EXTREME Caregiving: I've Stopped Being Polite, Started Being Real


EXTREME Caregiving: I've Stopped Being Polite, Started Being Real

storm-13679_640Totally stole that line from an old TV show, but it fits so well.

I had been on this little upswing...A window of enlightenment, feeling good. Writing this in between doing some chores. Taking care of SIL with a new approach. Went in her room earlier and boy, did she have a whoopsie. Good God, a happy day those dogs were out! The stench woulda knocked them little dogs out cold for a week! It was fine...shit, literally, does happen. Clean her up, give her a burger and fries from the good place. Today she decides she's in it to win it and be as IMPOSSIBLE as one little blue-eyed woman could be. THIS took some effort. I WAS in a great mood, no way the poop was bringing ME down. Change all the sheets, clean up the floor. Talking to SIL all the while, idle chatter. She's looking great. Her color is fantastic, her eyes are clear and she's speaking perfect. This only makes me happier.

Dun-dun-dun. Shoulda known! On the clear days, she must remember she's pissed off at the world at large, me in particular. I'm still really nice about it, but we're not doing the rediculous. She's in the chair. She's been doing good, sitting up straight now for days. Walking still bent but sitting up like a person, not like a tossed-aside rag doll. I brought in a mirror the other day so she could see what shes doing, how she's walking. I kept showing her the positions she's in and how it's making it so much harder to walk. Nurses and I have determined it's a psychological thing, not a physical thing. She can and does stand straight and sit straight, but keeps doing the bent thing.

She's in the chair all day when I've peeked in she's straight, but since I'm in there he no longer has a spine. Lower lower lower, ear is on her knee.

"Sit up, SIL!" :)


Strip the bed, disinfect, wipe down, new sheets, blanket. I started counting. I said it 15 times and she responded and sat up 15 times. Finally I'm like, "really, that must be music to your ears. You must love it. We're talking here, and every sentence ends with "...and sit up."

"No, I don't like it."

"Quit it then. It's making you dizzy, your face is all red now."

She stands up, starts walking in the other direction.

"Where ya goin'?

"To the bathroom."

Ummmmm. She was sitting on the commode. She's looking at me in the eye all the time, she's not slurry, but I'll play along, I'm in a great mood. Asking her if she wants to go hang out in the family room, or what does she feel like doing. We've already established she's not using the regular bathroom any more a few days ago. It's too much trouble, there's two doors, the walker doesn't fit. It's taking 30 minutes to get her in and out of there and half the time she doesn't even go. Trying to streamline things and eliminate time wasters. But I totally get her wanting to get out of her room. Dogs have been out during the day so she can come and go as she pleases but she hasn't really left her room lately at all. Hard to know really what to make of that. Before hospice and before the move, she really stayed in her room 90% of the time, otherwise back n forth to bathroom (it was across house) and  she went outside sometimes.

When I began this post, I was in a great mood. I've spent days in a happy place and it is now obliterated. After the bathroom thing with SIL I got her settled and went to shower. Come down and she wants some milk. Okay, put it a sports bottle cause she's been spilling, no biggie. Get her something else, come back in and she has lid off. I say please leave lid on, I just mopped the floor. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER! I'm going back and forth doing her laundry n stuff. I go back in and she's coming out her door with her milk in one hand, and her insulated soda cup in the other, bent waaaaay over, no walker, no nothing. I look over her shoulder, giant puddle of soda. *Deep breath* I count to ten.

"It spilled, I'm going to get me more soda."

Maybe it spilled, I'm praying it spilled so I cleaned it up and got the soda cup. I knocked it over to see a little drip. Held it upside down, little more. NOPE, to get all that on the floor, she took the lid off and dumped it purposefully on   the    floor   I   just    mopped. So begins hours hours of SIL behaving like a bratty four-year-old. She's not tired, she'd slept all afternoon. She's clear, she's not over-medicated. She's better. So you know, when you notice somebody is in a good mood, the thing to do is piss all over it for hours. Didn't want to sit down, didn't want to lay down, only thing she wanted to do is exactly what I didn't want her to do. Mom was at a church meeting (of course).

i finally said I'm not chasing you around any more, do what you want. You want to be on the floor, fine, you don't want to sit down don't, I'm DONE. I'm listening in on baby monitor to make sure she's okay, go check on her 20 minute later and she's on the floor, curled up sleeping. Called hubby in to help get her to bed. He's frustrated too. He can hear the whole exchange over the baby monitor. He's shocked by her behavior, he wanted to really get after her, but I'd already been arguing with her and we try and be sensitive and not let her feel like she's ganged up on.

Again I'm here questioning myself. Yes, I'd changed my attitude but what's REALLY changed for her? She's getting the same time and attention. Most of the change has been when I'm not  with her and in my thoughts. Honestly, if she was my kid, I would have shut off the TV, taken all her stuff away, hollered about why I'm taking all her stuff away, put her on restriction and spanked her, and put her butt in bed. SIL has been acting like a little kid, she's been mocking Mom and making faces and sticking her tongue out at my Mom when her back is turned.

What do you do when a grown-ass adult  is acting like she's four? Fit throwing and putting herself on the floor? You don't spank an adult, you don't take their stuff away and put them on restriction and turn off their TV and put them to freakin bed at 6:00 pm. All I could do is holler, and she got the full wrath of mommy on a rant. I come out of the room and all three of my kids are big-eyed and laughing their asses off! Ooooooooh, auntie is in TROUBLE! Dang kids are practically cheering. "'Bout time mom, she's been acting like a brat for WEEKS." Ugh, I don't think it's funny. SIL broke me down and had me treating her like child. Put me in Mommy mode. I know how to treat a child, I know what's age-appropriate. I've raised three amazing kids. They are grown, have strong morals, good relationships. Haha far from prefect, also messy and STILL have to be told to pick after themselves. God forbid if they pick up a broom or take out the trash without being told. lol The "baby" is 20. Don't tell THEM, but if the only thing I have to worry about them is them being pigs. I've done a pretty good job! Lol I don't pick up after them, I make them do it. They feel like I'm letting SIL get away with murder by her behavior. " Oooooh, Mom, if we did *insertt behavior* we'd be DEAD."

I'm not talking about when heptactic ENSEPOLPATHY is present, that's different. I asked her this morning what she wanted, if she wants to get out of the house more, or anything really. If she's feeling like we're mean to her, or keeping anything from her she wants. Trying to go over what could be wrong and WHY she's acting out. When pressed, all she said she didn't like was when Mom gets upset when she doesn't finish her food and that she doesn't  like it when we say she does stuff on purpose because it's only on purpose sometimes. She says she likes it here, her room, she has everything she wants. I said if there was anything she would change that we could do, she really thought about it, and said no, nothing she can think of.  She said she didn't do soda spill on purpose, I said okay, but what about all the fit throwing after, that's what got me really mad. I was just annoyed by soda; the rest of it was her pushing my buttons.

I explained again how all the stuff she can't help is fine. I can tell what is and isn't most of the time and her bullshit has gotten out of control. She's doing great healthwise. After the big change and first two weeks on hospice, she's doing excellent. There's nothing she would have  Been hospitalized for. It's so sad that now she's better, she's making things 1000x harder by choice. Her pain is managed well, she's not complaining and that is awesome, she's not too drugged and drowsy, she found a sweet spot. So when all should be well, she's driving us into insanity.

I'm going to work on finding that calmness I had all week. I can't allow another to run my mood, all I really control is how I react but it's hard. I'm so mad at myself for allowing SIL to wreck my newfound peace. Lord grant me the strength!

Thank You for allowing me to vent and thanks for the read!

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It helps to know that there are others reading your vent, doesn't it? I'm in no way relating to what you've got to do but it's helpful to read your venting to know that my twisted family isn't like your SIL but I know I've got some straight talk and bumpy roads coming up.\r\nHugs to you and best of luck and energy!\r\nWhoop Whoop!


It's so hard to keep your own good mood. It's soooo frustrating when someone steals it from you. \r\n\r\nI hope today finds you enjoy your family, the sunshine and time with your quilts. I hope today is simply uneventful. (Fingers crossed.)


I just now happened upon your blogs. The title \"Extreme Caregiving\" caught my eye. I didn't even realize it was yours at first. I'm dealing with some of the same, but nowhere near what you are. As far as I know, my mother hasn't willfully done anything to tick me off. Wow. I have no advice, but hang in there. I appreciate that you're sharing your struggles.


\"because it’s only on purpose sometimes\" -- I think that one statement is the crux that would drive anyone mad. I know it would be. She is point blank admitting sometimes it is so between her illness and real issues, you get to deal with the \"on purspose\" ones too! How frustrating.\r\n\r\nKeep on venting!


<a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/lily/' rel=\"nofollow\">@lily</a> \r\nShe has heptactic encephalopathy , which in a LOT of ways mimics dementia, but it comes and goes...when she's in that, there's no reasoning or anything, she doesn't know what she's doing. You can tell though, she appears drunk so you kind of know when that is present. You have to put in place all precautions like a person with dementia..but it comes and goes..it's freaky. On the website discussing HE even the people suffering from it say it's harder on the caregivers than the person themselves. Their words, not mine. So day to day, sometimes hour to hour, you get a different person, different set of behaviors. And she remembers nothing, so when she's okay, she's like why do I have alarms, why all this stuff. So you turn everything off, open the doors and let her be...then sometimes a few hours later she's doing crazy stuff again. That's not EVERYDAY, but some days. Sometimes she's fine for days, or sometimes she's all loopy for days. I think she does need that safe place, familiar spot. She was like that even before though. Haha it is exactly that, control of her little kingdom! How perfect! When she was lucid the other day she was mad. She's like I have no privacy, you guys come in and out, you invade my space! I have to explain....well you fall down, you poop all over, you need a lot of help sometimes. Shes like, \"oh yea, I forgot!\"

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