Got up this morning and called hospital and asked for nurse's desk. Introduced myself and said that I knew my Sister went home last night and I wanted to know how my mother handled that. Nurse said Mother was moved to another ward because she became so combative. They actually had to put a restraint under her arms and across chest because she tried to get our of bed and even tried pulling her IV out. they also gave her sedative.
Came home from shore house. Difficult because we encountered some electrical issues with this 'new' purchase but BF will have electrician check it out tomorrow. Then we arrive at his house (on my way home) only to find his furnance conked out and it was 32 in the House! -- that got resolved by furnance repair (whew!)
Anyway. I drive to the hospital and walk in. There's my mother, sitting in this large bed. So small, shriveled, and 'old' and unconscious (sleeping). Sister's (god bless her) trying to feed mother soup but mother wasn't swallowing it, she was dribbling it out. I finally got Sister to stop trying.
She went to eat lunch and I just sat and watched this woman sleep.
when she came back, nurse walked in and I told her sister was upset that mother was so crooked in bed and they sent to in to straightened her out. After awhile I said to Sister I was leaving and she left with me!.
I called her around 6 (from BF's house) and told her not to go back and i will to check on Mom and see if she was combative. When BF and I got there, she was a little more awake but not much. She won't open her eyes and when I put a little potatoe on her tongue she wouldn't swallow. She thrashed about when I straightened her out because she was across the bed held in place by the restraint band across chest.
I kept calling for her and asking her to open her eyes and she did very infrequent and for mila-seconds. sitting there it was like she wanted something on her food tray so I got some juice and using my finger put some in the straw and dropped it into her mouth. She did fine for a few straw-ful so I used a small cup and got more in and actually saw her swallow.
But I do think her days are numbered because she is so very de-hydrated even though she's got an IV in her. Sister doesn't like to see her 'out of it!' and that they don't seem to care if she eats or not. I pray that she joins my father very soon and told sister that.
I'm not heartless but her quality of life is nothing now. Its a shame that they'll hydrate her and for what? They have a catheter in her also and I know that's okay but painful. She has a swollen eye and 6 stitches and she's bruised on her chest and her arms from the fall and sister's attempt to get her awake after her fall.
I hate it! I hate this damn illness. I hate that no matter what I do, it will be perceived as not longing her enough to want her around longer. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I also can't take some comments Sister says -- today she tried to allude to the fact that I was the one who made her not get a job and be home to take care of Mom. I reminded her exactly of the situation when she made this decision and she said 'no, you'll not remembering correctly". I DO REMEMBER. i remember asking her to get someone in to take care of Mom so she could go back out and work and her answer was "I don't want a stranger in my home". It was her choice. I just told her to stop paying bills out of her checking account and hold onto her money. And to use Mommy's money to live on. I mean it would've cost us a couple of hundred a month to get someone in so what the heck. BUT again, everything is my fault. I make sister do . . .
THIS IS EXACTLY THE REASON WHY I STAY AWAY AS MUCH AS I DO AND I JUST TELL HER THE WAY I SEE THINGS AND THEN SAY 'WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO, I'LL SUPPORT".
I cried all afternoon in my BF's arms because I said I'm tired of everyone turning things around and saying you made me . . .
I'm also tired of everyone saying "you know, when your mother's gone, you're going to have to take care of your sister!".
God help us all. This is the most unrelenting disease. It robs the mind but the body takes so long to shut down. And we are hydrating her because????
I truly don't know what to wish for. Will someone please tell me! But its a statement and not a question. there's no answers for this, just a bunch of questions!
caring i am so sorry for these turn of events. please do not let guilt cloud your judgement. Sister did what she wanted to do or else she wouldn't have done it. Don't let her out marytr (sp) you. I agree in your question of why they are re-hydrating her. Cause they have to..that's why. This sounds like the end stages (i hate to say) and you have nothing to feel guilty about. You handled it with awareness and understanding and there is nothing that you could have done other than prolong the suffering. sometimes denial is cloaked in a "doing the right thing badge". ask your sister about that. for you...my heartfelt sympathies. sorry if this post is a little too honest....
Dear Caring, I'm so sorry things have turned out this way. But its the way things go when you are dealing with alzheimers. Very sad and gut wrenching. I watched my Gram go through this in the hospital. It is an awful sight. Terrible to watch. I loved her very much. The worse thing a family can go through.
My sister didn't want to let Gram go. We brought her home and less than one month later she passed away. This is what I said to Sister over and over until she finally "got it".............
"That Lady, that we love, has earned the right to pass on to whatever is waiting for her. She fought long and hard. You are keeping her here for YOU not for her. Look at her and tell me what she would say to you if she could. "Please let me go. Help me". Well she is saying that to you and your not LISTENING. YOUR NOT LISTENING TO GRAM".
We called the Dr. and Hospice came to help. She passed away 3 days later with her granddaughters holding her hands. In her home as she wanted. It was one of the most precious times of our lives. She was 97.
You are not responsible for your sister Caring. The only person that can help her is her. I understand that you don't want to watch what is happening. You have gone though the death of your husband. Your still grieving.
Your Mom has earned the right to pass on to whatever is waiting for her. Your sister is keeping her here for herself not your Mom. Until she "gets that" she will continue to make you miserable.
I love my Mom with all my heart and soul. I pray for God to take her in her sleep. She will go when its her time I know. I don't feel bad for that prayer. God knows my heart and he knows yours. In the end it really doesn't matter what "people" think or say. You know the truth. Everyone has an opinion. Don't they??? They don't matter.
I hope things go better for you today. I don't think they will get better for your Mom if Sister doesn't face what is truly happening.
Let us know how you are holding up. I'll be thinking of you.
Oh my dear...I am so sorry. You don't need this. Now stop. Take a breath and think. Your mother is being hydrated because the hospital has to do it. The have no options. They have to sustain life! Sister is angry and resentful because she can't do anything right now. Her hands are tied. She has no control over mother, her power base has diminished, the nursing staff has all the power now so she is adrift and lost. She can't be the martyr because the staff is taking care of mother.
o now she going to turn all her pent up hatred on you. She is tired and sacred and lonley and doesn't know what is going to happen. She is going to have very selective memory because she wants to. She needs to remember it her way. That way it doesn't hurt too bad, and her mistakes won't be soo glaringly ugly when she looks at them. She doesn't know where to turn or what to do without your mother there to take care of. Mother has been her very existance for how long? What do you do when your reason for martyrdom is taken away from you?
You have done nothing but the right thing. You have supported her and given her the right answers every time. REMEMBER... NO GUILT HERE Diane. Keep taking that step back. Continue to support her but don't get sucked into her "it's your fault." You have don't no wrong.
You need to prepare sister for the fact that mother will in all probability need to go to a NH from the hospital. They may not let her go home. Have they talked about that? What have they said about her going home? Sister needs to be prepared for life WO/mom.
Grab onto the towel Diane. We have it tight around you. Much as you hate this disease there isn't a d#mn thing that you can do about it now except suck it up and press on. It's not going to get better until it gets worse. I'm sorry that I have to say it, but it's true. Your mother deserves the dignity of not having sister force feed her, that's for sure, if nothing else.....
I call each morning since I found out about Mom being hospitalized. Whether I was down the shore house or home.
I told Sister I would check on mother last night and she didn't need to bundle up and go over. BF drove me there and I found mother semi-awake but wouldn't open her eyes. She was grabbing sheet pulling it up and stuffing it in her mouth. I managed to give her some apple juice to see if she would swallow.
Sister said that Doc called asking if this was the way mother was at home. Sister told him "no, she was more active". So they don't know if the fall and conk on the head did anything, they were going to look for the CAT scan that was done when they stitched the eyebrow.
Sister apparently started Mother back on Namenda saying that it made her more active where she would watch TV and sometimes point to something. plus Sister said that she would eat but sometimes with her eyes closed. I happen to know Sister told me she was feeling her, now I hear "not all the time".
Apparently the doc and sister agreed to wean her from any sedative they may have given her to stitch her, etc. She's restrained across chest because she tried to pull out IV and catheter to get out of bed when she started coming around after the initial stitching.
I started crying. Sister wants her more alert and I asked 'why, what is that going to do?" More alert means that she'll be more combative. I understand she bit a nurse or nurses aid but I don't know what they were doing when she bit them.
I said to Sister that I didn't want her to tell the doctor something that wasn't fact. I can't say Sister is lying because she doesn't lie nor does she curse. She just avoids truths when its gonna hurt. I said I don't want the doctor to think Mother was up and around. Each day I would look into window, I'd see Mother sitting on the couch and possibly dozing off. Most time she was just fiddling with the blankets nearby.
And the walls are paper thin so when I was saying to sister how is she with eating, she said fine but I told her I know that's not true because we hear it through the walls. And I knew Sister (God Bless Her) wasn't getting good sleeps because we would all hear her each and everytime she got up at night to go to the bathroom. In fact, just recently I ran over because I thought I heard her fall and it turned out she just sat on the toilet rather hard.
Sister said that she's not holding onto hopes, etc. She just won't let them sedate her so she just sleeps and won't be a problem for the nursing staff. This is exactly her worse nightmare. Afraid that they'd medicate her and just leave her for hours on end. They deliver trays of food and then walk out. There's no one there to feed her and mother can't feed herself. What can be done about that, short of one of sitting with her 24/7 and being there when they deliver trays?
Rerquest an aide to feed your mother. They can and will provide someone to feed her. If she needs help being fed they will provide it. The have dealt with dementia patients before. They know that some of them require help eating. Ask them to feed mother. Tell them that sister had to feed her at home or she wouldn't eat. Or if you know that she needs finger food as that they provide what she can handle. You know what she can eat-whether it be vienna sausages or cheese or crackers or whatever.
Diane honey, you need to step around your sister at this point and talk to the staff and let them know what mother needs. Your sister has fallen to pieces here and doesn't seem capable of making a rational statement, much less a decision. I know this isn't what you want to do honey, but you have to. Talk with the doctor, or the head nurse, tell them what you know, then step back and let them work with what you have told them. If sister isn't being truthful, it is elder abuse...and that's not fair to your mother...Caring you have to help at this point.
I just don't see any other way. No matter what you wish would happen, it's not fair to your mother. Your sister can't tell fibs to the doctor just to make herself look good or because she wishes it was that way....
Oh My god Jill. No Sister isn't fibbing to the doctors. She's incapable of such tactic.
But when someone whose heart is breaking is not able to see the way it is, that's different. She truly thinks her life is fine. She always thought her life was fine and that this was all okay. She's a wonderful daughter who cares deeply for our Mother. She did try with all her might to provide a stable, loving, warm environment for Mother.
There were times when things could've been handled better as it is with all of us here but please don't think really bad things here. I'm just trying to stay out of it because when the two of us hear the doctor talk at the same time, we both hear different things because its what we want to hear.
But I did hear you loud and clear. Apparently there are things that can be requested in the hospital, I guess we just have to find out who to request it from because talking with the nurses don't do it. They just say, speak with the doctor when he comes in.
Plus you should see how lovingly she handles Mom. I'm not making up the times when I thought situations could've been handled better. I'm sure each of us when caring for someone in this position exhibits frustration and short-temper especially when the caregiver might not be feeling that great either.
but she truly does love my mother with all her heart and her heart is breaking.
Me I think I've created a hard-shell and distanced myself in my mind of her so that when it comes it won't hurt as bad as it has been losing my Mikey.
OF course she loves MOther-I would never have thought otherwise. But she also doesn't see things clearly. Just as she thought that she could sit straight. She is frustrated. She doesn't want to accept that mother is failing, correct? You may have developed a hard shell,but that shell is enabling you to see things a little more clearly because of it. Your clarity will allow mother to get what she needs. Sister is still living in her wishful world that mother is going to get alright, and right now mother needs you to bring your clear sight to the hospital. Because you have been a step away you have been able to see what hasn't been working between mother and sister.
I know that sister loves mother. There is no way she could have taken care of her this long and not have loved her dearly. But she also isn't thinking clearly right now. She is exhausted and frightened. And my guess is that she won't totally tell the doctor how bad mother has been at home-right?
So dear strong woman, once more you need to step up to the plate. Grab the towel and hang on. I have one end and I'm holding tight. I won't let go for anything, you know that don't you? lil deb has hold also. Big deb will grab hold when she get's on also. we will keep you going......now take a deep breath and fight for mother.....