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Today was a normal day. I woke up, made myself a cup of coffee, gave the rabbits their breakfast, and turned on the computer to see if I had any orders. Nope, no orders. Looks like I may have to dip into my retirement savings again this month. Ah, well... I check Facebook and Aging Care to see what is going on with friends while I finish my coffee. The day begins.

Mom just got up. I join her for a few minutes while we eat some breakfast. She talks of how we need to call the foundation people to fix the problem with the floor. I tell her there is no problem now, that the foundation people have already been back three times. "No they haven't," she screams. I leave it alone. This has been our normal morning conversation for a year now. "Well, I won't call them," she says. "But you'll be sorry when the house caves down around our ears."

So I clean the rabbit room, the bedroom, and tidy up the bathroom before I go to the grocery store. At least we don't need a lot from the store today. On the way out, I check to see how the herbicide I applied to some weeds yesterday was doing. Good, some weeds were dying. I wished I could apply it to all the flower beds, but there are pesky irises all around the house. Hundreds of them everywhere. The flower beds will have to be cleared by hand. It will take hours.

I get home, get her insulin and afternoon pills ready, then eat some lunch. Then it is to the flower bed to get it cleared. It has been raining a lot, so they are overgrown badly. I leave Mom watching TV -- her normal thing to do all day.

I spend the next four hours clearing weeds from the flower bed. I need some lawn/leaf bags to put the weeds into, so come inside for a few minutes. The mail comes, so I go get it, then remember I have to put the garbage out before cooking dinner.

"Could you water the grass and new bushes, since you're not busy?" she asks. Now, it was hot outside and I was tired and sweaty. My knuckles were almost dragging the ground. I told her I had to rake the weeds up and put them in the bags. "You can't do just one thing for me!" she screams. "All you do is sit around all day and do nothing. And I ask you to do one thing. You need to get a job and stop sitting around all day."

She's yelling and her face is red like a bull, but I really do want to get all the weeds in the bag. It's just a day in the life, and I do need to get the garbage out and dinner cooked. Now, what's really crazy is that all this seems normal now to me. I never thought I would be spending my retirement years working this hard and being appreciated so little.

If you made it this far, thanks for listening. :)

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Aww, that is sweet. Love your photo avatar btw!! Too cute!

My Mom hates when we say we are sick---it is like she thinks we are faking. Maybe because I did fake a lot as a kid -hee hee. No, she cannot stand anyone relaxing. She was always on the go-so nervous and jumpy that she can't stand to see someone resting. It is strange. And annoying. But I really think it is a psychological issue with her. Like nails on a chalk board to see someone relaxing. Maybe because she can't.

I am glad your Mom let you rest. That is important!!! That is why I worry about my Dad and try to give him breaks. He needs some rest!!! Ahe wears me out and I am half his age.
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I do the bare necessities,Feed her, give her meds and set her up with a book (Thank god she can still read) or a movie. I leave the house work and order in. Thank God in the year and a half I've been doing this, I haven't gotten sick but a day or two. She loves the change in routine...she is back to Mom and I am her child again. She cant even open a can of soup for me, but she loves to tell me to rest and drink fluids....lol. I think she feels needed, even though she can't really help me, but she still likes it.
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BoniChak-you said Mish-funny, that is what I am called , too, for a nickname :0)

Do you think our sister really is sick or just not wanting to watch your Mom? That stinks either way ,really.
My husband is good about coming home early if I am sick to take care of our girl and he did sooo much to help with my Mom. But he does work and at times has to go out of town. The last time he went Out of town I was soooo sick -no other helpers for me---it is hard!!! What DO you do if you are sick? :(
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Yes Mish, thanks for asking. Sometimes I just use this site to say things "out loud". Otherwise I think I might explode some days. The sister that takes Mom a couple of lousy hours a week is "sick" again. I wish I could have a "sick" day. Just venting. Love this place and all of you...couldn't do this with out Y'all.
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You OK, BoniChak?
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God...please....just 1 day off! Just once in a while! PLEASE!!!!!!!!
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A caregivers' work is never done and often unappreciated. It's amazing what becomes normal to us. My mom isn't living with me, so I can only imagine what you must go through. My life has been put completely on hold (other than work) since my mom has been in assisted living. I go to work, stop by to visit her, go home, eat, and go to bed. On weekends, I do all her laundry and shop for her. That is my life now. This is my normal. Take care of yourself.
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I love you guys. You make my weird "normal" seem NORMAL! Nobody gets it like Y'all do.
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I'll have to come up with a good reason that I can't water the lawn this summer. :)
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JessieBelle, yeah, the psychiatrist , had me going for awhile. Not saying we won't use meds if we need to but she met my daughter 1 time and deduced that we needed to put her on Resperdal. Sometimes I think these shrinks are just high payed , legal drug dealers.

I really did enjoy your daily review. I would be very interested in hearing your experiences at the ER. Not for any morbid reasons, just that it is such a slice of life and one we all are probably going to have to or have gone through. Just saying if you ever feel like writing more about your life I would be reading it!
No pressure :0)
Hope things are better!!!

Now water the yard for goodness sake!!!!! ;0)
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JessieBelle, when your mom tells you to do something for her, just tell her 'sure mom' and go about your business as usual. If she has dementia she won't remember you did it anyway, so why fight about it? Just agree, and do what you were going to do before she came up with something for you to do for her. Every time she tells you to do something, go ahead and agree with her, but don't do it till you're ready. See how that goes.
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None planned for now, Jeanne.
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Jessie, When is your next planned respite?
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Today I spent the day doing my own work. I figured that I'd better put an effort in to making some money. Hope the bucks start pouring in soon. :)

I don't know if people would get very excited about my days. One thing about caregiving is there is always work to do, but it is rarely very exciting. The day is like a series of chores spread out between the medication times. Even the ER and hospital visits become routine. I have to say there is nothing more boring than waiting at the ER. I've spent a few days just waiting for transfer or release.

I would have been very upset by what the psychiatrist said about your daughter, Mishka. It could be that he doesn't realize that normal varies among families. What is normal to you may seem foreign to him. You will know best when to medicate, because you know what is normal for your family. You wouldn't want to be normal like anyone else -- hope that makes sense.
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Hi JessieBelle,
I like your writing style. I don't want to say I enjoyed your post because that sounds mean- like I enjoyed your frustrating day --but it was interesting to read about your day. I love to read and you captured your day very well. If you ever feel like sharing your days on here I would love to read more. It is a good picture of what a caregiver of someone with dementia goes through. I love the little details you supplied!

I am sorry it is so darn mind numbing for you. I know what you mean when you said "it seems normal to you". I feel that way with my girl. And it was pointed out to me by her psychiatrist that we are not seeing things clearly as we have gotten used to her behavior.(you mean not everyone gets spit on when they sing? --you mean you don't have to unplug the microwave and hide the plug for fear of what will put in and turned on? ) . The psychiatrist had me so upset -that we were crazy for putting up with the stuff we do and we should medicate but , you know, 'eff her' - maybe it is just our normal for now. Not my neighbor's normal or my sister's normal but our normal.

That being said I hope you get some respite, as mentioned, because those with "our normals" need them!!

((((hugs)))))
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It is not really so bad. I don't know what I would do if I had to clean poop or tend to her too closely. I just clean house, do yard work, cook, manage finances, shop... IOW, all the normal chores of living for two people. I have already told her I would keep her home as long as I could, but she would have to go to a facility when it gets to be too much for me. I didn't make any promises, thank goodness.

I could fill a book with all the crazy-making things that go on here. Yesterday she wanted me to do some work in the yard that I didn't want to. She got mad and she told me that this was my home and I needed to start acting like it. I pondered what could be done and got the idea of taking up some of the irises and planting the new bushy red rose plants. They are gorgeous. I told her about it. Bad mistake. She got mad and told me I was NOT going to take up her irises. This was HER house. I reminded her she said it was my house and she said, "I said no such thing." I don't put much stock in anything she says anymore. Wait five minutes and it will change. :)
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I guess what I am trying to say is Mom is needing to feel like she can make something happen even though she really can't any more. And that shaky foundation and floor must be what makes her feel so unsteady on her feet, right? Hard to believe you don't notice it or can't be bothered to get it fixed :-)...
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Compassion is an element within you. One does not have to show emotion to be compassionate, if that is what you mean, JessieBelle. I don't recall Mother Teresa getting too worked up over her daily drama. You are mature and responsible and taking care of business every day. ( I feel a song coming on)
"Taking care of business and working overtime!" WhooHoo! Yep. xoxo
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You lazy thing, you! She's just asking for ONE thing and you turn her down. Sheesh.

LOL ... You know that you are a caregiver when this kind of day seems normal! Hang in there! You are doing an awesome job.

When is your next planned respite?
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So mom really thinks you are not doing anything all day? Hmmmm...Just like what she is doing, but she thinks its you, not her. I'd say don't even try to correct her, just say "that's a good idea, Mom, I'll definitely do that right after I do _______ and thanks for reminding me." You are just not ever going to get reasonableness or perspective from Mom, with her dementia plus or minus pre-exisitng personality, whenit comes to making sense, she just can't or won't or both.

Is there any little part of any task Mom could actually do? Can she go outside and see the weeds bagged up, or turn the hose on or off or anything? Water a couple indoor plants? Given the quality of daytime TV she's probably bored silly to top it all off. YOU are not the least bit crazy, but without a little outside perspective it can be hard to tell, that's for sure!
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(((((hugs))))) Jessie - you are surviving. I wonder what keeps you there, Is it love and compassion - or something else? Either way, your mother is very fortunate to have you looking after her. Take care of you.
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Thanks, Christina. I ran across a thread earlier on AC about rating our compassion. I couldn't answer it. It is like this has become just an unpaid job that I do for a less than agreeable boss/client. I wish it could be more loving, but it isn't.
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You don't sound crazy to me. You are doing what you have to do and maintain around a less than reasonable person. Seriously, it didn't sound too bad to me.
Maybe I'm used to it, too? You are good, JessieBelle. God Bless You. xo
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