Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mother Care-- a ride and lunch

This is going to be the start of some writing that is necessary for me. I will head all my writings as mother care , so if in the future you would want to skip these segments, I wouldn't blame you.

I am caring for my elderly mother. She is 85 and quite overweight and extremely out of shape. She is also in the throws of dementia. All in all, it is difficult mentally and physically for me and I need to vent as well as document some of the things I am learning, because I am sure that as I am much like my mother, I will be experiencing the same things she does. Hopefully I will be as fortunate as she is to have family take care of me. I don't have biological children so I don't know where I will be if I reach the state my Mom is in. Let it be said here and now, I would not blame any of my family for putting me in a home where people are trained for this kind of care. That being said, I also hope I never have to experience the care of someone who does not love me.

We went for a ride today up the Parkway. Getting my mother in and out of the H2 is a problem. She can barely lift her foot up to a stool, then on to the rail and up into the floorboards. Once she does she falls into the seat and cannot lift her own butt with her legs and arms, to get properly into the seat. Then we have to stretch the belt full out, and I have to get into the back seat and buckle her in. She rides in the front at all times, since she doesn't fit in the back. Every time there is a stop to be made, the same procedure begins anew. After a day of riding and stopping , I am more exhausted than she. Today she made the comment,"Gee's, its like having a 200 pound baby to care for, huh?".
I couldn't have said it any better.
The problem is, with a baby, you can do what you please. With mother, she still has a say. She can be quite snippy. We took a short walk down to the pond at the Peaks of Otter. I am trying to get her to move. I thought the walk would be nice, it was such a pretty day. She was huffing and puffing after a short way, and stopped and said ,"Is this the way to the truck?"
I said no, its back there, I thought we'd have a walk and set out there by the water for a bit.
She went on and then before the benches, she said,"Are we going to sit there? There aren't any backs on those."
I said, I thought we just sit a bit, and then go back, is that ok?
She said,"Well, I guess it will have to be, won't it."

Lunch was at Dairy Queen, because the bathroom is accessible, and she can eat the bland food. Plus she wants icecream. Just try saying no to her.
There are times when she is like my mother used to be, but thats not often. Most times its all about her.
There will be segments on bathroom tatics, and the tissue and papertowel thing. She reminds me of a bird I had that was mating. It tore bits of paper and stuffed them in its feathers. My mother does this. When you remove her clothing, peices of paper fall out from everywhere.

Everything is explained, only to be re-explained again and again and again. Repetion seems to be her only foothold on life, and even that is slippery. The groveling bothers me alot. When I go in to wake her and get her to the bathroom, she kisses my hand and says, "I love you so much."
Usually thats when she is very wet and needs cleaning up, like a child who has done something wrong and diffusses his mother's wrath by saying, I love you Mommy. It makes me very sad when she does that. Maybe shes thinking back to when I wet the bed and she would yell at me.

Well, thanks for letting me vent. I think this will help me through these next months, and if I help just one person who has become their parents 'parent', then great. If not, I feel better, anyway!



Becky Mushko said...

I've been there and done that, so I know what you're going through.

When my mother wasn't sure how to get dressed, I printed out the order and taped it to the mirror.

Eventually, I printed out lots of other "rules" in large font and taped them where she could see them. It helped a little.

Amy Tate said...

I'm glad you can write and get this out. Young mothers do this with babies, so you shouldn't feel guilty about any of your feelings. I know that one day I'll be here, and I've got friends going through it now. You are a precious daughter, Miss Claudia.

Claudia Condiff said...

Thank you Amy for your support and Becky too,I appreciate the input. I'm afraid my mother wouldn't remember to look at the list!!

kim said...

Oh My Dear Claudia! You are such a good soul! It is very difficult to care for a loved one when they are in such dyer need. I feel for you so strongly, please call me anytime you want to talk and vent! I understand oh too well, but please keep in mind that This too shall pass. Love, Me. Hang in there girl!

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union hall, S.W.Virginia, United States
Newly retired from Franklin County Public Schools.Prior to that I was a cosmetologist for several years.