Sunday, March 28, 2010

Breathe....come up for air and breathe

This week has been a rough one. I have been over to Mom's place 5 times to fix her television. She has a digital tuner and keeps mixing up the TV remote with the digital remote. Rescanning her channels seems to do the trick. At one point, she had it so messed up, I had to ask Pamela to come over and help me because I had done all I could do with the digital tuner and still couldn't bring back the channels. It seems clear that Mom is not going to be able to relearn this technology that she has been successfully using for about a year. I don't know if she is losing cognitive abilities or has just figured out that I will come over if she messes it up.

I have to say that my ability to be patient has been pretty thin this week. I come home each time overwhelmed and angry. I feel awful for getting so irritated at her helplessness. She won't take her garbage out because she is afraid to go to the garage in her building by herself. She is the most fearful, limited person I have ever encountered. She has lived in a cocoon all her in her experience, living through the family members around her. Now that Dad is gone, her major window to the world is gone. She tries to get me to step into his 24/7 shoes but I just can't get sucked into that role.

Today, I bought her a nice salad and dropped it off. Again, the TV needed to be fixed ....again I fixed it and explained it. I feel like I am losing my mind ...breathe....just breathe...get her settled and go. But not before she wanted to know what I was doing today. She is so invasive...I have taken to not telling her much about my life because she often twists the information and is verbally abusive. If she doesn't get her way, she often verbally attacks my home life. She also told me she needed to go to several different places next Thursday. I told her I could not commit to it until I knew what was happening with my job search. It just drives me crazy that she never consults me ...just tells me what she wants and when she wants to do it.

Breathe....just breathe ...get to the car...go home to my lunch... ....breathe deeply....take a long nap....breathe deeply.

Start over tomorrow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Caregiver's lament

The statistics prove my current reality. Caregivers of elderly parents are predominately the daughters or daughter in the family.

My brother has now decided that he cannot come over to Mom's except on holidays. This is laughable. He won't come over on any holiday. He won't even come over to take her garbage out any longer. He has just walked away and left me with all the responsibility of taking care of my 90 year old mother.

Anger, the unfairness of life...the selfishness of it all just twist me into a rage.

I have been left in the middle of this elderly desert with nothing but the grim task ahead of dealing with an elderly parent who is getting weaker and weaker physically and more difficult psychologically every day.

I just hope that I can do this without my own health being compromised.

I did notice my agitation level rising this morning when Mom was on the phone. She only wants to talk about my brother and how he is getting his "'head on straight". I could not care less about his head or anything else associated with his self centered life.

So...perhaps I will send him an email and thank him for taking on the task of visiting Mom on Easter this year...and see how that goes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rug mantra

Mom called this morning. She wanted me to come over today with my rug cleaner and small rug machine and clean a bad spot in her living room. She thinks I am more available now that I am not working. I am working hard at not being there every time she calls.

See, the deal is, she is terribly lonely. My father was there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for years. She was used to having him around to direct and oversee. Now, she is lonely with a capital L and says so almost every time I talk with her on the phone, or when I am leaving her apartment. I told her yesterday that I cannot be there 24/7. I am not Dad....and this situation is what she chose for herself. She said she wanted a smaller apartment with a washer and dryer and that is what I found for her. I just walk away exhausted with her neediness...her dependence.

She says she won't be around much longer...she reminds me that she is 90 now. It isn't so much that I long for her death. I just want to have some breathing room...and she wants more of me than is healthy to give.

The dance goes on....

Monday, March 1, 2010


Yes, Mom is 90 years old today. I am going to take her to the bank, to get her hair cut and then to lunch. She is very upset these days because my brother told her he was never coming to see her again last week. The two of them are always getting into it. Mom wanted me to be the go between and let him know what all we were doing today. That is molten ground, so I refused to do it. Oh, I wish things were simpler with Mom.