How can I attempt to be sane when I have been thrown face-first into a caring for my Mom? - AgingCare.com

How can I attempt to be sane when I have been thrown face-first into a caring for my Mom?

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On Oct 17th of this year I received a phone call from a bystander of a head on collision that my mother was the cause of. It was local, so a ran out of the house and made it to the scene not to long after the EMS has arrived. She had been conscious and had verbally given my phone number to the bystander. She remainded conscious and followed directions the entire time. Injuries were 17 broken bones including a compound fracture at the ankle/leg point. She had this surgically plated and screwed. The brain CT revealed no head trauma. While she was in the trauma unit I stayed, every day sleeping on a lawn chair. She became combative and had hallucinations due to the morphine PCA she kept pressing. I finally asked them to stop all narcotics. She started becoming mean to me at this time and very unreasonable. She was transferred to a skilled nursing center and I was given a cot to sleep on if I wanted to stay. I did stay because, I am an RN with critical care experiance, and now I am working at home care. I saw things that I thought I should stay and be her advocate. Her memory is terrible. She cant remember day-to-day. She denies that I stayed at either place with her. She was sent home a week and a half ago from skilled care. Prior to her coming home I made the mistake of cleaning her house and decorating for Christmas for her. I thought she would enjoy coming home for this. One night I was up until 330 am cleaning. As for me...I have rheumatiod arthritis and fibromyalgia along with longstanding depression which is held at bay with antidepressants. I knew for awhile that she had been getting more forgetful but I wasn't sure how bad it was. I have distanced myself from her as growing up in a very dysfunctional family I have seen that she still affects me negatively. Now she is in need of care. She cant remember day-to-day, is writing weired numbers in her check ledger, states she needs all the stuff done for her, then turns around and gives me 6 things to do at once and yells when one isn't done yet.
I am loosing my mind. I havn't been working in 2 months nor do I have the energy to call them and talk to them. As I only work PRN or as needed they have been lenient so far, but my boss just texted me today and wants me in the office. I am drained, depressed and would like to just go to some happy place. My husband states that he has lost his wife. I feel as though everyone needs me and I cant give anyone anything. I know that I am depressed as I do feel alone, hopeless and see this dark whole that I am in now only getting worse.

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Ah,
Boy, I dont know what to say but I feel you here. My relationship with my gramaw, who I take care of is and has always been real good. My mother however... whole nother can of worms. She died of cancer and I took care of her in the
End. My brother, who is 10 years younger, was always her favorite. She was very mean to me and left me with things messed up in my head to this day. I am 46. I ak glad she went fairly quick to be honest. And she went in a nurseing home. I was there every day, most days all day, but I wasn't willing to do what I do for my gramaw. I think I was looking for her to be like, oh, you really are a great daughter. You are here for me even after what I put you through. Or maybe, I did you bad wrong and I am sorry. Even after her death I hoped for a letteror something. I truely feel for you and hope you are alright.
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Go back to work and arrange for visiting nurses for mom. They will objectively assess her ability to be on her own. If your relationship was fragile before, it will not improve now, but get worse and she will play the guilt card at every opportunity. Clearly you come from a long line of strong-willed women, but we all have our limits. I'm sure you have seen as an RN that patients are often defiant with family, but listen to nurse's orders. Follow that strategy.
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Why not insist on a nursing home, memory care facility or whatever would best work for your mom? Absolutely nothing to feel guilty about in subcontracting care of a difficult parent. She would probably be better off in a medical facility in any case. So many people feel they need to destroy themselves - don't they think they have rights too? Curious why.
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desertpixie, we seem to have a little in common as far as the alcoholic father and siblings (there are 7 of us) who can walk away without another glance. I am happy that your brother showed up that does show something. Anyway, I was also the child in the family trying to fix everything, although this last year I've stepped back quite a bit because I'm emotionally and mentally sucked dry! This is when I realized that the siblings who I thought would be there weren't. Now I'm pretty much all alone in this with an occasional visit from my sister, otherwise it's me all me and nobody else but me and I too was just thrown into this. I had a very lucrative job which I gave up to do this for the father who never wanted anything to do with me except abuse me BUT this is my time to heal those wounds and that is where I find the strength to keep going. Lean on your husband, lean on God and you can lean on me anytime you need to:) By the way my dad is on Donepezil and it helps and I can totally tell the difference.
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I sat here in anquish trying to spewing earlier and I never really thought anyone would answer. Thank you so much for your responses. I was raised in the alcoholic family as well. I have broke ties with my sister, the last time I have seen my brother was when my father died 11 years ago. He has, however, came from Portland to Albuquerque for at least a week. That has at least given me most of this last week away. He's leaving tomorrow. She has always let me know that he has been her favorite. I don't understand what was in my head....other than my unfortunate trait of always trying to help, to fix, to mend others (codependancy issues) that led me here from the midwest 18 years ago. I wish I could turn that off in me. I was here with my father when he died of Ca and he was so appreciative of everything that I did for him. He was the alcoholic and I am so happy to say that he died sober. Spending time with my mother...I see why he drank. (not as though I find that any way to alleviate my problems). My brother visited me yesterday and asked if I didn't remember her being so controlling? and yes, he also saw my grandmother that way. Funny, I have to look very hard to remember this. He thinks I have just blocked it out. I started laughing when it occurred to me that this behavoir stops with me. I was infertile and never had children., God knew what he was doing there, Eh?
One thing that the CT did show was small vessel narrowing. I went to the GP with her yesterday and they started her on Donepezil. I looked at her and asked, winking, when I should see improvements? One maybe two days? Well, hopefully it does work in the 3 to 4 weeks in which we should see. Hopefully she takes the med from the pill organizer box.
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That normal CT does not rule out either dementia or significant head trauma, it only addresses presence or absence of a large bleed needing surgery. The at-fault accident could have been just an overt symptom of dementia that was already devleoping though; do you know the details?

Either way, things will get worse, especially without treatment or intervention. And given the prior relationship and personality issues, it is not at all realistic to think you can meet all of the unreasonable demands being imposed. You'd have a hard enough time with the reasonable ones. As you correctly assessed, Mom is in need of care. She may not want it and may not want to accept it from anyone but you. You AND your husband should go with mom to get a comprehensive geriatric evaluation if that's available and you can get her to go. You should have been offered a visit with the social worker or at least a good d/c planner at the hospital or at the skilled nursing facility; you may be able to get that by asking now, and you would also have options of finding an elder law attorney, an advisor from Area Agency on Aging or its equivalent locally, and the plain truth is you may find the finances are in hopeless disarray and she simply should not even have been discharged with no help.

NO ONE should assume that because you are a nurse you don't need help and information. Besides that your experience is critical care, not geriatrics. I was in that same spot when I got that phone call that changed everything, since I am a physician...in Pediatric Rehab, not geriatric, and I can assure you I was lost as a goose.

My mom was mad at me too just for telling her I'd cleaned and rearranged things at home so she could be there, which was her expressed wish and hope, even if she was using a wheelchair...and she never even got to see it.

Welcome to the land of doing some of the hardest things you will ever have to do. A suppotive spouse is worth their weight in gold; you have to talk, a lot, and make sure both of you understand together what is happening as well as you can. My hubby did not do any of the real leg work or visit more than briefly, but he was on my side and in my corner, and took a couple "shifts" when Mom was in hospice because I was not able to be off work for quite a bit of that very difficult time...hugs and prayers for all of you from here in Arksansas.

PS I got to know some resources in Pgh PA where my mom was before I moved her here, if you are from either state and want to share that, I'd be glad to share any info that would help.
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desertpixie, this is my first post on this forum. I just felt compelled to give you a cyber
hug. I wish I had some advice, but as a daughter who has been thrown into caregiver for my invalid, dementia mother and who has the same physical ailments as you do along with the depression. My husband is also feeling the same as yours.
Today was a crying day for me. IT IS a dark hole! I hate it and want my life back. My mother doesn't appreciate a thing I do and only her golden child, my sister, is the only one who works. Not true, but it is my sister's excuse not to come over. I work too, I run my farm and have rental houses that always need something. But they don't consider that work. It is hard, real hard.

I am sorry that you are going through this, and not sure if it helps or not, but you are NOT alone.
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I'm sending you a hug from me! I have been taking care of my father for the last 18 months and before that we didn't even see or speak for over 6 years. We NEVER had a good relationship, he is an alcoholic, he was abusive mentally, physically and verbally! I find myself sinking into a depression that I cannot seem to get out of. I have no one, I'm single and left a lucrative full time job to take for my dad. My friends say they understand but no one truly understands what a caregiver goes through and most important GIVES UP! I have no medical insurance and work part-time now so I can care for him BUT I could not imagine not having this job because it helps to redirect my thinking if only for 4 or 5 hours a day, this job is my savior :) It's difficult spreading your time, but you do have your husband use that to your advantage and PLEASE give him a hug. You will find that hug will help you too!
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