Practice Makes Perfect...

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Okay, tomorrow I'm having to take a half day off work to take my parents to the eye doctor. My mother (Mrs. Selfish) has such severe anxiety attacks that she want me to tell her when their appointment is. Don't ask. Doing the choreography around her anxiety is enough to make me slap her (never would).

So now I'm just planning the details for tomorrow (Fri). I just thought about how their appointment is later in the afternoon and they probably won't make it back for dinner in the dining room at the assisted living facility. That makes me mad because I forgot about that when I scheduled the appointment.

I keep thinking maybe I should drink and drive (I don't drink) before I pick them up, perhaps I should start drinking at dinner. All these thoughts are just making me cringe about tomorrow's appointment and evening.

This time around I'm going to try and take this in stride, but it will be so hard not to insult my mother when she talks about how fat she is (that's a whole other story if you haven't read on another posts). Hearing my dad ask the same question about my car (previously his). I sure don't think I'm ready for this, but I'm going to try and take my "attitude" up a notch - for the better.

Although I have to say, I don't know if I can resist commenting on her weight by offering her a cookie from what I make her weekly. This coming from a woman who used to insult me about gaining weight and offering me all these "suggestions". This will be priceless to say the least.

I told my husband I'm picking him up for dinner if we start running late from the doctor's, and he's like "OH NO I'm not!" and I already have the devious plan in my mind how that will work.

How many times must we practice to get it perfect? Has anyone out here improved with age and/or time? Sheesh, I feel like this is a never-ending battle. I'll let you know if I have my wits about me tomorrow night.

Thanks all!


Hey Mitzipinki -
you sound like you are at the end of your rope. I'd love to know what you did & who you were BTCF (before taking care of mom) - let us know. You are very well spoken, did you write or teach?
My husband suggested that I insert in my brain the words "Bla-Bla-Bla" when my mom starts up. It took some doing, but now she wants to know why I am smiling, Your mom is pushing buttons for you to react. If you react a different way than she expects, then you have the power -not them. It works. My mom just flusters now because she doesn't know how to make the buttons work any more. Like I said, it takes doing. If you can picture her in a comic way, pretend she is speaking babble...Picture her on Seinfeld...George's mom. Maybe that will help. I also imagine rabbit ears on my mom while she is 'Bla-Bla-Bla-ing' and it takes the sting out. I don't feel the pain, because I realize how silly it all is. Sometimes I even feel sorry for her, because she knows she has lost the power to sting. She looks dejected and weak. You can also say something really unexpected to your mom like, "I am sorry you feel fat. It is a terrible feeling isn't it? But you look fine, so don't worry about it."
gvergl, thanks... the blah blah blah sounds like a plan, but when I'm alone with her its just a totally different ball game. Normally silence is golden, but in this case its pure torture!! Oh I've flustered my mother, and I've definitely proven that the battle of the wills is not a fight she wants to take on with me, but emotionally its still draining at the end of the day.

I don't know if I'm ready for being unexpected. LOL, oh to show I care... what a challenge! I'll try it... maybe! LOL

Cat, I think I am more frustrated at the fact I have to deal with mom and dad and take more time off of work to hear her same complaints, etc. If it weren't for my husband and to be honest, probably the inheritance, I would not be there for them. Mom has been that cruel, but my core fiber is watching out for the underdog... sadly, she's definitely it.

As far as who I was before taking care of them.... to be honest, I am just now finding myself. I grew up in a parochial school (from K-12) and I lived their life under her control. I was silenced quite often and not to voice an opinion. Now I am learning to have a voice. I'm learning for the first time since my dad's unexpected brain surgery and stroke, who I am. I am discovering that I can say no fairly well and set boundaries. I sweat the small stuff because I am a detailed person. I am finding that I do have a sense of humor, and I'm finding my interests in life. My new-found passions make for some deep-rooted regrets of things I didn't pay attention to in school (another long story).

It's funny that you ask if I write or I have taught before, because I used to teach adult community education. I thoroughly loved that. Teaching and writing are actually my passion, but when my dad's stroke hit, life turned upside down.

For about 4-6 months I was up 20-24 hours a day due to living with my dad in the hospital and rehab. Mom didn't drive, so I took care of her errands as well. I've never really recovered. A year after my dad was home, I was surprised when I started my present job in desktop publishing (another passion). But I'm now missing teaching terribly, and I love being able to come to the boards here to write.

I'm hoping some day I can do the writing professionally, but for now, I'm doing everything in my power just to survive another day. My counselor is actually encouraging me to write a book, because I have quite an interesting history when it comes to work and the cast of characters involved in my life. Overall, I'm exhausted, sick frequently, and buried in piles "to do". I would avoid it if possible but that would make things worse.

I appreciate coming here and reading about the heros who do this 24/7 in-home. I am not one of those who could perform those duties, but my respect for caregivers is 1001%. My story is not near as drastic as some, but I feel the pain.

Thanks for noticing and taking the time to inquire. You all are a great source of support for me! I guess in the end, practice does make perfect doesn't it?
Okay, the doctor day is officially over, and I have to say, "thank You God". To some it may sound crazy, but I have to tell you last night and today I asked God to help give me the grace and mercy to deal with mom and dad. I asked not to lose it and to help maintain composure. I don't have the story of misery to tell (a first for me).

Boy were my prayers answered today. My parents were waiting for me in the lobby of the assisted living. The eye doctor told my mother that her anorexic behavior increased her cataract growth (altho thankfully mom doesn't need surgery). He also said that her weight gain (due to the medication she's on) did her a great justice. He said he's never seen it before, but her dry eyes, that she had to have implants done to keep moisture in last year, had been reversed. Yes, you heard me, reversed. The assisted living nurse said that all the food she's been eating (not a restricted diet like mom chose previously) must have been doing her body a world of good and helped her glands in her eyes provide the necessary moisture. Isn't that weird?

The doctor was honest with her about her nutrition and exercise she needs to do, and it was priceless. Mom finally "listened". So now I am going to take care of getting she and my dad their new glasses, etc. I was so glad as well that mom didn't want to go eat with me anywhere. I know, I know... meanie! But she had already determined she wanted McDonalds, and I was like GREAT (less time I need to spend with her) and she wanted to eat in the car. Don't ask, I don't get it either! But it was a short afternoon... PTL!

Today's visit was only an hour and a half and peaceful! What a relief! So practice does make perfect when you turn it over to God. In my own way, I never would been able to make it... literally. On to the next adventure and thanks all! I appreciate the support!

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