Okay, I know I just threw an arrow into a very dense forest without aiming on that question-but here it is-I am an RN; and when my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's about 6 mos ago, all of a sudden the last year of vague symptoms made sense-the falls, the tremors, the confusion, the handwriting, the shuffling gait, the dragging and "freezing" of her left leg that led to some falls-it was as if a light came on with the words from the neurologist-BUT-never did I expect the dementia would progress so fast. Now, I am dealing on a day-to-day basis with a woman who I formerly knew as my mother who is argumentative, defensive, wanting to argue over everything, and then angry and spiteful if I won't argue-because that means I don't want to talk to her. The meds have helped everything except her mind-matter of fact-the meds seem to make the dementia worse. She blames others for her confusion and gets angry if we don't agree-if we agree we are then played against each sibling as a "I told you I was right" from my mother. If we disagree-well then we are doing all this to deliberately confuse her and make her look a fool. She sneaks things from each of us thinking we aren't looking and lies about it when caught-and has loudly forbidden us to talk about her with each other because we are being mean. She has, in six months, become an adolescent, or worse yet-an angry and spiteful child. It is a catch 22-if we do for her- we are babying her and not allowing her to exercise any independence-if we don't then "we don't love her"...if we ask her about what she wants us to do-then we are insensitive to her needs. I am to the point I do not hold conversations with her anymore-or as minimal as possible because it is always a conversation that will hurt her in one way or another-she will twist it or turn it in spite of what is said-so I try to say nothing. Not a real effective coping mechanism. As a nurse I KNOW this is senile Parkinson's dementia compounded by cortical dementia-as a caregiver I am at a total loss as how to handle my mother.
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