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 Waking up from Dreams 
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Waking up from Dreams
I don't know where to post this topic. I keep having dreams about my mom where she is back to her old self and talks to me. Then I have to wake up and face the reality that the mom I knew is gone, and she doesn't talk to me anymore. I don't know if she even can understand what I say to her. Each morning after I've had one of these dreams it's like I'm experiencing the loss all over again. I had that dream last night, and today I've been really weepy. The slightest thing sets me off.


Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:28 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
Have you considered counseling for yourself? Is there a local grief group you can join? I think you might find either of these things beneficial.


Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:49 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
First, it's quite normal for us to dream of our LOs as they were before Lewy. In all my dreams my husband is his pre-Lewy self. The fact that the dreams affect you so much might be cause for concern and perhaps a symptom of depression. Of course, IMHO, it's awfully hard not to be depressed about this awful disease. If it is affecting your daily life in a way that makes it hard to function, some counseling might be helpful, as Robin has suggested. Hugs and prayers!

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:53 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
I had several sessions of counseling last summer. I didn't feel that they were particularly helpful. On the other hand, I thought they would have been helpful if I'd had them earlier in my caregiving career. If I had it to do over, I would seek counseling early-on. Having a relationship with a counselor you could see again when things got particularly tough might be a real benefit.

The mother you knew and loved is gone. Yet your changed mother is still here, still in need of care. You are grieving and you are also in the middle of stressful tasks. There has been no closure. This is a very, very difficult situation. With or without the dreams, I don't think there is anything wrong with you for being weepy some days. You don't need to go to counseling to get "fixed." You deserve some help in accepting and moving beyond the pain of loss.

My personal opinion is that even if your mother can't understand you or know who you are, she can understand that she is being loved, that someone is being kind to her.

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:08 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
Well said, Jeanne.
Counseling is one of the most precious gifts John and I have given to each other. Our counselor is part of the "team" I put together to help us negotiate this hard journey. He has been and still is invaluable to both of us. He helped us thru a rough spot just last week. (We are still early stagers.)
I also asked our doctor to give me a prescription for anxiety when I cannot sleep. I use that Xanax rarely, but am so glad it is in my medicine cabinet. Just having it there makes me calmer. Our doctor tells me that I am using it exactly as it should be used.
It is okay to get everything you might need as you hit the hard places in LBD. Sometimes it might be medicine; sometimes counseling. Both are appropriate tools to help you when they are needed.
Take care.

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:46 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
Quote:
I use that Xanax rarely, but am so glad it is in my medicine cabinet. Just having it there makes me calmer.
I'll second that!

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:50 pm
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: southern cali
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
i go to counseling .. for lots of reasons.. so i can vent and not bother my friends, and any time with them for fun and laughter, which is so helpful too.. i also like hearing another opinion , instead of mine, just rattling around in there.. it good to see other ways.. sometimes, most times, i'm too close.. to be as objective as id like to be... i also need attitude adjustments... she is a sweetheart and i just call every couple months and say i need a little adjustment. can you help..?? sometimes if she hasnt heard from in me in a while, she'll drop me an email or give me a call... i always feel stronger after my visit... lots of times i just enjoy the talk and to feel the support and the encouragement...

we all have weepy times and then we get going again.. its ok...its a rough time... please, take care...

i hope you are able to find what brings you comfort, as you go thru this..

thinking of you~~~

_________________
sole CG for hubby.1st symptoms, 2000, at 55. Diag with AD at 62, LB at 64.. vietnam vet..100% ptsd disability,sprayed with agent orange, which doubled chances for dementia. ER visit 11-13,released to memory care..


Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:39 am
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:20 am
Posts: 184
Location: So Cal
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
SandwichMom,
Your post made me cry because I had dreams all the time that my husband was hugging me (taking care of ME?) but I don't have any dreams of him anymore. I'm going to take that as I am handling things better now, who knows? I agree that if you want to seek counseling it might help, but I used to listen to Dr. Laura and one of the things she would say to people who called in for advise on how to overcome their grief is: "I can't fix normal. Grieving is a normal process."
Pat, I have that almost-never-used bottle of Xanax also. I'm happy to have it waiting for me, just in case. Cindi, remember, I'm just down the street from you and always available if you feel the need to vent. Ladies, (and gents) we've gotten ourselves into this unique 'club' that none of us ever wanted to join, but now that we're in it, it's nice to know we have each other to share with. My thanks to you all, Sher

_________________
Sher (53) married 29 years to Ken (66) who was diagnosed with LBD in 2008, but it most likely began many years before.


Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:25 am
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
Thank you for your sweet, supportive posts. I'd forgotten I'd posted about the dreams and only now found that people had replied. I was in counseling from last December until the end of September. My counselor is wonderful and made it clear that I could call for a session at any time, even though I no longer set up regular appointments. Mostly I needed help adjusting to my new reality and accepting the loss of my mom. I feel like I've done those things and now I think the grieving I do is normal. I can cry at the drop of a hat these days, but I am able to function at work and at home whereas at the beginning of counseling, I was having a lot of trouble focusing. I don't feel hopeless about life, so I don't think I'm depressed. I just feel sad a lot, but I also have fun, happy times when I can forget for awhile. The way I described it to my counselor is that when I first came in to see her, a dark cloud was pressing down on top of me. Now the cloud is still there, but most of the time it's smaller, and it's up in the sky where it belongs, kind of off in a corner. Sometimes it comes back down (like the day after a dream about Mom), but it doesn't stay there like it used to.


Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:38 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
Being sad a lot sounds like depression. What would you think about contacting the counselor again?


Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:49 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
SandwichMom, I think that being sad a lot would be normal under the circumstances. And I think that after that many months of counselling you probably are a good judge of what is "normal" sadness and what is depression. Call for an appointment promptly if you feel you are slipping from normal to unhealthy; otherwise don't worry about it.

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:59 am
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
Thank you for all your support. I've been depressed before, so I know this is different. Most days I still can laugh and have fun, work efficiently, and while I worry, it doesn't consume me. I was in a much different place when I started counseling, and I will return if I start to have too many bad days.

I have similar dreams about my son who is out of state in his first year of college. I'll dream I'm visiting him or that he's home, and then I'm sad when I wake up and our visit has to end. He's coming home for Thanksgiving, though, so I'll get to see him for real very soon! :P


Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:00 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
Sandwich Mom, it sounds to me like you have found your balance. And I agree with Jeanne that sad interspersed throughout most of your days is a normal part of grieving. You seem sensitive to the difference, which I would call a mark of good mental and emotional health.
I totally get that sadness about your child leaving home for college. That one threw me for a loop for quite a while. But the new normal becomes okay after time.
So happy for you that you went after what you needed and that it helped you.
Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:01 pm
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:36 pm
Posts: 10
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
When my Dad was initially diagnosed with dementia, I tried to find counseling that was geared to people in his situation. There really did not seem to be anything available. I wish there was a network of people who deal with dementia patients in various aspects of care. I probably should have checked with the Alzheimer's Association. Pat, you are fortunate to have found good counseling!! I attended a session at the Meeting of Minds conference which was a panel of people with MCI talking about what it was like and what their needs were. The biggest beef they had with their medical treatment was that it wasn't geared towards the whole person - that some doctors did not have enough of a concept of what it was like to live in their world. The same point was made about doctors and caregivers - that doctors did not know what caregivers experience and the struggles that they go through to do the best for the person they care for. I think it "takes a village" to deal with life with Lewys. You need an understanding dentist, a good general practitioner, an LBD specialist, etc. And it would be nice to have a way to find people in various fields like counseling who have dealt with people with dementia.


Sun May 13, 2012 3:11 am
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Waking up from Dreams
PBiever, we are greatly blessed to have the counselor we do to help us negotiate thru LBD, but he does not have any kind of specialty in dementia counseling. He has an excellent reputation in our community and is a seasoned psychologist with years of experience. I suspect that any experienced counselor with a wide variety of patients and a good reputation would be able to deal with what we encounter in caregiving (or being a patient in early stage) and wrestling with the emotions and issues that surface around LBD.
The human experience includes so many things that generate fear of the unknown, managing our emotions, focusing our attention on what we can do instead of what threatens to overwhelm us, and developing our communications skills. A good counselor will have learned how to help folks like us navigate those waters.
It is kind of like finding that right neurologist. You just keep looking until you find the match. The benefits are well worth the effort it takes.
Take care,
Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Sun May 13, 2012 2:09 pm
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