Senior Member (female)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New England, USA
Just need to vent. . . . .yet again :-)
Hello all. I don't want any one to think I'm complaining. I guess I just need to vent. Our situation isn't as drastic (I guess you'd call it) as others I've read about on here, but it's still tough at times. Quick run down . . . . . Dad 77, good shape, still ok and independent; Mom 78, not so good. Started as depression, we think it's changed to alzheimers/dimentia. Again, not diagnosed, as she won't leave the house and hasn't since I don't remember when. She's lost tons of weight, now down to 74 lbs on a good day. Lives on cottage cheese and ensure basically. Doesn't eat enough to sustain a small bird. Memory is shot. Talks in circles lots of times and doesn't make much sense. Tells the same thing over and over. She's kind of just waiting to die. I've even come right out and asked her. I guess she doesn't feel she has a purpose, and we can't get her to 'want' to have one either. The only thing that sparks some life or enthusiasm in her is our 2 girls (ages 5 & 9). Needless to say, we are over there as often as we can be. That, of course, brings up my next issue.
I'm exhausted most days. My hubby and I live about a mile away. I work part time and run the kids around to softball, preschool and whatever else happens to be going on at the time. In between my stuff, I do whatever I can for my parents. Dad is just tired and can't do it all, but is the type of man who doesn't like to admit that he can't. Very headstrong and very proud. Always says, "I'll take care of your mother." Which, yes, he does and does a great job. He's surprised me at how patient he can be, although there are times he bites her head off for stupid things. But, I have seen the way she is when my girls or anyone else isn't around---she's getting to the nasty, bickering, cynical, mean and crotchity stage. [quick note--hubby's grandfather was at that stage for almost 20 yrs with alzheimer's] It's just tough to take care of 2 houses. Mine is definetly not as clean as theirs, nor is stuff getting kept up with at times. I'm just really beat! My brothers have all mentioned getting a maid for them, but Mom won't have it. She'd probably throw one out of the house at day one. Dad has mentioned it but doesn't feel comfortable with one. So, that leaves me---youngest kid, only girl, closest---so that's what I do. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't really trust anyone else to care for my parents, or even clean their house. They are very trusting, nice people who have done so much for me and my brothers throughout our lives. I would be afraid someone would take advantage of them. One of my neices has been trying to for a while, but Dad knows her tricks. Mom on the other hand thinks she walks on water---but that's a story for another day.
I've mentioned selling one house and building onto another so that we could all live together. I know that's a whole can of worms that I don't know if I could handle or not. But, now hubby says he's not ready for that yet. I know my Dad isn't to the point of needing us to live there yet, but I didn't know my hubby wasn't really fond of the idea. When we married and bought this house so close to them (15 yrs ago) he knew why I wanted this particular house. I have always said that they've taken care of me, so someday I would take care of them when they needed it. I'm over there everyday, my daughter takes the bus there after school, Mondays & Fridays are our 'official' laundry/housework days and Thursdays are 'shampoo' day (although we're there much more often), Sundays we all have dinner there with one of my brothers.....I just think it would be easier if we were all together. Less driving, easier to clean one house, Dad could have freedom to go out shopping or whatever and not worry about Mom home alone.
How else can I help my Dad? Does anyone have any ideas? He gets tired of doing everything. My brother and I cook meals and freeze them and send them over. On Mon. or Fri. Dad goes shopping and has lunch out, gets a break from Mom's moods. When it's just her and I, I try to get her to do things other than sleep, watch TV or do crosswords. It's just hard on everyone I guess. my girls say they miss the old Grammy. Even though she's better when they are around, they know what's going on. They still laugh about the time she tried for 1/2 hr to hang the remote up in the phone dock. She laughs too. My husband, brothers and myself just give each other a look when it's the eighth or ninth time Mom's asked the same question. We smile and answer like we've never heard it before. We don't make a point of saying she's already told us that or anything. Dad does enough of that to aggravate her.
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! ***Deep sigh*** Thank you for letting me go off. There's more to say, but it's been a long day. They all are. And I'm tired. Just got the girls to sleep (it's 10pm) still have the laundry waiting. I pile it on the bed, so I have to fold it before I can sleep. It sucks, but it works most of the time. There are those occassional times when I just move the pile to the floor so I can get in bed.
I do love the fact that my parents let me do things for them. I like to. It gives me something to do and feel good about. I just get tired sometimes, that's all. If I could do more I would. My parents are really great people...if not for them we wouldn't have our 2 daughters...long story/another time. But Dad of course doesn't want to impose on anyone---never asks for anything. But I wish he would. Sometimes I'll go over and he'll mention he just cleaned the stove, or moves some stuff from attic....I always say he should've told me about it, I could do it---but he says if he doesn't stay busy he'll go crazy. has to have something to do. I can see that, but I don't want him wiping himself out completely! Ok. Enough already. My eyes are like slits..........Time for bed. Tomorrow, 5 yr old wants to go on an EARLY salamander hunt, step son coming for auto repair, light housework then dinner at mom/dad's. Then Monday work, laundry/housework, work, then early dinner then softball practice after.
Thank you all for listening. That felt good. Good night all