Scary Feelings

Mom’s mind is getting a little fuzzy. I’ve mentioned this before but I think I’m going to mention it again. This also probably won’t be the last time I mention it. I think it is becoming a regular symptom of Mom’s MS and a symptom that may be the most difficult of all for me to deal with. Is it strange that I have an easier time with her inability to walk or other issues, but start messing with her mind and I am struggling with how to handle it?

I was on the phone today having a conversation with Mom about this past weekend. She couldn’t keep the details of what happened straight. I listened half-heartedly, filling in the blanks and not making a big deal out of it. But secretly inside it was a big deal to me. Minor details of stopping at McDonald’s, who was there, driving back from the game, things that are pointless but easy to remember. The same thing happened at the football game this weekend. She asked me several questions several times or made the same comment several times. I snapped at her. Sister K looked at me and said my name implying I needed to chill out. I just looked away. I felt bad. I lost my cool once again. It’s hard because I truly don’t know how to deal with this. The closest comparison is my Grandmother who had Alzheimer’s but that is also not the same as this. This is a weird symptom of MS. It’s also a weird symptom that comes and goes. More so when Mom is tired. Sister K tried talking to her on the phone Saturday night and then got on the phone with me saying, “What is wrong with Mom? Is she tired? She’s tired.” And we agreed she was tired.

I don’t know if I am supposed to answer Mom’s questions multiple times. Retell the same stories multiple times. Go through the motions of reptition but not think about the real meaning of it. That is the hard part. The only comparison to dealing with this is how I dealt with my Grandmother- and I did answer her questions multiple times and listen to her stories multiple times. But doing that with Mom in some ways frightens me. It frightens me because it means we are back there again even though it’s in a different way, except this time it is Mom.

This seems to be a tricky symptom for me to wrap my head around. It’s easier when I’m completely rested and in a good mood. This isn’t easy when I’m tired and life has got me down. It also isn’t easy because I don’t know what I am supposed to do. The topic of this makes me scared inside. It is one of the symptoms I don’t share with anyone. I don’t think anyone except Dad, Sister K and Husband know it is out there. Sister K and I discuss it with each other but we keep it light-hearted. We try to sorta laugh it off when things happen so we don’t get upset- “Mom’s being crazy again” is what we say. That’s how we deal. Maybe there is nothing to do. Maybe I just need to embrace the repetition and come to terms with the scary feelings inside. Push them away when they bubble up. Realize I can’t react based on the scary feelings. The struggle is deep down I know it’s serious. No one gives you a manual for telling you how to deal with the scary feelings.

Have you ever been secretly scared of something? Have you ever reacted to a situation on impulse based on your negative scared feelings? How do you block out negative thoughts? How would you deal with something like this?

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