Monday, November 08, 2004

A Sunday of different moods

We had hoped for a family afternoon Sunday outside with a magnificent 70 degree sunny day. Patti, however, was in a dark mood and things just didn’t work out that way.


When we arrived, though Patti was oblivious, it was apparent she had a bowel accident. The nearly 40 minutes it took to single handedly get a non-ambulatory person undressed, showered, and redressed was physically challenging enough without the constant stream of verbal abuse. In recent years these outbursts of abusive behavior have increased. I’m told it’s linked to MS related, dementia-like damage to emotional control aspects of frontal lobe. However, when I’m the recipient medical 'reasons' don't make it easier to put up with.


To me, yes people can get upset and angry but no they cannot get upset and angry with the people who are trying to help them. If you start trying to rationalize reasons why someone is behaving that way besides that they are wrong you risk crossing the line into what psychobabble calls codependency.


As a parent I’ve always had an easy cut off point as soon as Patti begins to verbally begin to rage against Megan. After verbal assault against Megan while she tried to help her Mother with her shirt it was time to leave Patti alone with her own dark mood. Fortunately in a 24/7 care facility you can walk away when pushed to your limit, in homecare your only option was to leave Patti unattened and at risk.


While Patti’s MS related memory problems will erase the incident that is NOT the case for the rest of us. And I haven’t a clue how it all effects intangibles like mother daughter bonding. Yet it's nothing new and I'm sure it won't be the last. It's living with MS in our family. It's choice, it's chance.


  1. God Bless You!!!!!  I just don't know how I would handle this type of situation.  It hasn't happened yet, but could.  I don't know if I am ready for that.

  2. Sometimes my husband becomes so upset with himself that he pounds and yells. this always sets me into tears.  I get to the point that I can no longer  change the situation or help---so I just say to him go ahead but do it quietly cause I can't stand the noise.  As far as I know  he doesn't suffer from any dementia yet, but I guess that could come with PD.  Your daughter is old enough to understand.  She will someday be glad she was part of the care, no matter how painful it might be.  Mother and daughter have already bonded, it happened early.  Teen years are difficult in the best of circumstances.


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