Well it has been a bumpy road with my mom for the last two years, and now with my sister diagnosed with frontal lobe Dementia it has been even sadder. now for my rant, my BIL called me and was explaining to me all about alzheimers and such, for the past two years I have been trying to tell them about my mom and now all of a sudden he is the expert....Over the last two years I have told him and my sister over and over the problems I have encounter and they seemed to sluff it off, no support, denial big time , now I am heartboken about my sis, when she traveled to a larger city for tests a few weeks ago, they wanted me to meet her there and be there,.. The hospital she went to would have envolved a plane trip for me. I told my BIL that he needed to be with my sis, not me, they are both retireed and I am not sure why He wanted me to go instead of him... ... I know she is my sis, but I do have my hands full with my mom and I do not know if I can stretch myselve one more way...I will be there for my sis when she needs me and will travel if I must...It just seems to me that until they were faced with this that it was on the back shelve, now he is the expert telling me what I should be doing... I am torn and feeling guilty about not going and being there with my sis. By the by we did not tell my mom about this as it would cause to much upset and we all felt that there was no need to upset her.... I think that I could use a corner of one of those towels that you guys are handing out....
OK...... Heres your towel jags.....Hold on tight lady we all have the other end. It sounds like you have reached the end of your rope. First things first, don't be guilty about not making it to the hospital to be with your Sis. If you could have went you would have. Right? You could not change the outcome. Right? I'm sure you'll be needed and you will be there for her. Your not superwoman. Contrary to what alot of people think we are only one person. Able to do just so much. Now he's the expert. After so short a time. Sounds familar. We have several of those in our family. I think we all know how that feels.
I'm so sorry about your sister. I'm so sorry your heart is broken. I'm sure it is. Your BIL has a long road ahead of him. Rant away, right here.
Its obvious to me he wanted you to go because he wanted you to deal with it instead of him. I mean really....Who wants to do this caregiving thing. Not me. But I do it. Dr. visits are the worse thing for me. Its hard to just get them there. Much less try to explain whats happening with them now. What to do about things that are happening. Medication, questions, all the while Mom is ranting because I won't let her talk. She wants to talk but not about her health. The Dr. is trying to expain whatever to me............She usually leaves mad at me. LOL
I think you made a wise choice not to tell your Mom. What would be the point. Whatever I can shield Mom from, I do.
Do you know the tests results about your sister?
Hold on tight to that towel kiddo. Its going to be a bumpy road. Bless your heart.
I'm so sorry that on top of your heartache, you're being made to feel unappreciated and guilty about this. You sound like the kind of person who, if you're needed, you're always right there! And that's such a blessing to so many people. But you have to be realistic. You can't be everything to everybody. You were right not to go. Your own health is going to suffer if you spread yourself too thin. You simply can't be everywhere and do everything. If you try to do that, you'll end up not being any help to anyone!
I wonder if your BIL is like my husband. My husband doesn't do blood. Or hospitals. Or vomit. It's not that he isn't willing. It just makes him gag. He once called me at work when one of the kids got injured at the park and needed stitches. He just couldn't handle it. I had to get co-workers to cover my patients for the rest of my shift and go home, wrap up the crying child, and get him to the ER. Or the one and only time he's ever cleaned up vomit: when our then-3-year-old came into our bedroom in the middle of the night not feeling well and let it out all over his side of the bed! It was either clean it up or wait until I was good and finished helping the little one! I'm just trying to give your BIL the benefit of the doubt, but when push comes to shove, he'd better get over that! My hubby did when I had to have major surgery. I couldn't reach the dressings on my back, so he had no choice but to help me. He rose to the task. BIL will, too, but he might need a push. I hope you and he can talk about your experience with your mom. Maybe he'll realize that he can benefit from what you've learned.
Hang in there, sweetie. Don't let yourself feel guilty over this. Just keep letting your sister know you love her and will help her and BIL as much as YOU'RE ABLE. I'm sure she knows already!
well results????????? it is hard, my BIL and sis spent a long time talking to the doctors, I am not sure of the results as they are not sure either, or they just do not understand or maybe need more time to come to terms with them, I am hoping my sis will e-mail with more info as she gets a little choked up talking about it yet....thanks for listening, just being able to sound off sure helps and yes I will hold on tight to the towel for a bit as this all sinks in...
Chris is right Jags..... you have nothing to feel guilty about. You have your hands full with your Mom and your BIL can deal with this doctor's visit for his wife/your sister. I also think he wanted you to deal with it rather than him. He sees you as better equiped to ask the right questions and process the information.... but I bet he won't say that. Sometimes you just have to rely on your own gut feeling about what you can do, say no, and then refuse to feel guilty about it. You can't be all things to all people... I am learning that!!
Your sister's diagnosis is so very sad for you all but for the moment you have your Mom. There are so many that love the river de nile and just float along.... until they are hit between the eyes with a reality they can not ignore. Now that it has hit home I do hope your BIL becomes an expert but for now he is not telling you anything that you don't already know. He's still a newbie. Remember that. Hopefully he will take a few tips from you along the way since
Grab the other end of the towel.... I think we are all hanging on it to. We will keep each other afloat
Result are difficult Jag when it is bad news. It takes time to process all that you hear, adjust to your new reality, and understand what you are facing. I remember taking Mom for testing and then going back to get the results. Even with my experience in LTC, dealing with patients and families, it ranks up there with one of the most difficult things I have every done. But I needed to do that for Mom... and for me. That is where you start coming to grips with what you are facing. With your BIL's history related to your Mom.... he needed the reality. He will be the primary caregiver. He and your sister have to come to terms and deal with their mindset before they can share it with others.
Stay in contact with both of them. Be supportive. But remember that you have yourself and your mother to take care of first...
Wait. Don't panic right away. Just as we all learned to do it the hard way, learned to accept reality and not try to bring the person back into our reality, your BIL will also learn how to deal with it. If your sis is in the early stages, there is a good chance she will not be too far gone when the new medicine comes out ... or maybe she does not have Dementia at all but has some other problem which can be treated now. Perhaps this new testing will show it is not frontal lobe dementia.
You were absolutely right not to go to the hospital by plane. What is he thinking? He can NOT slough off his responsibility onto you just because he thinks you can do it better (thus proving that all along that you have been right about your Mom).
If he cannor deal with it, it is up to him to get all the right insurance, POAs, find a nice group home, NH or assisted care place for her, pay for it, or get her onto a state paid plan. None of that has anything to do with you at all. He will struggle through it as best he can. If your sister has grown up children they will most likely contact you for advice, and you are in a good position to make suggestions but not demands. You are not in any way required to offer practical help!
I often thought, during al the years my sister was in denial about our Mom, that maybe her intense fear of losing her own control over her life and mind was behind her refusal to believe Mom had dementia. I made out my mental plan for that contingency back then - a few years ago. If she gets dementia her husband and her grown children have the right, the responsibility and the means to take care of her; I will have nothing to do with it except a friendly word now and then.
You have no reason to feel guilty when you refuse to do some irrational thing an unthinking person asks you to do!
I hope they call you when they get a diagnosis --- to inform you, not to ask for your full time help!
I am sorry to hear about sister but BIL must step up to the plate. He took the vows "in sickness and in health" and while you have to deal with Mom, you can't be the end all of everything.
When I had the guilt over the Mono hit many years ago, husband did what he could and kids did what their age allowed but I had to stop the guilt by saying 'they'd have to do it if I wasn't here at all".
That what you have to remember. If you were not there, a phone call away, BIL would have to deal with wife on his own with no emotional support. Just make sure he doesn't pack Sis up and drop her off on your doorstep to live with you and Mom and he'll visit every so often, I mean you're already home so why not???
Do not do it. Make sure everything about what you can do is clear. You can provide support verbally over the phone. You can not drop things everytime he needs you to physically hands on. He needs to find out what resources will be available to him, now so he realizes he won't be overwhelmed with doing it during the crisis that will arise.
I didn't catch if they have children? If so, where are they in this mix. They need to make sure he takes care of their Mom. If the shoe was on the other foot, I'm sure his wife would take wonderful care of him. Most of the people don't because they feel they're not able. OR they are no longer in love with the person due to history and caring for them would be difficult.
Just tell BIL that you are proud of him. Compliments go a long way. he may feel he can't because he doesn't have good self esteem. Build it up. Also, please feel free to share with him how scared you were when it was your Mom. Emphasize how scared you were even though you did. Let him know that the feeling of over-whelming does not mean he can't do it. He needs to know
NONE OF THIS IS EASY FOR ANYONE. GOD BLESS YOU AND OTHERS WHO STEP UP AND DO.
Your BIL just doesn't want to be responsible for hearing this diagnosis. None of us do. But gee, it isn't your job this go around. He didn't step up to the plate when your Mom was first bad, did he? Guess not. It is hard to hear this and it would be easier to hear it from someone else. He just wants you to do the initial dity work for him. Don't we all. Too bad.
Stick to your guns. Or you could offer to drop your Mom off with them and they can all learn together. Sorry.....that was nasty....
Grab onto the towel and hang on tight.....keep your sister in your prayers..