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wheelchair bound And she isn't very nice about it either. What do I do!? I feel as if there should be some background as I think certain elements add layers of dimension to a seemingly simple situation and I REALLY need some good advice - I am an only child. I got pregnant young, the dad exited stage right and I was raising my daughter alone, living w/ my Mom still. Got my diploma w/ Moms help and continued on devoting my life to my child. Trying to figure out my next step in life, as always, with my Moms help.


Just before my 18th birthday my Mother died in a tragic and very traumatic accident. My daughter was 8mo's old. I didn't know my father so the people I turned to were my maternal grandparents for a place to live, life skills, emotional and spiritual help, etc... Grandma turned me away. Literally, turned me away. She stated that they "didn't have enough room" in their 3bdrm 2bath home for my baby and I. I lived in my car and couch surfed for about six months until my GRANDFATHER stepped up and helped me buy a mobile home which allowed me the stability, the 'leg up' if you will, to get my crap together and figure out my life. I remained deeply envolved in their lives and although there was no emotional support we did every holiday together and they were always there for my children. I understood that the pain of losing a child is the most unbearable thing and that her pain must have been much greater than mine. I shoved my feelings down deep and sought harmonious relationships with my Grandparents.


Later in life, the day he died actually, my Grandpa pulled me to the side and told me how sorry he was for "being so mean" to me and his only regret in his life is that he wasn't there for me when my mom died. He healed a LIFETIME of pain in that moment. My Grandmother on the other hand, has not and will NOT, even acknowledge there has ever been a problem. There is never an issue or a problem in her mind. There never has been, small or large. I wonder if she has lived her whole life in delusion. Delusional to the point that she lives in a whole other world in her head. Truly, she is sharp, remembers the past, yet refuses to admit that her body is hardly here anymore, that she is in Hospice, that she has already outlived the 6month time frame given. She thinks she can use the toilet on her own when her muscles in her legs are gone. She thinks she can cut her own food and feed herself. Not so. I do that for her and have been for some LONG time now.I do everything she demands, down to dialing the phone for her. Her voice is strong. Her lack of compassion for others, even stronger. Her muscles have atrophied from not using them. No PT or any Doc has been able to help. No hospice nurse or chaplain, no one can get through to her. She will tell me she brushed her teeth "this morning' when in all reality, she hasn't been able to use her hands in 6 months. She REFUSES to let me do it, so after me fighting and stressing and having multiple anxiety attacks daily, I gave up. She hasn't brushed her teeth in a month now...The Hospice CNA tries to brush them twice a week when she comes to bathe her. Sometimes it works... others, not so much. She BELIEVES she practices amazing self-care when in reality she has and does fight me tooth and nail, Every. Single. Step. Of. The. Way.!


And now, the toilet... I am physically unable to lift her from a sitting position from wheelchair to toilet and she is unable to do transition herself, even with gate-belt. We have a lift to get her in and out of bed but it wont fit in her bathroom. She will hold her urine instead of using bedpan or depends. I have tried everything I can think of to help. By the way, my Grandmothers diagnosis, the reason she is dying in my home on Hospice? Failure to Thrive. Not cancer or diabetes or any fatal illness. No. Failure to Thrive. After I have set up and facilitated a wonderful surrounding and atmosphere, where she is surrounded by people who love her. In fact, I have Grandchildren so she gets to see 5 generations. She is so loved and so very BLESSED! Failure to Thrive seemed like a big, fat failure for ME. Im working through that currently. At any rate, I have been dealing with my issues surrounding my Mom's death and that whole scenerio, pretty much my while life. Now, it is almost 30 years later, I am a grown woman with a wonderful husband, amazing children and grandchildren and caring for my Grandmother, who has lived in my home for almost 4 years now. I have been exclusively caring for her and attending to her every want/need for close to 7yrs, since my Grandfather passed away. She is the living breathing epitome of passive-aggressive behavior that is morphing into pure bitterness, resentment and spitefulness. She is a miserable person and no matter what I, or anyone else does, she will remail this way. She chooses to be this way, ignoring her love, joy and blessings. She cares more about what she considers, her dignity, which seems to lie in where she goes to the bathroom. What do I do?

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BedPanProbs - I actually do understand your motivation here. But, I would not do the same thing in your place. I'll suggest an idea from M. Scott Peck here (from the Road Less Travelled). He said that the hardest thing for a loving person to do is to learn how to not waste their love on people who are incapable of benefitting from it by growing spiritually. That is the measure I use now. We can only "heal" that portion of humanity that is open to being healed by our love. It sounds to me like your grandma is not in that category, at all. You said it yourself "She chooses to be this way, ignoring her love, joy and blessings." I believe you are casting pearls before swine. Your love would be better spent on your children, grandchildren, and others in your life who would be capable of benefitting from it.
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I'm sorry, I didn't read every word of your post as I have a short attention span, but why in the world did you ever think it was a good idea to invite this mean old harpy into your home to provide hands on care? She's being a demanding, belittling b#$&@ to you now... sounds like that's nothing new! Time for you to put yourself and your marriage ahead of your misguided feelings of obligation and put grandma in a new home.
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Carla, very well written. This may not solve BPP's issue, but I took something away from what you said. Thanks
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Wow... you have done your duty to pay Grandpa back and then some. First, stop taking "failure to thrive" personally. You have NOT failed. She sounds like a stubborn narcissist who for whatever reason wants to go out her own way.
Have you talked to the director of the hospice organization for ideas or for another way to deal with her refusal to cooperate? Is there a residential hospice in the area? You need help and I understand when you have to blow the whistle when you cannot physically lift them anymore.

Keep us posted and my best to you.
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You won't put her in a home ? What is your reasoning there.?
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Can you have the medical person forcefully mandate, perhaps even in written form, the depends in her presence so she gets it from an "authority" figure? Her mind may be relatively intact but exposing the family to daily doses of urine and fecal matter isn't rational behavior.

Hopefully you get a decent amount of respite time. I just started the process of securing a spot for my 90 yr old can't be left alone mom in assisted living after moving her into my home 7 years ago. I haven't felt this good in a long time. She is bored so the move will serve everyone. She could live another 10 years and I can't spend the next decade this way. Her savings will go and then medicaid but its well worth it. This is my life too.
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Failure to thrive is just one of those diagnosis that mean they can't (or won't bother) to pinpoint a cause.
I accept that you are working on accumulating good karma, but you can only do what you are physically able, I tell my mom I'm not a 6' tall muscle bound man, it's just me and I can't carry her. Would she accept using a commode?
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BPP, so you are determined to keep her in your home, so the only real thing that you can do is create an effective way to relieve you poop and pee issues. I would invest in some of those large 4 X 4 ft thick waterproof and cotton pads that they use in nursing homes, to be placed on top of the water proof matress pad, plus chucks, which are the plastic absorbable pads to go on top of the other pads in the bed. Also ask Hospice about getting her a catheter. It will be needed to be changed by the Hospice Nurse every 10-14 days, as it sounds like she is bedbound, and when she does need to go number 2, she will need to roll on her side and let it rip onto the Chucks pad in the bed, and you will have to change those disposable's out frequently, and give her a good washing up afterwards, but I don't see any other way around it. My Mom was bedbound and on Hospice, and we were unable to move her due to a crumbling pelvis, being eroded by the Cancer spread to her bones. She was in an immense amount of pain, and could barely roll over, and our only other issue was that her pain meds caused dreadful constipation, and occasionally she needed to be manually disimpacted, Not a fun job, but nessasary, and because we Loved her, we did it in the most dignified manner as possible, using sheets to cover her nether region, and gloves obviously. The Nurses taught us how to do this, and we did try our best to keep her from being constipated with foods and meds, but that does not always work. I applaud you, for sticking by her, and hope that her eventually passing is swift and painfree as possible. The Hospice Nurses should be able to help you through these toileting issues, it's not easy! Take care!
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Call your local Area Agency on Agency and get a "needs assessment ". This will let you know how much care she needs and where this is best accomplished.

Then you locate the appropriate facilities and take her on tours. If she's not ammenable, you start eviction procedings.
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Clarification- I didn't mean to 'demonize' her, only give an insight into my issues behind the current issues. I won't put her in a home. I will extend grace even where it wasn't offered to me because I feel like that is how we heal humanity. One person at a time. I deal with my wounds by doing good. I work on doing what I feel resonates as 'right' for me. Offering grace and mercy is what I want to teach my kids to do. That said, this is hard and the bathroom thing drives me nuts. Pisses me off even. I'm not sure how to ease her and myself through this adjustment.
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