I guess what's kept me from blogging all this time is that I've waited for things to get better before I post. You know, happy blogging. Nobody wants to read about the latest whine-du-jour. But frankly, things have basically sucked since my last post and have gotten suckier. So it's either post something whiny or post nothing at all.
Ready for the whine fest?
On a positive note, I did lose 25 lbs after joining the gym. My problem now, is that I haven't been to the gym in 2 months and I can't seem to make myself go because I'm so depressed. Remember that word, "depressed" because that's my whole problem in a nutshell. I know exercise elevates one's mood, and I've experienced it, but I just can't seem to break a sweat to be happy. I just want to curl up in a ball and stay in bed all day, getting up is such a chore. Like the rest of my life. A big fat freakin' chore.
I'm still traveling back and forth between Port Townsend and Redmond to take care of my mom. I've been doing this, what, 3 years now? I can't believe it. I'm only home in Port Townsend on the weekends, and I feel like I don't live in any one particular place. Picking up and switching residences every 3-4 days is disconcerting and difficult. I have not just one house but two houses to keep up the chores and finances in and I'm tired, tired, tired.
Mom is doing well physically, but her memory problems are a little worse. She doesn't pick up after herself very well (she waits for me to get there to do it), and she lies to me about what she's doing on the weekends when I'm not there. I know she lies in bed all day, but she tells me she's up and watching TV when we talk on the phone. I wish. Instead, she stays in bed and forgets to take her medicine. Oh, she would do SO MUCH BETTER in assisted living, but she doesn't want to move out of her house. The question is, when do I say, "Mom, I know you don't want to, but you're going into assisted living and that's it." When do you take their independence away? I think the time is now, but it's so hard to just go and make that decision against her will.
Taking care of mom entails cleaning up after, and feeding her, and making sure she takes her medicine. I fill up a month's worth of medisets, each day box having a morning, noon, night, and bedtime compartment. She's pretty good about remembering to take her medicine, but like I say, on the days I'm not there, she'll just sleep all day, and miss her doses. This hasn't seemed to affect her health negatively in any way but it still drives me nuts. So when I'm not taking care of her in Redmond, at home I spend all my time worrying about her. So it's like 24/7 mom, mom, mom.
Over Christmas, my brother and I shipped her off to his house in Minnesota so I could have a break. It was a great break, but the three weeks slipped by so fast. I could use another break. In general, I need a big break. Something that will change this circumstance of mom care. I can't stand to think I'll be doing this another year, or two years or three, or 10.......aaaaaaaaahhhhhh! I wouldn't make it. I'd crumble. I think I'm crumbling now.
Then at home.......well, that's another story. It used to be a place of respite from Mom, but now it's just a place chock full of it's own problems, so I'm never away from some sort of drama. As I write this, I realize, hells yeah, I know why I'm depressed! No big mystery. I'm living in a vortex of misery. No amount of prescriptions can medicate it away. I feel very overwhelmed and trapped at the same time. It's hell. I feel for any person who has to take care of a parent. I know I'm not the only one.
I'm also angry at my mom for putting me through this. She had always said she "didn't want to interfere with my life", but here she is doing just that by being so stubborn and not going into assisted living like a reasonable person. Is it too much to ask her to be reasonable? Yes. She's so out of it, she doesn't realize there's people's lives outside of her own. I'm missing so much time with my husband, and that's something I'll never get back.
I want my life back.
Next chapter, professional counseling. I can't seem to break out of this rut I'm in or make a change in my surroundings. I need to deal with certain people better. I need to be happy or somewhat content. I'll take anything that's better than this.
Hopefully, my next post will be sooner and happier!
I just remembered that I have not checked your blog in a while. I'm so sorry you are going through this! my parents are in there 60s and I think about how the last part of their lives is going to go. They don't want to interfere with their childrens lives, but I've always had a feeling that it will swing that way. I worked in an assisted living center in Port Townsend, I've seen all the pros and cons to that kind of life. I hope you did seek counseling to get another opinion on what you should do for you and your mom. That would be helpful. I hope things are getting better! My dental hygienist has been taking care of her 95 year old mom for the past 20 years. She lives with her. She has not had a social life, or vacations, nothing, because of it. And her siblings refuse to help her out. I feel for you, and her, for all of us who have to make these tough decisions.
Posted by: Valen Hardesty | 05/02/2012 at 02:02 PM
Thanks for your kind words! I did make an appt for counseling and have been seeing a counselor for about a month now. We both agree that assisted living is probably best for mom right now. It's just getting her there that's the problem! She is just so adamant about staying in her house. It's going to be a tough battle.
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