Hello all - thanks to those of you who replied to my question a few months ago and shared your best tips on coping with this situation.
We are now almost into month 5, and although my FIl is getting better and better every day, I am getting more and more depressed and resentful every day. When he first came here, we thought we were dealing with a sort of hospice situation, and that he was so ill that our goal was to love him to the end. Months later he has gained weight, been taken off several meds (still takes about a dozen) started reading the Wall Street Journal and two other newspapers every day and goes out to dinner with friends etc. He is truly a miracle.
In the midst of all this, the stress and repetition and lack of freedom or spontaneity for me is getting me down. He is sort of passive/aggressive in many ways.... sugar sweet on the outside, but then will pull something like he did this morning: I took an important phone call about my retirement account and went outside to talk. In the mean-time, he comes to the kitchen and makes his breakfast (which I usually do). I finished the conversation and came in the house and exclaimed how thrilled I was that he got things for himself this morning. when he was done, he brought his dishes over to the dishwasher and asked "Should I put these back where I got them from?". I asked him what he meant and he said that he didn't know where the clean dishes were, so he took a bowl and a glass out of the dirty dishwasher which had not yet run (very obviously) and only had about a dozen items in it. This is a GROWN man. Our kitchen has ONE upper cabinet right next to the sink and another one about 8 feet away. Obviously, he didn't look in either place for a clean dish, but rather took pleasure in sticking it to me for being outside when he came in for breakfast.
I have been trying to encourage him to be more i ndependent and do more things for himself. I am wondering now if I am expecting too much. He has done things like this to me before when I have not done something "just right". I have basically given up my life as I knew it to care for him, and I feel very frustrated and resentful.
DH feels so guilty about this because it is all falling on me. I handle it beautifully most of the time, but today I am feeling this overwhelming wave of sadness that these next few years of my life will be like this. I have a beautiful boy who is just 11 and is trying to be a good sport about not being able to go places and do things because we can't be gone very long and need to be there for him at mealtimes.
Please tell me how to keep my grace when I am feeling this way. I am beginning to resent everything about him. I resent the sound of his walker scraping along my hardwood floors (he 'doesn't like" the tennis balls), I resent the way he clears his throat like he is about to spit out a frog, I resent the way he chews with his mouth open, I resent the way he talks with his mouth full. I really resent the fact that he said he "doesn't see the point" of getting a hearing aide because I am the only person he can't hear. We all have to yell around the house to be heard. when he can't hear what I am saying he doesn't ask me to repeat, he just stares at me and laughs. I am so exhausted from talking so loud. I start off every day happy and then it seems he says something that just sends me over.
Please don't get me wrong... I am frustrated but don't show it to him. I am cheerful and I can't really vent to DH because he already feels awful about this. I am really kind to him and do everything for him. Laundry, catheter details, diarheaa details, poopy underpant cleanings, refilling all prescriptions, making all doctor appointments, driving everywhere etc. He never really shows any appreciation for what we are doing for him - it seems really expected. He is a nice person, but carries around a cloud of negativity that hangs in the house. (if asked a question, offered an outing or a cookie his first response is always an excuse why not rather than a "that wuld be nice". I know this is just how he is, but it is dragging down an otherwise cheerful household.
This is so much better for him than any nursing home - and he can't live on his own because of the catheter and his inability to cook for himself. did I mention that he will be 94 in October? But he is healthier every day.
Honestly, I cannot bear to think that the next 5 years of my life and my son's teenage years will be like this. I don't even like to be at home anymore and leave the house every time I can. I worry that my son will become resentful of this negative force in our home.
I have gone on too long. I am just REALLY feeling it today!
thanks for letting me vent. hugs. trish