I'll think about working out tomorrow.....
Saturday, September 07, 2013
Maybe a 30 second drive to the nursing home was a bad idea. Been coming and going more often during the day and emotionally exhausted when I am at home and 'shutting down' in everyway especially physically in between visits. No clue how to handle this phase of life.
Hubs brought home a pizza, blah. It's calling my name.
Not having had kids or similar responsibilities has left me totally unprepared and STUNNED with how fast your 'personal time' seems to fly out the window when someone is relying on you. I have no inclination to do anything for myself. Irritation level factor ...off the charts. Combined with a bald husband who is always cold, I'm isolating myself in my bedroom where I can window unit a/c it until it's meat locker temperature! Even Ebay browsing ::Cough, cough, buying..cough sputter:::has lost it's appeal! Holy cow!
There are two sweet old ladies there though that I kind of look forward to seeing, not sure what their issues are but they are always offering to pray for you or sing you a hymn, I told 'em to do both and keep 'em coming. I need all the prayers I can get and so does my mom! One of 'em came up behind me to tell me I had beautiful legs! I said, "Thank you, I have two a matched set!" She about spit her teeth out laughing. Honestly, I look forward to seeing them more then my mom. How horrible am I?
I was mad upon finding my mom at lunch today trying to eat a fairly thick ham sandwich....without her teeth. I got the teeth adn even her and took her to McDonalds for a fish sandwich , those things are so mushy, you don't even need teeth in the first place. She ate most of it and before I could stop her put down teh window and chucked out the rest onto the street. Oh well. (It's biodegradable but I worry animals will be drawn into traffic and get hit). Had intended to stop at my house so she coudl shower. I've asked for a shower for her everyday and she hasnt had one yet. BUt by the time we were done with the lunch trip, I was glad to have a place to take her back to. I was soooo irritable because while she had her hearing aids in , her voice must sound loud to her, so she barely whispers everything. I can't understand anything and get annoyed and have to constantly tell her "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! SPEAK UP OR SHUT UP cuz your driving me nuts! Nice daughter huh?
No workout today, barely looked in teh mirror...no make up, no thought put into clothes...that is my gauge for how stressed I am , if I will walk out of the house looking like crap, I know it's bad. I will however have to apply myself to laundry before long as it is stacked ont eh bed I'd like to get into,here at some point tonight!!!
Tomorrow. Maybe I'll work out tomorrow. Sigh.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
You are not alone. Many of us are in the same boat, yet we each feel alone and alienated from life. Sometimes it helps to come here and post. I found it a lifesaver, in organizing my thoughts to form a post, it made the problems easier to see. By the time I'd get to the bottom, I'd be able to see the underlying problems better.
You sound a lot like many caregivers, with their reserve power level at zero. You need to take care of you, fill up your energy capacity, so you can then share that energy with others. You can't adequately care for others when you're run down and without any power of your own.
It's like the airline steward explaining the oxygen masks. First, you put yours on, then you have sufficient life to help others. You're dragging yourself around on zero oxygen, starving for life, and then wondering why you're such a "bad daughter" when you find it hard to resuscitate others. You're starving for air, energy, life; and then trying to give away the little you have to others. It's no wonder it's not working for you.
What things give you peace, contentment? Is it a quiet walk alone in the woods, a drive in the park, escaping in a good book, a get-together with friends, quiet meditation, or boisterous dancing? Things that recharge your spirit are important. So is good food and exercise. It's a nasty vicious cycle--we don't exercise because we feel wiped out, we're wiped out because we're not doing what it takes to build a stronger metabolism. We eat foods bad for us because they make us feel good when they're in our mouth, but they cause us to feel even worse later.
I spent a miserable year and a half caregiving, ready to tear my hair out, until a kind Sparker shared with me the need to recharge, to take control of my life. I had to stop putting the cart before the horse, and take control, put things in a logical, sustainable order. That meant I needed a way to recharge my spirit. It meant I needed to be creative and find a way to exercise (I picked walking in five to ten minute blocks, because that's all the time I had at one interval while caregiving.)
The alz.org site helped me realize that dementia often causes frustrating behaviors. I had to separate the person from the actions. While hurtful to me, it was the disease, not the person that was the problem. Mom couldn't help what her aging body was putting her through. So, I had to stop taking it personally, separate the unwanted behavior from my love of my mother. She was not trying to inflict pain on me, it was happening because of the disease. Trying to get my mother to stop with the annoying habits was like telling a person with lung disease to just breathe better--they can't.
Once I stopped expecting better behavior, once I figured out what things set her off and learned to avoid them, once I quit expecting gratitude or even co-operation, once I started feeding own spirit so I wasn't running on empty all the time, things went better.
You're a long way on the road to wholeness, you already recognize things aren't working as they are. That's a big part of the battle. You are able to verbalize the issues, get them down into words. Also a big part of the battle. Now it's time to give yourself some respect. Treat yourself with respect, give yourself the tools you need to survive and thrive. Putting yourself last isn't honorable, it's untenable, it just doesn't work in the long term. Your mom doesn't need a martyr, she needs a helper. To help her, you need to take care of yourself.
It's hard sometimes to fit yourself into a schedule, especially when depression has drained any enjoyment out of life. Take a challenge--make it a game. It was a lifesaver for me. Look for good things in your life. A light that stayed green when you were in a hurry (even if all the others were red.) A ray of sunlight. A beautiful flower. A kind word. A prayer and a song. A deep breath. Being able to see the flower and the sun, being able to hear a voice, even if it's too soft to understand. The act of touching, the healing balm of a hug given freely and with love.
When my mom could no longer eat, when she couldn't rise from her bed, or smile. When her voice was silent, I realized what blessings I'd been surrounded by, and missed. As I sat by her bedside, I would have given anything for one of those days that drove me crazy, where she talked nonsense, and hid things by putting them in strange places; when she yelled and treated me like a bad child, threw things down on the floor. . .
To see her walk again, and talk, and move, just one more time. . .I never knew they were treasures until they were gone. The first time she got sick, then better, was the key for me. I realized what treasures they were, and could smile when she was difficult, because she was up and alive. The things I took personally weren't important anymore. She was up, and alive. I could give her a hug, tell her I loved her, share stories of things we did together in the past. I could touch her hand, and tuck her in.
The rest was still frustrating, but often, it's only frustrating when you're expecting something else (like free time, more money, peace and quiet, co-operation, etc.) When you see each time together as a miracle, when you're spirit has been filled elsewhere, when your body has been exercise, fed, and treated with respect--you can treat mom with respect, and appreciate the miracle of her still being alive, being part of your life. That part will pass, all too soon.
Just like parents of older children tell new parents to enjoy and treasure each moment, childhood will pass all too soon. And the new parent, fed up with constant diaper changes, feedings every two hours day and night, the squalling cries and constant upheaval--looks at the older parent with total unbelief. They can't wait for this stage to be over. Then, all too soon, it really is, and they realize what a treasure each moment really was. They just couldn't see it for the frustration and exhaustion.
Take a deep breath. This, too, shall pass. Do what it takes to make the most of it. You're worth it. Mom is worth it, despite the bad behaviors. Hang in there. We know what you're going through. It's normal, it's part of life. But there are coping skills that will help see you through. You're worth it.
1475 days ago
1475 days ago
Girl, I feel for you! I know that you are exhausted if shopping for stuff on ebay doesn't excite you...how about your Louis Vuitton? Listen, I think it's wonderful that you found a few elderly friends at the home....do they live there or are they volunteers? I met some of the nicest people in the world when I worked in a nursing home. My mother drives me nuts on a daily basis, too. She finally agreed to a hearing aide after years of refusing one cuz they would make her look old....and everyone would lose their voice trying to talk to her, and then she would accuse us of yelling at her. Right now, my sister is actively dying and I have no clue what I should do. She wants my mom, but my mom can't make the 7 hr trip...which would take 3 days. I wouldn't be able to drive on the interstate cuz she thinks people drive too fast, and I would have to take every back road from here to China....I suggested drugging her, but she won't even take an aspirin....And so I walk...a lot....even started running a little....it helps.
1477 days ago
Man, do I feel your pain. My son is in a mental hospital after yet another break down and he is needy, whiny and soaks up all of my time. I love him, but I am finding that I am tired before I even do anything. I make myself take walks, but I am not doing my hair or wearing make up when I go out.. I know I should care, and yet....
Anyway, know you are not alone.
1477 days ago
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