Tired of being tired.

Started by

I've been taking care of my mom for 19 years now. She is 80. She does not walk. Im wearing out. I also work 10 hrs.daily. I hired a companion for her but she hated it and they didnt have a relationship with her even after 2 months. My mother doesn't socialize. She never did. My biggest issue is she wont let me sleep. I only have been getting a max. Of 2 hours a night. Drs. Do not want her to take sleep aids cause of her heart. I've been doing this for almost a year now. My sister will stay with her for about 3 hrs. While im at work. No one else will help me or give me a vacation which I really need. I feel so guilty when I yell at her for waking me up.


Patients101, oh my gosh only 2 hours of sleep a night? Your Mom might outlive you with those hours. Next time your Mom is at her doctors explain what is happened to YOU because your Mom won't let you sleep. Maybe the doctor will let your Mom take anti-histamines, the drowsey type, such as Benadryl which have been around forever and used by hospitals.

I know if I don't get my required sleep I am like a bear the whole day. And here my parents live elsewhere, but the stress can still account for many sleepless nights. If I do go off into a sound sleep no one better wake me unless their hair is on fire or the house is slipping into a sink hole.
Patients, at this rate, you will die of stress sooner than your mom. Have you considered placement, and if not, why not?
patients101, you have probably told yourself, and perhaps your mother and other relatives, "I will keep her at home with me as long as I possibly can."

Well, this is it. The current situation exceeds what you possibly can do. Sorry. It is really time to place her where there are 3 shifts of people who can care for her around the clock. These people will have adequate sleep, have personal lives, and generally be up to the task of keeping their charges safe and well-cared for. Your mother deserves that.

And you deserve sleep and health. You deserve to be able to relate to your mother as a loving daughter and not as a worn-out zombie.

This is probably not a response you want to hear, but I'll bet it is one that has been in the back of your mind.

Your mother may live another 10, 15, or even 20 years! You certainly will not on 2 hours of sleep a night.
patients101, what problem does your mother have that causes her to be awake? 19 years is a long time to care for a person. Could you tell us a little more about your mother?
Thanks to all of you for being concerned. My mother has a good mind but her legs are bad. She recently had her aortic valve replaced. And is now going through with chemo for lymphoma that she has been battling for 19 years. It comes back every 5 years or so. She is on lasix . She gets her last one about 5pm. But she still gets up through the night to go to the bathroom. I have to help her get in and out of bed, bathing, and meal preperation. She can fall asleep fast but I cant. And when I finally do, she has to pee again. I did talk to the Drs. about Benedryl but they told me absolutely not. She got confused on it when she was in the hospital after her heart surgery. As far as putting her in nursing care facility, I tried that already. She lasted 2 days when I blew my fuse and took her out. It was horrible. She messed herself many times. They couldnt keep up with her needs. I found her soiled and crying. She just misses me so bad when I go to work and when I get home she wants my attention. I have a great loving relationship with her. Weekends are tough. I have to play catch up with house work and outside work. I hired someone this year to cut grass and rake leaves and snow removal. But of course they let me down several times and for what I was paying them its not worth it. I just keep firing and hiring new workers. I think im more stressed abour that then I am about anything else. My mother is a sweet person and I dont want to abandon her. I know I will take care of her until she passes or until I no longer can. Thanks again for your support. I guess I just needed to vent some.
If you won't place your mother in a nursing home, then you need to have help at home. Maybe someone for overnight to help her get up so you can sleep. You can remind your mother how much she hated the nursing home and tell her that that's the only alternative if she refuses to allow a hired aide to help her. I don't mean you should threaten her, but you do need to be realistic about your own needs and health.

I was also wondering: does anyone consider catheterization for a bedbound person so they don't need to get up just to pee (and someone else doesn't need to get up to help them)? Is that not feasible for long term use? I know they do it in hospitals for post-surgical patients but I don't know how widely it's used in the home.
Patients, I didn't realize that your Mom needed to get up to use the bathroom throughout the night, that wasn't mentioned in your original post.

You need to hire some night time help at home, or place your Mom back into another nursing facility. There is no way that you are going to survive on 2 hour sleep, you body will start breaking down. Then what would your Mom do? Would your sister help her full time?
Oh goodness, patients101, I would never advise you to abandon your mother -- never! Even if you had a horrid relationship and she abused you I would still think it best that you looked out for her. And that is certainly not the case here. You need to continue that loving relationship.

But there is more than one way to show love and to take care. Two days in a nursing home are not enough to give you a true picture.

But here is the thing: your death or serious health failure would "abandon" your mother with no loving oversight on your part. You MUST look after your own health, both because you are a worthy person who deserves good care and also so that you can continue seeing to your mother's care.
Patients101, Maybe a doctor would consider her using a catheter. My Mom has been using a catheter for 5 months now, and I empty the bag every few hours and she has a nurse come in and change it every few weeks. My Mom is completely bedridden, cannot walk or stand on her own. When she was in for rehab in a nursing home for a broken arm the 5 star medicare rated facility was not able to really care well for her, so I understand completely how you feel about the nursing home. I would ask the doctor if a catheter is an option under the circumstances. I hope you can get some rest soon.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support