1. artyfarty

    artyfarty Registered User

    Oct 30, 2009
    267
    London
    I am caring for my mum who has Altzheimers. It's just me and her at home and I have three siblings who are conspicuous by their absence.

    I work three days a week and I am trying to establish a self employed business as well. Just lately this has meant that I have been working almost every day. When I get home I have to deal with my mum who now cannot cook for herself, deal with financial issues, get to appointments on her own... Well you'll know how it is. The last few months she has also been getting up in the mornings and immediately getting upset crying because she can't remember what day it is (despite the giant clock which tells her on the wall). I find it very difficult to leave the house when she is in a state and I've started being late for work regularly though they have been very understanding.

    My boyfriend is great but he lives 40 miles away and we get to see each other only occasionally.

    I bought my mum one of those tablet dispensers with an alarm on it and she managed to rip the battery compartment cover off in a vain attempt to open it. This evening she handed it to me as I walked through the door saying that it doesn't work any more (no **** Sherlock I thought). Anyway, this has sent me over the edge this evening.

    I was a single parent for 15 years and happily my daughter is independent and settled in her life. I did a great job! But now she has left home just as my mum needs care. All those 15 years I was looking forward to being able to have some freedom to establish my art practice and have a life of my own but I now have, what I am afraid I can only see as this burden.

    I don't want to talk to any of my siblings, my friends or my boyfriend about this as they make sympathetic noises but they don't really know what it's like. You lot know what it's like. By posting on here I sort of feel that I'm not alone and that I know there are others out there who will know how I feel.

    I'm sorry - I guess I am feeling sorry for myself today and needed an outlet. I've tried chocolate and smoking already and they haven't helped. I keep eyeing the gin bottle but as I am working tomorrow perhaps it's not the best idea!
     
  2. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Well done for staying off the gin ;)

    I'm not really in the same position as you, because I'm not my mam's carer, but I couldn't pass by while you are feeling so alone. Frankly I think you're entitled to feel a bit sorry for yourself, I know that I simply couldn't do what you are doing, so you deserve a big pat on the back; sounds to me like you're doing great, but do remember that you don't have to be perfect!

    Keep posting, I hope things feel a bit better tomorrow x
     
  3. geordie

    geordie Registered User

    May 11, 2010
    108
    Maybe a small gin!?
    I recognise your situation and emotions - to a large extent been there - but we are now at a different phase - I suppose to a large extent we operate on auto pilot - if we analyse our situations more - it can become unbearable - one day at a time ..........keep venting /sharing on here ...
     
  4. artyfarty

    artyfarty Registered User

    Oct 30, 2009
    267
    London
    Thank you both. Having re-read my post I feel a bit embarrassed! You just go through these really bleak periods where you feel so sorry for yourself it's almost unbearable. Since posting I have polished off the chocolate and my boyfriend rang and really didn't seem to mind me venting to him either (well he gave a good impression anyway!) and reading your posts have all made me feel a lot better. Chin up, soldier on!
     
  5. annie h

    annie h Registered User

    Jun 1, 2013
    148
    Completely agree with the sibling thing - my siblings never visit so just don't understand the issues if I do try to consult them. It's so frustrating. You talk to them about it and you think they're being helpful and then they say something that just makes it abundantly clear that they have no comprehension at all and it was a waste of time trying to talk to them about it. Trouble is that unless you've seen dementia at first hand it's impossible to comprehend it.
    Geordie's right about phases though. I went through your sort of experience in the last year or so and in the last few months had to give up the uneven battle and can look back on that time more rationally. Seeing Mum in a NH has its own problems but at least the full-on 24 hour stress isn't there any more.
    Could your daughter just help out for the odd couple of days now and again so you can have an occasional weekend away knowing your mother is safe? It's so draining having the responsibility day after day and a bit of down time might help you to have more energy to achieve your ambitions.
     
  6. pippop1

    pippop1 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2013
    501
    I can sympathise with the timing aspect of it. Our 2nd son of two has just graduated and has a job to start in September (amazing!). My MIL seems to have deteriorated recently (incident a few days after son's graduation). Great.
     
  7. lilysmybabypup

    lilysmybabypup Registered User

    May 21, 2012
    1,263
    Sydney, Australia
    Oh dear, do not ever say you're over the top. I do that too, weep and wail and moan because I'm simply out of energy or overwhelmed. Then I go back and think, geez, what a drama queen, so many others here are much worse off than me. But it's the good thing about TP, the only one who judges us is ourselves.
    Want to say more but have stuff to do, will be back to say, forgive yourself, it's all normal to feel that way.

    Stephanie, xxz
     
  8. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,835
    Sidcup
    Artyfarty

    I look after my MIL and there is nothing easy about it. I have posted in despair on this forum and cried endlessly and it has helped me. Also the fact that others are in the same position DOES weirdly helps me

    Please keep posting. Keep sounding off. Keep communicating with us. We are here to support you. We are here to listen to you. We are with you all the way. We understand. There is nothing you put on here that will sound awful.

    Thinking of you loads and hugs xx
     
  9. wetnosewheatie

    wetnosewheatie Registered User

    Jun 5, 2012
    59
    Merseyside
    You are not alone and we all have some sort of journey travelled. Feel free to vent in this forum as there are some amazing motivators on here and even some humour in the darkest circumstance. I'm an only child and wish I had siblings but maybe it's an added complication. On a practical level do you have poa for your mum so you are able to take control if necessary?
     
  10. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Absolutely no need to feel embarrassed, things just get us down sometimes - often ? - and it's such a sad situation to be in, and you are doing such a difficult, demanding and soul destroying job.

    I've lost count now of how many times I've been distressed over the 'loss' of my mam, and my worries over my dad.

    TP is a good place to let it all out, and we all understand.
     
  11. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    252
    Could you get your mum to go to a day centre once or twice a week? At least you would have 2 days when you can get on with work knowing she is being looked after? My dad went to an age concern one for people with dementia. It was £40 a day which we paid out of his attendance allowance. You can also get people from alzheimers society to go and sit with her for a few hours on set days so she has a bit of company.
    If your siblings live fairly near by you must tell them you need help. Could they not have her 1 day each a week or for a whole weekend once a month. I know if someone else is doing it all siblings tend to stick their head in the sand. Spell it out warts and all if they don't help then at least you have tried and they will have to live with their conscience.
     
  12. sarahp

    sarahp Registered User

    Feb 23, 2013
    110
    I was feeling so stressed and alone today and this helped me

    Sometimes also you don't realise how stressed you actually are until you read something like this and all of a sudden your in tears. I also berate myself for having a bad day and tell myself what a bad person I am for feeling like I can't cope with looking after my mum today. Mum was diagnosed with alzheimers about 5 years ago but suffered for a lot longer. She was only in her early 60's and although I never actually said I will look after you! I have slipped into the role of mums carer, I suppose by being the closest person to her. I had to give up work in 2011 which I miss dreadfully, and my mum now lives with me. sometimes I feel like my chances of a career are over and my life is on hold and feeling like in my late 30's any prospects I have are gone. I then feel so selfish for feeling like that. But then I look at my mum and she is so vulnerable and is very thankfull for us looking after her, she has just this minute got up to stroke my face and tell me I'm beautiful mwah, she always tells me she loves me about 15 times a day whereas pre alzheimers she hardly said it! we have in some ways a better relationship than we used to have. Mum has deteriorated in front of my eyes and I've lost the old mum a long time ago, I have to remind myself of that so the alzheimers doesn't define who they where! I get no help from anyone apart from my partner who is so understanding and so very good but he works full time so i hate burdening him with my woes so instead im going to burden you all lol. I have a brother and a sister but my beother doesnt live near. and my other sibling all I can say is she has made dealing with my mums alzheimers unbearable at times. In fact I would say that has been the hardest part dealing with the people that don't have the alzheimers and find that the disease shows up the monsters around. When mum was starting to have memory problems she was living abroad and decided to move back home and move to be near me so I could help her. Prior to that I moved away to get away from my sibling who then followed because she said she wanted to be near mum. I got very ill because I had neglected my own health and ended up in hospital in intensive care with my diabetes. She said she would look after mum. To cut a long laborious Story short she had mum in bits and very upset and always does, turned round and said she can't do it anymore and isn't doing my dirty work again! My dirty work!! Anyway that's another story and just a tip of the iceberg. My mum is a lot more settled here with me and I cannot bear the thought of putting her into care. I also have tried day centre once but they rang me 15 mins later asking me to pick her up because she has her coat on and keeps trying to get out!!! I have carefully considered respite but feel like that would be more stressful than actually looking after her, I have some issue that makes it hard for me to leave her almost like leaving your child at school for the first day, I would not be able to relax anyway. Omg I have just looked back and all of a sudden I've written war and peace. I had better stop it here haha. Thanks for listening to me bang on and sorry I seam to have stolen your post, I was trying to say don't be hard on yourself we all have bad days but it is worth it in the end. Xxxx
     
  13. artyfarty

    artyfarty Registered User

    Oct 30, 2009
    267
    London
    Wow - first of all can I say you guys are amazing. You all KNOW which is so very comforting. I've always rejected the idea of support groups (don't have time etc) but this forum in some ways is so much better. We are able to really say what and how we feel. I cannot possibly imagine saying this sort of thing to a bunch of strangers face to face and receiving the sort of response you have all given. Being an arty sort with facial piercings I am used to people judging me before I open my mouth. Here I can open my mouth and you don't judge or preach. Just give me exactly what I need - compassion and support.

    Annie h and others - the siblings thing - I've got three. One who's great but lives 200 miles away. One whose a lot younger than me (15 years) and as our dad died when she was 4 has only ever had mum as her parent. I think she can't bear to see mum the way she is now and that's why we don't see her much. The other one - my brother. Well what can I say? My daughter moved into his house three months ago as she was finding it difficult coping with her nan. Today he has kicked her out as she didnt do the housework he demanded (because she was doing her college work). He's quite a blokey sort and not given to compassion or understanding. I thought my daughter was settled at his place and things were working but well, seems not. Looks like I'm not going to be so alone after all as she'll be moving back in with me and mum for the time being. Don't know if I should feel pleased she's home or sorry thats she's got to live with her nan again!

    Sarahp - a message just for you. Please don't think your chances of a career are gone. I have trained on and off over the last three years as a stained glass maker. I'm 45 and I am slowly establishing a career for myself. Of course things would be quicker and easier if I didn't have my mum to think about but slow as its been it is happening. The fab world of the Internet means you can do online courses or just get yourself up to speed on a subject that interests you. When I started with glass I was just doing an evening class for fun. I could never have imagined it would lead to where I am now. It's never too late - it really isn't!
     
  14. Vicky C

    Vicky C Registered User

    Jun 23, 2013
    19
    Ireland
    Hi Artyfarty,

    Wow, your situation is incredibly close to my own. I too was a single parent for years, and just as my 18 year old finished school and moved out (another tale of woe, but I'll try to stay on track here!), my mother's needs seemed to step very neatly into the space previously occupied by my son's. The corner of my bedroom where we had kept much of the gear for managing my son's medical condition was suddenly taken up with Mom's various boxes of tablets etc as I became aware that she hadn't been coping with them. The money spent on extra lessons for my son before his exams was, literally the next week, diverted to dealing with debts I'd only become aware that Mom wasn't addressing (due to her inability to cope with paperwork etc etc).

    Sometimes I wonder if the timing was coincidence or if I just hadn't been paying her enough attention when I was dealing with a very rebellious teenager. Regardless, we are where we are (as the politicians keep telling us when they're trying to fob us off ;))

    Unlike you, I have no siblings, but it sounds like it comes down to pretty much the same thing on a day to day level really...
     
  15. sarahp

    sarahp Registered User

    Feb 23, 2013
    110
    Hi arty

    Thanks arty your right I am fortunate in the fact that I have my other half who is supportive, and fortunate that I don't have to think about children, can't imagine having to juggle that aswell!! So i might have a look at night school. Good luck with your stained glass sounds lovely :) xx
     
  16. Lainey 127

    Lainey 127 Registered User

    Nov 25, 2012
    216
    Liverpool UK
    Hey there,
    Not much to add but just wanted to say that you're not alone, we're all more or less in the same boat on this message board. I often feel just the same way, alone, tired to exaustion point, emotional and frustrated beyond words but then I read the posts on here from all the amazing carers out there and I don"t feel quiye so isolated any more.
    Hope tomorrow is a better day for you :)
     
  17. glennie

    glennie Registered User

    May 19, 2013
    17
    DUMFRIES, SCOTLAND
    Have just joined this wonderful site, I care for my hubby and like you felt so desparate at times, I live out in the sticks and see no one for days on end. Hubby will not go to the day centre to give me a break. Sometimes I truly have forgotten who the real me is any more. But as I have said in an early Thread, I do admire you young folk who have had to take on such a tremendous task. I have been married for 63 years, and have that to fall back on, and thank god for that every day. Like you I felt so guilty at being so sorry for myself, weeping..mind I haven't been tempted to that tot of gin...BUT my cigarette lighter has been working overtime!!! When all this started with my hubby..it was One Day at a Time....now it is 1 hour at a time. So if you feel like a weep, you do I find it takes some of the stress away. Someone quoted. .You have to laugh or you would cry... I am afraid some days the crying takes over...Keep looking for tomorrow to be a good day. Take Care glennie
     
  18. stillcaring

    stillcaring Registered User

    Sep 4, 2011
    215
    Hi SarahP,

    Just wanted to agree that you are not too old! I'm a newly qualified teacher - so what you ask - but I'm going to be 50 next year, and have managed to train part time while caring for my mum who has AD. Before that I cared for my aunt as well and couldn't have done it, but I got to a point where my children were getting a bit more independent and I was able to do something I'd wanted to do for years, so don't give up hope!
     
  19. sarahp

    sarahp Registered User

    Feb 23, 2013
    110
    Hi still caring

    Hi all, your all so inspirational! Thanks guys, so glad I have joined this forum, although I have just re looked at me post and realised I garbled on somewhat, think I was overwhelmed to have found this support and started venting haha sorry guys :) xx
     
  20. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,835
    Sidcup
    Your post was appropriate and that is what we are all here for. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed and this forum is marvellous isn't it?

    Keep posting please xxx
     

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