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Old 08-20-2008, 08:15 AM   #1
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Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Hi Ladies,
Well, here I am again, I always come here when things are going rough....not that they arent every day, but you know what I mean.
Things in my family are really bad right now......as some of you know my uncle looks after my grandmother 24/7 and my mom flies back and forth every couple of months to help, not to mention phones two or three times a day. Well this weekend, I guess they are both so exhausted, that now my uncle and mom have gotten in a huge argument, and now they arent speaking. My mom was supposed to go there again next month and now wont book tickets. I tried to talk to my uncle yesterday, he is convinced my mom doesnt want to deal with this anymore. My mom is convinced that she cant have a bad day without him accusing her of that. She has so many issues of her own and tries so hard to help him because she knows what he's going through in looking after my grandmother. The thing is now that my mom will have no link or way of knowing how my grandmother is and it's already making her crazy. She's very tense, I'm afraid to even talk to her.
Grandma is getting worse, has constant diarrhea and hallucinations. I just dont know where this will end....how much longer can this go on? I know in my heart that it would be better if she was "placed" somewhere, but we've been down that road and it's not going to happen. My uncle is the only family member we have left from all this, the rest we dont speak to anymore. This illness has just destroyed my family.....and now it's working its way here to our "immediate" family. The saddest part is that I have just found out I am pregnant with my second child, and although I am so very happy about it, again this illness overshadows every thing, any little joy I have.
God forgive me for saying this, but I just want it to be over......
Thanks for listening....
Caroline xo

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:28 AM   #2
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

carsam I'm not usually on this board, but I read your post and I want to tell you that I really feel for you. I'm sorry for what you're going thru.

 
Old 08-20-2008, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

thank you Rose......I really appreciate it.......

 
Old 08-20-2008, 08:54 AM   #4
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Caroline,

My dear, A baby..what joy god has given you. Honey..this is sent to you for a reason. God never takes away that he doesn't give in return. Call your uncle and tell him the news. Tell him how excited you are. Tell him to tell your grandmother., Or have him put the phone to your grandmother's ear so you can tell him. Use this as a way to connect..it's a chance for you to bridge the gap.

I'm so sorry that they have had a falling out, This has driven a wedge between your family that isn't your's to heal, but see if the news of a great-grandchild can't brighten the day.

My prayers are with you and your family....and best wishes for you and your baby to be!

 
Old 08-20-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Hi Ibake...
Thank you so much for your message and kind thoughts.....
I wish this were the case.....but the sad fact is that my mom told my uncle last week that I am pregnant, and he said "that is great news".....5 minutes later he was talking about my grandmothers incontinence and medication and it hasnt been mentioned since. Before this fight happened, he did not even call me to say "congratulations". I am barely ever able to speak to my grandmother any more, she has trouble hearing and understanding on the phone. So you see, this is wonderful news to me, but to them, it doesnt even register. What you say is so right, that this isnt my wedge to heal, but as I live two doors from my mom, she is very involved in my life, I hear about this day in and day out, it is next to impossible to not be drawn into all of it when it is "in your face" every day.....I hope I'm explaining it right.
When I got pregnant with my first son, was when my uncle had just passed and my other uncle got really ill....and all the family "turmoil" started.....and has been going ever since. I am just so tired of listening to all of it....and I want to put it behind me and enjoy my life. But my mom is different, it hurts her to have this animosity between her and her family, to not be able to help my grandmother in her suffering, and therefore, I end up almost 'taking care of her"......it's just a horrible cycle.
I always say this illness has shown people in my family in their true colors, and exposes them. It doesnt make them this way, their hearts were cold all along. This just brings everything to light......and at the end of the day is a poor old woman who sits day in and day crying for her "babies".......and they have all left her.....
It is just so sad, I wouldnt wish this on anyone......
Caroline

 
Old 08-20-2008, 11:27 AM   #6
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

"any little joy I have."

Well, there we have it ladies and gentlemen, if it's a girl we have a name.
JOY.

Your family may be preoccupied with all of the turmoil of your grandmother but we aren't. I, for one, will volunteer to be a surrugate grandma to little Joy.

Congratulations

Love, Meg

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:30 PM   #7
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

That is really sweet Meg...thank you for that, it made me smile!!!!

Love, Caroline xo

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:55 PM   #8
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Caroline....a baby! How wonderful and truly a gift. We don't get to pick our families and I'm one of six siblings so I know how crazy things can get. I guess sometimes you just have to let it all go and let God take care of it. I know that's been my motto and if you're getting ready to bring another life into this world, you need to take care of yourself and rejoice in your pregnancy. The added stress you're feeling right now will not be good for you or your sweet bundle. Hopefully things will improve between your Mom & Uncle but that's not your business right now so try to focus on what you do have some control over. And, for the record, I love the name Joy and have many hours of Grandma experience, so put me on the surrogate list too!

Love and prayers to you,
Janie

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Thank you Janie.....
I know all you say is true....and I will try my best to let this go. It's just so hard to see the people you really care about hurting so much, you know?
I really am excited about my new little bundle....I am only 7 weeks so am hoping for a healthy pregnancy. When I first realized I was pregnant, I had wondered if around the time I have the baby, will be the time I lose my grandma.....just like Ibake says "God never takes away without giving something in return".....
I guess I will wait and see.......it doesnt help right now I am probably even more emotional than usual, if thats possible.

So....my grandma is 95, cant walk by herself anymore. She does have issues with UTI's here and there, and sometimes has issues of incontinence. She hallucinates alot, cries alot.....for hours on end......what stage would you all think this is? Can this really go on for much longer? Can she actually even get worse than this?

Sigh.......

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:14 PM   #10
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Unfortunately dear Caroline, she can...

None of us want to sugar coat it for you...or to paint it in colors more horrid than they are. But yes, it can get worse...and judging by the way your poor grandmother has been going, she won't have an easy end to it. If she could be sedated, she would have an easier time of it. But that doesn't seem to be in the cards for her.

But yoiu, my dear, have inherited a whole group of grandmothers who are here to relish every day of this pregnancy. And you need to take care of yourself and your family. Your Momma is a big girl and she needs to take care of herself. I know it's hard, but you need to protect that little Joy that you are carrying. Worry and stress aren't good for you. Please take care of yourself and your son first and foremost.

we are praying for you.

hang onto your towel honey.......

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:24 PM   #11
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Dear Caroline,

Congratulations to you on being pregnant with your second baby. What a gift. You might name her after your Grandma if it is a girl. You will have much joy and happiness from this child. You will forget the turmoil your family is in right now; the joy will make it seem unimportant.

It is OK for your Mom to be annoyed at your Uncle and leave off calling him and even visiting --- for a while. She is burnt out! She needs a break. Her own health needs are enough for her. If this argument has caused the rift, just accept it as one of those mysterious ways things work out. Your Mom couldn't really manage another trip again in 2 months - she needs a reason NOT to go; this is perfect.

Be supportive of her. Your Uncle will manage OK for the short time your grandma has left, and after that everything will just fall into place. Keep on praying, keep on hoping. And get a lot of rest, take your prenatal vitamins, enjoy your husband and first child, and have a wonderful life. New life is a miracle, God gives, and He takes away. The old generations pass on. The baby is the future. Concentrate on that!

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 08-20-2008 at 01:28 PM.

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:01 PM   #12
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Dearest friends, you are such a comfort to me today.........

Thank you all for the warmest wishes........I know in my mind I have to look after myself first and foremost, if I could just get my heart to catch up. I feared also that it is true things could worse......how awful that this is even possible. My mom does need a break, but not knowing how her mother is will wreak havoc with her depression, and she's already hanging by a thread with that. When she gets really low, she becomes really hard to deal with, and in all my years I've yet to figure out how to not let it affect me so much. It's a lifetime of dealing with this particular relationship....and very hard to change...but I am trying.
I always knew if I had a girl, her middle name would be Mary. My grandmothers name is Mary, my mom's middle name is Mary, and so is mine. So I knew I would continue that.

The first time I was pregnant I told all my family, and my grandma was so happy for me. This time around, there is no one left to tell.......no one left in my family to wish me well......so I will take all of you up on your kind offers to be surrogate grandmas.....because I could use all the kind words and encouragement I can get....

thank you all...
Much love,
Caroline xo

P.S.....I have heard of you all handing out these "towels".....and think I will need to have one for myself now....

Last edited by mary09; 08-20-2008 at 02:03 PM.

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:51 PM   #13
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Dear Carsam,

My heart breaks for you with grandma. And I want to get this right out there - your guilty admission that you just want it to be over - I gotta tell you, my friend, it was HERE on this board that I first found the courage to say that about my dad.

Why in the hell WOULDN'T we want it over? The quality of life our loved ones have is exactly ZERO. They are precisely what they never wanted to be - a burden. Oh, that's not to say that we don't love them with all our hearts. I would take a bullet for my dad. I really would. He's my first thought in the morning, and my last at night. I spend 10 hours a day with him. And I chose this life -taking care of him -, and I don't regret it. But when he's drooling, or his nose is dripping on his shirt, or he looks at me through foggy eyes and says, "Now WHO are you?"...that is NOT life. My dad was the project superintendant for the Seattle Kingdome construction. From the ground up - had a zillion people under him, was a BRILLIANT man! Now, I wipe his butt.

So want it over? You bet. Took me a year not to feel guilty about that. Don't waste that much time on that guilt, carsam. It's normal, natural, and expected.

Now. About the GOOD news! A baby! Oh, how happy I am for you! And as the mother of four, the grandmother of two, I would like to get in line to be surrogate grandmother.

But. Carsam, you MUST take care of yourself. I know how much of this is on your shoulders. I do. But the "Let Go and Let God" mantra is a good one. He is bigger than you, my dear. He knows what's coming, and what will happen. And He sent you a new baby. He means for you to cherish every second of this pregnancy.

Grandma is in His hands, honey. Don't try to do His job for him. (Now if I could only take my own advice...*sigh*)

My love and prayers are with you...

...deb

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:41 PM   #14
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

I'm standing in the surrogate grandmother line and tossing you a few towels to hang onto Carsam. That bundle of Joy has to be your first focus. What a wonderful time for you.

As for your grandmother. There is nothing you can do to make it any different than it is. Yes, it will be worse and then it will be over. Your Uncle has decided what he must do and yo have to let him finish his choices.

As for your Mom. My daughter had a come to jesus meeting with me not long ago. I know she loves her grand parents but she loves her Mom more. I am allowed a limited amount of time to talk about my parents, I am not allowed to talk about the sister chaos for more than 5 minutes. Then it is our time. We talk about her school, her work, what I am doing other than my parents, and anything else we want to. When we are together we spend time together not time rehashing family chaos. It has become the time that I cherish more than anything. But it was her being directly and brutally honest with me that made me realize how obcessed I had become. So take Mom out to lunch and tell her up front that there will be NO conversation about family affiars. Better yet, take her baby shopping. You can help her refocus. She has a mother with ALZ but she has a daughter that is pregnant. Sometimes kids do give the best advice... I know I listen to mine now

Congrats on being pregnant. Try not to worry too much about what you can not change. Then make the changes that you can. You can be the start of something better.

Love, deb

 
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:21 PM   #15
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Re: Dear ladies, I need a sympathetic ear.......

Do you know what all you ladies are here? You are all the ones in your families who have the biggest hearts, the kindest souls.....the ones who truly love their families, and are there through thick and thin. In other words you are all the "cream of the crop".
I am so blessed to receive all your encouragement today, you have no idea what it means to me.....thank you so much, I just want to adopt each and every one of you!!!

Skimps - Deb, thanks for your thoughts on the guilty feelings.....for understanding and explaining to me that it's okay and pretty much "normal" to want things to be over. I will try Deb, to put this in Gods hands and hope and pray he will end things peacefully.....

Deb......what exactly is a "jesus meeting"? This sounds really interesting. I wish Deb my mom would see my help in the same way as you see your daughters. God knows I try. And I also love my grandmother, but I do love my mom more...and I want her to be around to see my children grow up.
In the spirit of your advice, I've taken Friday off, so has my husband, and I've convinced her that we are all going to Niagara Falls for the day.....to have a change of scenery and some nice, bustling, touristy, (is that a word?)...atmosphere........I really hope it can give us some peace for a day, and hopefully we can go from there.

I truly hope that my uncle and mom can get past this......no matter what, I am a bit angry at my uncle for some things he said to my mom, but I know he is so fatigued....and I dont want him to feel alone. As much as he needs help, I think Martha is right, and my mom really cant manage this trip this time.......I will continue to pray for all of them.

Ladies, I am going to try and keep this in perspective and remember the new little life I'm bringing in to the world. But I fear I may stray to my old ways......of worrying...I hope you'll all be there to bring me back, and lend me some towels......all my surrogate grandmas.....

Love you all,
Caroline xo

Last edited by mary09; 08-20-2008 at 05:24 PM.

 
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