guilt is an awful thing
Ill try to make this short and sweet, but I have the desire to get this off my chest before it grows into something huge. My 87 year old MIL lives with us, she has for 3 years now. She has mild/moderate demetia, is incontinent, is bouncing between a wheelchair and a walker,and requires a Lot of care due to numerous health issues. I quit my job almost two years ago to stay home and care for her when it became apparent that she was unable to manage, we were to the point that she was a danger to herself (kitchen fires, flooding the bathrooms, couldn't manage her mediacations, so on and so on) She is a wonderful loving woman. My husband (her son) works himself into the ground trying to keep our heads above water without my income ( and loss of my health insurance). We are down to the bone finacially strapped and stressed, but we are hanging in there cause we love her and feel it's the right thing to do. She is usually very sweet and tries not to be any trouble, but she cannot manage anything on her own. I do everything for her, bathing, washing her hair, rolling her hair, cleaning her when she has a accident, dressing her, making sure the proper medication is filled and given, making sure she is eating properly, taking care of the everpresent big "D" (decubitus ulcers). I do physical therapy, I entertain, I come up with puzzles and endless suggestions of something to keep her mind active---You get the picture, her care has become my life. My husband and I have been out together 3 times in 3 years. The rest of the family lives out of state so all this is on our shoulders.
Now, I know this sounds so petty of me, but I had my 51th birthday this weekend. My daughter made plans to take me to lunch and then some shopping afterwards (God bless the child, it was great). My husband sat with his mom so I could go. While I was gone, she apparently found some old phone books and started calling all sorts of her old friends. I don't have a problem with that, friends are great to have and a real comfort to her (they never call her, she may or may not know who they are depending on how she is doing). I was gone 5 hours, and by the time I returned, she hit me with this list of places I had to take her and lunch dates she had to keep and had apparently volunteered me to take her and all her old buddies out and shopping . All of this requires me to take her out of state, over an hours drive. (not an easy feat with an incontinent, at times very confused, 87 year old, wheelchair bound sweet little ole lady). Honestly, I have enough trouble trying to get her loaded in the car to get her to the Dr. She outweighs me by 38 lbs.
Now, here is where the resentment and the guilt comes in. I had to move heaven and earth to make sure she was taken care of so I could spend a much needed afternoon with my daughter on my birthday. I don't get many days like that and haven't in a while. My husband told me she wasn't thrilled when he told her I was out with my daughter for my birthday. I'm sure she felt left out but it was impossible to take her--we did the cake and icecream thing with her before we left--she was unaware it was my birthday. I don't have a social life at all, few of my friends call or comeby anymore. I guess I selfishly resent the fact that she feels like I have to now manage her social life and her friends. I HAVE no life here people!!! I hate being volunteered, I have ENOUGH to deal with on a daily basis without out all this. So...until the dementia takes over again and she forgets this, she will worry me to death. I have suggested her friends come visit her here, but no, out of the question--apparently I have to drive. Bottom line....it ain't happening and I'm not gonna start. I miss MY LIFE and MY FRIENDS and MY JOB and MY PAYCHECK!!!!!ok, now you can insert GUILT here. Thanks for letting me vent--I think I can face my day now.