My Mom, Pain in the Elderly

My Poor Little Mommy,

In addition to her dementia, she has osteoperosis and stenosis. (And a couple other back problems.) Her spine is slowly collapsing.

I don’t question that I do a great job for my mom and the best that I can, so you don’t need to write and tell me that. What I am frustrated about is when my learning curve impacts mom’s health.

She’s been nashing her teeth for quite a while now, and everyone, psychiatrist included, has assumed that this was a dementia related problem. She has huge knots on her neck muscles, and who wouldn’t because her teeth are clenched all the time and she lists to the right as a result of some of her dementia drugs.

And I don’t know what finally enabled me to look at her and say, oh, the teeth gnashing and the folies bergere kicking… that’s to alleviate the pain. she’s in a lot of pain. I’d been missing the pain for quite a while, partially because she can’t articulate it. So, much screaming and crying later, they move fairly quickly to get her drugs that make her able to function. You can’t imagine what it feels like to see a face turn from fear and resignation back to your mother’s sweet smile.

It’s all about learning to see differently. and act differently. to be kind. and then of course to get a degree in gerontology because goodness knows nobody seems to know what they’re doing!

Chins up my darlings, it’s hard, but the pay off is extraordinary!

Ann

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