Mom's surgery is coming very soon...

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I posted a while ago about my senior mother will be having hip surgery soon. It will be this coming Friday. I also described how she fell about a month ago, and had the nerve to tell me while in the hospital--all the while laughing-- that she has fallen times before and then in a manipulating way saying she knows how that will upset me. She is very narcissistic. Well ever since I have started back to school which I received good advice about not stopping because of her. And now her boyfriend, who lives down south, has come up to look after her especially after surgery. Bless his heart. Now I'm worried about him because I don't want her getting on his nerves and end up leaving or she put him out because they can both get a bit immature at times, especially her. So anyway, I've been immersed in school and getting A's again. And basically after all of the advice here, I had told her that I will be living my life and she exploded! I also let my grandmother know the same thing in a separate conversation because she's been acting just like my mother; way too hard on me when I'm the one sibling who's been there for both of them, out of everyone. I braced for a possible fallout with one particular sibling who also thinks she can run my life, but thankfully I hadn't heard from her. And I also had let her know that I wanted to make sure we were on the same page and that she will be a backup for my mother's boyfriend should he have to leave even though this sibling lives down south and I live 15 minutes away from my mother. But the problem is her and my other sister (who is a complete no-show) have been taking advantage of the situation for far too long and been able to live their lives without any scrutiny whatsoever. And distance cannot be the one and only factor; so sick of hearing this! My problem now is that my mother has been crying to me how she can hardly walk as if she is setting me up for a fall that I don't want to hear and I knew she was going to do this. Even though having mobility problems is a big deal, I truly cannot take her ways because she is very reckless with how she does and says things, and it affects me adversely. So basically, if the boyfriend leaves and my sister from down south doesn't step up, I might be screwed. And I've been reading horror stories on this site and I truly am not trying to give up my life for the abusive treatment she will no doubtedly exhibit. And I'm not the type to take that type of mess where someone treats me worse than I treat myself. And I've been making sure and treat myself well after years of practice, which a child of a narcissistic parent tends to have to learn to do. In fact, my father who has passed away a few years ago was also narcissistic. I am so sick of this type of personality I don't know what to do. But I won't hesitate to cuss a narcissistic person out without having to feel guilty because I feel they're the ones who deserve it, so I can vent right back on them! It's just that I don't want to live that way. I know some people will say so why deal with it? Trust me I'm looking not to, but she is still fixated on me as she's done it to me for years yelling why should my sister from down south have to deal with it when I'm 15 minutes away? I said she still could take phone calls from doctors and such and can bring her behind up here too, because I never said anything to her for years. I just wonder if she will in the event the boyfriend leaves, because I'm busy with work and school and if I have to stop either one I will be so p*****d and don't want to take that out on anyone let alone my mother who will be needing to heal from surgery. By the way, she said I was selfish; no mention of what I did to support her for over the years, mind you. Why are things in society this way with families too many times? Caregivers are feeling like slaves and having to give up their lives? This is nuts...

29 Comments

Dear CeeCee,

I am very sorry to hear about everything you have gone through. I am glad you are doing well in school and trying to live your own life. It is hard to have boundaries. But from what you say, you must protect yourself. There is no reason to help if it only leads to more anger and resentment. I too have a lot of resentment against my mother.

If you worry about this boyfriend or quality of care, I would talk to a social worker and get all your options.

I know many things are easier said than done. But if you truly want to distance yourself, you have that right. So many people told me, I gave up my chance at a family to care for my father and mother. It was my choice, but I didn't know anything different. But now that I am older, I realized what a mistake it has been to be an enabler my whole life.
"And I'm not the type to take that type of mess where someone treats me worse than I treat myself. And I've been making sure and treat myself well after years of practice,"

Well, I agree that the boyfriend will probably not stay indefinitely with your mother to take care of her. But do you really think your sister will travel to take care of your mother? I don't remember the stories with your sisters; have they distanced themselves from your mother?

Please read the quoted passage that you wrote. And then read it again. If you are truly this type of person, then you will NOT pause the good things happening in your life now (work, school) to take care of your mother. I think that you are better able to stand up to your sisters than you are to your mother.
CDNReader and CTTN55,

What I have been trying to determine at this point is where to get professional help in the event that the boyfriend would need to leave before she finishes healing after the surgery. The plan is for him to be there and I do trust him, but you never know what can happen. Here's the thing though; my mother will not follow through, purposely I've come to realize, on giving me POA in the event that she can't do things for herself. And this may become a reality after the surgery. Who knows?  How long have I've been arguing with her about following through on these things. So now I'm wondering how do I make these decisions; like have her go into assisted living or even have a home health aide come to her house, when I don't have any type of authority over her. Believe me I don't want it anyway, but also without it I can't make these type of decisions. Or my question is, can I? I already looked for help by using the resources on this website; calling to possibly find out about family therapy even before the assisted living or home health aide issue can  be addressed, because she might need to hear it from a professional that she is being unreasonable. And even though she's stubborn as hell, she listens more to professionals. But no one had answers, even though they were nice. It was more about the assisted living and prices, which I have no idea what to do finance wise, again without POA. I actually think she gave the POA to the sister down south, but I'm not sure. All I know is I can't do anything without this, and she's making sure to keep control on everything, which is why I'm feeling stuck at wondering if there are any legal ways for me to have her get professional help for these issues. Does anyone  know who I can contact, and a phone number? It would be greatly appreciated because this surgery is fast approaching. And I also want to make sure not to sign any forms at the hospital or anywhere else. My mother is not a planner and has lived her life hanging out with her friends, getting high and stuff, instead of planning ahead. She argues with me now that she does not believe in it. Me and her neighbor were even trying to have her set up things in case she has another emergency and now it seems she's shrugging off the neighbor. I told her she needs to give the neighbor the new set of spare keys now that her door got fixed from when the EMS had to break it open when she had her fall, because I was not running out there at two, three, four in the morning when they were right there next door. And my mother looked out for this neighbor's husband in that way when he was alive and the wife had to go to work at the time. What does my mother say to that? I'm waiting until after the surgery. So much bull. So basically, I want to know what I can legally do to protect myself at this point, just in case this goes downhill again. Thanks.
Cee cee, it's interesting to me that your mother "exploded" when you gently suggested she postpone her surgery so you could be available, and she "exploded" again when you told her that ( as you had told her ) you wouldn't be available.

She just explodes no matter what you say, right?

She hasn't given you POA. You have no authority to do any planning for her.  You have no legal obligation toward her.

Step away.

Her life's poor choices are not for you to correct.
Ceecee, for crying out loud.

How your mother copes post-surgery is for your MOTHER to sort out. Not you.

Basically, you've spent the last month chasing your tail trying to cover every possible eventuality and get every other person on the same page. But WHY have you? Nobody asked you to.

Let your mother sort out her own rehab, since that's how she has consistently said she wants it. And stop involving yourself if you don't want to be involved and you don't want there to be a general impression that you are the fall-back plan. Get back to work and keep up those A grades!
Cece the first thing I would do is get an extra key cut and give the key to the neighbor if you trust her and DON'T tell Mom. If neighbor needs to let herself in she can tell Mom she just pushed on the door and found it opened. Either that or you can just call 911 you don't have to go over there.
You don't have POA so call sister and ask her directly if Mom gave it to her. If she has it then you know who to call for any decisions.
After surgery rehab is usually available if she spends the necessary three nights in the hospital. She does have to go within I believe five days but don't tell her that.
Then there will be plenty of time for POA to arrange whatever care Mom needs after that.
Do not give up school or work Mom is not going to support you financially.
I already know and doing what I have to for me. My question is, does anybody have a contact to an agency or person who handles giving this type of advice professionally; in other words have you ever gotten that type of advisement? I want to either speak to someone face-to-face or on the phone just so I could feel better about being knowledgeable on this subject to ensure I'm protected from any unforeseen problems that may arise. She's making claims about setting things up already, but I'm not going to wait until she and other family members starts flip-flopping on me again. So, I want a contact to speak to; it's not the what I'm looking for, it's the who and the how.
I already know and doing what I have to for me. My question is, does anybody have a contact to an agency or person who handles giving this type of advice professionally; in other words have you ever gotten that type of advisement? I want to either speak to someone face-to-face or on the phone just so I could feel better about being knowledgeable on this subject to ensure I'm protected from any unforeseen problems that may arise. She's making claims about setting things up already, but I'm not going to wait until she and other family members starts flip-flopping on me again. So, I want a contact to speak to; it's not the what I'm looking for, it's the who and the how.
Let me also give an example; even though I'm not doing any 24/7 caretaking, she still is my mother and I plan to be there for the surgery Friday for some support. The last time I was there after her accident, every time I'm around other people like the nurses and social worker, they also try to put me "on the hook" with caretaking talk. And they may want me to do something like sign forms if she's out of it, for instance. Of course I'll say I'm not the POA and wouldn't do it anyway, but I'm tired of hearing from everyone coming at me and want to know what I can sort out with a professional without all of the emotions and assumptions from all these different parties that ensues with this type of issue. It'll just make me feel better to talk it out and feel more informed, because I'm not at the no-contact at all with her, just the "hell no, I ain't no slave to you" point.
You have no legal obligation, CeeCee. Walk away from your mom's dysfunctiin.

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