Friday, April 20, 2012


Mum and I have always been against taking pharmaceuticals of any kind. I have had to go onto blood pressure medication because nothing else worked and it was getting very serious - 180/110. But other than that we don't take anything. I think it's great that up to the age of 85 Mum has not taken these damn poisonous things. But there comes a time when you get so desperate you have to try something to alleviate the situation.

I am perfectly aware that medications of all kinds will shorten your life. But in Mum's situation, I think I would want my life shortened in any case. Who wants to have the Alzheimers get worse and maybe live another ten years. Sometimes I think Mum will outlive me, she is so fit. She can walk miles.

I took Mum to see Dr Pearson due to her extreme agitation and imagining people who aren't there. I thought I wouldn't want to be suffering like that if I had these symptoms and since they can't be reversed, I would probably agree to take something to help me feel calmer.

Dr Pearson said he believed Lexapro might help and that we should give it a try. Well, she's been on the Lexapro for 3 weeks and she's a lot less agitated and slightly less cat-obsessive. I haven't seen any bad side effects so far. If it makes her sleep less, that's good, as she was going to bed at 5 p.m. and getting up at 7 a.m.

I suppose you have to find something that suits the person and relieves the symptoms, and I was just lucky the first thing we tried seems to have worked.

The Cat Problem

The last three months since I brought Mum home from the nursing home have been very hard. I didn't realize how bad her psychotic symptoms were, the hallucinations and the obsession with cats. She was keeping me up half the night hammering on the front and back doors, demanding that the cats be let inside (all five of them). Her cat is 16 years old and incontinent so I'm not having it sleeping inside no matter what. I had to deadlock the doors and lock the back window to stop her getting out. It was terrible.

Mum tries to get out the bathroom window to the cats in the middle of the night. Her hand is bandaged to due an attack by one of my feral cats that didn't want to be picked up and carried.

I finally hit on the idea of bringing in one of the cats, called Tapir, to sleep on her bed. She's got so bad she no longer knows which cat is which and calls them all 'my cat' and they are all 'him' or 'he' even if they are female. Tapir is very good - he comes to my room when he needs the toilet and taps on the door so I can let him out. I am not going to do cat litter ever again - it makes me sick. To stop Mum locking him or any cat in her room I had a handyman install a door stopper so it won't close completely. So now I say to her every night, "I am putting your cat on your bed" and she's happy with that. She thinks it is her old cat Cleo. Having one cat on her bed stops her from going after all the other cats every night. Even when it starts pouring with rain, she stays in her bed and doesn't jump up and demand that I go out and 'save' the cats. They don't need saving, they are sleeping on a covered veranda.