Ugh.............I feel like this is just the beginning and I need to figure out a way to detach from the crazy and not get frustrated and angry when she lies and rationalizes and continues to make her condition worse.

My 77 year old mother was just released from a 5 day hospital stay - congestive heart failure symptoms due to diabetes and an upper respiratory infection. We don't know if the CHF was there all along or if it was acute due to the upper respiratory infection.
My dad is 82 and they still live in their home in central Indiana. My mother has a long history of drinking and has a habit of rationalizing everything. She eats way too many carbs and as a result the diabetes is getting worse and worse yet she still finds a way to rationalize and justify everything. I know she's not going to change, but what infuriates me is the lying and blaming everything but herself. I know, I know........I went to alanon and ACOA meetings for years. I just need to figure out a way to deal with this all. Out of eight kids, I have been chosen as the medical contact person and durable power of attorney for medical decisions. I think SOME of my sibs will be helpful but I still need to figure out a way to not let her get to me during this process.
I know I need support and help so that is why I'm here. Some of the sibs recognize the situation and others don't. Oh, and she and my dad bicker like children. Both are hyper defensive and neither wants the other to criticize, judge or watch the other which makes it almost impossible for them to help one another, not to mention the stress that puts on each of their bodies.
While Mom was in the hospital, Dad ended up with pneumonia so he's not feeling well either. He has emphysema.
So, the hospitalization was good for my mom since she couldn't drink but really, even if she doesn't drink, she'll still have the behaviors and dry drunk personality.
I am SOOOOOO ready to head back home tomorrow (5 hours away) but I'm sure I'll be back and having to deal with this more and more. Need to learn and get support as I head down this road. It's just so sad and I feel helpless and angry.
Thanks so much for reading!

Mary in Michigan

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Thanks so much for your replies! It's good to hear other experiences and get input. There are definitely pieces of me thinking that there are sad benefits to this process going more quickly, but that is only out of frustration and helplessness and it is good to be reminded that "dying soon is not as simple as all that".
And of course I realize that I'm not going to change things or fix anything just because I've already been designated as the medical POA. It's exactly the medical POA that has brought me to this situation. If I wasn't the medical point of contact and future POA when needed, then I would stay in Michigan and that would make it a heck of a lot easier to stay detached. Since I am "that person", that means I'm in the heat of it and as you know, it's just hard to watch people slowly killing themselves. I understand how hard it can be to change and I know she's not going to change her habits, despite the immediate and long term effects on her health.
So, I'm doing better today but I know this will be a long haul. I'm glad that I'm smart enough and strong enough to reach out to people who have already traveled this journey. It's also very good to be reminded of the difference between "can influence" and "can't fix". :-) One thing I can do is that I can definitely help my dad get through this and we can learn together. Helping him learn and accept will help the situation in many ways.
I will do my best not to confront my mother and for my own sanity, to not enable her. I can fix her protein and veggies, but she can get her own carbs. I'm headed back to Michigan later today but I know I'll be back down here frequently as the situation progresses.

Thank you so much for your responses and help!!

Mary :-)

Mary, I suggest that this early in the journey is a good time to sort out the issues you can hope to have some influence on, and the issues that are totally out of your control. For example, it is highly unlikely that you can change the nature of your parents' relationship. If they've been bickering all through their marriage, you getting healthcare POA isn't likely to change that. Having POA doesn't give you the authority or the power to fix everything, though no doubt that is what you would like to do. Separate the "can influence" from the "can't fix" and then detach from the things you can't control.

Mary, I feel for you. My mother is Type II diabetic and if left to her own devices, would eat nothing but carbs all day. I only cook one meal a day with meat and vegetables. The other things she eats are carbs for the rest of the day. She wakes up at night and eats crackers. I try to get her to eat healthier things, e.g. nuts and fruit, but she says that fruit has too much sugar, so won't eat it. And Ritz crackers don't? Chasing carbs is very addictive.

If I try to deal with it, she says she is going to die soon, anyway. She has recently stopped testing her blood sugar, because one of her friends never test hers. I tell her yes, but the friend has sky-high sugar and has had a stroke. My mother says she doesn't care, because she is going to die soon, anyway.

There's logic to what she said, but I know that her dying soon anyway is not going to be easy on the caregiver (me). Dying soon is not as simple as all that.

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