I feel numb.

Started by

Its a horrible feeling when you realize you are existing. I am the sole carer of my MIL who has vascular dementia, mental health issues, health problems and goes through stages of double incontinence. All through her life she has upset people with her nasty personality and now with dementia it has magnified her nasty nature. Its like being in the presence of someone dripping poison everyday to make life as difficult as possible for me. She is aggressive( her fists in my face) what comes out of her mouth is vile. She puts terrible stress and pressure on my husband and I and she is dangerous, leaving gas fires on unattended, leaving the house without saying, putting cooker rings on...but if you say anything WW3 breaks out. She says really personal hateful things to me and I try to ignore them...but I am so unhappy. I'm trying to be supportive to my husband( only child)...but I feel like running. Its like she is sucking the life blood out of us. Every day is a challenge :(


This is not fair. Why is your husband not seeing to his mother's care. She sounds like she is a danger to herself and needs to be evaluated by a doctor.
I meant to say that your mil is a danger to herself and to others.
She can be a danger to herself and others sometimes but the hospital says she isnt...we do have constant contact with the Doctors and clinics ( as much as you can access that is)... Its the same old chestnut she acts nearly normal, like butter wouldnt melt 80% of the time with healthcare professionals and most of them ( not all) look at me like I'm exaggerating or making it up..... I took her to one of the support clinics ( at the request of the dementia consultant) last month and as you may or may not know...people with dementia sometimes refuse to eat and its a battle to get a good amount of food and drinks in some days. The clinic picked up on the fact she had lost a bit of weight ( which I'd already high lighted to the GP) and my MIL turned around and said to them I was starving her because I wanted to make her ill !!! ...The doctor then looked at me horrified and I felt myself stuttering, through disbelief and having to justify her weight loss and then go through her diet, the food I cook and the snacks I try and tempt her with....when I asked her afterwards why she would say such a thing...her answer was....because it was my fault she had to go there!.... We cope mostly....its just so draining :(
Where do you live? This sounds very much like the story of a young man from Australia who was driven quite nearly mad by his demented mother who was quite clearly a danger to herself and others. It was obvious to everyone BUT her GP. Is the dementia consultant a Medical Doctor? Is s/he in touch with the GP? Your MIL clearly needs more, better and different help that you can provide for her. Is there such a thing as a geriatric psychiatrist where you live? You very much need to have her mental health needs assessed.

I would also make sure that you get yourself to YOUR GP and talk about the stress that you are under. Are you well enough to be doing this level of caregiving?

What is your husband doing about his mother's behavior?
Thank you all for your comments. It was good to vent earlier today. My MIL is cared for to the highest standards. My husband when not at work is very good with her and helps where possible. She is under the community mental health team and has been assessed. The consultant she has is the most respected and revered in our part of the world and we access as much help/support that is available in this area.....is it stressful? Yes...is it thankless? Yes....does it drive you to distraction sometimes? Of course the situation does....am I capable of nursing her? Yes Ive also nursed 2 FIL through the finally months of their life...one of which was peg feed and immobile due to a huge stroke...the other died of blood cancer. I know I sounded down earlier...but you get patches like that....today we have actually had a good day....and yes its just the GP who sees her once a blue moon who seems to think his opinion (which is different from the other health care professionals) is correct! ..........As for the better treatment comment.........we give her 24 hour care, support and love, have adapted the house. Keep on the case of the health care professionals so her medication and care is of the highest quality......and we take her out and about everywhere with us and on holiday twice a year....I thought I would get support or advice on here....not have to justify myself or my husband??
There is a support here. You sounded so overwhelmed in the initial post, my immediate response would have been to get out for a week or so. Caring for someone like this 24/7 is a terrific strain even with a working husband helping when he can at home. Caregiving someone with dementia is a lifestyle and not a healthy one...it only gets worse.

Would it be possible to get in home help a day or two a week to allow you important time to yourself. Time away for you and your husband is important, as well. Being together, not as a caregiving team, to relax and get away from the stress will help keep balance in your lives.

Perhaps see your own doctor and advise him of what your home life is like at this point in time? Hopefully you both realize that it may be nearing time to look for other living options for your MIL; not only for your safety but for hers as well.

It is wonderful that you want to help your MIL but it is not necessary to sacrifice your own physical and emotional wellbeing. To be an effective caregiver you must take care of yourself first. Wishing you all the best!
We all have or bad and good days, we all understand. Im a roller coaster mainly the lows lately and I should say some of the good days and I will one day. But you both deserve a break. As mentioned here caring for someone 24hrs a day is not easy and gets harder with more health issues like your MIL. Im sure she is well cared for but as I been told- there's a reason NH have shifts of 2 or 3 in 24 hrs.... its draining and people the caregivers need proper sleep and relaxation. Look out for you both too :) Hang in there- hugs
What psychiatric meds is she on? She's still dripping venom? threatening you? That doesn't sound as though she's on the right meds. I wasn't questioning your caregiving, not by a long shot. I'm questioning why her behavior is SO over the top if she's on the correct antidepressant and anti anxiety meds. And maybe a mood stabilizer. Just some thoughts, based on my own experience with several elders.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support