Life Sucker!

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My 71 year old mother has lived with me for almost a year. She has multiple health issues, none of which are as bad as she would like you to think. If you were to ask her, she is dying any minute. (If you are old enough, think Sanford and Son-- Elizabeth, its the big one! I'm comin' to join you honey!) I have been dealing with her "health" since I was 15. Everything is a major crisis. To top it off, she could be a travel agent for the guilt trip. Every conversation starts with "You just don't know how bad I feel" or "You just don't understand" Up until December I worked full time, and she was perfectly content being home alone during the day. I was laid off before Christmas, and now since then she has decided that she cannot be alone. I can barely be out of her sight, let alone leave the house. With that said, she sleeps all day and most of the night but if she wakes and yells for me and I'm not here to answer all hell breaks loose. My husband works third shift so he sleeps during the day, my 16 year old daughter is in school all day. No one can wrap their brains around the fact that I am losing my ever loving mind! I have worked since I was 15, these 3+ months of being stuck at home are about to kill me. Every time I mention going back to work the guilt trips start again. "I just can't be alone, what am I supposed to do?" Perfect example would be tonight. I took my daughter to a function, there was a gap of 66 minutes between my husband leaving for work and us getting back home. She soiled herself. I asked her why? "Well I walked to the bathroom, and went in, but I thought I might get dizzy sitting there and you weren't here so I went back to the bedroom. I just couldn't hold it anymore". Now keep in mind, she has a bedside commode in her bedroom, and the bathroom she walked to is 12 feet down the hallway.
I feel like I am a lousy person because I get angry. I try not to let it come out in my voice, but I know sometimes it does. I feel like she is sucking the life out of me with the constant and I mean CONSTANT negativity. She is not a half full/half empty person, she is an OMG, its almost gone and I'm going to die of thirst and what am I going to do if I'm all alone and the last drop of water evaporates and you aren't here for 30 seconds to fill it back up for me" kind of person.
I guess the purpose in this rant is the hope that PLEASE... there has to be someone else on the planet that can relate? Or am I really the horrible daughter that I feel like right now??


my aunt is taking 40 mg of paxil a day. it must be a good drug for her because she is anything but negative.
depression largely destroys relationships. being dragged into someone elses quagmire is infuriating. id suggest slipping doc a note about your mothers depression. he can do more with anti depressants based on the carers input than on the unreliable ( denial ) of the patient.
Hi Captain, thanks for the reply.
She takes depression medication, anxiety medication, pain pills, nausea meds, if there is a pill for it, she wants it and she takes it. I'm starting to think *I* am the one that needs to be medicated! :)
IamVickiRN, I suggest you start working toward going back to work, somewhere, at something. Being oncall 24/7 with Mom really will suck the life out of you.

If Mother "needs" care while you are working, work with her to determine what the options are and what she can afford. When she realizes that her pension will have to go toward having in-home help that may help her prioritize what she really needs.

It is also possible that her decision that she can't be alone is based on a change in her condition. As you describe her behavior, I wonder if genuine dementia has joined her real, quasi, and pseudo illnesses. If that is the case, perhaps she really does need more supervision/encouragement/assistance than she used to. Perhaps, in fact, she would do better in a care facility. You could visit often as her loving daughter and not as her full-time caregiver. You could leave when the conversation just got too negative for your own mental health.

I LOVE the way you describe her brand of pessimism!
She has you completely snowed. Tell her if she needs around the clock care, you want her to be in a NH, where that can happen. Then, take her to go meet with the administrator. She will end up killing you, with all of her shenanigans. 71 doesn't have to be that old.
I read your mother has lung disease. It seems to do so much to the body and personality. I don't know how serious the disease is. I've noticed a lot of the people with breathing problems can be among the most difficult people. It saps their strength and makes a vacuum grow out of them that sucks up the lives and feelings of people around them. I wondered what your mother was doing to manage her lung disease. Sleeping all day and night doesn't sound like a good remedy to me.

You are in a terrible position and I sympathize so much with you. I agree with the others that you need to do what is right for you, which seems to be find another job. Your mother sounds like a good candidate for assisted living if she can afford it. There's no reason for you to stay home while she sleeps all the time. I'm sure your family is not so happy with the arrangement, either. It may be that being around other people in AL will put some life back into your mother.

I know how hard these things are to do. We can't make our parents do what they don't want to. You do need to make some changes for her sake and yours. It sounds like she has many years ahead of her. I don't know how well you could handle that if she becomes progressively more inclined not to do anything. Good luck and let us know what is going on.
She needs to be in a nursing home or ALF and you need to go back to work. The more you run when she yells, the more she'll yell and it will only get worse. For all your sakes you need to consider your options NOW. Your mother could live another 10 or 15 years. Consider how you'd handle that if you're going out of your mind after just three months.
I agree with those who say she needs to be somewhere -- ANYWHERE! -- else but sucking the life force out of you.

I hear you, I hear you, I hear you...when you say you get angry. That's me as of the last couple of years (and my Mom doesn't live with me!) I honestly don't know how other people do it with a smile on their face, and a pleasant tone in their voice. One such friend of mine, who looked after her dying mother at home for a few years (toilet, feeding, putting up with her mother's biting sarcasm) speaks of this time with a great deal of gratitude and serenity. Go figure.

It's a mystery to me how some caregivers can remain so calm -- not only out in public, but when even no one's looking.

I say "Ranting allowed! You are NOT alone!" And "Your Mom needs to be somewhere else; you need to get your life back."
I hear all of you, and I understand what you are saying, and I would be giving the same advice to anyone else. The problem is, she is my MOM. I don't know that I can put her on a shelf in a home somewhere because she is difficult or its inconvenient, etc. As I mentioned, I have been dealing with her since I was 15, I am 43 now. That's 28 years. That's a lifetime of guilt trips and "oh poor me's" that have been drilled in to me. I'm also a nurse. I am expected to take care of her. I have 2 siblings, both do absolutely nothing for her. She fully supports the oldest sibling, I mean literally, fully supports him. He lives in her house, she pays all the bills and provides a vehicle for him while he sits there doing nothing. My other sibling lives a distance away, he at least calls and checks on her, and has been here to see her a couple of times. With all that said, she can't afford assisted living because she spends her whole check on making sure the older sibling is taken care of. I support my mom in every way. I buy her meds, food, clothing, whatever. It is a very difficult situation to be in because it is straining my relationship with my husband and daughter, also. I'm exhausted all the time. I'm grouchy and angry and they get the brunt of it. My husband and I have no time together, we can't get out of the house unless my daughter stays here. We can't do anything as a family because someone has to be here with mom. She also likes to try and play us against each other. She is very manipulative. She likes to say "-----" said (fill in the blank) about a/b/c. just to see if she can stir up trouble. She tried that on my daughter last week and I lost my mind. I did truly snap that day, and I let her know in no uncertain terms that she would not be allowed to guilt trip my daughter the way she has me my whole life, the guilt trip train stops with me. Of course she "just don't understand why I'm so upset". Then the tears, then the "I can leave if you are that unhappy with me being here"... blah blah blah. I am truly burned out, I appreciate being able to throw all this out and have some understanding that I'm not alone. I hope that maybe just getting some of this off my chest will alleviate a bit of the burden. Thank you all for "listening".
Senior housing - mom has to go there ASAP. Your home is your sanctuary. You deserve space, time, and the freedom to all be yourselves at home. My mom is much the same and she didn't last a month in my home. I suggest a community where she can stay as her needs increase - continuum care. Expect fits, threats, award winning drama, and episodes of all stripes in the process. It's normal and you can get through it. It is not the end of the world. This sounds bossy of me, but put your husband and child relationships back on top as well as your own life. This is not deserting mom or abandoning her or being rebellious. This part of life takes a lot of people by surprise and the necessary changes aren't fun or pretty, but no less necessary.

Good luck out there & don't forget to let us know how it's going!
if vickiRN is indeed an rn, i think her mother would be a great subject to hone her nursing skill set on. mother may have physical and mental problems that require a good talented nurse to help her correct them. turn your mothers situation around for her or take additional schooling until you have the ability to do so.
this was a one sided story where mom produced all the problems. i dont buy it as i know in a room full of people with a bad situation, every single one in the room could be an instrument for improvement. vickirn, imo its your job to find, analize and formulate a multipoint plan for unf***ink the household.

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