can I whine here, just a teensy bit?

fairegoldApril 5, 2005

Mother, who is 95, has a cold. I got her to the doctor this morning, and we're going to a ENT specialist next week, since her voice has been getting hoarser over the past year, but the cold has made it worse... doc wants the specialist to look for a tumor on vocal chord. Nothing to do for a cold, except the usual. But she does feel poorly.

Anyway, I have just had three hours of her saying repeatedly in a terribly whiny voice, "Oh, I feel so bad, why can't I just die now?" and other variations on the theme. Then there comes, "I hate to be a burden on you", "I know your husband hates me for taking all your time", "you don't have to do anything for me", and other gems.

All said in a voice that makes fingernails on a chalkboard sound like music.

I don't always know what to say, so I try to keep my composure. I do tell her that I do not want to discuss money, either hers, mine, my brothers, or anyone else's, in public places like waiting rooms... especially when I have to raise my voice to be heard. Other than that I make no negative comments.

Sorry, but today it just got to me. I think I need an house of enforced quiet for a few hours. Then when my wonderfiul DH gets home, he can make me a drink and it's his turn to fix dinner.

Thanks for letting me whine.....

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Nothing like a good whine now and then.

I hope your mom will be feeling better soon. Sometimes you just need to hug her and tell her how much you love here and you are just as afraid as she is, because that's what she's saying to you. Sometimes a hug and a cry can help. You can reassure her, but she is 95 years old, she's had a long life, and probably outlived most of her friends, she's tired and scared and she's worked hard to keep up appearances - cheerful, grateful, interested, involved.

She may need to feel that it's OK to talk about her real feelings - her fears, her weariness, her death, and not think you will be offended or hurt. And you may need to start that conversation - it doesn't have to be morbid, just honest feelings - how scared you are when she's sick, how strong she was as a mother to you and how hard it is to see things change.

She knows you love her, and you know she loves you, and, ultimately, that's all that's important.

And you have us. Take good care of all of your family, especially yourself.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 9:09PM
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Nothing I can say is going to make you feel one iota better. I know how I feel when my mother gets into "magnanimous gear" and begins telling acquaintenances who come for a visit how much she'd really like them to have thus and such. I simply smile politely and then quietly tell the person that Mum is no longer in charge of her estate; for obvious reasons.

You aren't whining. It's an awful position to be in. I hope dinner was great and the cocktail was all you expected!

Hang in there.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 9:16PM
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Thanks, pals. I am positive, and I do a pretty good job of it. And I feel bad about my puny whine when I know how many of you deal with much more devestating things like Alzheimers. Mother is completely lucid, just very very old.

I realize just how well my Father balanced her. He was everyone's friend, one of the greatest guys you'd ever meet. Honest, completely sincere, and completely nice. Mother's personality is far more negative, but I never saw that until Dad died 5 years ago. There is now no balance to her view of life. ANd now I can recall all the conversations they ever had that enphasized their different personalities.

So I can say that in a lot ways, Mother is now un-balanced!

ANd yes, I tell her that I love her, I try my best to be positive (except when I tell her that we will not discuss money in public places, when I am very firm), and I tell her that my DH loves her, too, which is true.

It's just that a few hours went a long way today. Most of the time it is easier!

Thanks for understanding.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 9:37PM
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Hi, Fairiegold...Boy! Don't you just love it when they whisper in waiting rooms, but their whispers can be heard by everyone?! Yes, it's just one adventure after another, isn't it? ;-)
My 91-year old Mother lives with us, also, has been for over 11 years, and has said many of the things your Mother has said, and it is difficult to hear. I particularly get troubled when she says she wants to die, but she's afraid to. So we talk about her seeing my Dad (who also babied her, and yes, balanced her more negative personality), her parents/family....and she settles down. Other times she cries because she "makes me do so much extra work", yet on other days tells her care-worker that I can do this or that, and it's no trouble for me! Nowadays, however, with her Alzeimers, things are different, and there's no real communication anymore....

We've all taken turns venting here, so vent away!
But wine helps...and someone else cooking is even better!
Aren't hubbys wonderful?!

I hope she gets over her cold soon..they're so frail at their ages.

Take care

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 10:27PM
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I'm guessing that most of you on this site have been dealing with caregiving a lot longer than I have. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago and lived within a mile from my home in an assisted living facility. Before moving her into my home in November 2004, I was going to her apartment daily, for one reason or another, until it became unbearable and she moved in. Even though it's only been a little over four months, I have heard most of what you've mentioned. "I don't want to be a burden", "don't listen to what I say" - she says that after she's been rather aggitated and snapped at me. How can any of us NOT help but whine once in a while? I mean, if we can't whine, we're going to explode!!!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 11:08PM
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Whining is SO good for the soul....whine away! DW

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 10:20AM
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MomJ47....I think you wrote what I was feeling when I read her letter, and you said it well. I think sometimes they just "need a hug" and reassurance that all will be fine, even tho it isn't. It has to be scary in their world....and they are so helpless. Many times after my MIL passed away, I had so many "regrets", not goign up and giving her a HUG, and saying it will be alright, for instance when we went ot the hospital before she passed on, she was sitting on the side of the bed, with nurses around her, and they were going to release her,and she was in no condition to be released that day. She sat with the most miserable scared look on her face and said" you miswell just take me to the nursing home"!! I regret not going in and putting my arms around her and comforting her and telling her it would be ok. Two weeks later she was gone. Ohhh how the regrets always come when it is to late to do anythign about it. She knew I think in her heart, I loved her but having her for 5 years, weighed alot on my nerves. I do however, feel in some of the letters, now that i read, the aggravation these caregivers feel, but believe me...when it is over and said and done...we all will look back and have the feelings i have had. I think, no matter how angry and frustrated we are, it only takes a minute ,to hug them and let them know, we are there for them,in this final days of their life. We all need a HUG now and then, and I found it to be hard to do with my MIL....let this be a lesson learned from someone who has been there,and now has regrets. Again you said it so well...Mom J47.....HUGS Gabby

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 5:41PM
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