So, my MIL who is 90 has recently had a bad bout of back pain. She is on hospice and we are managing it with morphine and keeping in close contact with the Hospice nurse. I know that she is experiencing a lot of pain and we are doing everything in our power to help.
I've posted here before, but just for those of you who don't know my mom in law is French, has been living with us for almost 4 years, has dementia and congestive heart failure. She has always had a difficult temperament and is a chronic complainer. She shrieks when she can't find her cigarettes or comb or bras, and is convinced a stranger has entered her room and stolen her affairs. But this is major shrieking and please believe me, I am not trying to belittle her pain.
I myself have had a continuous head pain following a blunt head injury eight years ago, so the yelling does not help my health condition. I am feeling so shaky and rattled by this. I am currently unemployed but looking for work, and have become her caregiver mostly by default. My husband acknowledges that it is difficult, but he also is away at a supercharged job 50 hours a week while I am often here. We tried to put MIL in respite care for 6 days but the facility could not accept her due to her smoking.
How do I stay grounded and calm when screaming is happening around me? There are times that I feel am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She also has significant hearing loss, so more often than not I cannot communicate effectively with her because she is not wearing her hearing aids. These incidents of her screaming in pain occur mostly in the morning when she wakes up.
What should I ask the Hospice nurse? The medical staff does not want to give her anything stronger (Tramadol) or even an anti-anxiety med because she is a fall risk.
Thanks for any ideas or inspiration.