my dad, her children, and even talked about her two grandchildren and greatgrandchild by name." There is a possibility this came from 1 small dose of xanax not given that morning, but it had never happened before. I asked them not to give it last night, but it was given. Maybe the medication, maybe not. Today, she was back to the mother who doesn't know my name or know me from the staff. I wonder if this talk might have been for my good...
I also saw my father-in-law struggle in pain for hours before his last child arrived at the NH. Five minutes later, his wife said, "Honey, we're all here now. You can go to sleep when you want. We'll take care of each other." Three breathes and that was it.
The other incident was my niece who fought a battle with a very rare liver cancer from age 2 1/2 to barely turning 5. On her last day, I sat with her and her mother in the room as she looked out the window and reached toward the sky for several hours. Over and over she repeated the same words. The best we could understand, she was saying "Where is my HHH thing?" When she became exhausted and lay down with us sitting by her side, she was gone.
As you can see, it's very hard for me not to believe in this sort of thing happening. Only the Lord could explain it, but many times I think it is of extreme help to the family.

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