I am new, and I have to vent or self destruct!!!
I am new to this forum.
I have been going to the Cooking forum and the Recipe forum for a long time, and then finally joined.. just before they got rid of the darn 15 smackers rule.
My name is Susan. I am a caregiver.
I take care of my mother-in-law who is 83 years old, soon to be 84, (if I don't kill her first today!, and I also take care of our sweet little almost 17 month old grandbaby girl, who is the light of our lives. I have granny-kins under the same roof, 24/7. And, we have our granddaughter here about 85% of the time, or more.
Granny-kins vacilates between an Alzheimer's stage of 2-3 to 4-5 depending on the day and whatever. She does have Alzheimer's, but she also has frontal lobe dementia, vascular dementia, stenosis of her spine at the brain stem, and they've told us she has Pick's Disease, and often times refer to her as having "Parkinson's Dementia" as well as Alzheimer's. Sooo.. okay, her brain is toast.
HOWEVER.. her memory isn't all that bad, in fact, it is usually pretty good. She can pass all the normal tests for Alzheimer's. She goes to a world class neurologist who is acclaimed for his work with Alzheimer's, and all forms of dementia. He cites her as being one of his more rare patients in the manners she exhibits her brain damage/diseases. Long story.. but trust me on this.. her reasoning and logic are reeeeeeally bad. She has very intensely strong and admirable coping skills, but functions in a world of twisted logic that can drive you batty. And, from time to time, her memory goes too. Sometimes she gets pretty fruity in that department too.. but not as often or as regular. She has difficulty with her pooping and peeing, and refuses to acknowledge that fact. She washes out her depends and dries them in her room.. ruining the plumbing, and our nerves.
We live in a larger home and we are able to give her a full thousand plus square feet of her own living areas on a whole wing of the house. She has a full bathroom, large and easy access. She has a very large master suite bedroom with an entire wall nothing but glass that looks out on views of the mountains and a landscaped backyard with a pool, waterfall, and an outdoor fireplace called a kiva. She has a sitting room that is very large and gives her space for a televsion area, a large desk area, and a small area to do meditations, prayers, or just sit comfortably and talk on the telephone.. (I have to dial for her, she forgot how to do it, although every once and awhile she manages.. usually trouble then.. like the time she called the dentist and gave the poor receptionist the workout of her life..) The woman is living in a paradise compared to where and how she lived prior to living with us.
She's been living with us for a little over 3 years now.
We have elder sitters, companions, and friendly neighbors who help out. And, when we've needed it, we've had visiting nurses. (I called and turned myself and her into adult protective services once when the doctor refused to agree to a visiting nurse after her surgery! Of course, they came to investigate.. with a doctor in tow, declared her not abused or neglected, but agreed with me, she needed a visiting nurse.. ah DUH! I am a strong advocate for her care.. and usually get it.)
Today, I want to kill her. I am calm and unruffled to her face, but I want to murder-al-ize her.
Okay.. MY VENT!!!
Because of her antics, we will probably have pi$$ and vinegar is for dinner tonight, and I am spitting it out!
I made swedish meatballs for dinner earlier today. It was hard to do because the baby is really sick and has been clingy for the last three days. This is the first time the baby has been this sick, and she is staying with us day and night.. as our son, a single father, is also sicker than a dog and cannot take care of her properly, or if at all.
After the meatballs were done, I set them in a rubbermaid bowl to cool off for 20 minutes before sticking them in the fridge, so all I had to do tonight was make the noodles and heat up the meatballs, and nuke some frozen vegetables for a quicky to get dinner on the table, and to have something the baby can eat, and will eat, (she loves swedish meatballs). And, the baby has been essentailly eating nothing since she's been sick.. and I have had to coddle her to get her to take fluids and food. So, this was an important sort of meal to make.
Just after they were done and cooling, I went to get into the bathtub with the baby to get her a quick rinse off and refresh her little body from being so sweaty and feverish, and because I accidently dribbled some of her medicine down on me and her. I had granny-kins settled into her room watching her soap operas, and the house was quiet and all was well. Granny-kins had been "good" all day, and I'd given her a big lunch of macaroni and cheese, a fruit cup, and some picked carrots.. all things she loves, and she was as happy as a clam.
The old "^(!^%%#" snuck into the kitchen while we were in the tub, TEN minutes IF that! And, she threw out all the meatballs and sauce into the sink and was rinsing the bowl out when the baby and I entered back into the great room!!!!!!
The dirty pan was safe. Everything else was safe, she touched NOTHING else, except the damn meatballs. She just HAD to help me by doing the meatballs, and in her demented mind, I guess throwing them out was HELPING!!! ARGH!!!
I looked at her and said, while the water was trickling as slowly as she moves, which is so slow you feel like you could blow your brains out sometimes.. "what are you doing??", and she said, "I am getting rid of these for you. Why, what you want me to do?"
Okay.. I wanted to say, "Hold your breath until you pass out and I can pretend you're not in my life right now"..
Instead, I said, "Well, that isn't what I would have liked for you to do, but we'll just figure out something else for dinner now. Why don't you go sit down and let me finish this for you".
She of course fought with me. She was into her defiant beligerant mode.
The baby was clinging to my chest and neck, and the poor little thing was so sick.. and granny-kins was such a pain.. AGAIN.
My husband walked into the house about five minutes into this situation, and was able to quickly assess what was going on. We are accustomed to the antics of defiance my MIL will throw when she gets into a mood.
Her took the baby from me, told his mother to go to her room and watch television.. (she'd NEVER do that for me.. my husband is the Crown Prince of his mother's world, the only son of an immigrant woman from Northern Italy.. and I am just the lowly expendible trash also known as the daughter-in-law. I am just a woman, and I am supposed to be abused and ruled with an iron fist by my MIL.. it is her culture). So, she minded my husband and has been back there ever since and probably won't come out of her room until he goes and gets her.
We are getting closer and closer to making a decision to stick her into a nursing home.
THe sad part is that she is lucid of her surroundings almost 90% of the time, and fights the thought of going into a nursing home. It would be extremely difficult. And, we couldn't afford the 5 to 6 grand a month for her either. And, we just had her to the doctor again.. she goes all the time between the geriactric doctor, the dementia doctor, the dentists, and the other doctors and granny-kins type needs.. anyway, we asked about referrals for a home and the doctor said she won't qualify under the medicare rules!! She is too lucid and not far enough gone yet according to their TESTS! The doctor agreed with us that she is an extreme case and she sympathized with us, and said that the rules should be re-examined in regards to my MIL's diagnosis and exhibition of her diseases, but they don't do that. It is one for all, and all for one type rules.
We've had the Alzheimer's Assn. case manager out to our home a number of times to review the situation and help us cope and give us strategies to deal with her. The case manager agreed with the dementia doctor and the rest.. she is a tough nut and a highly unusual case. And the case worker was essentially clueless other than to refer us to more companions and elder sitters to sit with her while we are home, oh swell.
Man, just writing this made me feel better.
Okay.. it is now 5:22pm and I have to go figure out what the sam he(( to make for dinner.
My husband has the baby in bed with him and the two are napping. Granny-kins is in her rooms and going through her papers AGAIN.. (these are papers she's had for years and years. She forgets they are old papers and sits down to write out check and pay her bills.. and, there are NO bills, we cover everything for her. But, she fusses becasue they didn't send her an envelope and she has to spend hours addressing envelopes and writing checks. And, the addresses on the envelopes are a joke, and the checks could never be cashed.. she can't remember how to fill out a check, so she just scribbles usually.) And, her son sent her to her room, so she feels that compelling need to obey the Crown Prince of her motherdom.
Fish is quick. The baby likes fish and can eat it easily. I have some cod and some halibut.
I will make some fish.. and hopefully, feel better later on this evening.
Thanks for letting me VENT VENT VENT!!