Moment of clarity, shortly before dying

Have you heard of, or experienced, this?
5
Yes - 83.3%
0
No - 0.0%
1
I've heard of this happening, but haven't seen it. - 16.7%

 
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IMJustCurious
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/25/2011 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Both of my in-laws died of Alzheimer's. I watched their minds deteriorate to the point they didn't recognized close family members. But both, shortly before dying had a moment of clarity.

My father-in-law no longer spoke and slept most of the time. But within weeks of his death, he was laying in bed resting and holding my mother-in-law's hand, when he opened his eyes, looked at her and said, "You know, sweetheart... we've had a wonderful life together." Clear as day. Then he returned to how he'd been, quietly sleeping all the time.

My mother-in-law was so disoriented when Alzheimer's finally got a hold of her that she thought my wife was her older sister and eventually thought she was just the woman who came to do her laundry. (This really saddened my wife.) But within weeks of her death, she was sitting with other patients in the nursing home when my wife walked into the room. My mother-in-law put a big smile on her face and introduced my wife, saying "Here's my daughter, Jennifer!" Shortly afterwards her mind returned to full-time forgetfulness.

Has anyone else heard of, or experienced, these types of moments of clarity that appear way out of character for an advanced Alzheimer's patient?

Post Edited (IMJustCurious) : 6/25/2011 2:11:10 PM (GMT-6)


Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 6/26/2011 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
The mind is capable of a great deal of things so it doesn't me surprise me that this could happen. I have never seen it personally, when my Gma died she was in "the death rattle" when I got to her side at the hospital.

I'm sorry for your losses.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(50mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds~OA-Tylonel Arthritis~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis~GAD-Klonopin (.25mgs)~Rosacea-Metrogel/Elidel~IBS~Diverticulosis~Fibromyalgia

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 6/26/2011 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I believe my mom is in the end stages of the moderate stage or maybe the beginning stage of the end stage, just not sure. She spends her entire day in bed, lying with her eyes closed either listening to the TV or the radio. She does still speak, but really does not have much to say and if she tries to have a conversation, it's very hard for her to think of the words she wants to say. There are times, however, when out of nowhere, she will remember something and it is always something from the past, over 30 years ago and will talk about it and very much surprise us. And then there are those times when she looks at me and says "are you married?" and I tell her yes (for 31 years) and then she says "do you have any children?" My son is 1 of 7 grandchildren that she has and he was always her very special grandson. That is something that I just can't seem to get beyond.
What makes me crazy is when she loses her memory about something one day and yet on another day, she recalls it. That simply doesn't make sense to me at all. I guess the entire disease simply doesn't make sense to me. They say it is more difficult for the family than for the AD patient and I would very much agree...
be well
Miriam

IMJustCurious
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/5/2011 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, Sherry and Miriam, for your responses.

Miriam, I can only imagine how sad and unsettling it is to see a once vibrant parent, now at a loss of understanding about what should be a familiar world.

I'm not claiming to be an expert on Alzheimer's, but I'd like to offer two thoughts on the disease - one simple, one philosophical. First simple: When the actions and responses of my in-laws seemed illogical, I comforted my logical mind by viewing their condition this way. I told myself that their brain is slowly dying in chunks. And once a chunk dies, it loses its ability to contribute its portion of memory, function or abilities to the whole. Because certain memories, like being in the war, or the name of a spouse, "live" in many chunks, these deep and extensive memories can continue to thrive almost until the end.

Now the philosophical one.

I've been guided lately to start reading books about souls. The first book someone offered was Evolution Angel. It was life changing for me. Then another person suggested the Brian Weiss series. And now I'm reading Journey of Souls. I come from a strong religious background, but over time the lack of logical answers about the meaning of life drove me away from religious thinking all together. Reading these books has opened my eyes to some very real, "logical" answers to my questions. They may help you. What I think I "know" now is that people are a combination of matter (the physical body) and energy (the invisible entity that animates our bodies, retains our experiences and lives on after our physical bodies die. Some call it our spirit, others our soul, but I also think it is what we think of as our subconscious.) The conscious mind (our brain) is the gatekeeper between our conscious world and our souls. Everything that happens to us in our life gets immediately logged into our soul, but our brain only notices and remembers what it believes is important for us to retain during this life. As our gatekeeper brain dies, it loses what it's retained, but everything is still in our soul. That is why I think, when the brain is weakened by Alzheimer's, the soul is able to commandeer our physical bodies for a moment, when the soul "sees" that it would be a loving gesture to do so.

I know this may sound contrived and far fetched, but so do all of the books I'm reading about souls that seem to ring so true to my logical mind.

I hope in some small way I've helped to lighten your load and brought you some kind of light of hope that your loved one may be physically leaving, but she is still very much reachable through your soul and hers.

ShanghaiLucy
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/17/2012 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
My mom is in about stage 6 or 7, and has recently had 3 moments of clarity in a 4-month period. The first is when my father was with her at the hospital where she was temporarily admitted. She had a moment of clarity and asked him to get me and my sister to the hospital because she has something to say. She told us that she realizes she has alzheimer's and that she is going to die, that she is okay with it, and when she gets to the point where she is completely out of it to put her in a nursing home and go on with our lives. She talked in a clear manner, her eyes were different, her voice different, etc. More like how she used to be. She is out of it at all other times and doesn't even realize she has alzheimers. She thinks she still pays the bills and cooks the food, etc., which she hasn't done in years. So for her to "wake up" like that for a few hours was miraculous. I taped it. The next day she had no memory of it and was back to her normal self of sleeping most of the day and being oblivious to what was going on.

The 2nd and 3rd incidents were similar, and also occurred at night. In the third, she thanked my Dad for all he has been doing to take care of her, and called him a saint. This was an unbelievable gift to my dad because he has become a full-time caregiver, but since she is unaware, he never gets any thanks.

After this happened I looked on-line and found that these moments of clarity are not that rare, but they are not understood. That search is what led me to this website.

Benny63
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 12/19/2012 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi this is my first time on Alzheimer's page I spend my time on Hepatitis page as I have chronic liver disease. My mum-in-law is 83 was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 2/3 years ago, she was physically ok, used to walk round the residential home no trouble to anyone she wouldn't have conversations just agree with what ever you said. 2 weeks ago we went in to see her when she went to get out of bed her right leg wouldn't function, she was saying she had pain in middle of her chest & a back ache, but would then forget. My reason for asking for advise is that she was taken to our local hospital in U.K. was there a few days still conscious, they told us she had cancer right throug her body, sent back to the residential home, put on paliative pathway(end of life stage). She has not been awake since Sunday, sleeping (& snoring ) a special team we have over here called the McMillan nurses who deal end stage life come in & give an injection, morphine when she needs it, my question is do you think she should be the syringe drive which slowly releases morphine instead of waiting to see her flinching with pain? example being we cannot be with her 24/7 how do we knw if she needs a top up for nurses to called out, as she is not in a hospice only with care workers who have lots of patients shouting screaming walking in her room as door needs to be open when we are not there, my daughters, her granddaughters are not coping seeing her like this, it destroys me seeing my girls watch their nan like this. Sorry to waffle once again I find healingwell the best thing, I just wish I knew about it while I was drinking my self to death literally, I have been sober for 9 months now and will remain so, my girls are just getting over me having days to live, I feel so helpless for them. I just tell myself If something doesn't kill you then it can only make you stronger, but I am 48, the girls are in their teens

Lots of admiration for all moderators involved in Healingwell
Regards
Sue

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 12/19/2012 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry you and your family are going thru this. But yes a morphine pain pump at this stage would be better for her instead of injections. Do they have something like that there?
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Colazal, Remicade (6mp discontinued due to neuropathy)*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

Benny63
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 12/20/2012 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes we have what is called a syringe driver which is given via a drip & slow releases of morphine. This is fitted by the end of life nurses, they know when end is getting very close, & top up a little more often so no pain at end stage, it does howevever bring the end a little closer, but next of kin is the person that has to agree to this, unfortunately my ex-bro-in-law is not here often, and hardly seen her during the 2 years of her Alzheimer's my daughters & I are there as often & as long as we can, the good news is when we get the phone call if we are not with her is that we live 5 minutes away from her nursing home
Thanks for your reply

djl54
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/21/2012 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I have taken care of people with Alzheimer's n find this very true, where they have that moment before passing over of clarity.

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 12/23/2012 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
My father had alzheimer and I had to place him in a nursing home with a locked unit for alzheimers. He became unable to talk for years and when his respirations were fast and shallow the home called me and I got there to spend time with him before he passed away. I held his hand and told him I loved him and that I will be ok when he leaves and I will see him again. He opened his eyes and looked right at me with such clarity and he whispered that he loved me to and thanked me for being there with him. Then he closed his eyes and stopped breathing. I will never forget that.
Betsey
Age to a woman is like krypronite to Superman.
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