a long day with Mother

fairegoldMay 6, 2005

Just a word before I hit the sack.

Mother and I went to the doctor today. No new breaks in her spine that are detectable without a full scan, and if she doesn't improve in a couple of weeks, we'll try that, so for now what she has is maybe a muscle spasm. We (me and the doctor) convinced her to try Motrin on an alternating 4 hr schedule with her Tylenol. And we'll be starting PT 3x a week soon.

While we were in the exam room, she started saying how she didn't want to live and she wants to die and she was so miserable and she's such a burden to me. And she has an amazingly whiny voice that you just would not believe. I said, point blank, that she only is a burden when she talks that way because it makes me feel terrible. And she said, but who can I talk to, if not to you?

All the time, I was shouting because she had left her hearing aids at home because she has to take them out when they take a temperature with the ear thermometers. I forgot to make sure she had the aids in before we left her apt. (That won't happen again!)

I've been off and on a bunch of BP meds this past year, with nothing that doesn't have terrible side effects for me. This AM, my BP was way too high.

Ok, am off to bed. Nighty night, all. Thanks for letting me say things that even my DH is tired of hearing.


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Hope you had a good night's sleep, sorry it's been such a tough week.

Let me be blunt. What's going to happen to your mom when you have a stroke? There's a very real possibility that she'll outlive you.

I know you were a child bride, (or you miscounted your son's birthdays, he can't possibly be that old). Your first responsibility is to yourself and your family - husband, son, and that dear grandson Dane. Do you want him to grow up without a wonderful grandmother like you?

Seriously, think about what plans would be made for your mother if you weren't there to care for her, and DO IT NOW, while the two of you can make some good choices, not when you or she needs to make emergency placement arrangements with whatever place has a vacancy.

Please, take care of yourself, get your BP under control, and give your mom a big hug, and start making plans.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 9:43AM
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Excellent points, Barb. I have a Dr apt next week for myself, and the BP is not normally as high as it was yesterday. But i'm working on it. If something happens to me, Mother moves to Las Vegas to be near my youngest brother; he's already on all the paperwork after me.

Where Mother lives now is termed a 'blended' community of independant living and assisted living. She's fine here unless she needs skilled nursing care. She doesn't even have to move out of her apartment to get assisted living, which is a real blessing. So I think she is in the best possible place for her!

Today's another day, I slept well, and today I'll just call Mother, then spend the rest of the day getting my nails done, grooming a dog, grocery shopping, and pulling weeds. Right now, pulling weeds sounds like the nicest job, good zen-like activity!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 10:54AM
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Hi girls. I've never been over to this forum before, I'm a novice. I do have a mother and father who now need taking care of. Also my mother just had kyphoplasty on May 4 (Wednesday) and maybe you already know what that is, Helene. She had a fracture due to osteoporosis and has had TERRIBLE debilitating pain for several weeks. She just laid on the couch all day. We hope this procedure will relieve her pain somewhat.

Things have been tough and I know it will get tougher. I'll be reading this forum regularly! Helene, I'm envious that your mother is already settled in somewhere, my folks are still in their house and it's really difficult. They don't want to leave and they just don't understand how dire their situation really is. They think everything is just hunky dory. I live 45 miles away and you know how stressful it can get.

Thanks for listening.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 10:41PM
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Yikes, I just read what I posted and I totally was self centered and, Helene, I apologize to you. I truly read and heard what you said about your day with your Mom and also what Momj47 wrote, I just got carried away with my own troubles. Its nice to have someone to share with. I am the last one to offer any advice or helpful hints, I just hope we all get through this. I guess we will.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 10:59PM
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Woodie, pal, don't worry--you are no more self-centered than any of us are. We all have burdens, and sometimes we come here to whine and vetch and vent and have someone else to say, there, there, I understand. Where else can we express ourselves except a comfortable place where others understand what we are facing.

I think your dues here are to keep in touch, tell us when thngs are going well with your family, and then give others a hug when they need it.

Express yourself and your concerns about your parents, and you'd be amazed at the depth of heart and expertise that the folks here have.

Welcome aboard...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 11:15PM
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My folks are still in their own home, 40 mi. from me. They are trying to make all this work. BUT, they are both getting thinner...Food preparation is low on their lists. Meals on Wheels just doesn't taste good to them AND there's so much bisucit, bagel, sliced bread type stuff. They want fruits veggies and meat... Mom is mostly sedentary and Dad has become very quiet and disinterested in things in the house. If you get him out and about, then he's more chipper and involved for a short period. My mom smokes and drinks, so it's hard for me to put her/them in assisted living--she knows that she'd almost have to give them both up. At this point they have help 2 days a week for a couple hours, so the house is taken care of okay. I'm on my way there for all the drs appts and the errands they need/want to do; this week it's been daily for me. I'm trying to figure out how to stay for their late supper so that I can make sure they eat something more fulfilling than a can of soup and 3 strawberries...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 3:32PM
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Ginnier, there's another alternative. Mother has lived in a senior's apartment complex for years. These places do not (usually) have any form of assisted living (where Mother is now is a rare exception), but will have nice apartments, plus a community dining room with at least one meal a day, usually with a continental breakfast. There is transportation if they don't want to drive, and housekeeping services, all included in the rent. There are activities every day, usually a 'library', and residents can do as much or as little as they want.

It doesn't sound like your folks are anywhere close to needed assisted living, which includes help in bathing, dressing, medication timing, etc.

Have you looked for something like this somewhere closer to where you live?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 5:22PM
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My folks live in a large city...I live in a small, really small town. All their drs. are in their city...and there's an appt. at least once or twice a month, not counting the emergencies (this week it was a root canal!). Does this all sound familiar??? So, it's difficult for me to really bring them to my area, plus it's away from what few friends they have that are still around. At one time I talked to them and they agreed: when neither of them know the difference, I can bring them out to the NH here. LOL Don't know when THAT'll be... See, Mom still smokes like a chimney and she'd have to virtually give that up if she moved anywhere...Same with her having a few drinks "before" supper (with supper and after supper, whatever), it wouldn't be allowed. Same with having a lighted candle; these are things that still mean a great deal to her even tho they are not necessarily good for her. She knows that it will be miserable to not be able to smoke; I don't know if she has thought of the withdrawal from the booze. There's times that I think, we just ought to move them to assisted living complex. They really need more company and opportunities for activities than they are getting in their home by themselves or with me every other day. I don't know how you cross the line and say, it's time to do it. I keep thinking we'll face it when one of them falls, and that's what they feel too. But some days I drive all the way home and think: what am I going to find when I get back there in a couple days??? They do have a gal come in for a couple hours W and Th; but they are not real happy with her. Today Dad told me on the phone that she's only there for an hr. or so and she's SUPPOSED to be there 3!!! I know, like my DH says, it's time to move in or move them!! Thanks for listening!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 10:28PM
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Here's a job for you----check out every possible facility between you and where your parents live. They may be fine staying in the city where they live if they move to a place with some services. Yes, it means selling their home. But there are probably places that would allow smoking, and alcohol should not be a problem except in a few places run by church-related organizations.

But you owe it to yourslef to research what facilities are possible.

Do NOT call it a nursing home..... That's a special level of services.

Here's how the layer of service work:
1) Independent living in their own home
2) Retirement home with full apartments but with some services such as transportation, one or two meals a day, housekeeping services.
3) Assisted living. This assumes that the person needs help with daily needs like bathing and dressing.
4) Nursing home, which assumes skilled nursing, with patients unable to do much for themselves at all.

There are lots of degrees in between, depending on the facility. Some will blend more services together than others.

But for your own sake, you really need to pull out the phone book, ask everyone you know, and start your research. The value for yourself is to be prepared, to know some options, to look ahead towards the next step.

I was once told that the best thing a teacher can do is to be several steps ahead of the student, and to be prepared to move along as quickly or as leisurely as the student needs. But that means that you, the teacher in this case, must know what steps lie ahead.

Any retirement facility will be happy to give you a tour and explain their programs to you. It is completely worthwhile to do this now.

Listen to your DH...... he sounds like he understands your frustrations!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 12:50AM
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