cmagnum Posted January 2012

The Caregiver & Dysfunctional Families: How are you doing?

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Many of us, myself included, come from a dysfunctional family which adds a lot of weight to the challenges of caregiving. I have read stores on various threads on other topics and decided it would be good to have a thread just for this topic for people to share, vent and discuss.

The idea for this thread originated on the thread named "The Caregiver....How are YOU doing today?"

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golden23 Jul 17, 2018
Got a call about mother and her dentures which are extremely loose, A denturist made a visit quickly and will line her dentures. She says mother really needs new ones but at her age and stage that is not advisable. Hopefully the lining will help. She has two implants but they are loose and no help. Also the aide said that mother is "gurgling" but does not have a fever. She started this about a year ago due to not being able to cough up mucus as her muscles are too weak. Someday it may cause a problem.

My niece updated me. Sis has changed the house insurance to eliminate the contents which are mainly my nieces..I suppose that is fair enough since sis no longer lives there. Niece is working with a lawyer to support her interests, She is, understandably, very hurt. Sis is acting as if nothing is wrong. Niece was adopted so she now feels abandoned by two mothers. She is an alcoholic as well which doesn't help, but she functions very well at her job and business. All I can do is give her support and let her know I love her.

My allergies seem to be much more sensitive now so I am having to read labels very carefully. My fave choc is out now and also a fave ice cream, but there are others which will work. I have to order vegan choc bars on line as none are available in town, The upside is that some of the sinus problems I have been having should go away once I eliminate what I need to. I think it has been affecting me more and more over the last year or more. - prob since evac which is when my skin issues flared up. Stress related. no doubt.

Possible good news is that they are testing a drug which, if their theories are right, will cure CFS. I do hope this happens. I am so tired of being tired.

Since hearing of my sis's TIA, it has me wondering what would happen to mother if I got ill and could not handle my POA duties. Sis is the back up and she couldn't handle it at the best of times. It is beyond ridiculous that seniors are looking after ancients. I wanted someone younger appointed as back up (like my dd) but mother wanted sis, so there we are. If I were hit by a bus, or whatever, I believe that the public trustee here would have to take over.

Oh well, one day at a time and do something good for you.
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gladimhere Jul 17, 2018
Eyes, welcome to the dysfunctional thread. It is so hard to lose a pet. I had to put down my golden last September, three months after my mom passed. Mom had struggled for about 12 years with Alzheimer's. It was time for her to go and it was a release for her from her disease that was so cruel to her. My Macy was my buddy through the four years I cared for mom 24/7 in an extremely dysfunctional situation with my twisted sisters. My mom did not like dogs as long as I can remember, she was a cat person. It was harder on me to lose that dog, as hard as it is to say.
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golden23 Jul 17, 2018
ali -- That pic is gorgeous!!! You nailed it! It certainly is proof you are moving on. BTW swans look beautiful but are very territorial and will attack if they feel their nest is threatened,. I don't think they make good pets generally speaking. Glad the trainer is working for you.

Gershun -I don't like pics of me either. Never ever give up on yourself!!!!

Eyes - this thread has helped many of us and continues to. Nobody gets it like someone who has been there. So sorry about your dog. (((((hugs))))) A pet is family. I may mourn some pets more than some family members.I have a narc mother and sister too and they have made my life very difficult at times. I sympathise with you. Yes my family is dangerous to me too.

cmag - you  have helped many by your comments as well

glad -oh wow -shingles on the roof. Moving along!!!

madge - discouraging isn't it? Not surprised you were irked.

becky -planning a trip?

book - you and your family made the right decisions for your situation

frazzled -those are tough times and it sounds very much like he appreciated the visit. Everyone's situation is different and you have to play it one step at a time.

cats - there are "normal" imperfect people and there are some who are way beyond that. Here we mostly share how people in our lives with mental illnesses have and are affecting us and our families. 
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Cats4Ever Jul 17, 2018
I heard a saying, "The world used to be perfect once. Then people came along."
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bookluvr Jul 17, 2018
Frazzled, at first I thought you were making a judgement call. But I re-read your words and knew that it wasn't. I realized that you were comparing it to your experience of this, too. And how you reacted to your own situation. I believe you did the right thing. From what it sounds like, the man's relatives treated him so well, he cried. I hope that meant it was a good thing.

But, I wanted to let you know how we came to that decision. And yes, it was a hard decision to make. I weighed the pros and cons for days - even before my off-island siblings arrived. I knew that a decision had to be made if we should call mom's siblings. Should we call them or not? Once all my siblings were here, I brought it up. And everyone immediately said no and gave their reasons. We all agreed.

You're right that it will be difficult when your mom reaches that point in her life.
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EyesWideShut Jul 17, 2018
I've been following and reading for a couple weeks now. And realize I'm not alone. Had to put down my beloved dog of 14 years yesterday, so I did not feel much like posting . My family is another story. Narciss mom and sister trying to detroy every aspect of my life. I've always been taught to be aware of strangers, but really it's my own family that is dangerous
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FrazzledMama Jul 17, 2018
I'm so sorry you went through that. Some family members truly are toxic and obnoxious. It sounds like you were honoring your dad's wishes too. I meant no disrespect or judgment, it just got me thinking about my friend and how end of life family issues are so complicated and personal for everyone, especially when there is a lot of dysfunction.

When mom gets to that point in her life too, I know I'll have to face this tough question, and with our crazy family and their drama, there is just no telling what I'll have to deal with.
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bookluvr Jul 17, 2018
Frazzled, the 2 times my mom was in the hospital - in which we were told mom would not make it, we called mom's siblings. They all came together to visit mom. Then they sat in the waiting room, laughing, talking loud and just … so happy. Me and my siblings sat apart from them, facing them - as they 'socialized' with each other.

I remembered very clearly thinking this: "My mom is dying. And here they are, laughing, smiling, talking - as if it's not serious. My mom is dying." I looked at my sibs. They were all solemnly just staring at mom's family. That 2nd time this happened, my dad told us that from now on, if mom is dying, he doesn't want anyone to contact her family. We All Agreed.... I can still remember that scene.
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FrazzledMama Jul 17, 2018
Boy, that one is a tough call and I certainly understand how you feel. I know if I were dying, there are certain toxic family members I probably would not want to see/talk to.

And yet, I remember years ago, we took care of a dear elderly friend, my husband and I moved him in with us during his last few weeks until he was moved to hospice, as he had no family that he was speaking to, and was afraid he would die at his home alone.  He had liver cirrhosis, and his liver was slowly shutting down.

He had told me that he didn't want any of his family to know about his condition, nor did he wish to see them, for the same reason, that they never bothered to call or visit him, so why did they need to know anything?

I didn't know his family, as they had been estranged for many years. Yet, when he was transferred to a hospice facility from the hospital after docs said there was nothing more that they could do to prolong his life, I really wrestled with this. In his last days, he was in a coma, and I decided to go ahead and call his aunt and brother, as they were the only ones I had contact information for. I struggled with guilt as far as what if I do, what if I don't. And not being family myself, I just felt that it was the right thing at the time.

A couple of days before he died, his family came to visit, him already being in a coma. I wasn't there during the visit, but the hospice nurse told me the next day that he had tears running down his cheeks when they left. Did I do the right thing? I still don't know, but I like to hope that some healing took place for him to know his family did come to see him in his last days, and whatever was said during that visit.
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bookluvr Jul 17, 2018
MsMadge, you're not alone about that. Mom's siblings would always ask us how bedridden mom was doing. Every single time we meet. In the 13 yrs she was bedridden, I can count with one hand how many times they visited in that time period. That was one of the reasons my siblings & I decided not to call mom's sibs when mom was actively dying. They never bothered to visit her willingly from their hearts, why on earth will we alert them so that they can visit her as she's dying?
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