Friday, September 08, 2006

Meltdown

Not a good day. We started off on the wrong foot and went downhill from there. Mom refused to get up to change her depends. I managed to get her up enough to slip a pee pad under her in case she leaked, gave her breakfast plus meds and then let her rest for a while to let the pain pill kick in. And hour later I tried again. I have to admit that at one point I threw the (dry) depends at her. I started crying. Mother looked at me and for the first time in a long time, I think she connected. She patted the bed next to her and told me to sit down, then she patted my arm and said “I love you.” I laid my head on her and cried while she stroked my head. At noon I gave in to frustration and pulled the depends off of her while she lay down. I had to have her stand up to pull them up though, and she stood. While leading her around the bed to her food she said she had to go to the bathroom. I got her in there, changed her depends again, and back out to the bed where she ate lunch. We then took a much needed nap. She sat up and ate supper with no problem. At 7:00p.m. I tried to get her up to take her meds, change her depends again for night and we went through the same thing – her screaming and being stubborn. A half hour later I gave in and called my sister-in-law. She didn’t cooperate very well for her either. I went to sit on the porch and could hear mom screaming – even though her room is at the back of the house. You’d think we were torturing her, but we weren’t doing anything other than trying to get her to sit up. I’m sure my neighbors must think I beat the woman. At one point I came into the room just as Bebo (my sister-in-law) was telling her how I take care of her – mom said “No she doesn’t, I do everything”. When I started to say something mom looked at me and told me to shut up. So I left again. Bebo managed to get her changed and her meds down her, then we covered her up, said goodnight and left her. My agoraphobia is really hitting me – I can’t make the necessary phone calls – my stress levels are so high that I can’t manage the panic attacks. Plus I’d only had 2 ½ hours of sleep Thursday night (although the nap that afternoon helped). We’re also facing an anniversary this weekend. Sunday will be 1 year since my brother (Bebo’s husband) died. Bebo took the phone numbers for Social Security, Medicare and Human Resources with her and she’s going to make the calls for me. We need to get someone in here to give me relief. It’s been 7 months since I had a day out. Bebo watches mother on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings so I can work – but she’s in school too. I need a break. Mom is too cognizant of her surroundings to put her in a nursing home – I don’t want to help the AD progress, but I can’t do it alone anymore.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Mona Johnson said...

Bailey,

I'm sorry to hear this is a rough time for both you and your mom. I hope you find a satisfactory way to get some much=needed down time for yourself.

Sat Sep 09, 08:08:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one can do this alone. Take all the help you can afford. Take all the help that is offered to you.
Seven months without a day out? Girl, you need a break!! And don't feel bad about it either. My scheduled "downtime" is something I look forward to, especially after a "meltdown" day. Things seem less hopeless when I know there will be a break soon. It refreshs my outlook.
Hope you get some time to yourself soon.

Sat Sep 09, 09:44:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks Mona.

Anonymous - can I at least have a first name? And thank you again for stopping by. I do have about a 2 hour period of time in the evening, which is when I get a lot of computer stuff done. And then there are our naps - we both take about a 3 - 4 hour nap in the afternoon.

Oh, and a half a bottle of Seagram's Classic Lime Margarita helps too. *gg* And before anybody wonders - I usually have about a half a bottle once a week or two weeks. But after last night - half last night, half tonight (she's still at it). I won't have any more until next weekend.

Sat Sep 09, 10:06:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Deb Peterson said...

Eve--I'm thinking of you today, on that first anniversary.

Yes, you do need to have some time for yourself. I'm working on this, myself, as you know--it's such a hard realization to come to, especially after you've been able to take such good care of your Mom. But as the Alzheimer's progresses, it'll just get harder for you and me--and there's only so far we can push ourselves before we get sick or have a nervous breakdown, and that wouldn't help our Moms.

Do you have the PACE program in Texas? That might be an option for you. I'm so glad you have Bebo. And I'm glad you can still have a moment here and there where your Mom is truly your Mom. I wish I could give you a big hug! I know how agoraphobia is, too, so you've got to cut yourself some slack. You do a remarkable job!

Sun Sep 10, 08:30:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

Deb - No PACE in the DFW area - Amarillo or El Paso, so no go.

You do a great job too.

We all do.

Mon Sep 11, 08:00:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Karma said...

Hey Bailey,
I think that it is a completely fair thing to say that you can't keep doing this alone. And despite all of my horrific experiences, not all homes are bad. Actually, even with the bad experiences, Mom has done really well being in a community of people struggling with the same issues. Before you make a final decision about what to do, look into what your options are in your community. Start with the Alzheimer's Association - they should have a list and know which places are better than others (from the view point of other family members). Plus, they'll be able to advise you on some of these other issues.

Wed Sep 13, 04:35:00 PM CDT  

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