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  1. #1

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    I Just Need To Vent!

    I thought a nice thread to air various gripes and vents might be in order. Please feel free to add your own.

    My gripe. Certain family members who read a pamphlet or a text book, then decide they are the end all of experts, then thinks that gives them the right to make a once-in-three-months (or longer) apperance in my home to tell me I'm not taking care of our Mother properly.

    Sis is now "studying" to work in a hospice, and is reading up on what to expect when you see a hospice patient. They're talking about people who have just days to live. And now she's decided Mom is showing those same "symptoms." Believe me when I say she is seeing things that are not there, or escallating the infirmaties Mom does have.

    Sis has always been a hypercondriac. You wouldn't believe how many "diseases" she's had over the years...after she's read up on one or if she hears of a friend that has one. She is also overly emotional. How the hell her bosses thought she'd be good for hospice work is beyond me.

    Mom is frail. And she needs help with daily living. That's how it's been for years. Now sis is about ready to show up at the door with a freaking coffin. She's all gung-ho that she WILL be over this weekend, but refuses to tell me when. She's gonna call when she's on her way. I've told her endless amount of times i need TIME to get Mom up, to the bathroom and out to her chair. I need time the night before to plan on when to get her moving. It's very hard to motivate Mom, and even harder to get her going if she feels pushed.

    I am SO NOT looking forward to her visit. She's had all this time to work herself into a tizzy, and I am so not looking forward to protecting Mom from it all.

  2. #2

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    You're a member of the sandwich generation by taking care of a family while also caring for an elderly parent. Hats off to you and hope it all works out for the best.
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

  3. #3

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    It's obvious that your Sister's POV is all about her and not about your Mom. Of course, she's totally off base and wrong and obnoxious, and I feel so sorry for you having to deal with it.

    Is there anyone who can be there when your sister arrives that can be an advocate for you and your Mom? A physician, nurse, homecare worker? Someone to tell your sister gently and professionally that perhaps her way is not the right way?

    if not, maybe this is the time for you to stand up to your sister, however hard that might be. Your Mom is the focus of your attention and care. What's best for her is what you want. I am the Queen of Nonconfrontationalism, so I totally understand not wanting to face your sister. But you can't let her railroad you. Easier said than done.

    My Mom has severe dementia and my Dad will do nothing. She runs away several times a week, threatens to kill him, hits him, and strongly believes he is her father and he's going to rape her. (Her history does not suggest her dad ever did anything like this..) She only wants to go "home" to a house that no longer exists.

    I am so frustrated with the only people who can do something for Mom not doing anything. Our situations are not identical, but I sure do understand your frustration and underlying anger. Bless you! PM me if you like.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    You're a member of the sandwich generation by taking care of a family while also caring for an elderly parent. Hats off to you and hope it all works out for the best.
    Well, I don't have a family of my own. So I'm ahead in that regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    maybe this is the time for you to stand up to your sister, however hard that might be.
    So much easier said than done. Sis is also Bipolar and has a TBI. If you try to stand up to her, it escalates into something just short of violence. I have to step on eggshells with her and her emotional outbursts. It's really a no win situation, and the best I can hope for is to let her have her rant, and let her go home and wallow in her self pity and eventually she'll find something else to fixate on.

  5. #5
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    What would happen if you told your sister she is welcome to come. You will welcome her help in getting your mother up and prepared for the day. Maybe if she does some of the work, her eyes will open a little bit. Maybe if it doesn't go well between her and your mother - she really won't come back for a great while.

  6. #6
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    I am all for a temporary migraine and letting your sis take the reigns. I bet she finds a new appreciation for what you do each day. My friend's mom had visits from hospice volunteers for three years until she died. She found them a godsend. I realize what you are saying regarding your sister though. I am my mom's caretaker and I'm all for telling those who would behave like your sis to go right ahead and take over. I know "the whiners" well enough to know that suddenly I will be told I am doing a great job. Amazing how feeding, bathing, changing dirty adult diapers and sanitizing rooms all seem to help people gain perspective.

  7. #7

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    I'm not so concerned about her trying to take over. I know she wouldn't last 5 minutes. Twice over the last 8 years I've been Mom's caregiver, sis "babysat" while I went out for a night. Both times all I heard when I got back how terribly stressed she was. And a quip about how she couldn't just "sit around and watch TV" all day. Yea, I watch TV. But I also sometimes take 3 hours to get through one half hour program, what with all the pauses, rewinds, etc to try and even follow the story. LOL.

    What bugs me is her overblown "diagnosis" that Mom is so much worse off than she really is. She can't accept that Mom is frail, and it takes her hours to get up the energy to even get ready to go out to the doctor or something. She thinks Mom should just get up and do it. If Mom needs pauses throughout each task to take a breath and rest (Like going to the bathroom, which can take over an hour from leaving the bed, to getting tucked back into bed) then sis thinks Mom is ready for a nursing home. Only now, after today's phone call, she's decided Mom is ready for Hospice.

    The things she was reading to me from her pamplet on what to expect as a hospice worker was for people who are very near death, as their organs and stuff are shutting down. For God's sake, Mom's frail stature has been this way for years. She's not healthy, but she sure isn't dying.

    One of the other things she harped on was Mom's appetite. When sis is here, all she sees is Mom nibbling a llittlle and then having me put the food away for later. Mom nibbles a little at a time throughout the day. But sis sees that one nibble and decides that's all she eats for the whole day. She's had an appetite like that for years, since long before her stroke 8 years ago. In fact, her appetite was even worse back then, than it is now.

    Oh, and when Mom took a fall a year and a half ago, and ended up in the hosptial with a broken leg, the doctor almost wasn't going to do surgery on the leg cause sis told him she didn't walk at all. So he said if she doesn't walk anyway, there's no reason to put her through surgery. Thing was, Mom does walk, from the wheelchair to the toilet, and from the wheelchair to the bed. Sis sees Mom get a wheelchair ride in the halls in between and decides she doens't walk AT ALL.

    She just needs to keep her nose out of our business and trust me to know if/when Mom needs more care than I can give her. Sure, it's hard and I'm exhausted most the time. But I think it's up to me (and Mom too) to decide when enough is enough.

  8. #8

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    Is there an adult daycare center where you live? If so perhaps you can send your mom there on days your sister visits or whenever you just need a break.
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

  9. #9

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    Well, since sis says she's specifically coming to visit Mom, that wouldn't work. And the stress it involves just to get Mom dressed and out the door on an outing isn't worth it just for me to have a break.

    We do get a home health aid to visit twice a week. Mom isn't comfortable with strangers handling her personal care. So I still take care of that, and the aid comes in and helps with light housekeeping.

  10. #10

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    Update. Sis's visit was a lot more calm thank I could hope for. Thank goodness.

    I can't remember how it came up, but at one point Mom said, "I think they thought I was going to die." Sis's head whipped around and boy did she ever zero in on it. It was like a giant super-powerful magnet had just been turned on and sis was drawn to it.

    Turns out that, in the nursing home (where Mom spent 4 months getting rehab after her broken leg), they moved her to a private room. Mom thought they'd done that cause they were expecting her to die. I told her no, it was cause your room mate was up at all hours of the day and night, setting off her bed alarm and interrupting your sleep. And then to top it all off, she was caught a few times riffling through your stuff, and a few times some of your stuff was found in her dresser drawers. I felt sad that Mom had thought she felt that way. She shrugged it off, pointing out that even if that was their motive, they were obviously wrong.

    Anyway, sis was a lot more civil than when on the phone. But then she's always that way in front of other people. I'm the younger sister, and she's always treated me badly when she needs to boost her own ego. Not too many other people see it, and Mom often defends her against my venting when I've had too much of Sis's abuse and dare to spout off. But that's a whole new story. LOL.

    For now, things are ok. At least that visit is over with. Of course, we still have to deal with the whole family coming over next weeked for our belated official Mother's Day celebration (other sis was out of town, so we postponed the official family get together). But at least this time I'll have other sis to have by back.

  11. #11

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    Flatfoote, you have my profound respect. It is hard work caring for a frail elderly person, and emotionally draining as well. I couldn't do it for my ancient mother.

  12. #12
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    I feel your pain.
    I went through this taking care of both my mother and father before they died.
    Only I am a only child and my know it all relatives were my aunts, uncles, and cousins.
    Walk a day in my shoes and see what it really is like, right?
    Add to it a mother who lies about how you take care of her(dementia) and it is more stress than anyone outside can imagine.
    I had total care of them because I am a only child and there was no one else to help me.(just criticize) but if you have 2 sisters, shame on them. They should be doing their share of taking care of her.
    I know what you are going through, but, when she is gone, you will know you did your best for her and have no regrets.
    Try to hang in there, I'll be thinking about you and wishing you well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latte View Post
    I know what you are going through, but, when she is gone, you will know you did your best for her and have no regrets.
    From another caregiver here, this says it all. We are all doing this because we wouldn't feel right not doing it. When the moms are gone, we will feel good about what we did and we will not have regrets. My husband just reminds me to take a deep breath now and then. It helps. Its a personal choice, and its not for everyone.

    Both my brothers live in CA/NV, and my mother and I are on the East Coast so if I get any help, it needs to be orchestrated in advance. One brother has the money to fly in, but when he's here, he doesn't really take care of our mom. He goes out with his old friends and doesn't get home till long after she needs to eat/go to bed. He doesn't really spend any time with her. The other brother has no funds to travel so I have to pay to fly him here. Adds to my vacation costs. When he gets here he does a good job of taking care of her, but he is a delusional paranoid hypochondriac so he talks nonstop about his ailments and conspiracy theories, and our mother can't stand it after a couple of days. I know just what you mean when you say it is more trouble to take a break than it is to just keep doing it yourself.
    Last edited by Rob; 05-14-2012 at 10:30 PM.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  14. #14
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    Well I'm glad your sister behaved. I know I sound harsh but I don't have room for criticism from those who are unwilling to pitch in and help. I have a lot of respect for you and for your patience. And sometimes I think your sister lashes out because she feels guilty and -in a strange way- jealous that you are doing good work.

    I had a cigarette last week. I was never a smoker but every once inawhile I find them calming. The last time I had a cig was in the 90's. I was really stressed during the summer of '98. I don't know why I shared this.
    Last edited by Cachoo; 05-15-2012 at 03:16 AM.

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