It just gets more and more awful.

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Mom is home from a week in the hospital fighting a UTI that went septic, plus a bad bedsore. A nurse visits daily to treat the sore, and she must be turned on her side every two hours, like a rotisserie chicken, as my daughter says. She has her marbles and her sense of humor, though her short-term memory is bad after a stroke left her with no use of her dominant side a year ago.


She has 24/7 care, so that's good, but, boy is this depressing. She has no life at all currently. She can barely move or sit in her wheelchair what with the bedsore regulations. I love her deeply and can't bear the idea of losing her, but this is crazy. If this bedsore is cured, then what? How do we prevent another one and another UTI that could become septic? Best-case scenario, she returns to her state of a few months ago, where she was able to sit in her wheelchair for a few hours, go out to dinner, and have a drink and a meal.


On top of it, she has gone from fiercely independent and edgy/difficult to completely dependent, sweet, compliant, and very needy of my attention. I'm her only child and we have always been extremely close, but she was a drunken mess during my childhood, not there for me at all. And now I am there for her constantly, handling her bills, lawyer, insurance, home care, plus visiting and talking to her on the phone all the time.


I don't want sympathy or to be reminded how hard this is and how sorry everyone is (nasty as that may sound, it makes me feel worse). I want advice on how to reconcile my current devotion with her past neglect, plus how to deal with the ongoing health issues that will likely keep repeating themselves.

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solo, you said it so well. I feel the same way when my mother is nice. I want to ask where my mother went and what did she do with her. It keeps me off balance because I still have these bad feelings inside, but no reason to act on them.
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My mom has gotten a lot nicer in her old age and sometimes I get mad at her for it. Where is the person who I want to punish and hurt and blame?? I think I get angry with her for silly reasons - we're currently watching Lawrence Welk with the sound up to 11 and I'd like to throw a brick at the tv - because the things it's truly appropriate to be angry over are mostly in the past. Knowing you've been abused and having that person there-but-not-there can make you crazy.

Personally, D-Mannose powder was a lifesaver for me when I was dealing with UTIs. It only works on e-coli, though. You drink it in fluid or take it as a capsule. I think it's inert and not digested, so even if it doesn't help it won't hurt.
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Thanks Barb. You too!
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Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom!
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Oh, I'm sorry Scaredtaker. I am grateful that my mom was never truly abusive and is a pussycat now, but it was extremely hard growing up with her as an only child. I always thought if I had siblings, it would be so much easier. I guess not always.

In other news, my mom was in the best shape she's been in since before the UTI/hospitalization last night. I don't want to jinx it, but we went out to dinner, she sat in the wheelchair with no complaints, and actually ate some real food. She was literally bedridden for the last month. Fingers crossed.
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Xina

Caring for m mum who is due to turn 88 next month as well as my 95 yr old dad. Mum is a dry "drunk" and I share a similar story as you: caring for a parent who wasn't there consistently when growing up +.

When I got here she was d*mn near dead with nightly hard liquor binges which my father has been her enabler and in denial. I cleaned up the mess best I could and she eventually had a stemi and on warfarin tried to drink - but only made vascular dementia and advanced CAD worse. In writing this, I see now how much pressure I have been enduring in the madness along with the sick unhelpful sibling dynamic. Of course the siblings all say I am the one who causes issues. Always have. I am the scapegoat.

I have asked myself the same questions you have - along w should I call 911 - I am not even POA (one of my siblings in another state is!) and m answer is YES. Because she always says she wants to when serious things comes up despite the IDEA of letting go that she has ascribed to. It's her choice dementia or not. This is a choice between life and death and if she can ask for help in that moment, I am not going to deny her that right. I am but mortal and can understand the disparity between the IDEA and the REALITY of the dilemma when that moment comes.

I am getting help for the yrs of insanity before this as well as now. She was going to AA but then my dad said it was disrespectful to her and they both insisted the whole town knew due to the group gossiping (untrue). The doctors are not stupid - they knew due to her blood tests and accidents etc.

Dealing with a dry drunk who acts like a manipulative, poorly adjusted toddler having a tantrum is harsh - Unlike a toddler she will not improve and grow out of it. If anything - vascular dementia and yrs of this behavior will only intensify before tripping the final line. We had some relative success but it has been undermined due to my narcissistic dad and unstable sister along w unhelpful family who consider this role of mine a blessing for me. Must be why they never visit except when they want to assuage their own guilt a la last call for alcohol.

So for myself there was a brief window of relative connection - and then the family - dementia - and yrs of addiction caught up and robbed me of anything much more positive with her. Most of the time I avoid connecting with her emotionally and do the work that needs doing. The rest of her kids can step up for the emotional part. I walk into a room and she starts some kind of verbal assault followed by passive aggressive pretend crying - thinking it is funny though I ask her to please speak to me like an adult. It's so d*mned frustrating I have given up on connecting much these days.


Wish I had more help to offer.
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Hi there, I've taking care of my husband and my father both with Alz for six years. (I feel scared when I even write it and look at at ! ) my Dad passed away recently. So now it's just my husband who has recently had abdominal surgery and an ostomy.
I've had a thought about your situation. I don't know if you are familiar with Family Systems approach, but it says that families tend to have roles, and it's difficult for one member of a family to change much, that other family members may feel an internal pressure to become the way the changed member was. So maybe if when you were young and helpless she was an angry or aggressive person, now when she is helpless and young acting, you feel internal pressure to be aggressive and disagreeble. And that's not in keeping with you past behavior or values, that's why you are so uncomfortable ....Just a thought . Look up Family systems approach to read more.
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Yes, she signed a DNR/DNI.
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I can't help with reconciling the past...I haven't addressed that in my in life ;-) I have just chosen to deal with the mom I have now and setting an example of unconditional love for my children and grandchildren.
As for the UTI...with my mom we change her frequently, be sure to clean and dry her private areas, and use a barrier cream to help...also give her as much water as we can get her to drink which is challenging at this point.
We have really worked on preventing bedsores. One of my daughters is a nutritionist at a nursing home. She told me to keep her protein up to help keep her skin healthy. We do so by adding tofu, Greek yogurt and other protein rich foods. She also drink 2 Ensure plus a day. In addition we use an alternating pressure mattress on her bed and of course change her position frequently. We don't always do a full side turn, just a slight adjustment to move her. When she used to be able to get out of bed (even though it was a dead lift to move her), we had a nice memory foam pad in her transport chair and another alternating pressure mattress in her recliner.
My mom has stage 7 Alzheimer's so our situation are very different. We have a DNR on mom...did you get the actual sheet completed? I didn't know I believe needed that, thinking my mom's birthday wording on her POA was adequate. I found out the I was wrong when she had a seizure and I called 911. I spent the entire day fighting first with paramedics and the with the ER doctor. Now I have one and it is taped on her bedroom door in my home. We will never again call the paramedics...whatever happens, happens with us by her side telling her we love her. I hope my little bit of experience can help you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Xina, I'm so sorry you're going through this, but glad you've finally gotten close to your mom. Treasure what is there right now.

Give her some time to recover. She may be strong enough to remain at a plateau for a long time.
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