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Old 06-05-2007, 03:32 PM   #1
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Any advice?

I took care of my mom after her stroke for about a year and then I moved in with the man who is now my fiance/common-law husband. He and I have since moved to another state, so visits have been less frequent than I'd like, but everyone was ok with that at the time... My brother has been taking care of Mom for just over two years and has now gotten a job offer in Dallas that he just can't refuse. SO. Today I got a call from him about how he'll be coming to pick me up in two weeks and I have to go take over with Mom for at least three months. Mom's on waiting lists for Assisted Living, but the best chance to get in is maybe two months... My husband says 3 months is too long, it just won't work, why can't I just say no, etc., etc.... (In the past, he has said if I go, I better be going for good-- he's tired of the repeated demand for me to "come home" every few months; yes, there seems to be a crisis with my brother's job situation that often. But THIS time it's an actual job in a city where he has lots of old friends in his field of expertise... The other times have been the PROSPECT of certain things.)

I just don't know what to do!! I even did a little chart for myself of pros and cons but it doesn't help, because they seem equally weighted either way... I know Mom will be better without my brother and his crises and she and I have always been good together as adult roommates. But there's Ed. There's the life we're building HERE. Do I just throw all this away and be the spinster companion to my mother???

 
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:49 PM   #2
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Re: Any advice?

wow, I have to say your man is being a little cold hearted and selfish. would he toss his own mother aside like he wants you to do? This would be a real eye opener for me.....this is your MOTHER! Would she be there for you? I bet she would......now this man??? I don't know that he would.....he may toss you aside if/when you get old and sick. I'd rather be alone than with someone who expected me to pick him over my mother in a situation like this. You can find another man.....you only get one mother. I couldn't live with myself if I abandoned my mom.....

 
Old 06-06-2007, 03:07 AM   #3
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Re: Any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosequartz View Post
wow, I have to say your man is being a little cold hearted and selfish. would he toss his own mother aside like he wants you to do? This would be a real eye opener for me.....this is your MOTHER! Would she be there for you? I bet she would......now this man??? I don't know that he would.....he may toss you aside if/when you get old and sick. I'd rather be alone than with someone who expected me to pick him over my mother in a situation like this. You can find another man.....you only get one mother. I couldn't live with myself if I abandoned my mom.....
Actually, I AM sick. He lets me know he doesn't like it when we have to get my rather expensive medication... Yeah, again "selfish and cold-hearted."

Something else to consider...

 
Old 06-06-2007, 05:43 AM   #4
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Re: Any advice?

Hello---
Just a quick reply--I help taking care of my Mom also. Depression, into beginning stages of dimentia/alzheimers....just getting old as she says. My husband and I have been married for 13 yrs. Before we got married, we bought a house less than a mile away from my parents. I told him then (and still feel the same) that they had done so much for me/us that I would be there the day I needed to take care of them. He knows this, and married me anyway.....lol! He is not ready for us to all live in the same house yet, but that's okay because we haven't gotten to that point yet. We do still have our own house to go home to at the end of the day. He DOES know that someday when it's necessary, when only one parent is left, they will live with us. It's kind of been understood from day one. He is a pretty good Husband/Dad/Son-in-law I guess. I'll keep him

I guess you would just have to do some thinking and reassesing. I would think he could be a little more understanding and compassionate. Maybe there's a middle ground. Three months isn't that long, you'd think he could be patient. Good luck with what you decide. Remember, you do only have one MOM.

---mmmcoffee

 
Old 06-06-2007, 09:05 AM   #5
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Re: Any advice?

Talked with my brother and mom this morning. They say they'll manage without me, but I am NOT going to tell my guy that because I have come to the conclusion that it's just not right for me NOT to go help for the month, two, three tops...

My brother says I should just leave. Take my stuff and write a letter. Mom says a letter might have to do it even though it's not what *I* think is right because of how he's reacted in the past.

So. Now it is no longer an issue about being a caregiver, it's about my personal relationship with my "husband." He is the one making this really normal expectation of my family's into a huge issue, so he'll have to decide what's more important, right? Are we "over" or will he want me back after I've done my thing (my DUTY) with Mom?

 
Old 06-06-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: Any advice?

Lisa - Stay strong, you are most definately making the right decision.
I'm so proud of you!

 
Old 06-11-2007, 07:11 AM   #7
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Re: Any advice?

UPDATE:

The last few days have been such a whirlwind. It really shocked me when Ed (husband) said " do you know the part of the wedding vows that say 'forsaking all others...'?" I immediately rebelled against that because how can it refer to one's FAMILY?? He said he thought HE was my family now. OKAY... But..? ...So I started thinking about the traditional ceremony where the parents GIVE AWAY the daughter and the father lifts her veil and kisses her goodbye... It just changed a lot of stuff in my head. By the way, he was going to let me go, he was mostly upset that I had changed my mind on him -- the initial response to him was that I wasn't going to go (mainly to divert a confrontation). I have a tendency to try to please everybody else, saying what I think they want to hear and just working it out later. Wasn't going to work this time. We really talked it out.

Well, *I* talked. Ed listened while I just talked and talked and cried and came to conclusion that I've got to say no. Based on past history with my mom and brother and how we have "bailed [each other] out" for the last 20+ years. I didn't see that it would ever end. It was so liberating to do that, because AFTER that, we were all able to come up with a better solution.

My brother will take his job in Texas. Mom has decided an assisted living facility here will be the best thing -- I talked with her social worker and she agrees. Got the paperwork done Friday and as soon as I get it in the mail, I'll take it to the right agencies. I will go up before he leaves to help mom pack and settle whatever issues there are. Ed and his brother will come up to get us with a U-Haul after Mom and I have done it all at a comfortable pace. We're thinking Mid-July (only because no one wants to be on the interstate over the weekend of the Fourth!)...

So. Now it's just a matter of logistics and praying everything goes smoothly and in a timely manner.

I'm excited for her to be here.

 
Old 06-12-2007, 05:34 AM   #8
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Re: Any advice?

It's really amazing -- Ed bought me an old beater of a car on Saturday that he'll fix up for me so I can drive back and forth as needed. AND (this is really cool) the DAY we all had our "conversation," I got inspired to work on a story I started writing in 2000! We'll see how that goes, but WOW it's been such a whirlwind! I'm taking a bus up there on the 18th and my brother leaves the 22nd. The question I'm facing now is about the holiday coming up -- do you think the weekend of the 30th/1st will be more problematic than the 7th/8th?? (I hate it when the holiday falls on Wednesday!)

 
Old 06-12-2007, 08:34 PM   #9
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Re: Any advice?

Hi Lisa,
I wanted to tell you that I admire you and your family for how you've handled this situation. You are a role model family for anyone going through this type of thing.
My family has unfortunately crumbled in the face of this same thing. My grandmother is ill with dementia, and needs 24/7 care. My one uncle (who is unmarried and lives with my grandma) basically cares for her 99.9% of the time, to the point, this is his life. Because she doesnt sleep alot of nights, neither does he. His siblings where they live, will not even give him time to sleep, never mind have a life.
My mom has flown over twice in the last two months, and recently was planning on a vacation, but went home to help out instead because no one else would. What used to be a close family is gone and there is nothing left but bitterness and resentment. Anyways, I think it's wonderful, that none of you have been left to solely care for your mom....it is very overwhelming for one person. If families pull together, they can pull through these things. Again, good for all of you!!!

Carsam

 
Old 06-13-2007, 09:02 AM   #10
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Re: Any advice?

I got two email from friends the day after all this blew up and I was panicky and praying. I think it was God's way of saying THIS is not insurmountable! THIS is something you can handle. I came to that conclusion because of the awful situations these guys have. One is a man who was in his late 40's when I knew him a few years ago. His mom, in her 80's at that time, was living with him because none of her other 5 children would do ANYTHING. They ALL live in a 30 mile radius, but none of them care enough to help even a little. I don't think they even have holidays together. The other guy was an old boyfriend who was dealing with his mother's heart troubles. Her living arrangements weren't an issue, just the fact that she was in critical condition and going for surgery. SO *my* little problem seemed very small and workable.

 
Old 06-13-2007, 02:26 PM   #11
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Re: Any advice?

Hey Allie....
How are you? I've posted to you (and vice versa) on the Depression Board. Hope you are feeling well!!
Yes, isnt it sad Allie when families are destroyed by illness. I could write a book on all the things that have happened, words that have been said. I'm an only child, and have always relied upon my relationships with my cousins for company. But now I no longer have that. We have said things people wouldnt say to their worst enemy. I could never have imagined this happening to my family. The amount of stress involved is overwhelming, you can practically reach out and touch it some days. But with such a large family, it didnt need to be this way. No matter what, it would be difficult, as illness is hard to deal with....but if everyone had made an effort, the burden would not just be on one or two people. Those people get resentful, things are said, and you have the snowball effect. I'm trying to get over it now and not let it hurt me anymore because my family obviously does not care about me, so I have to put these feelings about them where they should be, and that's low on my list of things to feel bad about. How awful for a woman to be so ill and in her last days sit frightened of what she's feeling and to also sit among all her children fighting and yelling at each other. So very sad.
Like you say, your cousins, siblings, dont do anything, neither do mine. It's not right Allie....if everyone pitched in, we could make things a little more comfortable for our grandmothers.
Anyways, nice to talk to you....again, I hope you are feeling well Allie!!!!

Carsam

 
Old 06-14-2007, 05:57 PM   #12
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Re: Any advice?

Hi Lisa,
The man you are talking about sounds like my uncle.......these situations are so difficult to handle. You know when I talk to my grandmother, it is so hard to think of her as anything less than the strong proud woman I grew up with. The Dementia has weakened her body, but her family has weakened her spirit. It's just so pitiful.
I have so much respect for how you've handled your situation, however you came about doing it. I wish my family had your strength.

Carsam

 
Old 06-14-2007, 06:15 PM   #13
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Re: Any advice?

Hi Allie,
Okay, I just read through your update on the Kidney Board...what do I say? WOW!! You are one tough lady. I can not imagine dealing with all those health problems, plus taking care of children, and their health issues, your mom's issues and your grandmothers health. You know we have alot in common, with the exception that I myself am in pretty good health. I hope and pray Allie that your surgery goes well and everything will be successful for you. I know you are worried about your other kidney, that's completely natural. I would like to believe you have suffered enough...and that you will begin a healthier life.

Allie, my family is same as yours.....I also could write a book on what's gone on in the last few years. Since I was married 7 years ago, I have lost three uncles, two of them to cancer and one to a stroke. My mom has dealt with her second occurrence of breast cancer, my husbands grandmother died. And now for the past year my grandmother's dementia has been progressing further and further. Her illness is what it is, but how our family has dealt with it is tragic. People I have felt love for, I now feel "nothing" for.....words have been said that are just so plain cruel. So many people to help, but everyone wants to just live their own lives and deal with it. You know how you remember what your grandfather said to you.....I have the same kind of thing with my grandma. She always used to say "I'm living too long for all of you"....and of course we would say "no, dont talk like that, you're being silly". But who knew when she started to become ill, that for some of her family, this would prove to be true. And the saddest thing is that she is the middle of everything listening to all of her family fighting. I believe 100% that when that "day" comes.....they will all shed those "crocodile tears" but they will move on quickly...because she has been gone from their hearts for a long time now. My mom Allie suffers from depression and this weighs her down so badly. She has flown over back and forth to visit because people who live 5 minutes away can not be bothered. I have cousins who live down the street from my grandmother but see her once a year. Dont they know how lucky they are they have this ability? I would give anything to stop by after work sometimes....but I am an ocean away. Dont they know that one day this will not be an option? They just dont care. It's so infuriating that they say they put their own lives first...but in doing so, they are messing up our lives. This situation consumes us every day. I am trying so hard to distance myself from things....and not let it all affect my husband and my son. But I am very bad for letting these negative situations affect my soul and I've never been good at hiding things. It just sucks Allie......I am an only child but I always at least had my cousins growing up.....and now I have no family my own age. All because people have no compassion. I will drill into my son that if ever I get to an age where I really need to be cared for, that he not do it alone, to get professional help, and if necessary it's okay, to let me go in a nursing home. I used to be afraid of dying....but now I'm afraid of getting old.......

I hope you are feeling well today Allie....you have such a good heart, you deserve to be free of all this pain.....

Peace and blessings Allie,
Carsam

Last edited by mary09; 06-14-2007 at 06:19 PM.

 
Old 06-16-2007, 06:33 PM   #14
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Re: Any advice?

Hey Allie....
Just read your other thread.....so so sorry about all this pain for you.....no wonder I originally met you on the Depression Board. That's where I usually post now.....and sometimes here, and also the Alzheimers and Dementia Board.
Allie...I do not call these people my "family" anymore....I call them my "relatives"....not of course that this is a bad word......alot of people use it, and thats okay. But I have always used the word "family"....and "family" to me are people you can count on, relatives are people who are related to you but that's as far as it goes. So thats what these people mean to me right now.
I'm sorry about your dad, I didnt know you had problems with him.....sounds like a long story.....but you're right, if this is the case....let tomorrow be about your hubby and your memories of your grandfather.....I'm sure he will enter your mind tomorrow but try to remember....he could be there if he wanted...it's not your fault!!!
My grandmother Allie is ill as well and always always talks of dying. She's done that for the last 20 years, but it was always a joke. It's not so funny anymore. But my grandmother is petrified of dying, god bless her. When her dementia gets really bad Allie, she says things like she wants to run out in front of a truck, or she wants to get a knife and stab herself really bad. For the last couple of weeks, she's actually been a little better and they are trying to get her to see a concert tomorrow night....just a singer she used to go see all the time and who she loves. This will be a huge feat if they can get her to go.....I think it would do her the world of good to be able to do something she used to do again.....make her feel alive again. With her dementia, comes major depression......it's just hard to know what to do or say anymore....she's just so pathetic sometimes. And here's this woman who gave birth to 10 children, I couldnt tell you how many grandchildren she has, I've lost count. There are 5 of her kids like your dad, just 15 minutes away....and they may as well be 15 hours away. Sad? Infuriating? Despicable? All of the above......
Would love to keep talking to you Allie....you just tell me where to find you!!!!

I hope you are at least feeling a little better tonight. I am very upset tonight because of something that happened on the Depression Board. Someone we have been posting to has been going through a really hard time and things got to an insane point tonight, I can not get it out of my head. Tonight I feel how real my feelings are for some people here....they have become true friends...and I hurt for them, as I would hurt for anyone in my "physical" life.....

Life is so hard sometimes Allie.......

Carsam

 
Old 06-20-2007, 02:38 PM   #15
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Re: Any advice?

I'm up here in MN with my family. Getting here was a nightmare, but I made it. Forgot to call Ed when I got in, but... Things happen.

I am so scared right now. Mom has decided Assisted Living is too expensive (and it IS) so she's going to move into a wheelchair accessible apartment in the town where I live. I paid the deposit before I left and there is no lease -- just month to month. That all SOUNDS good, but I'm seeing how she really needs someone WITH her... Especially helping her get ready for bed... Her apartment is associated with a rehab center, so maybe there's help available... She said she only uses my brother and I for help because it's there even though she can do everything herself--it just takes much longer...

And DH was backtracking and complaining about how expensive this was becoming for us just before I came so I don't know where he really stands on ANYTHING. And my brother's stuff that I'm taking with to put into storage in Iowa looks like it'll take most if not all the space in the trailer... He's leaving tomorrow instead of Friday. And I'm just a little freaked out and afraid I'm not up to it.

 
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