Our families journey with LBD

It’s hard to exactly pinpoint when my mom’s LBD story started. Noticing some unusual physical and behavioral issues but I suppose like many families we make excuses for that.

The first physical symptom that I noticed was the constant runny nose. We talked to the doctors about that and they just Shrugged her shoulders and suggested Mucinex. I thought perhaps it was a side effect of the new heart medication.

The next physical symptom was the loss of balance. She would stand in the middle of the floor and just fall over. And I made the excuse that it was probably a side effect of the heart medication lowering the blood pressure.

The next mental issue that I noticed was her inability to process her environment, conversations, and new information. And because she was the caregiver for my dad who was suffering with cancer I excused the behavior because of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion.

The last year that Daddy was alive he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s also. So neither one of them drove anywhere. I put on over 7,000 miles that year helping them out. I am an only child so there was really no one to step in and help me.

After daddy died mom lived alone in their apartment for about a year. Her Behaviour we’re more strange but I excuse that because I felt she was not adjusting to the death of my dad. Particularly when she wanted to get a night light on his Cemetery grave so that it wasn’t so dark at night and he could read.

Then she put away his pictures because they kept watching her and talking to her and she couldn’t sleep at night. She did talk to her doctor about this and he felt possibly it was anxiety and he medicated her that way and gave her sleeping pills.

A little over a year after daddy passed away I got a phone call from the hospital saying that my mom had fallen down and they were going to flight for Life her to a bigger Hospital. And that’s where our real Story begins. Her dead relatives were there with her my dead father was there and sometimes her mind was back when she was a teenager. She was deemed incompetent and I had her moved to a long-term care facility. She stayed there about 20 days I closed up her apartment packed up her stuff and made arrangements for her to stay and live with us.

Mom lived with us about two and a half years and she had good days and bad days. Nighttime was not her friend. Her resentment towards me seem to grow everyday. She blamed me for her condition and diagnosis. She connected her illness with Alzheimer’s and convinced everyone that her memory was just fine. And as we know LBD people have a very good long-term memory for quite a while.

She convinced her side of the family that she was well and I was making up all of the stories so that I could have all of her money. Protective Services was called in to do a financial audit several times that year and everything was found to be just fine. They got some psychologist to deem her competent again so that she could revoke the power of attorney over Health Care from me and gave it to someone she barely knew.

She had pneumonia about every 3 or 4 months for the last three years that she lived. Finally pneumonia took her and she peacefully passed away.

Now my daughter and I will be facilitating an LBD support group in the area so that no family has to walk this journey alone.

Kathy Stenson

Dec 20, 2017