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Just a vent

Jan 02, 2017 12:47 PM

As many of you know, I am my mother's caregiver. I moved back to Arkansas from Minnesota in order to help my mom after failed back surgery.

And I am still there.

I rent a room from my parents so I could be close by should they need me. I help my mom with setting up her meds every three weeks. I do 95% of cooking meals. When dad's not doing well I also take over doing their laundry. I take mom to appointments and I am her companion. She seldom gets out of her chair so I am constantly trying to find things that will motivate her into moving around.

Every year I try to take time away from being a caregiver. Usually I spend 3 weeks in Texas with my best friend. This year that trip had to be cancelled due to a car wreck I was in.

Fast forward to now. My children were home for Christmas and noticed how worn down I was. Their solution was for me to take a break and come home with my son. (which is why I am in Montana...).

My parents were both sick when I left but I had people from church lined up to look after them since my siblings aren't reliable. I made extra food and froze it so my parents had some meals they didn't have to throw together.

I have called mom every day to check on them since they were both diagnosed with bronchitis. (both are doing better).

On Christmas my sister's girlfriend attempted to make me feel guilty about leaving my parents for an extended trip. My sister joined in and my brother added his 2 cents worth. To top the guilt tripping party off my mom kept saying she wished I could wait a little longer before I left. The reason she gave was that I had been so busy and I needed time to recoup. Huh? I can't take it easy when I am home because mom is forever finding things that need to be done.

So - the day My son and I arrived in Montana I get a text from my sister. The CD player I got was too big for her desk. (it was a gift from my mom but I did mom's shopping). She (Annette) needed the receipt. What she really wanted was to go through my room in search of said receipt. Umm.. No. I told her exactly where the receipt was. She insisted it wasn't there.

Two days later mom found the receipt exactly where I had told them it was. (ugh). Did I get an apology, or even an acknowledgement from my sister? Nope.

So yesterday I texted my brother and asked for a favor. Keep in mind my brother only lives 10 miles away from my parents. I needed Chuck to go print out 9 copies of a calendar I had put together with assignments for church gatherings. Chucks response was that he would try but he was pretty busy. (rolls eyes).

So last night I called mom to explain the calendars in case Chuck doesn't show up. Within the first minute she is telling me that people from church are wanting to know when I am coming home. Huh? I just left a week ago today. Within 2 minutes she is asking when I will be home. That is shortly followed by the question of whether I am even coming home. :/

By the time I got to say goodbye she was informing me that I have to be home before the 21st because dad had volunteered me to cook a ham and make baked beans for some church function.

I love my mom and dad, and am so glad that I am able to care for them. However, the older mom gets the more "needy" she appears. She hates being alone and dad can't be still so that leaves dad out doing church things and mom sitting at home all alone.

But these away trips help to keep me sane and I hate, hate, hate that people are trying to make me feel guilty and/or to convince me that I needed to come home. :(

That's my vent. I am tired and grumpy so please forgive me. This too shall pass.

Jan 02, 2017 5:39 PM

Oh Mimikay I feel your frustration and unfortunately in my time as a carer in the community I've found that sometimes the less someone can move around and any illness added to the mix tends to make people more needy for someone to take care of them and they prefer the same person which normally is a family member if possible and even knowing that you need this break they don't want to let you go and can even make it more difficult for anyone else to take care of them.
With your brother and sister they know you take care of your parents and don't feel they need to because they can always count on you, they don't need to help and why should they with you being there and how dare you take a much needed break because they might actually have to help your mum or dad while you're away, I mean why should they have to interrupt their lives????.....said heavily with sarcasm

I know how you feel, when my mum would have issues I was always the first one called to either sort mum out or to work the bar because dad was too stressed to do it. I'm the oldest of 4 and admittedly my next sister down has been living in Switzerland for the past 4 years so she can't really do much to help. My mum is the second youngest of for but it was always me who got called in to help and if I didn't drop everything to go to her I got guilted into it. Since they put mum on HRT she has been a lot better but dad still expects me to drop everything and work in the bar but I've put my foot down and told him I'm not well enough much to his dislike!

Sorry Mimikay I'm really on a tangent day!!!

You ignore them trying to guilt you and enjoy your time away with some quality time with your son. You need the break because if you don't you'll only wear yourself out and end up in a major flair where you won't be able to do anything at all.

Sending you positive vibes and warm healing hugs xx

Jan 02, 2017 6:49 PM

I must have been on the right track because my reply went bye, bye. Today can be considered either the best or worse to respond to your vent. First I say, vent, vent and vent until you can't vent anymore. That's what we are here for.

We dare not tell others exactly how we feel about their selfishness. Let's call it what it is-selfishness. Their selfishness will result in your death, if you let it. You have the right to a vacation from care giving. Even professional caregivers take vacation.

You need time away to regenerate and refresh yourself. If you have a relative who lives a mere10 miles away, why can't they give you a day each week to regenerate yourself?

I could say a lot more, but I'll stop here.

Jan 02, 2017 7:11 PM

Donamel. You are right..I know you are right. But the excuse that's being made for my brother is that he has an injured shoulder plus his wife has bi-polar.

This year has been harder than most because of a car accident back in September. I don't look sick so it was assumed I was fine - even with me telling people I wasn't. So dad volunteered me to organize several church things..then I got sick. (wonder why) it was a huge mess and led me to telling the elders of our church that after the Christmas projects were completed I was officially retired. They were not to volunteer me to do anything.

My son and I have just recinnected recently.. There was 8 years that he didn't even speak to me. Long story there ... But anyways, this time with my son is not only important for me healthwise but mentally he and I need this time together as well.

Until last night I didn't realize just how angry I am.

Jan 02, 2017 7:30 PM

I was just talking to a friend today and I mentioned that I had found a great support group but that I refuse to tell others about it because then I couldn't really be me. That's hard for most to understand. He got it though. On FB my friends know I am a Fibro advocate so often they ask me to friend people they know who have been diagnosed with it. I used to run an online support group and many of those people are on my Facebook. It's a huge blessing to have a place I can go where I can simply be me - vents and all - instead of being the person trying to.hold everyone together. If that makes sense.. :)

I have noticed new symptoms in the past 2 months. I thought the shakiness was perhaps low blood sugars. But my BP and heart rate are up. My vision is blurred and a few other things that I feel can be chalked up to stress.

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