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Hello, recently I find myself sleeping more while my mother sleeps due to a back injury and now a pinched nerve in my arm. I do see a pain management doctor for prescribed pain meds but they don't always help. I find they make me drowsy and limits what I am able to do to help my mother. She begs me to take her to a shopping mall in a wheel chair but I no longer can push her in the chair. I usually just take her for drives and stop for ice cream. Does anyone have suggestions? Thanks

Personally I think your doing great with taking her for drives and getting ice cream! Your doing great just by doing that try not to be hard on yourself and be grateful you can do that for her and you. Remember there’s always people that are worse off and can’t even go for a drive and get or even eat ice cream. Remind yourself of the things you still have and are able to do focusing on what you can’t do just brings negativity.. And maybe in the future if you heal up you will be able to go to the mall again.
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Reply to Problemsolve101
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You can't continue or you'll be further broken down.  Your back injury and pinched nerve in your arm may be the overwork of pushing mom in wheelchair, so continuing to do that will only make you worse and risk injuring other parts of your body. 

If she's in a wheelchair at home, too, and further limited in daily activities, you need more help.  If there's no other family to take her in and give her 24/7 care, then get her into AL as soon as possible. 

Good luck.
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Reply to lilhelp
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Your mother has lived her life and is in need of care that you are unable to provide to her because of your own physical problems. How could you even think that you must do that when you can't. You must, must either find someone to take over as a caretaker so you can take care of yourself without having to care for her or better yet, you have to place her into a facility where she can get the proper care she needs. This is YOUR time in life - take care of YOURSELF first.
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Reply to Riley2166
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As parents are often now living longer, that means the caregiver is older. I.e. for myself, I was living out of state taking care of my mother, I used the services of her town's ER. Perhaps you can get a recheck on those pain meds you take.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I had to check it wasn’t me writing this....I now have chronic pain in back ...& Dr prescribed pain meds. Physical therapy, & exercises.
I can’t take my mother anywhere outside without my paid private aide ...since she transfers her from wheelchair to acorn stair lift. Mother will beg to go outside now to sit in park...she thinks it’s still summer. It’s ok to take a nap while your mother also sleeps . ...don’t overwork yourself!
don’t do heavy lifting if possible. Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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I know what you mean! I haven't walked the mall in 25 years due to pain. I shop almost everything online because my Mom and I are both home bound. I do have a sister one block away that always gets anything Mom wants or needs almost daily. I shop once a month to avoid difficult/painful trips for me (and her).

We are both set up in separate bedrooms with recliner, tv, phone, desk, snack drawers, activity books, wifi and all personal items. I call them our boudoirs..... we love them. I purchased a very inexpensive battery powered door bell and she keeps the "button" to ring me by her bed, by her chair and sometimes in her housecoat pocket. The chime is in my room and I don't usually move it but, I can if outside or in the kitchen. I knock lightly several times a day to peek in on her. She has also accepted a bedside toilet (her bladder isn't very good after 6 kids and nursing 40 years) after a fall 2 yrs ago dislocating her shoulder in a very hard fall, trying to go to the bathroom in the wee hours. It sits beside the bed at night and against the wall during the day. A blanket or table cloth makes pretty covers and place a chair cushion in it during the day for an extra seat. Most people do not notice it's a potty.

We're here for each other more like roommates. Can I just say one of us is Democrat and one is Republican and leave it at that...... She fell last night when sitting down to eat dinner and broke her ring finger. Got to visit with the doctor who she worked with for years. He caught her up on his children and their lives (20 years has passed) and had a blast! If we're in trouble, we can help each other but, we both prefer our separate "lives". I usually make supper at least 5 nights a week and keep salads, fresh fruits and deli meat available. We both are taking it one day at a time. My Mom is minimal assist and takes care of herself for the most part. She won't let me strain for fear of me getting injured which is true.

I read in a mother's almanac years ago as a wife and mother of two; if you are sick and hurting, don't get dressed like your ok! Leave pajamas on, don't fuss with your appearance and stay in bed our on couch and act like you feel. Tell your Mother you are not physically able to do the activity and leave it at that. If she continues to remind you she still wants to go, ask her to repeat back to you why you can't take her until she looks you in the face and can empathize with your disabilities. She's beatin a dead horse here!
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Reply to Catnk9
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elaineSC Nov 1, 2019
It sounds like you are one of the lucky ones as far as having a parent who is not screaming at you or being argumentative. Your situation would be ideal for many on here. I applaud you, Catnk9. You have a good setup whereby Mom doesn’t have to go to a nursing facility and you at least have your “at home space”. Many of us have/had a parent that, no matter what you do, it is not enough and that causes everything to be magnified. I love your attitude and how you have adapted to the Golden Girls type setup and I also admire your mother for being agreeable. You have good suggestions like the doorbell idea. Thanks for posting for us. God bless.
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If you still want to try caring for her:
motorized wheel chair
hoyer lift to help with transfers from bed to chair
shower chair in bathroom
having family, friends or paid help take care of daily bathing and clothing changes

I suggest you see and orthopedic doctor about your pain issues. You may need surgical intervention if pain meds are impacting your life so much. Of course, you may need home health aides during your recovery period for mom - and maybe you.

If you find it is just too difficult, you may be able to have home health aides for mom's care and a little housework too. Check your mom's and your insurance to see what you qualify for. Last resort may be to move mom to assisted living facility.
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Reply to Taarna
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I too have 3 rods in my back, several nerve disorders, and a rotator cuff repair all from helping my mom over the last 30 years she has lived with us. I finally hired a gal to do baths, and clean her room. They didn’t work out so I had to after 30 years of caring for her, we placed her in an assisted living facility. She loves it and enjoys the people , meals, and outings. You might also consider getting her an electric wheelchair and then there’s wheelchair transportation that can take you and her shopping, Unless you buy a wheelchair transport van then the skies the limit! It’s not the best resolution but I hope it opens the door to search others to respond. Good luck
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Reply to MollyMae2
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elaineSC Nov 1, 2019
MollyMae2, my sister had an aneurysm and stroked right after the artery surgery and her daughter moved in with her. My sister had the funds to buy the wheelchair support vehicle and it has helped my niece so much in taking her shopping and out to dinner and even to the zoo, etc. They also pool money and splurge on someone coming in to help clean house and stay with my sister if my niece has her own appointments. My niece teaches school so they pay a caregiver service during that time to come out. There are things available to make life easier. It takes some looking and shopping deals, etc. but sometimes people pull it off well. Good suggestions that you have. I hope you are now taking care of yourself. You have been and are a good daughter and sounds like your Mom is cooperative and happy enough. My hat is off to you.
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Perhpaps to Take some of the Load off of You, Hired a Part Time Care Giver a Nice Price, Or just let Mom know she cannot Go....
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Reply to Parise
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I made a promise to myself when I began caring for my Husband.
I would keep him at home as long as it was safe for him and it was safe for me.
If there was a possibility that I could injure him while I was trying to help him...
If there was a possibility that I could injure myself while caring for him....
If there was a possibility that he could injure himself or injure me....
I would have no option than to place him in Memory Care.
It sounds like it is not safe for you to care for your mom, it sounds like she might not be safe.
If you really injure yourself who will care for you?
If you injure both of you what would happen?
It sounds like you need to have someone come in and help you or you need to look into placing mom where she would get care and be safe, and you would have less of a risk of getting injured.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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It’s not just going places that’s hard, it’s sometimes hard to do routine stuff in the house.

I had a bowel blockage a few years ago and had a colostomy for about a year but I was here alone with my mom the first night after ten weeks in hospital/rehab.

She didn’t put demands on me but there’s still many things she can’t do herself. Primary amongst them is taking care of me though she desperately wants to.

I hired out housework and had help from my kids some. Besides that, there was much I told mom, the dishes (or whatever) can keep a day, let’s go to bed. She always agreed and was relieved because she was afraid I was doing too much.

Since then, I’ve had multiple minor surgeries and I’m lucky to get someone to stay the night with her.

You just have to deal sometimes while keeping in mind that you can’t do yourself any more damage or you won’t be able to do anything for them at all...

Take care of yourself in order to take the best care of him.

charlotte
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Reply to CharK60
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I understand how you feel. I have “fake” disease fibromyalgia, arthritis everywhere, chronic fatigue, tendonitis in my wrists and back issues as well. I care for my husband, who is mostly bedridden. He doesn’t ask to go anywhere but wouldn’t refuse if I offered.

If Mom constantly wants to go out, try to cut it down to once every few weeks. There are many cities and counties who have disabled citizens programs. Some will come to pick her up, take her to an activity and bring her back. Is she completely unable to assist you with her chair? Maybe a home health aide or companion who could come in and help you out once a week or so?
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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