Meltdown on Friday night. Just had enough. Partly the daily-ness of life with Mom here, but mostly just feeling like I've had little control over what happens.
Mom's aide felt it was important for her to have a nurse come regularly, even though I thought it was unnecessary. Mom tells the aide stories when she gets bathed, worries she has and most of them (if not all) are, pretty much, ungrounded. When she had her TIA a couple of weeks ago, we told her it was her blood sugar, not wanting to say the words 'mini stroke' to her. Well, she went great guns saying she's now borderline diabetic (what?) and talked at length to the aide about it. I told the aide, who I really like...let me stress that...that it was a TIA and not a blood sugar drop/spike. I shared my reasons for telling my mom what I did. She didn't listen, at least not to me.
Well, on Friday we had the first visit from a nurse, nice lady, but very chatty and loud and while she got all the information on Mom---medicines, etc., she stayed an hour. Says she'll be back on Tuesday or Wednesday. I hope she's not intending on staying another hour. Taking blood pressure and temperature, sizing up the situation can be pretty darn quick. Seems to feel it's her duty to entertain Mom, empathize and give her moral support. Okay, fine. She said that all her patients and families just loooove having the nurse come over. They look forward to it. All I see is one more person interrupting our days, mornings especially. Thankfully the PT is down to one day a week. But 3 medical folks in our lives 4 times a week is a bit much. Tell me you'd enjoy it. Yeah, that's what I thought.
The girls shared with me that they've been worried about me. Oldest daughter said she feared I'd have a heart attack with me fretting so. My mom's life is consuming. I've read so much recently about the dynamics of having an ailing parent come into the home. Misery does indeed love company. My husband, my goodness, my husband, along with our girls, have been amazing. He listens, doesn't criticize me, never puts me in my place, and helps as much as he can. Hear me...never criticizes. I can unload on him and he just takes it. I shake my head in wonderment.
On a thankful note...we brought home from Mom's house a different grabber thing, so she can reach things. Well, after another talking to from my husband last week (directed at my mom) she's dressing herself in the mornings and at night too. Life changing for us. Improves her movement, and gives us a break. This is huge.
But she still sits. Waits for us to either come up with something for her to do, or she goes into a zone. Just sits, hands on her knees. Not sure what's going on mentally when this happens, but I'm trying to avoid her for chunks at a time. My own health is suffering. I'm so wired. All. the. time.
Hardest parts? Constant cleaning. Keeping smells at bay. Daily washing of sheets even with bed pads and diapers worn. Bedroom garbage that has to be emptied as soon as it's partially full. Again, keeping my house sweet-smelling. Chores done on a daily basis with little or no gratitude shown. Everyone appreciates being thanked. The sacrifices my girls have had to make. My mom's tendency to put herself first, not thinking of what everyone else is going through. Her attitude of 'waiting to die.' Her constant talking and questions that often don't make sense. Food shopping. Having to go to more trouble to have things she'll eat. Her choking when she eats. Her inability to remember to keep herself clean. Not washing her hands. Small issues, but continual. It wears you down quickly and all the time.
And even when you love that person, you grow to not like being with them.
Some folks, when they're on the outside of situations like this, want to make it appear so altruistic. An opportunity to let their true loving Christian character shine. That if they were in my position, they'd be so great at it. I had no false ideas that this would be easy. I'm not fool enough to think I'm that sort of Christian. We got handed something we didn't want, but were unable to see an alternate solution. Still.
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I've got a new bag from my mother in law, a nice sort of satchel and I've filled it with yarn and embroidery things. When I have a quiet moment, I get out something and focus. Had to unravel what I was doing with the baby blanket, uneven stitches. I'm having to practice turning the piece and get my hook in the right place to start new rows. Making dish towels, figuring small work is more wise than getting too into the blanket. I've got until September. Plenty of time.
And have a bag of fresh, new magazines by my side of the bed. Crafting ones. And bought Molly Makes' crochet book. So bright and cheery.
Stayed home from church today. Middle daughter caught a stomach virus and I'm just being present for her. She doesn't need anything, but I could see the relief on oldest daughter's face when I offered to stay here while they went to church. One less worry for her. These three girls are so close.
So that's where we are. Talked a bit this weekend about firing the lot of therapists and just paying for someone to come in and bathe my mom. Not sure if that's too knee-jerk or what. They all get so intrusive, and to have to put my mom's needs at the top of everyday's list of things to do is tiresome.
And let me reiterate the word. Narcissist. It's all about her, even with her stroke brain. And it's not just because of her physical needs, but her wants, even when it's difficult for us, remain important to her.
Give me a big fat break.
Maybe next blog post will be perky and frivolous. Will work on that! Truthfully, the meltdown was a positive. If you don't get it out, it'll get out on its own. Thanks for listening. Today is good. Just talking here is a help. Sorry for such stark honesty, but I still figure it'll help someone, someday.