Dementia with Cruelty

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Hi everyone. I havent posted in quite a few days. Ive been falling deeper into depression as it neared my 32nd birthday, which was yesterday.

For those that dont know, I give 24/7 care to my mother with dementia. Ive been doing this off and on for about 8 years, this time longterm.

I think the lack of sleep is getting to me, honestly. I moved in with her, in a 1 bedroom apt. I sleep on the couch. Mom has no consideration for that and I hardly sleep because of that and the lack of comfort on the couch. Thats in between not being able to let go of stress and relax.

Ive become increasingly depressed since my mother told me I was just her maid. This was about a week? 2 weeks ago, I think? Im also her cook, accountant, gofer, nurse, bath attendant, item finder and her Ms. Fix It.

2 days ago, she had an accident and didnt tell me. Instead, she took the dirty diaper through the apt and dropped crap everywhere. She said she would clean it up. I let her try and didnt say a word. She placed a dirty rag over the spots and left them there. At this point its ..hmmm.. She started to pick it up and it got smeared. I asked her to just back away and I would do it. She got mad and proceeded to run her wheel chair over it, pushing it into the carpet. It was all over her chair. EVERYTHING. I sat on the floor scrubbing all the spots from the kitchen to the bedroom. I kept asking why she would do such a thing, tears pouring down my face. She asked why should do anything when I have to. I told her thats cruelest thing anyone has ever said to me. Im sitting here scrubbing her BLEEP out of the carpet, but Im the maid right?

Its been a constant battle with her going to Adult Day Care. It turns out she has been hanging up on the staff there and wont let me talk to them. Well we finally got a hold of each other and set up a time. Her doctor encouraged her to go and she agreed!

My brother came over for dinner tonight. Her accountant called and mom made an appointment for tomorrow. Same time as the day care. When i mentioned it, she screamed she wasnt going. When I said ...yes you are... my brother yelled at me ...youre to feed her and give her her pills. Thats it. Its her life, if she doesnt want to go, she doesnt have to.....Its my life too, isnt it? He doesnt know. He has no earthly clue what this is like. But, with those words to me, theres no way I can get her to go now. No chance.

Im sitting here typing and she came over and said....Im sorry about dinner.... I started crying and said she didnt realize what I go through. She said....what are you talking about? I said Im sorry thinking you were going to make me some soup instead of your birthday dinner..... I think I blew a gasket. I started laughing and crying hysterically. Told her ......here I thought you were apologizing for the way I was treated....... She had no clue what I was talking about.

Now, I feel just worse.

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Cremation is cheaper. How more earth friendly can you get. If we don't laugh we will go out of our minds. Kelly I'm proud of you. You are thinking of yourself as well as your mother. Put that bad couch to the curb and get you a day bed or twin bed and some bolster pillows for the ends. Get your mother some slippers with grippers on the bottom for the floors. I have no carpet in my house at all. I love it. When I sweep I know if I miss something. I put an app. in for a job today wish me luck..We all need some good charma so everyone rub elbows.. Ya know brothers can be such butt heads,I know I have 2...Evil younger sister is the one you watch your back with. I'm a mom I have eyes in the back of my head so I watch my own back. Have you smiled yet? Good well I've done my job today..I'll say a prayer for ya..........Bennie
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Kelly- hope you are having a better day today-I know that we teach others how to treat us but when you get pushed to the limit it is hard to remember this point I can understand very well how it affects you when you are trying so hard and getting crapt from the other person-what you get and the verbal crapt I am getting.
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Kelly,
I am so proud of you. Words just aren't enough. The courage it takes to look at ourselves honestly, and own our part in things has a way of setting us free. I am happy to hear that at least for now, things have settled down to a mild roar. Again, I am very, very proud of you. Keep up the good work. God bless you on this journey.......
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Probably not too outrageous--I know I've thought up different tricks over the years to make life easier. True about setting boundaries, they get like demanding, bratty kids if allowed. I was up making soup for myself around 10pm...he hears me and out he comes "pancakes for me?" I told him "yes, when I'm done with mine". So he stands over me....my dad's not the in-your-face demanding type of person--what he is is EXTREMELY passive-aggressive--and always has been. I finally told him to go to his room and I'll get his pancakes later. That's how they are though-they expect you to immediately drop what you're doing and cater to them--no questions asked.
Another thing I thought I'd bring up here--it's very depressing, but ..well, what isn't in dealing with all this? Last year, things were looking bleak physically for my father re: his kidney function and it just suddenly hit me...."I'm fully responsible for his funeral!". I went to the funeral home that handled my Mother's final arrangements and I pre-planned a funeral. It was one of the (if not THE) hardest things I've ever had to do. I'm glad I did it though, I know when the time comes I'm going to be a mess and it's one less (one less MAJOR) thing to worry about. I was thinking, those of you with difficult siblings, maybe these things should be discussed before it happens, and it's one more thing for everyone to disagree on i.e., what type of casket, (or cremation) services. etc. Again, sorry to be a downer, but it takes the load off to get it all arranged beforehand.
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kelley, any idea of a break since mom doesn't want to go back to daycare? hey my dog had a cut on her leg and kept licking it so my husband bought bitter bitter it is safe for animals and people it has tea tree oil he tasted it. it was nasty water couldn't get the taste out of his mouth. i am really just kidding about puting it on your moms sores. i hope i brought a smile to your face lol.
Dare
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Bennie.. i never thought your words were mean!! Far from it..you all are the reason I keep coming back here.. I type out what im feeling and reread and read others advice and stories.. my brother really wants nothing to do with it.. but yet he puts his 2 cents in all the time.. he basically has given up.. my mother has her "giving up" moments and thats when i know i need to kick it into gear.. its been quiet here the past couple of days..since our talk she has respected my space and shown some boundaries... ive really taken into account my own anger and where it comes from... ive been working on it.. it really has helped coming here and talking about it and ive learned not to think about what will.. im trying not to sweat the small stuff or even the big stuff since most of it doesnt even need to be dealt with right now.. i keep obsessing over what am i gonna do about my life, because ive lead the life of a gypsy.. i really have.. ive moved and seen new things and met new people.. i still feel a bit trapped right now.. and since im not used to NOT working.. ive got a case of cabin fever..a lot of those emotions are directed at her unfortunately... i keep reminding myself that i want to do this, i know that if i stick to what i know i can and want to do, then itll get better.. and when she gets worse, ill deal with that then..

shes decided she isnt going back to the day care.. she doesnt feel comfortable and she just isnt happy.. we'll think of something different then =)

Jerome.. thanks for the advice.. my brother and i were already thinking of taking up the rest of the carpet because she has shredded it with the power chair.. how shes done it i dont know.. but we also dont want to do it because it is so slippery and she wears bandages on both legs and has a hard time standing on the bare floor.. if you havent read a previous post of mine somewhere else, she picks her wounds and puts them in her mouth(thats being dealt with nicely)... im going to start to tear it up for good once we get a little money for a bed for me and some area rugs around crucial areas...

again.. i dont take anything anyone says as mean... i appreciate every word and the time you all take to reply and be there for me... thanks again...
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Kelly,
Sorry if you thought I was being mean,I was not. You have to protect yourself.This will cause health problems. It gave me high bp, never took any meds now I take one to keep bp down. I have gained about 65 pounds due to not being able to go outside my home to exerice. Somethings give and my health was it. We do think of ourselves last not good... Sweetie we all ask why and no one has been anything but helpful on this web site. Carol has been very helpful.If no one has POA over your mother you need to do so for her as well as yourself. If you do not like the Doc find another one. If your father was a war time vet your mother is allowed money for in home care or center care . This is one of those things the V.A. does not inform you of . You have to ask for this.In the Federal Benefits for veterans and Dependents Chapter 11 . This will give you an idea of whats out there. You can get this book from any V.A. Center. Just a few thoughts for you to look into. Get back to us and let us know how you are. We are here for you.

Bennie
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Kelly,
Everyone who posts does so in an effort to help, and like Linda m and Benny, (not to single anyone out) make points that need to be addressed so there can be forward progress. Most people want to die at home in their sleep. Was that your mother's wish? Was there a will? In an effort to accommodate their wishes we as caregivers, are swept into what seems like a river with a strong current and are trying to negotiate the current which takes form as reacting to our loved one, family input, social mores, the health care system, our own feelings, and reaction to that current whether it is action or our thoughts. And try to live our lives. The learning curve is different for each of us, and is part of the process. If you had asked me if I could be a caregiver when I started I would have stated 'not interested'. Yet when my dad became ill from a stroke and the resulting brain surgeries, I decided to help my mother because I was the only one of three siblings who was flexible enough at the time to do so. I was single, a remodeling contractor, and 36yrs old, in 1990.
Seven years later, (on the day the doctors pronounced him fit to go into surgery to have a steel plate to cover the hole in his skull), was the day he fell, hit his head and died 14 hrs later. That same year my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my journey has continued. It took two years to clean up their financial affairs with no will, insurance or help. Fortunately he was retired military so the health costs in terms of dollars were less. My brother stated up front he could not help (he has Rheumatoid Arthritis). My sister said she would help later on when I could no longer do the task. (She died two years ago.)
I went for 18 months without REM sleep so I know what you are going through.
We did not know mom was suffering from depression and high anxiety until she got Alzheimer’s. Once she got those meds she was much better to work with. Some meds worked better than others. Take notes of your mom’s behavior so you can better explain to the doctor her behavior. She may have additional issues to address. It also helps to take notes of what you do so you can refer to them 6 months later and see what has changed for the better, or what needs to be changed. If she is messing with the stove or oven, cut the power off at the circuit breaker panel. As soon as is realistic, tear out that carpet. (Assuming wall to wall) Smooth floors are easier to clean and do not hold as much infectious material. You must battle against infection.
You have to stay healthy and protect your immune system. Go to your doctor and get a check-up. Spend an hour with an Elder law attorney, and listen to what he suggests. As rough as it is to hear what your mother sometimes says, she is still fighting what has overtaken her and is alive. When she can no longer respond verbally to you, you may miss it. When I am angry it is I who chooses to be that way.
I share this with you in the spirit that what hand you are dealt, God gives you the capacity to bear. As stated earlier you have the ability to choose how you will act/react to what comes at you. Learn to ask for help from your county Government in the elder care area.
One bite at a time. There is much more we all could share.
Forgive me if this is long, this is my first blog share, about what has happened to me.
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First, Who has POA? If it's you tell your brother to back off. If not hand her over to your brother. If your mother has money to be managed she can be put in a memory home. One good thing with life honey is you can start over. You are still young. I went through this with my mother and my 2 yes count them 2 sisters. youngest has POA oldest only took her on the week-ends for church. One would tell me you do not have permission to do this or do that. Oldest -no back bone.. Did I say I also have 2 brothers. Now that is a different story book in its self. I gave up my job and life for mother after daddy died in 2003. Now at 52 I have no job. Mother is now in a health and rehab center waiting for a nursing home because the youngest(POA) can't deal with her, she has to work...I now get up and start the day with calm and quite. Looking for a job in this day and age is not fun... Looking to drive again. I'm saying this to you because in your darkest hour there is a ray of light. You....Go take another hot shower and a smile.You can work this out. This is what this web site is for ..to vent and ask why..


Bennie
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lindam.. change.. its exactly what i said to my mom in the car..i told her that i want to do this for as long as i physically can because i think she deserves it... but things cant stay as they are because its not working for ME..shes healthier now because im here, but im not..youre absolutely right.. its because of me..i know that i have GOT to change on the inside mostly...i wanted to do this and i knew it wasnt going to be easy..ive got to learn to just say.. he doesnt understand.. and leave it at that.. nothing more..and shes just trying to make me angry because shes angry herself..its a vicious circle thats easy to fall into, i know..and i know that there isnt an end to a circle.. so it has to be broken..

i did buy the book =)
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