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Feeling run down :/

MRivera0929
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2009

My mom's cancer is growing in many different places now. Since a hospitalization in October of 2010 she has been in one institution or the other. Her doctor finally said she needs to be at a skilled nursing facility for the time being as I alone cannot provide the kind of care she needs. Dealing with her cancer is hard enough. It just gets ugly with her mental state. She's absolutely mean sometimes. Mean to me, mean to the people that help her, mean to her family. In addition, there are a plethera of false accusations she has made about her roommate and the staff at the SNF. For example, her roommate (a 70 year old woman recovering from a stroke) is involved in prostitution and poisoning her. I cannot talk to anyone, including family or friends, because she does not like it. She will accuse me of treating them better than I treat her. When I do not do things the way she would want me to or do not agree with her it just gets worse. She reminds me every day that she wants to go home. Although she says she understands I cannot care for her alone; I honestly think she wants me to drop my life so she can go home. It's almost like she guilts me with this every day. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm patient, I visit every day, I'm there for her as much as I can be and nothing makes her happy. It gets harder and harder every day. I know there are no solutions to this problem. I just needed someone to hear me out.

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

You are not alone! And I must say you are doing a great job sticking by your mom, which is all you really have to do. On the go home thing, gently remind her that the ball is now out of your court -- the doctors say this is how it must be. There is nothing you can do. Even if you did drop your life, she couldn't go home.

I hope you are talking with family and friends when not in your mother's presence. Don't let her paranoia make you crazy, too.

Once when my mother was pushing my buttons, making me angry over and over, I finally said this had to stop, that we HAD to get along. She became contrite and stopped. Confrontation is not part of my family's script, but it worked amazingly well.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1244
Joined: Aug 2010

My mom passed away three weeks ago. Not only was she in a hospital for over three months, they had us move her to a nursing home because she wasn't strong enough to go home. Even though she took around the clock care, she was angry because we would not take her home and her doctor made the decision on putting her in a nursing/rehab facility, regardless of what we would have chosen.

We stayed 24/7 with my mom for four total months, with me working days and staying awake all night with her. She was miserable and took constant care all night long.

About a month before she passed away, I had to have a medical procedure which kept me away from her for 24 hours and left her in my sisters' care. They were very good to her, I know, but when I was finally able to get back with her, she was a much more humble person.

Give yourself one day away from your mom. Make something up if you have to, but take that day.

It will do both of you good. Just one day.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1597
Joined: Aug 2009

I would agree. You need a break. Parents are sometimes very good at laying guilt trips on their children. They know just which buttons to push. I don't know if your mom has always been difficult or not, but you need to take care of yourself, too. You have not caused her illness. You have been an amazing daughter and given her the best care you could. Now she needs professional care in a care facility. That's the dr call, not yours. Let your mother rant and rave at others for awhile. You are not responsible for her behavior. Don't take on guilt for that either. You need a mental health day or several days. Take them. Do something you enjoy whether it be a walk in the park or a day of pampering yourself. Take care, Fay

MRivera0929
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you everyone for your kind words. I just got the word from her doc today that her condition is getting worse. During a chest xray they found what appear to be new nodules in her lungs. Doc says it's time to bring in hospice for a consultation and start utilizing their services. He doesn't seem to think there is more than a few months left. It's really hard for me to stay away. I've been caring for her since I was 12; it's been almost 16 years. I've sacrificed jobs, my education, everything to be by her side. I understand what you are all saying and I agree it probably is best that I take a day for myself. It's only going to get harder the next few months and if I want to help her I need to be healthy myself. It's just all so difficult. Thank you again for your support. I appreciate you taking the time to speak to me.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1244
Joined: Aug 2010

I've been the primary caregiver, caretaker, doctor appointment maker and driver, shopping buddy, etc. for my mom for many years,so I understand what you are saying about it being hard to take a break. Had mine not been forced by a medical issue of my own, it might not have happened.

In retrospect, I needed it, as you said, to keep myself healthy and it turned out to be for my mental health as much as my physical.

I knew a crisis was coming up for Mom just as you do for your mom and I also recognized I needed the break to get ready to help her through her final days.

Please take the break for yourself and for her.

Hugs.

micgrace
Posts: 131
Joined: May 2011

I now have to do the lot also and don't much like it. Except it is my wife. Luckily I am fairly young. I strongly suggest taking breaks if at all possible. I already sneak them in, but tend to feel a bit guilty if away. I know my wife is immensely pleased to see me. However she can never be part of the world I am involved with at work which is now strictly part time but that gives me a feeling of achievement and others to talk to on a regular basis.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1244
Joined: Aug 2010

Lose the guilt, micgrace, and don't sneak. Your wife hasn't asked you to feel it and it does no good to anyone.

Hang in there. This is a rough road for caregivers.

Remember to breathe.

yv1214's picture
yv1214
Posts: 72
Joined: Feb 2011

I see my own life flashing before my eyes. I have been my mom's primary caregiver since she got dx 2 yrs ago. My sister would be visit at least once a month, but she always got her on the good days. I still feel guilty because I once chose to leave on a business trip than stay at home, and left her in the care of others. If not for those few days I would've gone crazy.

We now have hospice in place and the nurse came in yesterday and advised us that things are progressing faster than she expected. I am putting in place family medical leave because I am of no help at work and I am worried that after everything I could also loose my job. My sister who has arrived to stay with us is complaining about how tired she is because she' taken care of her these past few days. Part of me just looks at her and screams in my head "are you kidding me". I have been doing this mostly alone for the past 2 yrs. Sorry for my rant, my point is do something nice for yourself. You deserve it and you do need a small mental break!!!

If you want to chat do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Yessy

coping in CA
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2011

You are so right, Yessy. I went to the opera with a friend the other day and boy, I really feel like my battery was recharged. Then I was able to visit my wife for a few hours today and came home very depressed. She is still saying unusual things (there is a secret door in her room) which the staff at the rehab did not know until I mentioned these incidences. She thinks she tells me things and when I try to ask or talk to her about them, she gets upset with me. It is very confusing, I really don't know what she expects of me. Our relationship has changed dramatically.

I do not know when she can come home and she is depressed there. My son and I are going to the East Coast for family functions (he has not had a chance to go there with all that is going on) and I think being at the facility is better than being at home with CNA's (strangers in the house) with her mom and hopefully sister.

Can I just say I hate being in limbo and not knowing what the unknown will be.

Thanks for letting me vent!!

Sending healing energy to all.

Shari

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