Throwing in the towel ....?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tender Face, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    OK, enough! I submit.

    I could treat the 'cornflour down the sink' incident at weekend with some semblance of humour ...... whilst I recognised - if she can do that - what else might she do?

    I have seen the direct and indirect effects on my child .... I know the strain too well of juggling job and family and all the time 'being on call' ... I have appreciated all my hubby has done to help support - if it's just 'odd errands' taking down a meal or to drop off her weekly TV guide .... or more importantly supporting me supporting her (including him pouring me the odd glass of Chardonnay without me having to ask! :rolleyes: )

    Today mum hit new heights .... I have long since ignored the lack of appreciation for any efforts - but my hubby had taken a day's leave to be with my son in his school holidays today while I was committed to working a full day ... instead he has spent most of it at my mother's repairing the damage she has done to her kitchen ....

    My son feels neglected and cheated .... my husband was not thanked but berated for 'how long it took him to repair the damage'. The damage SHE had caused - only of course it was nothing to with her :eek: ..... griped about hubby to me later because he had needed to get home at lunchtime to ensure our son (on verge of some maturity and independence but not quite ready yet) was OK ... then felt forced to neglect sonny again to attend to the grandma who can be so cruel to him .....

    How dare she not be the centre of the universe? :mad:

    Well, mum, we are NOT OK. You - or this disease - is systematically ripping us apart ...... the three people who love you most in the world are at each others' throats because we are becoming so exasperated, so tired because we never get a break ..... not even a precious day's leave seems to go to plan - so tired because your needs always take priority ... so tired you are always right and we get it so wrong in spite of all our efforts and our sadness ...... which you have no cognitive awareness of .....

    It cannot go on ....

    I have CPN home assessment coming up next week and still waiting to hear on SSD referral .... I thought I would fight to the death to preserve my mother's supposedly independent living ..... but today - I am not so sure ......

    Tomorrow I may fight another day ...... but for today .... the towel gets thrown in .....

    Sorry to rant.....

    Karen, x
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Karen,
    Sorry it has been one of those days.

    Dare I question why you are determined to maintain mums independence? Is living in isolation better for her than living in a more protected atmosphere. Is it better for you and your family? Think carefully why that independence is so important. Is it a hang over from the past - from days of people 'going round the twist' and 'being put away' - we have a better understanding now.

    How best can you protect your mother and your family and last but not least you?

    Just some thoughts.
    Love Helen
  3. mocha

    mocha Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Lancs, England
    Just a sympathetic ear.

    Dear Karen I feel so sorry for what you are going through.
    I have never been in your position so I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be so undervalued.

    When I saw your header I thought I had got the name wrong because you have always seemed such a strong character.

    Keep your chin up and realize that your son and husband come first now.

    Hoping tomorrow is a better day, I'll be thinking about you

    Love Aileen
  4. MelissaParker

    MelissaParker Registered User

    Aug 11, 2007
    Poor you Karen. Get that hubby of yours to pour you a glass of chardonnay (or 3) right now! Tell them how much you love them (which you most clearly do!), get a good nights sleep and tomorrow you will find the strength from somewhere to face another day!

  5. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    I can remember a time in 2005, when my Mum seemed to be taking over our lives completely. There were numerous trips to the doctor, chemist or shops and endless phone calls at all times of the day and night. We were once called at six o'clock in the morning because Mum had forgotten how to turn off her shower and another time she rang at 11pm on a Friday, to say she was ready to go to Church!
    There seemed to be several falls a week and we had to call out the Ambulance Service a few times. Overnight Mum would forget how to operate the washing machine or suddenly feel too weak to stand up by herself.
    When there is a large family, it might be possible to arrange a rota system of care so that somebody is always available to help out, but I am an only child. When my husband and I both had flu, there was nobody to kep an eye on Mum and she ran out of medication, but there was no way of arranging emergency cover for her.
    When Mum went into a Care Home it was as though a huge burden had been taken from us and I found that I could actually spend time visiting Mum and talking to her, instead of trying to sort out her pills and her household problems.
    She was much happier having lots of people around to look after her and she enjoyed the company the other residents. She became much more focussed and aware of time because of the daily routine.
    I think the three weeks she spent in respite care, after an operation in 2001, also helped her to settle down quickly.
    I hope things are better for you all tomorrow.
  6. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs

    I hate to say this but I wonder whether your Mum is pressing your buttons because she can and knows that you will react? Is it time to stand back a little and arrange for others, professional or otherwise to check on her safety? I understand if you feel that she is not ready for a care home, but could carers come to the house?

    I'm sorry if I have spoken out of turn, but however strong we may feel we should be, sometimes we need to take a little time out to take stock and regather our reserves.

    Now get that fabulous husband of yours to pour the Chardonnay and take a deep breath.
  7. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Hi Karen

    You said: "I thought I would fight to the death to preserve my mother's supposedly independent living ..... but today - I am not so sure ......"

    Helen said: "Is living in isolation better for her than living in a more protected atmosphere. Is it better for you and your family? Think carefully why that independence is so important."

    I say: I know how YOU feel and what Helen said is thought provoking and she has a point.

    You know Karen we are in a similar boat with our mums. I've just got back, tired, upset and like you I feel like throwing in the towel.

    Speak your mind at the CPN assessment! It was only after I got so upset back in April that things started to swing into action because, like you, I'd been trying to do as much as I could for mum. Today, I've had some bad news but I know the CPN team will support us both.

    Chin up girl! Chardonnay, me thinks. In a PINT glass!

  8. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Karen, a good night's sleep works wonders (especially after a couple of glasses of Chardonnay!), but ....... I hope you've made your list of things to say and do today, so that you don't succumb to the temptation of taking yet another deep breath and thinking tomorrow morning that things are not so bad after all, and that you are bound to be able to cope a little longer. Perhaps your saintly husband and almost-mature son could help you with a realistic mid- to long-term plan for your mother?

    I am a complete 'jekyll and hyde' in that respect: when I am at my wit's end after a difficult day, I know just what to say to the CPN at our next meeting - when the time comes, I open the door to her with a big smile on my face and a convincing "we are fine!"
  9. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006

    I and all her neighbours never felt more relieved in our lives than when my Mother was taken in to hospital

    At last she was not a danger to herself or others or the house

    They try clinging to independance and we are daft enough to try and let them when actually we need to admit the disease is beyond normal coping mechanisms and you simply have to let the system take over

    I have spent last few days helping an 80 yr old friend who had a hip replacement 6 days ago ........the day after she came out of hospital her 75 yr old husband had a stroke and the doctor decided not to send him into hospital

    This morning it took my friend 2 hours to manage to get him washed and dressed whilst herself on 2 walking sticks and not supposed to move in certain directions

    She admitted to me that it would be better if he was in hospital , that he barely knew who she was so if she could not visit him did it matter
    She is still exhausted from her own surgery and is supposed to rest

    I look at him and remember my Mother and i know hospital would be the best place

    You know too that your Mother is no longer fit or able to be independant and only by admitting it and saying enough is enough will you end your own turmoil

    No one could have done more than you and no one can blame you for deciding that your life is far more important now
  10. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Just wanted to say thanks .... bit muddled, very weepy .... think I know what I've got to do ... and coping best way I can just now by going off to post in the Poems section ....

    Bless all of you .... everyone one of you has touched some nerve .....

    Karen, x
  11. strawberrywhip

    strawberrywhip Registered User

    Jun 26, 2006
    so sorry to hear how difficult things are getting, just a remider of how hard things were getting at the end with MIL.
    We came home from a visit today (she had been in for 3 weeks now) and although it has not all been smooth sailing we were all just saying how nice it was to just be able to visit and chat to her ..not have any of the awful mind boggling worries and stress ..and endless arguments and accusations when she was at home. It is hard ..but she is so much more relaxed with us now...and the day to day starin has been taken out of her life. Home understands her problems ..they dont get cross with her whereas we were having arguments every day ..and we really are the good cops now......and can enjy each others company again her own muddled way.
    It is not throwing in the towel...just looking at how great her needs are and that it is getting increasingly difficult to meet them at home.
    Thinking of you ...
  12. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Kaz

    Sorry you are having such an awful time.

    If I can give you just one bit of advice, have plan 'B' ready in the wings for 'come the day'.

    Just when you think you have sorted the current crisis, up pops another one. You also know I wish (hindsight being a wonderful thing) that we had moved mum into the NH sooner, but we tend to think, keep them home at all costs because its the right thing to do. Is it?

    To use two quotes from one of mums fav films, Gone With the Wind:

    "Tomorrow is another day"

    or my fav quote from the same film

    "Quite frankly my dear, I dont give a dam"...........sometimes it helps!!

    Cate xxx
  13. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    It sounds like you are at a crossroads. You've been given some excellent advice so now I'll throw my 2 cents in.

    It sounds to me like your mother is getting to the point where she requires more care than you (or any other person:) ) is capable of giving. You need to think of yourself, your husband and your son. It will not be a betrayal to find a care home, it will be keeping her safe and sound.

    It certainly doesn't make you a bad daughter because if it does, then I'm one of the most evil daughters around, as Mum went into care 6 years ago.

    Sometimes it's much harder to admit that you are not Wonder Woman and let go.

  14. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Dear Karen,

    As the TP's "Wonder Woman" :)rolleyes:) can I just say that I think Cate's "Plan B" is such good advice. Going to visit some care homes and thinking "just in case" helped me through it with Dad. No one really wants their Mum or Dad in a care home of course, but when the point comes I think we all know it deep down, it's then a question of admitting it to ourselves. Once I had done that I was more able to get on and make the best of it.

    Thinking of you and sending {{hugs}}
  15. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    Karen, I have to second Amys posting. Why is it so important to remain independant at home. We sometimes have a mind set that this is the way it has to be.. It may be difficult to adjust to but surely it is better for all. Your mum would be safe, have company and care. You as a family would be happier and more tolerant of mum.
    just my view of your circumstances
  16. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Hope you are feeling ok this morning. Felt this quote was right - from all your posts to other people I know you have the 'wisdom'.

    There is little point in adding to all the wise previous posts. I feel your priority should be your wonderful husband (gosh wish mine was still capable of pouring me a glass or two or three) and of course your son. In doing that you will be happy yourself which in turn is what your Mother would truly want given normal health.

    Thinking about you - it is a difficult time but it will work out.
  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I so know how you feel , I use to have those day

    and it won't get any better , so you do really needs those breaks

    That sounds good talk to CPN on your own before visit , what is SSD
  18. Lonestray

    Lonestray Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    Karen, I'll start with the oft quoted phrase, everyone is different, loved one, carer, and circumstances. As a daughter you'll know your Mom best. Confronted with your situation I'd be asking myself: "Was she always a difficult person to get on with? Was she the kind of person who'd want her children to get on with their lives and be happy spending precious time with their family, just as she did with her children?
    If she's regressed to the stage of the child throwing tantrums, then I'd be inclined to treat her as a child, I've done and do with Jean. The rolls are reversed I'd put your child and husband first, your time is now to enjoy.
    It's now a case of tough love with your Mom, it will hurt I'm sure but once you take control from her, you'll find your best suited to deal firmly with tantrums in your own way. How did she deal with you when young ask yourself.

    Think and stay in NOW, expect the unexpected and hope for the best. From the bottom of my heart I wish you well. Hang in there you'll surprise yourself when you look back. Padraig
  19. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Hi Karen

    I'm sorry you're having a rough time.

    I really don't know how you cope....looking after mum, working and looking after your family too!!!

    I think you know you must put yourself and your family first......just as i did when i was looking after mum:)rolleyes: :confused: ). You just can't keep this up for ever ....something will have to you know my own family life has suffered drastically.....please please don't let it get to that stage. you won't be any good to your lovely hubby and son if you are continually run ragged.

    i agree with Helen(though I resisted her advice when mum was alive:eek: )....perhaps now is the time to start looking for alternative care.

    Love and take care
    Wendy xxxxxx
  20. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Down but not quite out!

    Because inside this middle-aged body lurks the compliant child who is still trying to please her mummy. :(

    On the 'good days' (thinks positively :) , yes, we do have some of them too) mum can be overwhelmingly appreciative ..... one of her favourite sayings at those times, "If it wasn't for you, I'd be in a home by now." I might be able to think logically (at times) about the benefits (for everyone involved) but until HER perception changes ....or any element of choice is removed from us .......

    Lonestray, your perception of the 'control element' in this relationship - is, well, nothing more than I'd expect from you ;) - Sue was nearly right about 'pressing buttons' - only mum has long had the knack of banging on mine with some force!:rolleyes:

    I just can't refer to everyone's response individually here but want to thank everyone for helping me getting a lot of thoughts straightened out - absolutely brilliant advice and help everyone. Usual guilty conscience made me ask myself today is it because I CAN'T cope or is it because I don't WANT to? ...... well, I do want to ... but maybe my first self-admission is that I want other things too and have to admit I can't balance everyone's needs, wants and wishes - and certainly not my own if I try to carry on as I have been ....

    You all saw that left hook coming, didntcha? :p Completely threw me off balance ..... Oh well, I feel like I've been patched up, sponged down and ready to come out of the corner again - even if a little battered and bruised - to go the next round ...... only not without help ...... I promise ...

    Much love and thanks, Karen, x

    BTW, Mocha, I may come across as strong but I'm really very squidgy on the inside! :D

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