End of life and unfinished business.

Follow
Share

My mother in law has moved in with me with end stage renal disease and after a lot of agitation was taken off dialysis last week. I have to take care of Dad too who's even older. but the point is that my sister in law who has always sucked out everything from her mother and abandoned her when she was ill (mother in law has no insurance and a lot of money problems which her son, my husband, is grappling with) visited her yesterday and left her absolutely demented. she turned around on me and started abusing me (for keeping her alive) and is staying alive now purely due to a boiling fury against the world, her daughter, son in law and me. my husband is already losing weight with this strain and exhaustion from full work load. Mother in law refuses to listen to pastor or help, and i just don't know how to cope for the few days left. her body's gone but her will is keeping her alive though she says she wants to die.
how do i talk to her? i'm falling ill myself. any tips for staying calm - she's so pathetic but looks at me with such concentrated hatred, i can't even look at her let alone speak and take care. she's utterly helpless and cleaning her diapers has become a kind of crisis, she fights everything.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
23

Comments

Show:
1 2 3
Thoughts and prayers are definitely with you. I am so glad you found this site. It has been an immeasurable help to me over the last few months. I am sure you also will benefit from the experiences and information from other caregivers as I did. I hope you got some relief for your situation and that your MIL's anger abated. I know its so horrible to deal with and not take personally. It certainly takes a toll, but I think they're so terrified, confused & angry with what is happening to them that they just can't help striking out at the person closest. She probably doesn't hate you; you're just the only one who will/has to listen. Given pain and no control over anything that's happening to my body or mind I would probably be a caregiver's worst nightmare myself. I hope your SIL either took over the caregiving or left you alone at least.

My heart goes out to you and I hope things are easier now.
(0)
Report

Thanks to all of you! I know its your support that helping me get back to thinking and feeling, i've been like a zombie, reading posts has perked my day so much.
We're not in the US, kuli, so no hospice or nursing home. Even assisted living is at exorbitant prices, hiring from private agencies. As far as we know she doesn't have dementia, though toxins must surely be building up. she used to survive quite well with blood sugar values of 300+ (fasting) and 500+ many times. that's why the kidney failure. otherwise she's in no pain and perfectly 'healthy' heart, lungs, digestion... she knows very well what she's doing, though she will not accept that she's critically ill, consequently thinks I'm to blame for doctor's visits etc.
But now my sister in law is certainly 'caught' so to speak by her own and mil's responses, so mil's treatment and health is now not my responsibility. It should be such a huge relief, but strangely, i'm still not able to take it in - maybe it was so long since I thought it was possible to think of even being able to go out when I wanted to, I'm not yet relaxed. anyway its a matter of time. I most certainly don't want to wish anyone dead, but will be a new life soon I hope. The worst is that I keep thinking what will happen if something happens to my husband - we would all of us be completely devastated. i know this worry is useless, but he's feeling the strain too much, and he doesn't let up, eg., he doesn't even let me ask him what he's had for lunch at work and he's so bad about his own medicine at times because of a hectic schedule. he doesn't want to 'load' me either with his problems, he never did, so I don't know how to help him. any tips? or am I worrying unnecessarily because I don't know how not to worry any more?
hugs to all
(1)
Report

Toxins can build up in the body and brain without dialysis. Since she has lasted this long without dialysis she must have some kidney function left. While medical standards can vary, a creatinine level of 3.5 will get you an ESRD classification in the US. Some people's function drops quickly and others more slowly. If she was having trouble on dialysis as many do, she was probably glad to stop. But her decline could still take a while. Many die from potassium overload (causes heart problems) before kidney failure. You might not want to load her up with potassium or you might feel badly about that.
(0)
Report

kmartin - Could her dementia be getting worse due to the toxins building up in her body with no dialysis? As someone said earlier, if she's not being dialyzed, she won't last long. I know that doesn't make it easier for you or your husband but her behavior may no longer be under her control. I can't remember, is hospice involved? Kuli
(1)
Report

Agree with msdazy! You totally need to be taking care of yourself and your family. You all are the future and that is where your energy and concern should be.

Let the daughter and other family take care of MIL now. God bless!
(1)
Report

I'm sorry Kmartin..maybe its time for you to think about you now...don't waste another breath on her. I'll pray for you right now. Get some rest and take some time for you.
(2)
Report

Both my my father (84) and mil (only!!! 80) reject the idea of death utterly. mil cannot believe anything is wrong with her - in fact she thinks dialysis caused all her problems and now she can eat what she wants, she is healthy and will get well. she did the same with insulin, her diabetes is way way out of control and kidney failure is really self caused, her general health is nothing short of splendid. she eats more than any normal person and always wants more. this must be abnormality because she's just skin and bone, but anyway, her mind and will are controlling everything.
As to loving her, i just don't know if i can honestly say that. I dont know what i'm feeling really, mostly just numb, and dont care about anything at all anymore. how can I get back to positive feelings? too dispirited to see a doctor for myself, and everyone says just snap out of it- there's so much to be thankful for, I know that but everything is meaningless at times.
I even think she'll oulast me and husband who's really exhausted - he had a heart attack and a stroke and he needs to take care of himself, and my care too. my father's fine now, touch wood but he has multiple complications...
my son (19) too has some psychological problems, did so very badly in exams, and kind of shut of from reality. while he too is improving a lot he still needs very careful handling.
so sorry for the outburst, just feel so helpless, hopeless and desperate - this site has helped so much, I sure I wasn't so good a month back. thanks for all your comments, wishes and hugs, and hugs to all of you
(0)
Report

I bet when the end is near she will be wanting everyone near. I know the fear alone would change it for her. So please don't let her go without showing you are there for her..and love her. Even though she doesn't return it...she will need to hear it. God Bless you for enduring all of this with her.
(0)
Report

kmartin, if you MIL has been removed from dialysis, it will not be much longer. This is a special circumstance I would say buck up and bear it. Death is a very personal experience that only the dying person can go through. Just let your MIL know you love her no matter how mad she is at you.
(1)
Report

freshair76, thanks, this is what is so upsetting, she's just clammed up tight, refusing to talk refusing to hear anything even and just resisting everything that's done for her with all - and i mean all - her strength (she's pretty strong, though she can't walk). it 's a different life altogether to see someone glaring at you and know you're being cursed, even though its silent. I don't think its dementia or that she's not in her right mind because this is fairly typical behaviour but very much at a higher level. Thank God, my sister in law is helping, she's all smiles with her and helps not resists her.
kuli, thanks, that's what is happening now - doctors surprised she's surviving so long, but she's literally addicted to food and is living to eat. however she's not really living like a human being, though that sounds so terrible to say of someone, and may be I would be worse in her situation. Compared to many of the posts here, i'm really very comfortable!
(0)
Report

1 2 3
This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions