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Well, my mom is here

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
I put this in personal growth, because I can tell I'm going to need some continuity here. More than can be provided in TAO when the thread gets buried by the avalanche of new posts and disappears in a day.

It's so much worse than we thought. She's completely bedridden, in supine position, not able to sit up to eat, groom, get on the computer, talk. Just flat on her back or curled up on one side. She moans in pain and can barely be moved to change her diaper or clean her.

Dd is terrified. I totally screwed up and took dd in to see Nana when we woke up this morning (Mom came in by air ambulance late last night). Mom had her false teeth out and when we came in she reached to put them back in. Well, there's not much more horrifying in the mind of a three year old than watching someone take out or put in false teeth. Plus Mom just looks garish: emaciated, gaunt, slurred speech from pain medication.

Today when the babysitter picked up dd from preschool and brought her home, dd was afraid to go into the house. She walked around outside for awhile and then asked to go next door to the neighbor's to play. When I got home, our neighbor came over carrying a crying dd. She'd heard my car and knew I was home, but was too scared to come home.

Poor mom needs diaper changes three times per day. She needs help with eating. She can't poo without an enema because the back injury affected her pelvic nerves. We're arranging for home nursing but I've been dealing with all this myself over the past two days. Today I came home and she was sobbing and wailing. Said she should never have come, that it was awful, she was so sorry, she just wishes she could die.

I'm just numb. I've canceled all my difficult surgeries the past two days because I just don't trust myself to stay on track emotionally. It's just a mess.
post #2 of 92
I'm so sorry...
post #3 of 92
Thread Starter 
Today was a lot better.

I got up at 5 am and sponge bathed her, washed her hair and changed her diaper, nightgown and bedding. Then off to work. Got home, gave her an enema and helped her on and off the bedpan. She threw up her dinner and I cleaned her up from that.

The home nurses can't start until friday. We'll try to arrange for them to come for an hour in the morning to get her cleaned, fed and diaper changed. Then again an hour at noon to change diaper and feed lunch. I'll handle the rest when I get home from work. Poor dh just walks around wide eyed and keeps asking 'are you alright?'

Dd did much better today. I told her that Nana doesn't mean to be scary, that she's just sick and feels so, so sad right now. Dd would go and peek in the doorway and one time called out "hi Nana!", so I think things are soothing down for her.
post #4 of 92
to you mama. you sound so strong in the face of so much.
post #5 of 92
I am so sorry you and your family are going through this. Hopefully with the nurses coming things will normalize a bit and the shock will wear off. You are one strong momma!
post #6 of 92
I am so sorry! How scary for your dd, but your poor mom, too :
I'm sure your mom loves your dd more than anything and this is just breaking her heart. Your such a wonderful daughter for taking care of your mom. My thoughts are with you.
post #7 of 92
This will get easier for you once you find a routine. It will get less scary for your DD as she understands it better. Your DH will figure out what his role is in this and he'll figure out how to become a better support to you. Your mom will soon stop feeling like a 'burden' and start feeling the love. Just give it all a little time; and repeat after me....

This Too Shall Pass

I'll bookmark this thread and check in from time to time. I think you're amazing for being willing to help her; and I think you're incredibly strong for watching her go through this - I know that hurts the most. I'm sending positive vibes to you and your family; and I hope the "easier" comes soon.
post #8 of 92
Wow mama, I am glad that I saw this, as I was thinking about you. I am so glad today was better. I am sure it will be a journey of ups and downs, but I know that you are doing what you felt had to be done and that is just amazing to me. I hope the nurses can start ASAP and get you a break from the labor of it all
post #9 of 92

I will keep you in my prayers as you go through this adjustment. Even though she is your mom, this is still a huge undertaking for you and your family. Your a wonderful daughter.
post #10 of 92
I've been thinking about you, and I came to check in. How are things now? Is everyone doing better and settled into a bit of a routine? How are you? Do you have someone taking care of your needs too?
post #11 of 92
Thread Starter 
Thanks for thinking of me. I've been too bitter to face having to talk or write about how things are going.

We're in somewhat of a routine now, but it's not a very pleasant or liveable one. The home nurses stood us up this weekend, so we've still never had anyone out to help us. We hope they show tomorrow.

Basically I'm exhausted. Mom constantly calls out, wanting to be adjusted in bed, or hand her her water, or turn the channel, or comb her hair, or, or, or... It feels a lot like having a new baby in the house. No one can get any rest.

It's really taking a toll on dd. She'd already been reacting negatively to my busy work schedule, and now when I am home I'm constantly pulled away and distracted.

Plus my mother has early dementia and narcissistic personality disorder. Gawd, what a combination. She's paranoid and convinced that we are keeping her captive so that we can get at her money. She's angry that we've arranged for the home nurse to stop by daily because it will cost her $350 per week (Mom stupidly let her medicare B lapse, so she has no coverage). Instead, she thinks that it's completely reasonable to expect me to get up at 4am to get both her and dd cleaned, bathed, dressed and fed before heading off to work, then for dh to spend his lunch hour (which he never actually gets anyway) changing her diaper and feeding her, then for me to start all over again when I get home from work at the end of the day. She truly believes that her care is just this minor blip in our normal schedule and that we have nothing better to do and no other interests than tending to them.

What a freaking mess.
post #12 of 92
Oh my - I watched my family go through this with one of my grandmothers and it is so rough. I'll be thinking of you.

Do you have a chance to journal? It helped my Mom who was the main caregiver....but it seems your time is so precious now. Maybe when you get reliable nurses you and DD can go for a "girls night out" once a month to a hotel and spend a few days together just the two of you?
post #13 of 92
Mama, I have read some of your posts about the situation with your mother. I wanted to support you in creating a situation which works for your family, but without the emotional obligation which it sounds like you are experiencing. Consensual solutions don't suck. This sounds overwhelming, abet there is a transiton phase to home health care. I hope that the relationship with your mom is easier for you than the past ~30 years have been. You don't have to "fix" it. As a surgeon, I understand that is a satisfying role. Some things can't be fixed. Your mother seems to have made many autonomous choices and has lived life *her way*.

Nurturing a healthy family environment for your daughter and husband and yourself isn't something in which she has participated. Don't expect miracles. Your heart is obviously wretched about her situation. We can not change other people.

I hope you can find peace with your relationship.


Pat
post #14 of 92
The nurses thing....was that a paperwork mixup maybe? Whatever happened with that, I'm sorry that happened. Don't feel obligated to write here, if you don't feel like it....I'll check in from time to time anyways.

It's been a while now, and I hope things are going better now. Unlike the PP; I don't know anything about your story prior to this; but I'm here anyways. I'll check in when I can. Hang in there mama!
post #15 of 92
how difficult this must be for you all!
post #16 of 92
blessed, I went back and read one of your older threads. I know you had trouble getting her to stay in a facility when she was in Mexico, but maybe you can find one near you. My dad is in a nursing home and while sometimes I think my mom would prefer to have him at home in reality it's nice for her to be able to go home and relax, too. It sounds like the current situation is difficult for everyone in your family. My mom doesn't have a lot of nice things to say about some of the nurses/CNAs at the nursing home, but especially the agency nurses who fill in on the weekends and are often unreliable. She has some faves on the regular staff, though. Anyway, I realize you're a professional, but I'm not sure that you wouldn't be doing your best by her to place in a facility near you and visit frequently. My mom goes every day for hours at a time (probably a bit too much since she is elderly, too, but it's what she wants). You could go by every day and check in with her and let the staff know that Dr. Blessed was coming by so they'll stay on their toes. Like a previous poster said, the facilities that have an Alzheimers' ward are used to dealing with belligerent patients.

I know you didn't ask for advice, but I just wanted to throw it out there. Taking care of an elderly parent that you have a good relationship with and a young child is difficult at best and when you have a strained relationship with the parent, yikes, I can only imagine. . Hope things get better for you all soon.
post #17 of 92
post #18 of 92
Thread Starter 
Thanks for hugs and for thinking of me.

In our case, I really don't harbor any illusions about providing better care for Mom at home versus an extended care facility. She just won't go. We'd have to have her declared mentally incompetent and forcefully committed. Someday I expect we'll come to that, but for now I'm just taking it one day at a time.



ETA: Oh, I forgot. The home nurses are coming out now and that part is better. Mom verbally abuses them and tries to fire them, but I guess they're used to having to deal with dementia and so forth, so that hasn't been a major problem so far.
post #19 of 92
Ah, I see. She refuses. Gotcha.

Well, super duper duper big s to you. Glad the nurses are working out, too.
post #20 of 92
Thread Starter 
Mom's getting stronger, and more difficult to deal with.

Originally she was very weak and just wanted to sleep and moan in pain all day. Her mood was dispair. Now she's better and she wants to talk and socialize, which is difficult given that dh and I work fulltime and are raising a 3 yo. She calls us into the room constantly. Last night I got about 2 hours of sleep, up getting dd dressed and ready at 5 am, worked all day, home at 5pm, and I counted 17 times she called me in the room between then and now (about 7pm.

Dh and I both try to sit with her and talk a bit, but it's difficult and we're both exhausted. Plus she's so negative. Her new thing is to hound me to kill her, as in euthanasia. I don't live in a state in which that is legal and I wouldn't want to do it anyway. It just pisses me off because she lay in her house for the past two years with bottles of narcotics and benzos next to her, always talking about suicide and never doing it. Now she wants to dump it off on me, with no thought or care about what that would do to me or to dd.

It's hard. I'm trying to be empathetic. And I know that she's trying too, in her way.

This sucks.
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