My mother in law has moved in with me with end stage renal disease and after a lot of agitation was taken off dialysis last week. I have to take care of Dad too who's even older. but the point is that my sister in law who has always sucked out everything from her mother and abandoned her when she was ill (mother in law has no insurance and a lot of money problems which her son, my husband, is grappling with) visited her yesterday and left her absolutely demented. she turned around on me and started abusing me (for keeping her alive) and is staying alive now purely due to a boiling fury against the world, her daughter, son in law and me. my husband is already losing weight with this strain and exhaustion from full work load. Mother in law refuses to listen to pastor or help, and i just don't know how to cope for the few days left. her body's gone but her will is keeping her alive though she says she wants to die.
how do i talk to her? i'm falling ill myself. any tips for staying calm - she's so pathetic but looks at me with such concentrated hatred, i can't even look at her let alone speak and take care. she's utterly helpless and cleaning her diapers has become a kind of crisis, she fights everything.
My heart goes out to you and I hope things are easier now.
We're not in the US, kuli, so no hospice or nursing home. Even assisted living is at exorbitant prices, hiring from private agencies. As far as we know she doesn't have dementia, though toxins must surely be building up. she used to survive quite well with blood sugar values of 300+ (fasting) and 500+ many times. that's why the kidney failure. otherwise she's in no pain and perfectly 'healthy' heart, lungs, digestion... she knows very well what she's doing, though she will not accept that she's critically ill, consequently thinks I'm to blame for doctor's visits etc.
But now my sister in law is certainly 'caught' so to speak by her own and mil's responses, so mil's treatment and health is now not my responsibility. It should be such a huge relief, but strangely, i'm still not able to take it in - maybe it was so long since I thought it was possible to think of even being able to go out when I wanted to, I'm not yet relaxed. anyway its a matter of time. I most certainly don't want to wish anyone dead, but will be a new life soon I hope. The worst is that I keep thinking what will happen if something happens to my husband - we would all of us be completely devastated. i know this worry is useless, but he's feeling the strain too much, and he doesn't let up, eg., he doesn't even let me ask him what he's had for lunch at work and he's so bad about his own medicine at times because of a hectic schedule. he doesn't want to 'load' me either with his problems, he never did, so I don't know how to help him. any tips? or am I worrying unnecessarily because I don't know how not to worry any more?
hugs to all
Let the daughter and other family take care of MIL now. God bless!
As to loving her, i just don't know if i can honestly say that. I dont know what i'm feeling really, mostly just numb, and dont care about anything at all anymore. how can I get back to positive feelings? too dispirited to see a doctor for myself, and everyone says just snap out of it- there's so much to be thankful for, I know that but everything is meaningless at times.
I even think she'll oulast me and husband who's really exhausted - he had a heart attack and a stroke and he needs to take care of himself, and my care too. my father's fine now, touch wood but he has multiple complications...
my son (19) too has some psychological problems, did so very badly in exams, and kind of shut of from reality. while he too is improving a lot he still needs very careful handling.
so sorry for the outburst, just feel so helpless, hopeless and desperate - this site has helped so much, I sure I wasn't so good a month back. thanks for all your comments, wishes and hugs, and hugs to all of you
kuli, thanks, that's what is happening now - doctors surprised she's surviving so long, but she's literally addicted to food and is living to eat. however she's not really living like a human being, though that sounds so terrible to say of someone, and may be I would be worse in her situation. Compared to many of the posts here, i'm really very comfortable!
My husband was a "foodie" (as am I). When we were dating he brought me things like a beef and corn casserole or apple cobbler instead of flowers. We entertained often, and our parties always involved food. We took cooking classes together. We remember vacations by the restaurants we discovered. In our everyday meals we watched salt intake and followed a heart healthy diet. After he developed dementia he had swallowing problems. Nine years ago he had a swallow test and was advised to have a feeding tube. Oh my goodness. No way was that going to happen. And he got by OK. This last summer, as additional problems developed he had another swallow test. The speech therapist advised a very restrictive diet to avoid aspirating. She was shocked when we agreed to practice the physical/mechanical advise but decided not to follow the diet. It is the patient's right to make decisions about quality of life. And, incidentally, both my husband's geriatrician and his world-renown dementia specialist supported the decision to ignore the diet restrictions.
So, in your situation kmartin, I would give the MIL exactly what she wants to eat. Her extreme reaction to the restrictions is a strong indication that this is a major quality-of-life issue for her. Following the diet isn't going to keep her alive, it is just interfering with the pleasure of what little time she has left. She is doing to die. There is no question of "murder" on your part.
BUT ... that is my take on the situation. You need to consult your own religious beliefs, philosophy about life and dying, and your conscience and do what you decide is best. Make your decision in love, and then don't feel guilty no matter what the outcome is. I am so very, very sorry that you have to make such a huge decision. Do your best. That is all any of us can do.
it does help to vent, but it is so difficult...
Your MIL is not in her right mind. Try not to take the looks of hatred personally. Do the best you can to provide for her needs. Consider it an act of mercy to be as kind and patient as you can with this poor dying woman. If it is more than you can handle, she may have to go to a hospital in spite of "refusing" to go. I hope you can keep her home, but you must take care of yourself and your husband (and your father).
Warm hugs to you.
People with ESRD no longer receiving dialysis have a limited amount of time available. Once the body can no longer filter toxins, death is imminent and realitively quick. Having hospice there means she will be cared for and her pain will be managed. She may also need placement in a skilled facility to provide care for her in the weeks/days of her final care.
I'm sorry for how difficult this is for your family. Try to stay focused on each other and hold tight through the storm.