Dementia Sucks. My New Mantra.

by Nancy Wurtzel on May 7, 2012

Dementia Sucks.  This is my new mantra.

I say those two words out loud when I’m alone.  On a really bad day, I might even scream them in the car.  Online, I discuss dementia with people I’ve never met and I write about it endlessly.  I talk to my sister by phone and we sometimes laugh about this odd, crazy experience.  Alone, I might cry after a bad day.  At my mother’s, I’ll go into the bathroom and whisper, “dementia sucks,” over and over and over.

It’s amazing how many different ways I can say it — loud, soft, funny, angry, with different inflections.

Try it yourself.  You’ll see.

Sometimes it helps to verbalize it.  Hate it.  Get the feelings out.  Even if no one else hears.

Because when the next day rolls around, it all happens again and it will still suck.  Then, suddenly, there might be a bright spot.  Something shiny, uplifting, happy.

I grasp onto this little slice of happy and think: Yes, I can do this. Even though it sucks.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristi Montoya September 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I hear you! My dad suffers from dementia too!! Hate it!!! It will get him…but I have found pure frankincense helps. Not a cure all but any quality of life improvement is fine by me!

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2 Nancy Wurtzel September 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Hi, Thanks for coming to read and for the comment about pure frankincense…I am going to check it out!

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3 karen June 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Going through some of the same things with my 90 and 88 year old parents. It does help to have a sounding board. Luckily I have five siblings. Take time for yourself and call if you need to talk. Karen

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4 Nancy Wurtzel June 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Good to hear from you! Yes, it does take a lot out of a person to do the caregiving.

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5 Barb @ FL Mom's Blog May 31, 2012 at 7:31 am

Nancy,
My maternal grandmother had what I believe
was vascular dementia. She has a big stroke in ’90
and as the years went on until she died in’99, she’d forget
faces and slowly wouldn’t carry on conversations.
I’d call on the phone, and my aunt would put her on the
phone— I would be talking to air, pretty much. Dead silence
on the other end of the phone. Sad. For years, as an RN, I have
taken care of Alzheimer’s and dementia residents,
along with other patients in a skilled nursing facility/
long term care facility. Can totally relate to the Sandwich
Generation! My dad’s 76, and lives on his own for now,
but I question as the years go by, what will happen down
the road. I’m married and have a 13 yr old son, not ready
to take care of Dad.

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6 Nancy Wurtzel May 31, 2012 at 9:03 am

Oh, I can so relate to your comments! Thanks for reading and for taking the time to leave your thoughts…please visit again.

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7 Nancy Wurtzel May 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hey Barb,
I appreciate you coming to read and to share. Take care, Nancy

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8 Susan May 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm

You are a true heroine. I honestly don’t know how you do it, but from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

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9 Nancy Wurtzel May 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

No, I’m not a heroine. Perhaps a goddess, but never a hero!

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10 Tracy May 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Nancy, my prayers to you and your mother. I know how difficult it is-my mother has Alzheimer’s.

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11 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Tracy, Thanks for reaching out…everyone has been so supportive. Hang in there. Sadly, you are not alone in dealing with Alzheimer’s.

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12 DarleneMAM May 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Dementia Sucks!
And you are brave to be walking this road alongside your Mom.
Atta girl, Nancy. Atta girl!

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13 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Thank you my new online best friend! Can’t wait until I see you in NYC…hugs to you. I needed that Atta Girl!!

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14 Joanie May 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Nancy, I think of you and your mom every time I read one of your posts, it makes me sad because my mom who is 96 is quite lucid, but she does have some memory lapses from time to time. Try something therapeutic like running, it definitely clears the mind and you can scream and think out loud.

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15 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Wow, we are on the same wavelength. I am a walker, but have decided to add some short bursts of slow running into my walks and did that for the first time tonight. Now, I just read your message! Glad your mom is doing well at 96. My mom has a friend who is 97 and she has physical problems but is sharp and spends her afternoons online surfing and sending email. She’s awesome…I have to write about her. Thanks for reading and for the comment!

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16 bob becker May 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Do not be mad at your mom, when it gets real bad go away from her so she cannot hear u and curse scream ,cause she cannot help herself and u are her lifeboat..It will be the hardest time of your life, so take one day at a time and get some help for the two of you. Regards Bob

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17 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Yes, all good advice!

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18 Nadine Feldman May 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm

It does suck, indeed. Thanks for your honesty. This was a moving post. Hugs.

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19 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Hey Nadine — You have been such a faithful reader and I do appreciate it very much. Thanks for everything.

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20 Vin Z May 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I totally agree with you & I say the same thing every night either before, during or after visiting the nursing facility. Our visits do include good times, thank God… but it takes a lot of energy. Usually singing helps a lot, it’s magical.

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21 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Good idea on the singing — thanks for sharing and you hang in there, too! Nancy

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22 Vin Z May 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Thanks Nancy. Some days we just have to kvetch about it & let it all out. I’ve learned it’s part of the process. Check out my Blog, if you haven’t already, http://www.Dementia-Mama-Drama.com . I’ll continue to spread the word about yours, I love it!

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23 Lynda Schrader May 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

The living loss of our loved one is pretty sucky. That’s what dementia is to me. Mom wasn’t Mom any more. I could see and touch the body of the woman with me, but the spirit of my Mom was no longer there. One piece of advice from someone who has been there, take care of yourself. When someone offers to help, let them. Go out with friends, get diversions. You are a great writer and that is a perfect outlet for your emotions. I’ll be thinking of you and your mother.

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24 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 11:22 am

Lynda, Thanks for reading and for taking the time to leave a message. I appreciate your support more than I can convey with words. Thank you so much!

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25 Melanie May 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

Rant on, get it out. Sometimes that is the absolutely best thing to do! Virtual hug coming your way.

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26 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 11:22 am

Hey Melanie,
I’ll take that virtual hug — need it! Back at you, my online friend!

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27 Susan Sweet May 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

Nancy , hang in there. it does suck big time . I would look at my bright intelligent mother trying to cout to ten and just want to cry . The woman taught Calculus and Trig at one time . Just remember the mother that was . Also know we all are here when you need to let it all out. Sending hugs across the wires.

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28 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

I’m so sorry about your mother — very hard. I appreciate the hugs across the wires!

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29 lisa May 7, 2012 at 9:29 am

There’ll be a blessing in all this, I promise.

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30 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 10:03 am

Yes, you are right — I do see it now (at times). Helps to rant a bit, though, so thank you for indulging me. And, thank you for coming back to read.

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31 Linda Landers May 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

Sorry to hear you’re struggling right now — it’s so wonderful that you’re helping your mom, but certainly it takes it’s toll. Please be sure to schedule in some “you” time and treat yourself in ways that will make you happy, relaxed and provide some sense of well-being.

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32 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 10:02 am

Hey Linda,
Thanks for the comment and for coming to read!

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33 Ruth May 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

Could not agree more, sometimes you see a bright spot and hope, but it starts all over again the next day…groundhog day, over and over and over…yes, we can do it…

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34 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 10:02 am

Ruth, As always, many thanks for your insight and your encouragement. You and I are walking the same path!

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35 Mike May 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

Nancy: Well said. My father suffered with dementia for six years. It was a daily struggle. Hang in there.

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36 Nancy Wurtzel May 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

Thanks for coming to read, Mike, and for your comment!

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