Follow
Share

Every morning and every day when I come home from work, I wonder if I'm going to find my father, my old cat, and/or either of my old bunnies deceased. I feel like I'm waiting for death. How do I snap out of it? This morning, I finished feeding all the animals and was ready to give my father his meds and go to the grocery store but I hadn't heard a noise from him. It was 8:20 am, and the latest he's ever gotten up in the two years that I've been medicating him was 7:45 am. I was afraid to go in there but I did and woke him up. It was a rainy morning so the darkness made him think it was night I guess. He doesn't look at clocks. I worry about death and think about after, and I have trouble trying to live today. There are many things I cannot do now. For example, the house is falling apart, and my father won't allow any work to be done. Having any people here agitates him to no end. I guess it's good that I have no friends for his sake but my only human companion is my mother's ghost. [She guided me today to use her UTI test kit; I have a UTI, my first, yay.] My brother never helps but he told me that I take bad care of my father because I feed him "crap" in his words instead of things like fish and Chinese broccoli. A few example meals I might make (not always from scratch): tacos, hamburgers, chicken, pork chops, green beans, lima beans, steaks, salad, spaghetti, crab cakes, and so on. I'm gone 9 hours a day, and do 40 hours of animal, house, and yard chores a week. I can't make daily gourmet meals. My brother also says that I should force my father to exercise. He spends all day in the recliner. I can't even get him to respond to most questions, use soap or shampoo, or cover his mouth when he sneezes spit all over the room. Should I be forcing him to do things? He would have a total fit. I put him on a waiting list too for a regular doctor as he hasn't been to one in a few years. They finally called after 8 months, and he said he didn't make an appointment because "there's nothing wrong with me." He is bipolar, has diabetes, had high cholesterol, and the list goes on and on. Why is it that he's fine but I'm a horrible person (according to my brother who is now showing clear signs of mental instability too when I went on a day trip, and he drove irratically while screaming at his nasty wife). How do I stop worrying about the future and live today?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
What stood out was that the dad won't let anyone into the house to take care of things that are "falling apart." Live that here w/my mother. She's the one w/the $$$ and, tho' somewhat demented, still writes checks, so I'm only on her account as POD (payable on death, re beneficiary). So, since I cannot write checks, tho' she has enough, the plumbing that is so bad it has leaked/sealed itself (signs on the bare pipes & on ceiling tiles where covered). I don't have the $$$ to fix HER plumbing, and figure it'll only be fixed once the resealed spots break through again and flood the place! But that makes even more damage in an already-too-wet/musty (odor comes upstairs, even, when rainy season!) basement if it goes until it finally creates a flood.
This is what I was thinking about when someone told them to "repaint your room," etc, etc ... the "falling apart" has to do w/more major things than paint, I'm thinking ... just like here.
So, whatever they are, hope you can get them dealt with since I noted that you do want to stay in that house. I don't. What I want/need to do is get back where warmth makes a physically nicer atmosphere. Missing where I lived in the SW.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Zombie, I know it sounds trite but just do it. My father was sort of like yours. He totally and completely ignored his health and pretended everything was fine even when it was obvious that he was anything but. The torture he put my mother through was something it took me a long, long time to forgive. When he finally ended up in the ER (after attempting to escape from the ambulance while being transported) it was a genuine relief, as I dreaded stopping over there to find him dead on the floor while my mom was out doing whatever and trying to lead a regular life. I took the same approach she had to, that if he refused to care we couldn't care for him.

Do what you can but don't stop living your own life. Caring for my mother is a whole different thing as she actually tries and fights for her health. If things went the other way around and he outlived her I wouldn't have hesitated for a second to put him in a home, as cruel as that may sound.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I have had similar feelings about death and waiting for it with my mom. But I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change. The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time one moment at a time accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. I hope this helps. Sending hugs to you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I agree with a lot of what sandwich is saying but I also know it's not always that easy; some church groups are really good about doing that type thing, even for non-members, just for the community, while others aren't so; something else dealing with with hub's aunt and uncle; their church isn't being too helpful and somewhat seems as if the other only applies - and don't know what you are - but if you're atypical - a problem we're having is being out here in a rural area where those type things have typically been just informal, so even though, in theory there is a formal type group like that there's not one out here where we are.
Not sure if you've said much about your dad's financial situation, just know that, again, in their situation they make too much for any of the formal - means based - government resources. But is your dad, by any chance, a veteran?

Does he have a wheelchair? that is one thing they did get for him through his doctor but it took their son to do that and he's the one who did it himself, not her, to make it easier to take him to the doctor but she's running into that herself even though it's a female doctor - now she's the one with the ethnics - she's Indian from India, so wondering if that's what's going on or the not being trained because she had seemed to just dismiss her and him in pursuing anything except we were told she'd signed him up for their geriatric program but then we were told he wasn't but also we were told he didn't show up but she says they were never told so not sure if she just did it and then when found out just didn't take him or even cancelled. But she definitely would like something that would get him what he needs. So if you have something like that or if he is a veteran maybe you could go that route.
I didn't get the idea his house was as bad as sandwich's mom's and I'm assuming you're paying the bills anyway so that wouldn't happen but then if it's even just falling apart you might be able to use that to get guardianship but still not sure how much good that will actually do; think it would depend on how much help you can get anyway; sometimes it gets to a point it's just hard to get enough help even if you can get all you can; they're just past that point; that's why they wanted me to get it for my dad.
But she may have not done that to let it get like that so that she could step in and get guardianship; my dad did, of course, wind up in the hospital, more like your mom, and they're the ones that pushed the guardianship issue
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Zombie, sorry, started to say thanks for responding when that was about your mom and your post was about what you're going through now with your dad but somehow I misread and was thinking we'd actually hijacked somebody else's thread - gonna go back now and try to reread
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

sorry, Zombie, sometimes I tend to do that but thanks for responding; pretty sure dad wouldn't have wanted a port either but he wasn't able to tell them one way or the other or really even have been able to understand what they were asking - maybe we could have explained it to him but not really sure; they wouldn't do chemo on dad; he finally started the epagen (sp?) but by the time they did it didn't really help any and he'd somewhat gotten to where he was having to go about every couple of weeks anyway by then so he probably did about that many at least but no, probably more, because he did them for one full year at least; he'd been getting them for at least 6 months and probably then possibly about every couple weeks till they could get him somewhat stabilized when they brought up about the port when they saw how much he'd been in there but maybe they had got him somewhat settled because don't think it kept on being that much, at least for a while. His grandson, who was unemployed and stayed with him, pretty much took him - didn't always stay, which became an issue - except for when I went to give him a break and that's when they brought up about the port; don't think they'd ever even brought it up to him. No advance directive - other than what he'd just told me verbally - and definitely no medical POA - he never even understood what those were - even though hub thought I did. Dad had been fine before too - as fine as he was - still wonder if he just fell - which he never went out that door and still wonder how he even got out it - or if he fell because of all this. Just glad you were close (unlike this other situation we'll try to get to) because they did ask grandson when he got there - not sure if went in with or followed ambulance - I think about all that or maybe they just did the CPR and weren't getting anywhere and really actually don't think they asked about ventilator, more about just letting him go and he just couldn't handle that; he hadn't seen him as in really bad shape and I'm not really sure he really was so when you say your mom was what do you mean by that? and he certainly wasn't talking by then or when he was found; I just so wish he could have seen the doctor he was going to tell but it just got all mixed up but then he did end up seeing him about 3 mos. later but by then with all that had happened he didn't remember any of that, hardly knew why he was seeing him and certainly was no longer on the medication he was talking about but it was about getting those transfusions; I wish he'd asked him about them but I don't think he ever did; I think he would have told him he wouldn't have wanted to have them. Would they just not take her spleen out? maybe not, like they wouldn't take dad's gall bladder out; we were concerned it might burst, what the first ER doc said as well and wanted to take it out, when he called me, by time said ok and got back; they'd changed shifts and the new one wouldn't even talk about it. So I think you could be right; wish you could have gotten her to the ER then; if grandson hadn't taken dad in - and not really sure why - just not feeling good - think that could have happened to him - and agree when his hemoglobin would get low he would get to where he could hardly breathe but we never had any problem getting dad in to get his transfusion - I hate that - I guess that would get you to want to go in - that's the concern I have with hub's uncle - aunt said he fell again, only this time outside on the steps, wouldn't surprise me if he didn't get too hot again, he'd just had that happen and almost fell trying to get back in from being on the porch but thinking more back to when he had a bad fall he still didn't want to go to the hospital or her call an ambulance so she didn't do it and he didn't go even with popping nitroglycerin tablets but he did get out of it but even if he hadn't he's pretty much said he just wants to go on too but your mom said that even after she'd wanted you to call them, though, right? somewhat interesting - you think maybe she just didn't want it to happen at home? where he does - don't think I ever checked his pulse ox but when asked about letting him go and he just couldn't handle that the doctor didn't know what to do, so it wound up being the ICU doc who put him in there and put him on the ventilator; I think it took them awhile to realize just how bad a shape he'd apparently gotten in from either the fall or didn't think he lay there that long but it was cold but then they said they probably actually helped him but think they really meant just kept him alive for right then, not really sure how much help that really was. They both fought, didn't they but not sure either one really needed to - do ya think?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Zombie, you have to get help in whether dad likes it or not. He doesn't sound like he is capable of making safe, good decisions anymore, so that is now your #1 job. Help can come from lots of places when family won't. You can't do the healing you need until you get help. You can't be a good caregiver if you are struggling yourself. Help is no sign of weakness at all. Nobody on this earth can do this kind of care alone. That person doesn't exist.

==Religious groups like church, temple, etc. If you are affiliated with one, reach out to them and ask for help with repairs, yard work, errands.

==Cultural/Ethnic community groups who have a structure to call in volunteer help and coaching and support that would be much harder or impossible to access any other way. Make your situation and needs known so help can come to you.

== Social services can connect you to community and government resources for monetary support, in-home help, and other support resources.

== Be very honest with the doctor. If the doctor is not listening and blows you off, you have every right to use another doctor. Many family practice/GP docs are not trained on the specialties of aging and miss signs of things they ought to pursue. And let's be honest and say that there is still a lot of sexism in medicine where anything coming out of a female isn't taken seriously. Your job is to advocate for dad's best interest no matter what.

My mother also has bi-polar, diabetes, and advanced dementia. If it had been up to her, she would have preferred to remain in her filthy hoarding house, with no hot water, no telephone, and eventually no power because she had forgotten how to pay bills. Her food was rotten and her medication was all mixed up. She was manic a lot of the time from not taking her meds right, not eating, not eating safe food, and having chronic UTIs. The roof leaked and the hot water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, sinks, toilets were all rusted out completely. She had lost her reasoning to understand her unsafe situation. She was not able to correct it.

I had to step in and become her guardian, which meant overriding some of what she said was & wasn't going to happen. My goal was to be able to tell any judge who would look at her case that I had done every single thing in my power to keep her safe - even if it made her mad. I didn't want anybody to suggest elder abuse even though I was 1800 miles away.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

That's a long read! Mom didn't want a port but they asked her a few times. She never did chemo. She did rituxin for a while but it made her have to get transfusions every 2 weeks instead of every 4 weeks as she had been. She never took a therapeutic dose as she was scared to take a lot. It gave her fever and chills every time. We did about 15 sessions over a few months. I was unemployed at that time. I lost my job of 14 years through no fault of my own (and not related to my mother's health). Mom's veins sometimes collapsed but not too badly. She was an easy stick whereas I'm a very hard stick. Mom had an advance directive, and I also had medical POA. I was still shocked when we brought her in (remember, she had been giving orders just hours before!), and the doctor asked if we wanted CPR, ventilator, etc. if she stopped breathing. My father, brother, and I all agreed no as her body was in bad shape. One of the last things she said to the doctor when he asked what she wanted was, "I want to die." She had a massive spleen, looked 9 months pregnant. Her hemoglobin had been running in the 7's but was 5.5 I think a few days before she died (we were preparing for a transfusion but they didn't have an opening until Monday; she had me call the ambulance Saturday when she couldn't breathe; before that, she didn't want to go). Her last night at home, she had bad diarrhea. Luckily, she was in a diaper but she couldn't get up. Dad and I tried to help her for about an hour before she got to the standing toilet. I changed her diaper. It was bad, and she said she was in pain. The doctors had always said her spleen would burst so it's my theory that it did burst, and with internal bleeding, her hemoglobin would plunge. Saturday morning, her ability to breathe got worse and worse. I was shocked when the paramedics said her pulse ox was maybe 75% I think (don't recall exact number). After she died, I asked the nurse the lowest it read, and I think it was 35% oxygen. My mother was one hell of a fighter; anybody else would have been long dead.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

first, I don't know - a pot roast? what we had last night -
my dad had been - diagnosed? in 2005 I can't really think now what it was but high platelet count anyway and put on medication for it that he thought he would only be on for about a year, or at least if when he back to the doc then his levels were back to normal, which they were, but he said he'd have to be on it the rest of his life, so he took it till August 2012 when grandson found him collapsed and took him to the hospital, where they found his hemoglobin low and gave him blood; he was in there about 2 weeks, sent home with home health, having his blood checked but not getting blood so after about 2 weeks when he had it done they called, said his hemoglobin was low enough to get him to the ER for blood so basically when started getting the packed red blood cells; they basically said they hadn't really expected him to live as long as he had, to still be on the medication; that basically after about 7 yrs., - so they hit it right on the money - it basically starts suppressing your other cells, leading to low red blood cells and platelets, while having high white blood cells counts, which at first, when he was in the hospital, they were just saying he had pneumonia causing it but then when seemed to be getting over that they still weren't coming down they didn't want to tell me what that could mean but they didn't know about his diagnosis but unknown to them the cancer doctor they'd called in was the one he'd had so when they told me that and I began to press them on it we finally got it all out that I told them that, yes, he had that diagnosis, that had been his doctor and that obviously I knew all this, so just a matter of seeing what these tests were that they and he had run that they said were being sent off to a special cancer lab, which, yes, they were, but they weren't even what they'd thought they were; they were just some genetic tests; none of this was unexpected to them; they knew what was going on; it just got to be a big mix-up in communication and protocol between all the doctors but the hospital, not really sure which doctor, had set him up to see this doctor in about what was supposed to be 2 weeks but this ER run ended up happening before then but then he did go but of course since that had happened he was fine by then so nothing was done, except the labs were still being done and they would still call, though not quite so urgently and say they were low enough for him to go get blood but then you'd get out there and they'd say they weren't low enough, at least not through the ER to be considered emergent, so we'd have to call the doctor and get it ok'd from him because his levels that he wanted him to get them didn't have to be as low but it had to be done every time until finally after several times of this happening about every 2 weeks he finally did standing orders that if it was a certain level he was to get it but he still wanted to be notified. So this went on until December 2013 - but wondering, did your mother ever get a port? they wanted Dad to have one if he was going to be getting blood that much, or maybe rather because his veins were collapsing - did you ever have that problem with her? or maybe that was because he would pull the iv out but then what was trying to say - that morning he did get up early, or at least got up to go to the bathroom, maybe had still been doing that some or had started but hadn't been staying up like used to so think grandson thought had just gone back to bed; hadn't heard anything that sounded like up but also why talked about you still working, which I know his hard but even with him not dad at least different from yours; you couldn't leave him to stay in a chair all day and we still not sure what had happened but grandson had really just begun to get exhausted from dad had started just being up and down all day and night; were just getting started trying to get more help; anyway he fell back asleep and when "something" woke him up, kinda like you talking about, just seemed way too quiet, hated to go to his room, wondering what might find, but no, wasn't there, couldn't find him anyway, somehow, had just talked about this too, getting door alarms, not sure if failed to lock it because if had, not sure how, with his arthritic hands, could have gotten it unlocked but anyway and this strange too because though he would often go out the back door to the deck he rarely, or we thought, went out the front door, but that's where he found him, - so just be so glad your dad stays put - at the bottom of the front steps - anyway called the ambulance, got him to the hospital and - didn't find this out till days later - when he got there, yes, his blood count was low but not as low as your mom's I don't think anyway, again, this being the ER, since he'd quit getting his blood through them, they didn't know about it, so just assumed it was low from the fall - maybe I should have had some kind of note put in somewhere but would have thought they would have had it, have learned some things about things like that - if they had might have done some things differently - or still might have been another emergency transfusion, like your mom's; he was unconscious too, that time - so do you know what actually happened then with your mom? can't imagine it being that low - was that just too low for the blood to do any good and get her oxygen back up - dad's blood pressure is what dropped so low that time - that the only way they could get it back up was with volume, so think they went from just the packed red blood cells to full on blood, which, again, think they might not have done had I been already there, was on my way as fast as I could but 5 hrs. away and they wouldn't tell me any of this on my way by phone; also had him on ventilator as well - actually the ER don't think would have done any of this but grandson was just beside himself, which I can understand, somewhat what you're saying to begin with - is part of your feelings? about this because of going through this with your mom? - I was with her when she died too, in almost the same situation, so I can understand - so anyway when grandson was the way he was poor ER doc didn't know what to do so wound up in the doctor's lounge with a doc of dad's who - long story - he's the one who wanted to do all this stuff and admitted him to ICU so he could and kept him going for another week because they did get his blood pressure and got him stable before I got there so then they didn't want to do anything - another long story - but anyway, were it not for all that, think he would have been gone, just like your mom, for the same reason - but guess what really wondering, did your mom want to go through all that? dad didn't and that's a long story then too
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I was just reading my own post and wanted to make it clear that my mother was in the hospital for the last 12 hours of her life. She was a hypochondriac and saw many, many doctors but refused most cancer treatments that could have lengthened her life. She never lost her mind though. Just hours before going to the ER for the last time, she was ordering the neighbor to move her bed! She also sent her last e-mail telling a doctor who wouldn't admit her to his trial, "I guess I'll just die then." And, she did. My mom was insistent and could force you to do anything. Dad took her orders even though he hated it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mom had chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The disease fills the blood with white blood cells and smothers out the other cells leading to low red blood cells, low platelets, etc. She was diagnosed in 2000. Her hemoglobin was low enough that she started getting packed red blood cells in January 2011. She died November 2013 right after an emergency transfusion (hemoglobin was only 3.5), just she and I in the middle of the night; luckily, she was unconscious for the last 6 hours or so as she gasped for air.

I took antibiotics but the urine culture came back negative. It seems I probably have something else my mother had, interstitial cystitis. I've always been one who feels like she needs to pee all the time. At least the antibiotics took the pain away even though they're not supposed to. The nurse said that happens commonly.

I am out at work 9 hours a day 5 days a week. Dad just stays in his chair all day. He can still walk around and use the bathroom. He usually eats a breakfast biscuit or hotdog for lunch. I've bought him other things but he won't eat them, even if I fully prepare them. He always says he forgets.

As for mowing, I've been doing that for about 10 years. I got tired of him mowing over my plants! Now, he can't operate the mower or see well enough. The last time he went mowing (he would still collect fall leaves even though I did regular mowing) maybe 3 years ago, he ran over the septic tank head, and the mower got stuck. Wow, the cussing that came out of him that time!

He got a new nurse about a year ago, and she won't talk to me. Mom and I used to talk to the old one but it took a lot of talking to get her to commit him in June of 2013 when he was insane. You'd think the new woman would see what he looks like and try to contact his family but no. He gets in the shower every morning for about two minutes. I asked him a few years ago what kind of shampoo he wanted, and he said he doesn't use it. I asked if he used soap instead, and he said no. I put a new bar of regular soap in the shower for him months ago, and it has not been used at all. Even long ago, he never used wash rags. I told him a few times a week for months to get a hair cut. He usually just stares at me or says it doesn't need it. I've stopped asking. I asked my brother a dozen times to take him for a hair cut, and now I've stopped asking. His smell used to bother me but now I'm pretty good at ignoring it. One of the few things he still does is wash his underwear. He won't wash his regular clothes and refuses to let me do it ("It don't need it!). I did notice more urine on his underwear plus his had two diarrhea events where he got it everywhere. If he becomes incontinent and can't change his own diapers (or refuses to wear them), then I will definitely need help. For now, since he won't allow anything, my work for him (aside from running the entire house) is just feeding him dinner. I'm fresh out of dinner ideas? Suggestions?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Zombie - though I'm glad to find, in that sense, it's your dad who is and not you - why did your mother have to have transfusions; we went through that with my dad the last year and a half of his life; he'd gotten his grandson to move in with him so he took him most of the time, while I (I did live 5 hrs. away) did take him some, mainly when I'd gone up to give him a break, as in he was taking a trip - but guess I'm mainly wondering if your mom wanted to go through that; dad would say he didn't but it was grandson who wanted it; he's the one who would go through what you are, was so afraid he would find him one day and he got to where he was sleeping more too, where for most of his life he was up at 6, and especially more so in the winter when it was dark as well; with his dementia, time began to not mean anything to him either; I do agree with others here; you really need to be sure about the house situation, so that you will know what you can and/or can't do about it later; dad's house was falling apart as well and he also wouldn't let anything be done - or maybe that's why grandson didn't do anything, like I thought he was going to. And then I have a question; if you've discovered you have a UTI, are you on medication for it? But sounds like - maybe it's the medication - that at least you are able to leave your dad - no way could mine be left so grandson was there pretty much all the time - guess my thought is seems like that would be a good thing that you are able to get out and not have to be there all the time but maybe it's the thought of everything you still feel you have to do when you get back that's the problem; at least he did have the time to take care of things around there, though not sure how much he really did, although he did mow and take care of the yard; that could be your dad's problem, know it really affected mine when he got to the point he couldn't do that anymore; could you talk to his nurse about getting some house help; I'm a little surprised she hasn't brought it up, especially with the exercise; that's usually something they're big on and is he actually not bathing or washing his hair - was thinking brother could do it, or rather was thinking specifically about hair cut; know mom would do dad's and he wanted grandson, then, to do it, and he did some but then he finally got him to go to the barber shop where they would wash his hair but if he's not showering, then how is he hygiene wise? I'm just surprised his nurse has not addressed any of this. Is she not under a doctor? wouldn't she have to be?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

With some things that you are certainly struggling with by others not understanding... I think you would need to put a firm foot on this... people around you don't need to unsderstand it, they just need to accept it. Could it be that a care assistant could give you a hand with meal preparation (put in in the freezer for a later reheat) and some of the cleaning AT NIGHT, when your dad is sleeping?.Maybe it is the case that you are putting others first. Remember you are the one helping and if you don't get a bit of help (even from a support group), you are going to be the one in need of help. GardenArtist has good advice, been a caregiver myself.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm not moving! I've spent almost 43 years dealing with a dysfunctional family so that I can finally have the house, land, animals, and plants to myself. They are my reason for living. We have 5 acres, and I've done most of the work on it for most of my life. I personally "know" thousands of plants and animals who depend on the land and I. I have two monarch caterpillars right now on the milkweed that wouldn't exist if anyone else lived here (they would have killed the "weeds."). All of my good future plans have to wait until my father is gone which really sucks. If he weren't in his state, he would enjoy a bathroom without mold and a hole in the floor, a nice deck, walkways (we have zero!), and that puppy I've always wanted to name a few.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Need to follow
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I so understand what you mean. My father is 90 and mother 86. I hear regularly how they wish they were dead (pain, boredom, mom watching dad lose his memory, etc). I live in a town where over 80% are retired, so ambulance and first responders are known on a first name basis. And I currently deal on an unfortunately regular basis with death as I run a small center for geriatric and infirm birds. Death everywhere I look.
It frequently gets me down. Sometimes I wonder how I can escape back to the world of the living.
Then, I shake it off, regroup and keep on going. (not easy I know) The only thing that seems to save me is 3 am to 5 am when I allow myself to think of all good things. (I don't sleep 'well', but I dont have time to stress about that either) I take this time to think of, read and look for good/inspirational things over a lovely cup of tea. Its a small thing but for me it helps to have that time to think of life, not death. I cant let it be my focus. All around me are those who are suffering, hurt and afraid, I try hard to provide light and inspiration for them.
From your post it sounds like you are treating your father well. We can only do what we can do. Be proud of your contribution, he wouldnt have it without you. If your brother wants more done let him do it. When my sisters start in on what I should or should not be doing, I have to say to myself, thanks for you opinion, unless you are willing to live here and do this, you do not have the big picture. You think you can do better, let me know and I will move on in my life. No takers so far.
I found this site on one one my mornings and find it helps so much hearing of other peoples experiences and ideas. (Thank you to all contributors) I hope I have helped a little bit, if nothing else to let you know you are not alone.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Get yourself in counseling, get to a doctor yourself, and you can only change yourself. Others will change or not, but you cannot change another. If you are working outside the home 9 hours a day, then you are earning money, so get your own place. Your brother and father will manage, and you will save your sanity.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The will leaves me 50%, my brother 40%, and his daughter 10% with theirs in trusts and with me as the trustee. Hers has an end date (her 21st birthday) but my brother's does not so a lawyer said I'd have to either pay him off (which would leave me broke), pay him rent, or get him to sign some deal if he agreed to get everything after I die. My brother is never serious so he joked that he could move in and pay me rent but I know he'll never leave his wife.
My good memories are few, mostly related to my animals and friends that long ago dumped me. In school, I was the pariah. Kids called me names and slammed me in to lockers. I was ugly and shy and didn't fight back. My brother and niece came over last night in the pouring rain to pick wineberries. We actually had a good time. I don't want to divorce him but I can't rely on him or trust him.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Zombie, I have another idea for you if there are really no good memories to remember about your dad. I'm sure that your dad is not the only person who was ever close to you. There must be someone else who has really made a big difference in your life by changing your life for the better at some point along the way. Perhaps you could think of all the good times you had with that other person instead since there are no good memories that you have with your dad. I can tell you that even though I don't have very many good memories of my own parents, there are many other people who have left footprints on my heart. Those are the people who actually left memories of even the smallest things that I still cherish today. Many times focusing on those precious memories have actually helped me pull through even the worst of times. If you really search your memory bank, I'm so sure that you'll find someone else who has really warmed your heart in some way. If you really search for those memories by that person, you'll be very surprised at how well you're really pull through what you're going through now. I'll give you a hint on how to find those precious memories. What you do is when you have private time to yourself, just start meditating on those past precious moments as they drop into your thoughts. You can also pray for the person who brought that memory into your life. In fact, I'll start you off by sharing something from my own life. I recall a time during early childhood when a preschool classmate shared a Twinkie with me. The manner in which it was done was very precious. It was the first time I ever even tasted a Twinkie at four years old. I still recall it very clearly today as though it was just yesterday. Another time, that same classroom friend would pick the lunch meat off of her sandwich and lay it on my placemat after she was done eating. We usually sat next to each other except for one day when the teacher said us in different seats about two or three seats away from each other. This one particular day, my polio stricken friend hobbled from her seat in her braces all the way around the table just to lay a big piece of ham onto my placemat. This particular memory really warmed my heart in such a special way that I can't help but think about it at times. There must have been someone in your life, too. Just search your heart, and you really won't have to look too far to find something that you can meditate on. Sometimes just thinking about the precious memories of my childhood friend really helps me a lot. Sometimes it's those warmest memories from times past that really come to the foreground of our memory banks. I can't say that I can always think of something from the memory bank, but there are still times when I really can. This is therapeutic for me, and surely it would also help you if you just spend some time focusing in your spare time when you can have time all to yourself. I'll give you a simple clue on how this works for me. Mine works best when I'm completely comfortable somewhere in my favorite go to spot, which happens to be my bed. Find yourself a very comfortable spot, wherever that place may be. This is where the best meditation takes place, trust me on this I've done it my whole life and I know how well it really works. No matter what you're going through now, those precious memories will definitely come to light when you go visit your favorite spot away from everyone
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Zombie, I really feel for you, but also admire you immensely I also surround myself with animals, they do not judge they do not try to make you out for what you are not, just to throw more scorn.
Id be divorcing your brother.. you probably have anyway. I had hoped you might have had a friend in the SIL, but lets leave the two of them screaming and enjoying life
your father has that handful of diseases, mental and chronic diabetes that one blackmails the other and you in between.
For your sake his being taken to a rest home would be the best. Would you lose the home??
And remember that often WE don't have friends because we don't want them, we don't want to load them with our problems. Then again some folk think that friendship is where someone HAS to listen share and suffer with you. I have some friends, that know nothing about me, others I can share the pains of the day, cos WE both then giggle as often the same thing has happened of similar nature.
I hope one day you do get to lead a life, but don't lose your ability to have one now. Tell your father's son that you are going to be late home, and he can take the broccoli over to the old man, and cut his hair and nails after his bath and enjoy the evening together. you will be home at 10pm and will attend the critters then. no please no could you... just delegate!! its sometimes as much fun as a delete button
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Does your dad have a will or will the house go to both you and your brother? I would get legal counsel so you know what to expect regarding his assets. Considering how your brother has treated you, I don't think him to change after your dad passes away.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother died November 2013. My brother was always my parents' favorite. He could be forgiven for everything. In order to get him to visit her, mom would feed him. So, I've done the same, or I won't see him at all. My brother has NEVER, that's right NEVER in his almost 40 years brought a meal over to our house or bought carryout and brought it over, even when mom was dying, and things were bad. And, yes, we've asked. He will make stroganoff at our house if I get the ingredients. We ate at his townhouse one time, and the meat was stuff going bad at our house since the power was out for days. I took my mother to about 47 blood transfusions in the last almost two years of her life. My brother took her to 3. He said it was because my job didn't matter (he makes more than I do) and then, for part of the time, I was unemployed and couldn't get another job because they wouldn't let me take a day off every two weeks to take mom to transfusions. While my brother is not always an easy person to deal with, his wife is a bad person regardless. I think I talk in another post about how they ended up married when she threatened to kill him and herself. He was going to marry her in court alone but I told my mother who had a cow. They still married three days later in our church. There's not one person who would tell you that she is a good or nice person, even her own family. Nothing makes the personality of one person with problems worse than when they marry another person who is screwed up! My poor niece is caught in the middle. Just last night, she called me, and I could hear her parents fighting. I said, "Are they fighting again?" She said yes, and I said, "I'm so sorry. I wish I could fix it. I love you." She's the brightest spot in my life. I have to do what my brother wants in order to see either of them.

I'm supposed to dwell on good memories about my dad but the problem is that there really aren't any. He's always been mean and unhappy his whole life. Memories include screaming, cursing, breaking dishes, stomping his feet, threats, three psychotic breaks, and so on. My parents fought daily with screaming and cursing. He'd threaten to throw all my stuff away. As a child, he said he was going to back up his pickup to my playroom window and throw all my stuff in there. I developed an unhealthy attachment to things as a result. I'm not a messy hoarder but I've got most of my stuff from my entire life because that's all I have aside from my animals. When dad was manic, he threw a lot away. Now, he's a zombie (hence my log in name). I feel guilty about wanting to move forward with my life when I'm stuck in limbo. I've never had real friends but neither has my father or my brother. People think I'm great but they don't want to spend any real time with me, even if I had time myself. I'm used to being alone. What's new to me is being in control. With my mother (who ran the show) gone, and my father in a zombie-like state, I'm finally controlling most everything except for him of course.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

One thing to remember is that you really don't want to dwell on the inevitable, which will only make you depressed. I had my own concerns about walking in one day and finding someone, but what helps me is to just enjoy that person's presence and the fact that there still alive. My surrogate dad became pretty difficult but he would actually have those very brief times that were seemingly becoming more frequent. It wasn't until later that I realized he was also becoming more forgetful, indicating the onset of dementia. What I had to do instead of focusing on death is to just look forward to seeing him and the fact that he was still alive. You can remember the good memories of when your loved ones health was much better, because the good memories are what you really want to dwell on if you're going to dwell on anything. There may be some precious moments that actually stuck with you through the years, or you and your loved one may have had a favorite movie or two that you used to watch together. Whatever it was that you and your loved one enjoyed together, that's what you want to focus on, the good. My surrogate dad was actually better to me than my bio parents were, and when you have someone who's made a difference in your life despite the fact that you had to sever the abusive relationship with your natural family, I can honestly say that from experience, that I absolutely must focus on the good instead of worrying about one day walking in and finding dad. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself not to focus on the bad or inevitable, but you must focus on key things that help your relationship to grow. It's natural to be concerned about our loved ones because we would hate for anything bad to happen to them, that's normal and even natural. However, sometimes we can reach the point of dwelling on what will only bring us down. That's why we should actually enjoy what remaining days we have with our loved ones by trying to find the good. One thing that really help me is to build my social life outside of the relationship with my surrogate dad. You can't avoid having friends for someone else's sake. What you can do is build friendships and just see those friends somewhere other than your home if this is necessary. Right now I have a friend who is temporarily living with someone, but we must meet elsewhere. The key to having friendships even if there are problems somewhere that prevent someone's home from being visited by friends is to have alternate meeting places such as parks, libraries, and other appropriate places to meet friends. If you deal with a toxic environment, having friends to talk to will actually help you to pull through those hard times. If you try to deal with life's struggles on your own, life will be so much harder as I already know. Whether you're doing part of the caregiving of someone else or just sitting with them for a while, you still need a support network. One friend of mine was taking care of her daughter for years until her daughter finally passed. What really helped her is having a strong support network of supportive friends. Those few people actually helped her through the tough time of losing her daughter. On the anniversary of her daughter's death, there are times that she must turn to someone within her support network. What I'm saying is that if you build a relationship bridge now, your support network will be there for you later when times get even harder. What helped my friend through the tough times of caring for her disabled daughter is the fact that she also had some help from family and friends she made with the visiting nurses. Only a select few people participated in the young girl's care so that she felt comfortable having only people she felt the closest to caring for her. This may have put more stress on her parents, but they somehow found a way to get through the tough times of being full-time caregivers. Of course they knew how sick their daughter really was, but they never dwell on that. They just tried to enjoy each day as it came. What really helped my friend's daughter is keeping her happy. If she was happy, everyone else was happy.

Perhaps you can use something from here as an idea to create your own idea. If you can keep your loved one happy in some way or another, this is what will help to ease the tension in your home. You really don't have to avoid having friends just because of tension from the love one that your caring for. You may not be able to bring someone to your house, but again, remember that there are other places you could meet so don't be afraid to make friends. Don't deny yourself a social life just because the person you're caring for doesn't want anyone around. Don't make that persons choice your choice by denying yourself and outside social network.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Now that's what I call a balanced diet, Pam.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Zombie, my father lived on coffee in the AM and bourbon and soda at night. Any attempts to change this were futile. Let your Dad eat what he wants. And don't cook dinner; tell bro you are going out and he can cook for dad. Give them a few hours alone together so bro can really get a grip on reality.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

"I have to make him dinner. I cook for him almost every time he comes over".

And there you have in your own words an excellent insight into the relationship with your brother and why he treats you with disrespect.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Zombie, your brother may have a witch for a wife because he treats her like he treats you but she calls him on it. Please start to treat yourself better and make others treat you with respect. If your brother expects dinner, change his expectations. If he invites himself over, tell him to bring dinner for everyone. No excuses tart a new regime called the I deserve it campaign. Works for his wife!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My brother just called. He's coming over to pick wineberries, and I have to make him dinner. I cook for him almost every time he comes over (I guess the "crap" is good enough for him!) but I didn't think he'd come over today as I spent Friday with him. His wife has an unspoken rule that he's not allowed to spend more a few hours on one day per two weeks with me. I do do little things for myself. I got a new bedspread about 6 months ago that I love.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I find that it works best if I just take things one day and one chore at a time. I do check to see if my Mom is breathing while she is sleeping often, and have developed this habit when my husband developed a heart condition years ago and I do that with him...Then I tell myself, "not today"..no one is dying here and I get on with the day and things on my list.
It is a good idea to do little things for yourself...I like the idea of a new bedspread or little things you can do. Even changing the pattern of the kleenex box and putting a brighter wattage lightbulb in can cheer up a room.
I would try to get your Dad's feet looked at and tended to sometime, as that is important with diabetes. Your brother is likely feeling subconciously guilty for not helping more so he becomes critical. He also sounds immature with his gay comments. You have more important things to worry about than strangers at the mall!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Zombie the bottom line is that you can't force anyone to do anything. Do either you or your brother have POA? Apart from his health issues I'd be very concerned about his foot care as his toenails may be so long now his feet hurt and that's why he won't move about. Sounds like he's not going to change and neither is your brother. Is there a social services agency is your area you could perhaps call and/or meet with to get some help and advice? Things can't go on as they are and at least it would be a start, having an outsider, a third party so to speak, to talk to and get some ideas of what might be done to help your situation..

You write that you've lived in the house all your life and have no friends and I wonder if your fear is of being alone when someone or something passes away.

I sold my home, quit my career and moved 200km to care for my mother for four years (parkinsons, dementia and many strokes) until it became impossible to do it alone 24/7/365 and she went into a lovely nursing home. She's been there 2.5 years now and is close to the end of her time. She's always refused lunch, only going to breakfast and supper.

I volunteer in the physio dept of the local hospital once a week and last week we worked with a lady ... in for possible gall stones ... who shares the dining room table with my mother. She's sharp as a tack and confirmed that at meals my mother will take a bite or two then refuse to eat any more. Though I take her apple juice and the NH provides protein shakes she's not been drinking much either.. At this point she weighs far less than my big dog.

When I visited a couple of days ago her cheeks were gone, face sunken in and wild eyes staring off into the distance. Though barely able to speak, she said "I'm dying, everything is so different" before falling back to sleep..

Let's say she's not been the nicest of humans and I spent a life time avoiding her, only giving up my life to care for her out of duty. Interestingly she wouldn't lift a finger to help her parents and doesn't even know where, or if they were buried. I will not visit again as it brings back all the evil she has done to me and my poor late father, along with anyone else who dared cross her path, life long and it unhinges me. In accordance with her wishes, when she passes I'll have her cremated and spread her ashes in a park near her former home. I don't know what I feel right about now ... edgy, stomach banging, just waiting day by day for "that" phone call.

I know just how much our animals mean to us and I prefer mine to most people. I live out in the country now with 2 rescue dogs, 4 cats (the Mouse Squad) and an old goldfish called Ralph and I'm working on building a new life. It's a bumpy road, but never give up!

Look here to find some help http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/social.html or here http://www.yellowpages.com/marriottsville-md/social-service-organizations. Good luck!

Ash
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.