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hi everyone. i'm new to this site and am VERY glad i found it! took some googleing this morning but its look like i found what i need. my mother moved up from florida to live with us in delaware about one month ago. i've always known this could eventually happen, just wasnt as prepared emotionally as i thought i was. she is 83. my father passed away 5 years ago. she is not that bad off however she does have a few health issues. she had copd, glaucoma, diabetes, (luckily though its not out of control) and dementia. i am married and have 4 children, two of which are in high school and still live at home. my family is very supportive, especially my husband. my two girls still at home get a little annoyed, but they are teenagers and are just generally annoyed about everything! i have two brothers who still live in florida. i am the youngest and only daughter. she wasn't taking care of herself properly and had her medications all messed up. we've been to every dr we need to go to and have her medications straightened out now. she wasn't eating properly either, mostly krispy kreme doughnuts and banquet dinners and other assorted candy inbetween. now she eats regular meals and i limit the amount of candy and sweets in my house. she is able to drive a little and has gone into town and picked up some bags of candy. then she hides it in her room. i guess my biggest problem right now is just dealing with the disruption of my life. i love my mother and could not put her in a home but sometimes i really resent this disruption. then of course i feel guilty because after all she did sacrifice 18 years of her life to raise me. she was a good mother too. i pretty much feel like a selfish piece of s***. i've had to spend so much time going from dr. to dr., telling her for the 100th time that as soon as her social security check is deposited into her account here we can close the account in fla., showing her again and again how to properly use her inhaler and police her diet that im emotionally drained. and i feel bad for the sacrifices my husband and children are making, although like i said they really don't complain. anyway i do have a few questions about her health. i read someone talk about end stage copd. what is that and how do you know what "stage" they are in? will dementia cause her to sensitive and emotional? i can deal with the forgetfullness but yesterday she totally threw me for a loop. when she saw her primary care dr a few weeks ago he didn't see anything in the records she broght from fla about a mammogram. he asked her if she had one recently. she said i don't know if ive ever had one. i do remember her talking about them in years past so i knew she had had one at some point. so he scheduled one. yesterday we go to the hospital to have it done. she goes back, nervously i might add since they told her i couldn't go because of the exposure to radiation. the nurse comes out and tells me my mother is telling her she just had one done. they ask where it could of been done and they call that hospital. they have no record of her having a mammogram. so i say go ahead with it. on the way home as were discussing that she miraculously remembers her fla. dr's phone number and i call them. yep, she had one in july. i said i don't understand why you told the dr. you never had one but remember now that you did. this was an expensive memory loss. i didn't say it unkindly, but i was frustrated. when we got home my husband asked her how things went. she said well i got chewed up one side and down another! i was shocked! i asked her who chewed her out? she said, you did. then she preceded to cry and say i'm tired of getting chewed out about every little thing! i was speechless. my husband and children NEVER say an unkind word to her. i was very upset and had to leave the house for awhile. i did ask her what she meant but said she couldn't remember what i had chewed her out about. i honestly have not chewed her out about anything. it's only one month. how am i going to get through this? sorry it's such a long tirade, but it does feel good to vent to someone who probably understands. thanks
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Hi Barb65:

The adjustment is so hard and yet, your attitude is good about your mother. Things will work out... She is just going through an adjustment also. It is hard to have our children care for us. The role reversal and all!

I don't have much knowledge about the health issues you are dealing with. There is so much to learn about caring for each individual situation. I am sure others here are more knowledgeable and can be of help! It might help if you also research previous postings...

You are doing a great thing by being there for your mother. Just hug and hold her when she is feeling blue. That is all we can do for the ones we love some days... Meanwhile know that we are here for you.

Hugs, Glenda
Hi barb, I have been here awhile now but I do not post as much as I had in the past.

My Mom moved in with us (it was just hubby, youngest daughter and me) and she lived with us for 3 years.

It was tough. I too had days (many, if I am real truthful) that I just wanted my life back.
But as I look back on it now, that was my life, just something a little special added to it.

We are all human, we are all going to be selfish and feel that this is a 'burden' and 'it's not fair.
But trust me, you will get through it. And you will be a better person for it.

Take this time with your Mom to do special things together. Making scrapbooks of all her old pictures (if she's like my Mom she brought a ton with her). I wish I had thought of that when Mom was here. That's something I am going to start this winter though.

Try to find things that will bring you closer and let her know she is not a burden.

From experience I can tell you that when your Mom is gone, you will never be the same.

My Mom passed away in my arms almost 2 years ago (jan. 25,2006) and I'd give almost anything to have her back to just spend one more day with her.

Losing her has changed me. I can't describe it but I am not the same woman I used to be. I don't know that I ever will be.

Just don't think of this journey with your Mom as a burden, try to think of it as an adventure the two of you can take together.
And........most important, stop being so hard on yourself.

Hubby and I did a 'date nite' every friday nite, just the 2 of us so we could have some alone time. It really helped and gave me some much needed 'space'. (something we are still doing today)

Good luck and let the journey be happy......
Patty
I, too, have "been there." My mother lived with us for 17 years. She passed away in August. I had times that I wanted my life back so bad. I was just so tired of the caretaking. I know how you feel. As the lady above said, think of it as a journey you are taking with your mother. It helped me, also, to think of going through her end of life issues as one of my "goals." Dementia is difficult to deal with, though, no matter how you look at it or how prepared you think you are. Come to this board when you are frustrated, as many of his have been through it.
Dear Barb,
Welcome! As the others have mentioned, we certainly know what you are going through.

My mother has Alzheimer's - dementia. She was diagnosed about 4 years ago and into her second year, she came to live with me. I cared for her for one year and now my sister has been caring for her for the past two years.

I think the biggest favor you can do for yourself, as well as your family and your mom is to learn as much as you can about her illnesses, especially dementia. I say that because I know how it was for me. I thought Alzheimer's, or dementia, because Alz is just one form of dementia, I thought it was just a memory loss thing, but it goes much further than that. Yes, they have problems with their memory, but what causes the confusion for us is how confused THEY become. And there are times, when you are "in the moment" with your loved one that they seem so normal. I really believe the more that you learn about dementia, the better you will be able to handle it.

One very important thing for you to remember. Even though they are losing their short term memory and eventually their long term memory, things that affect them emotionally, that part of the brain, is usually affected last. That is probably why your mom made that comment to your husband about being chewed out. They remember their feelings, as well as others' feelings, so that makes things even more difficult.

Barb, we are only human, we make mistakes. We have days when we just can't handle it, we have outbursts, maybe even tantrums and it's all normal, we are only human. We can only handle so much.

You might want to check into a support group for yourself, as well as your children and husband. This is a very difficult time for all of you. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers,

Warm regards,
Miriam

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