Caring For Your Parent/Spouse/Relative/Friend or Other Loved One Thread

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by Baymule, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is for all the people that are caring for their loved ones. Come here to share your triumphs, sorrows, happy stories, frustrations and greif. Being a caregiver under the best of circumstances can be a joy, under the worst circumstances, it can be unbearable. Come here when you have a fantastic day and share it with us. Also come here when you have a terrible day and tell us all about it. This is your place to laugh, cry, get angry and get over it.

    I'll start off. My mother was 89 in March. She had a stroke in March. Until she had a stroke, she lived alone, drove anywhere she wanted to and was on her computer daily. She wrote a weekly newsletter and sent it out to her school buddies, some of which she started kindergarden with. How cool is that?

    Then a stroke hit her. She was paralyzed for a few days on her right side. She couldn't walk, feed herself, or do anything by herself. Several days in the hospital, then she was sent to a nursing home for rehab and physical therapy. I took her to the nursing home and she blamed me and was angry at me for her being there. Sigh......

    My DH told me to quit my job and take care of my mother. Thank the Dear Lord that we were in a position for me to be able to do that, although I miss working and I really miss making money to contribute to the household.

    Mom went through therapy and made rapid improvement. She went to therapy every day and usually beat the therapists to their office every morning. I went to the home 2-3 times a day. She couldn't go outside by herself, so I would take her out and if nothing else, just sit outside for an hour or two. Sometimes I pushed her around the building. It was a nice place, the staff was wonderful, but it was like a prison with velvet bars for her. She was independant, proud, EXTREMELY private, and it all was stripped from her. I desperately wanted her to have her life back. I always went at supper time because she wanted a salad that was provided, but placed on a buffet, and she couldn't get it for herself. Sometimes the staff asked the residents if they wanted soup or salad, most of the time they didn't. Some of the residents had a salad yesterday, but didn't know they could have one today. How sad.

    Finally she was allowed to go home, but only because I said I would stay with her. This was hard on me and my husband. I took Mom to my house every afternoon so I could cook supper for her, my DH and me. She complained every day when I told her it was time to go to my house. I had to grit my teeth to keep from tearing her little ungrateful head off. After supper, I got to spend maybe an hour with my husband before Mom got up and started for the door. I ordered her a Life Alert and when it came in, I could finally go home. She was using a walker, getting up and going to the bathroom by herself and I had installed grab bars in her shower so she could bathe. Within a week, she fell and fractured her pelvis. This time, I told her that she was going to have to stay with me. I just couldn't do another 6 weeks of staying with her. She didn't like it, but it just had to be that way.

    To this day, she denies ever falling and fracturing her pelvis, she gets all kinds of angry when I tell anyone about it. I was up and down all night taking her to the bathroom and never got much sleep for weeks. I was a zombie. And the really crappy part was both of our bathroom doors are 24" and a wheelchair wouldn't go through them. So I parked her walker in the bathroom, it has a seat in it, and I would wheel her up to the door, lift her up, spin her around and seat her in the walker. Then I took her off the walker and placed her on the toilet. When she was finished, we reversed the process to get her back in the wheel chair.

    Finally she was able to go home. I went and got her every afternoon so she could eat with us. I was NOT letting her drive! I also went to her house every morning to check on her and make sure that she ate breakfast and lunch. My DH kept telling her to move in with us and she decided she would do that. She listed her house on August 6, and it sold August 13. They wanted her out by August 31. I kicked it into high gear and with the help of my sister and SIL, we got it done. On August 18, the family came and carted off what they wanted and on August 25 we had a garage sale. I handed the keys to the buyers on August 27. At the same time, we had workmen in our house ripping apart the master bedroom and putting it back together. They tiled the bathroom and shower. They jackhammered the shower floor so it was a depression so Mom wouldn't have to step over the hump that had been there, they painted, textured, put in a 30" door (her walker would fit through) laid new flooring and trim.

    So now Mom lives with us. I still don't let her drive. She has dug the keys out of my purse several times and taken off to prove that she can drive, but even she admits she has slow reflexes. Her license renews in March and she is bound and determined that she will pass her exam and driving test so she can drive again. There are parts of her mind that just aren't there anymore. She cannot operate her computer anymore. her mind wanders and sometimes she doesn't know where she is. Then at other times she is sharper that a double pointed tack. She argues with me when I give her medicine at night and doesn't want to take it. She is just fine with her morning meds.....go figure.

    I am basically under house arrest. I leave to go feed my horses but I am only gone about 30 minutes. I have no time to ride them and it breaks my heart. She tells me I should get rid of them because I don't do anything with them. This is when I want to go beat my head on the wall......the reason I don't ride is because I can't leave her alone for that long. She thinks she is just fine and doesn't need anyone to watch her. I have gotten real busy in my garden and made a few more new beds. My garden is in the front yard because that is where I get sunshine. My chickens are in the backyard and I have been working on a hoop-coop run 12'x8' so I can.......... whatelse??? GET MORE CHICKENS!! I am trying to make the most of my situation by staying busy with what I have. I almost wish I could lay on the couch and watch daytime TV, so I wouldn't go nuts with inactativity.

    On the plus side, Mom loves the dogs. That is a good thing because we have 3, a Great Pyrenees named Paris (outside only) a big black Lab/Great Dane named Parker that adores her, and an Aussie named Polly. The Aussie and GP both "own" me, are insanely jealous of each other and will fight to the death if the Aussie goes in the back yard. So Polly is a house dog and gets to go in the front yard. All 3 dogs are very protective of her.

    Mom has made real progress, but will never live alone again. I had a laptop refurbished for her, but she clicks on everything that says click here and she doesn't understand. She also digs into the guts of the operational system and I have to try to get it back together. She was once a whiz on the computer and now just can't do it anymore. She is addicted to Fox News and can't hear even with her hearing aids and blasts the walls down. Thank you Lord that she has her own TV in her room! We go to church, WalMart, the doctors, the grocery store and now she is able to go walk the 1/2 mile trail (concreted like a sidewalk) in the city park, using her walker. (it's on 8" wheels and really scoots) She sits in the front yard and watches me work in the garden and is impressed by what I raise. She delights in taking Polly and Parker in the front yard and watching them play. We take it day by day.

    OK, there is my story, now what's yours?? Who are you caring for? What are your high days and low days? Are they living with you, you living with them, are you able to check in on them daily or are they in a home or hospital? Let's all be here for each other. Until it happens to you, you never realize just what it takes to take on the responsibility of caring for someone.
     
  2. oldrooster

    oldrooster One Crazy Nut

    Thank you for taking care of your mom, the computer needs the children's type of computer controls and you need to set the computer up for you to have administrative controls and not allow her account to have permissions ask at church or a friend who is knowledgeable about computers on how to do this it can be done with just a little time and hopefully if you find a friend they will do it for a payment of dinner. I am not a computer person but I know it can be done and I can barely do that on my computer but to tell you how to do that on hers is beyond my capability.
     
  3. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens

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    1:30 in the morning and I'm just getting home.
    Be back at my parents in a few hours.

    Hospice was in...they say Dad has only a very few
    days left now.

    It's been a long hard year.

    But if this has got to be... I'm glad that I've been able to be
    there for my mom and dad. If I've got any regrets, it's that
    I wish my dad didn't have to suffer.

    Hospice weighted him yesterday...they're coming every day
    now...Dad is down to a mere 98 pounds. The cancer has ate
    him up.

    He can't even get out of bed now, unless I pick him up...take
    him to the couch. Hospice brought him a hospital bed. He's in
    the living room now.

    During the day I'm either right with him or at the most, mere
    seconds away. Even when I come home to sleep I sleep with
    my phone at hand.

    I can be there in hurry.
     
  4. newfoundland

    newfoundland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do so sympathise with everyone here. I cared for both my parents and there were many times when I felt pulled all ways as i also had a young family. My parents living with us made things easier for me as i could juggle the care of children and the elderly. My husband then worked part time and so did I and we shared the care although he would always insist he did nothing really. Just knowing that he was in the house when I wasn't made all the difference. I was sometimes less than patient and talked to my mum in a tone that I bitterly regretted later. Mostly I realised that they had been wonderful parents who gave of their very best for us and it was a privilige to be able to return some of that love and care. To anyone who is going through this now I say, when the times comes to part you will be at peace with yourself knowing you have done your best for them. God bless.
     
  5. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've had a great weekend, had our 5 year old grand daughter. My Mom enjoyed her so much. We went to the city park Saturday afternoon, even took the dog Polly, and us 3 "girls" walked the trail with the dog. It was a lot of fun. Our granddaughter helped me on the coop hoop run that I am adding onto the chicken coop. I turned her loose with paint and she painted a row of flowers on the back of the coop and stick people on the nest box. Her stick people have 3 legs and no arms. My Mom sat outside with us several times enjoying the sunshine and watching us work on the coop. We went out to eat after church to Mom's favorite Mexican restaurant and she chowed down. Mom dropped down to 82 pounds when she was in the nursing home and I have her back up to 95 pounds. For such a tiny little woman, she sure can pack away the groceries!

    [​IMG]


    Paris (GP) and Parker adore Mom, I have to watch them that they don't knock her down with "love"!!!! The benches are kept on top of the table because Parker found the corners irrestible and knawed on them like a hungry beaver. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Spookwriter, I am so sorry about your Dad. My Daddy died of bone cancer and was bedridden for the last year of his life. It was terrible to watch him die a little each day. Finally he was gone and it came as a blessing for his sake. My heart goes out to you as you and your family try to make your Dad's last days the best that you can. [​IMG]
     
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    [​IMG] to everyone who had to care for their elderly parents and in laws.........it is a thankless job but they will thank you one day!
     
  8. Chick N Haus

    Chick N Haus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took care of my mother from the time she turned 88 and had a small stroke until her death at age 95. She lived with me full time and towards the end I thought I would have to quit my part time job, but with help from DH managed to make it all work. I did go from full time to part time. It for sure wasn't easy, but worthwhile. This thread is a good idea. Lord knows I could have used some support. It is hard to see your parents lose their ability to be independent, even harder to watch the top generation die. I am an only child with no cousins, so there is no one in my generation for support and now I am at the top of that chain in my family. Even though it is difficult, I think it is important for families to love and take care of each other and for all of us to look out for our neighbors as well.
     
  9. newfoundland

    newfoundland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What lovely pictures! It is wonderful for the elderly to have contact with little children, I remember with love my own grandmother, still think of often, bake her recipes and remember her wise words even though she passed away 47 years ago. Interestingly since dabbling in family history I have found that my grandmother was raised by her Scottish grandparents and the recipes I have so frequently cooked down the years, thinking they were traditional English recipes, as my grandmother lived in Manchester, are in fact Scottish! Also the cradle songs sung to me and sung by me to my children and grandchildren are also Scottish. My grandchildren are 7 generations away from that Scottish grandmother but still enjoy her recipes and know her cradle songs. Amazing isn't it?
     
  10. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Thanksgiving turned out to be The Griswold's Family Holiday Vacation. Only thing missing was Chevy Chase. [​IMG] We usually all congregate at my sister's house, but this year my DD and DSIL wanted to have a holiday celebration at their own home. They bought a house last year and just wanted a holiday dinner at their home. So we went to their house. It is 3 hours away, there is no where to sleep, I share a twin bed with our 5 year old grand daughter, Mom sleeps on the couch and DH sleeps in an easy chair. The house is 2 story and Mom can't make it upstairs. We left early Thanksgiving morning. We made arrangements for someone to feed the dogs and chickens. Our neighbors that live next to our land where the horses live (we don't, we live in town [​IMG] ) agreed to feed them while we were gone. We took one dog with us, Polly. So we set out. So far, so good. We arrived, visited and had dinner. Nice day.DD and I got up Friday morning aand went shopping. Had fun and it was nice to have a little time gether. Friday afternoon we decided to go see the movie, Wreck It Ralph, and that's when things went south.

    About 20 minutes into the movie, Mom got sick and threw up. She wanted to go to the lobby, so I got up, she stood up, took a few steps and collapsed. My DSIL jumped up and grabbed her other side and we eased her into a seat. Her eyes rolled back in her head. She looked dead. She looked like she was having another stroke or heart attack. DSIL ran to call 911. Mom sorta came to, gagging and gasping for breath, DH was patting her on the back, and she threw up like a volcano spouting off. Durned if I know where it all came from. The manager stopped the movie, two nurses in the audience identified themselves and came forward to help, the first responders got there, followed by the EMT's. On the guerney, in the lobby, Mom refused to go to the hospital. Visions of us traveling back home, in the middle of nowhere, miles from a hospital, and Mom having another stroke, were dancing in my head. I convinced her to go to the hospital and get checked out.

    At the hospital, they admitted her for tests and observation. Me? I got a bony finger waggled in my face and told, "This is all your fault." Sigh...... howcome she never blames anybody else......like the dog maybe? We wanted to go home Saturday, but the hospital liked her enough to keep her another night. The upshot of it was that she didn't have a stroke, she didn't have a heart attack, she threw up for whatever reason and that drained blood away from her brain. When she stood up, that drained more blood from her head and she passed out. she was dehydrated from all the vomiting and they pumped her full with an IV.

    Anybody ever check out of a hospital? Yeah, you might be going home, but just exactly when is the doctor going to sign release papers? I finally found the doctor Saturday night and explained to him that we were from out of town, were traveling with a dog and didn't want to come to the hospital and wait for hours with the dog in the truck, or one of us sitting in the parking lot with the dog. Turns out the good doctor has two Anatolian Shepherds, one Great Pyrenees and two Rottweilers. He also raises Boer goats and has llamas. We immediately hit it off and conversed for a half hour before I even asked about Mom. [​IMG] He was going to be off the next day, but left detailed instructions to release Mom early and told the nurse on duty that I would be calling to confirm her release and to help me get Mom checked out. At 9:00 AM Sunday morning, I called and Mom was being released right then. We said our goodbyes to our kids and left. DH stayed in the truck with Polly while I went up to get Mom dressed and spring her from the hospital. Then we headed for home. Mom took a shower when we got home and I took her to church that night.
     

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