Sep 21 2012 in Kare's Blog by Kare
(Editor’s Note: We welcome a new blogger today. Kare joined our site about 11 days ago; you can learn more about her on her profile.)
I am the daughter of an 83-year-old lady who has had severe cardiac disease for 20 plus year years. On February 13 she had emergency surgery which left her with an ileostomy. Her health was poor before the surgery and it’s a miracle she even made it this far. But she is much weaker now and I don’t want her getting out of bed without either me or my brother helping her.
I have lived with mom for years and my brother, Brian, moved in with us after my oldest brother died on January 11, 2012. It has been such a blessing to have my brother here. He can’t help with a lot of my mother’s care, but he does so much else with upkeep and he cooks a bit, too.
I know my mom is frustrated with her declining health and having to ask for help with things. But I have been surprised by some of the things she says which can be just plain mean. She has, through the years, been sharp-tongued at times but since her surgery she has been very impatient with me and my brother.
When I’m tired, which I often am, I find my resistance to her comments and anger is poor and I’m apt to snap back at her, which I DON’T want to do. My mother and I have always been super close, much too wrapped up in each other. I never had kids, so she has been the only family I have. She’s usually appreciative of what I do but then, out of nowhere, she criticizes me for this or that and it gets to me. I thought I had thicker skin than that but I guess not.
Before my brother died and my mother had this emergency surgery, I was already being treated for an anxiety disorder as well as depression. I’m finding, as I guess should be expected, that my anxiety level has gotten so much worse. Dealing with her ostomy and the leaks she gets TOO often has me in knots though I try not to show it.
She gets upset if she senses I am and I don’t want that added stress on her. Brian can’t help with this aspect of her care so it’s all on my shoulders.
Before this all happened, I had trouble getting anything done especially if it meant leaving the house. Now, with mom’s worsening health, there are more trips to doctors or back and forth to the hospital so I have to be out and about much more than I’m used to. This also increases my stress level. I can’t go to my psychiatrist anymore for support because I can no longer afford to. I may need to go off some meds for the same reason.
Anyway, I went looking for support on line and found caregiving.com. I am still kind of lost as to how to navigate the site but I’m learning. It helps to have somewhere to go to express my frustration. Thank for listening.