What am I dealing with? My 74-year-old mother-in-law will not take her diabetes seriously.
In short, there is no family and I am the only one who would be caregiver to my MIL, which I really can't do much of because I have three teens. My MIL has always been a "eccentric", sort of a woman-child, but has always held a job and was functioning (though living with others and never on her own). She retired several years ago. Oh, I am 44, female and I don't work.
She has high blood pressure, diabetes (type II not well controlled I believe; she doesnt believe she has diabetes) and anxiety. She currently lives alone in a house (her relative who owned the house died last year and left it to her).
I spent the weekend with her and we went to visit my relatives out of town. This is when I started realizing that something is wrong. She talked NON STOP. I mean, manic compulsively NON STOP every minute of the day. I mean, I TIMED her. she couldn't go more than a minute and a half without words having to be spoken. We were NOT having a conversation. Her sentences made sense, but were random and weird and at one point she started just like naming all the thing she saw: "look at that tree. wow, that's a green tree. it is a pine tree. the pine tree is tall. I wonder how tall the pine tree is. i dont like pine trees because they get sap all over cars." ETC.
I also discovered she is incontinent. I knew she was using Poise pads, but I didn't know she apparently is continuously incontinent. She left the used pads sitting on top of the garbage can and it stunk up everything. She used to be a clean freak.
My husband and my contact at her doctor's office seem to think this is because she is lonely or is grieving her relative she lived with who died over a year ago. I don't believe that because when she wasnt talking to fill up dead space, she was SINGING and talking non stop to her dog. I had told her I had a headache so I could go lie down and get some quite time when she started singing.
She also is getting a little confused. She INSISTED a few weeks ago that my kids must have saturday school because she thought it was saturday. I maintain what is called "medium chill" in tone in my voice and I simply said, "No it is Friday. The kids are at school." and then she would again insist it is Saturday.
On the ride home this weekend, I called a friend of mine who is having to move schools for her younger son. My MIL kept arguing with me that my friend's older son is "Ted" (younger son's name) and the younger son is "Alex" (older son). I kept calm and said, "No, Alex is the older son and Ted is the younger son" and she kept insisting she was right.
What is going on here?
Last night she called to tell me that My kids' friend's mother was getting recalled from the school board and that her photo was on the front page. My kids' friend's mother is not on the school board and the woman in the photo didn't even look like my kids' friend's mother. But they had the same first name, so it was a match.
I called MIL today to ask her if she told her primary care doctor about her incontinence and that maybe she could make an appointment and I'd go with her and she admitted that she never told him and she isn't going to make an appointment.
I have called her numerous times to invite her over for regular week night dinners and she says no and I have invited her to come sit at our house on the weekend and watch TV with us and she says no.
She sleeps about 12 hours a day, awakening at noon and then watches reality TV the other time, except for about 1-2 hours where she runs errands. She still drives.
She also had a hypoglycemia attack the other day while at the grocery because she took her diabetes medicine and then didn't eat. She solved that by drinking a coke and eating a chocolate muffin. She also bought herself a large 12 inch coffee cake a few weeks ago.
I'm at a loss as to handle this. She is an adult and I can't make her take her diabetes seriously. She is super needy and sucks the life out of you, but then when I try to get her out the house, she doesn't want to do anything.
Can anyone relate to this? Where do I go from here? I can't deal with much because of my kids, but we do have some money where I could maybe do some private sitter things, etc, but I don't think she'd go for that either.
Thanks so much for reading this!