No, I'm Not Doing a Great Job!


No, I'm Not Doing a Great Job!

lost-116664_640It's been a challenging week:

Monday - took Mom to get her new dentures, then went out to lunch with a woman who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's and needed to talk to someone who was dealing with the same thing and understood. I offered to do this for a friend because I know how hard it can be to adjust to this chronic health challenge.

Tuesday - Dad called, said Mom needed to get out. Could I take them shopping? Picked them up, forgetting I had the grandkids' car seats in the car. Squashed one walker, one carseat and my dad in the back seat, one car seat and one walker in the trunk, and Mom in the passenger seat. Got to the store and just as we walked in, Mom decided she was too tired and wanted to wait in the car. So, settled Dad into an electric cart and walked Mom back to the car. Dad was anxious about her the whole time.

Wednesday - went to Comcast to try and sort out their accounts. Then babysat for the grandkids for three hours while their parents were at parent/teacher conferences. Sent an email out to my brothers to let them know how many $$ it was going to take to reinstate the internet services for Mom and Dad.  Don't think it's worth it. I'll admit I wasn't incredibly positive about Mom in the note. I was tired and crabby.

Thursday - I was glassy eyed and couldn't focus to do anything. My stamina is not at all good. Got emails back from my brothers. One brother mentioned how proud he is of Mom and how well she's done. Also told me what a great job I am doing. I took it wrong and felt I was being patiently scolded for being negative. This has happened before. I emailed back saying I knew Mom was doing better there and didn't really need to be reminded of this and I'd rather he listen when I get frustrated than remind me to be positive.

Friday - We had the grandkids all day. We do this every week. It's our way to be proactive and help our daughter-in-law to avoid problems with her bipolar disorder. We love having them, but they are exhausting. The kids left at 4:30 and I walked back into the house and sat down. The phone rang almost immediately. The head nurse at the facility had just called for an ambulance to take Mom in to get checked. She was complaining of numbness on one side of her face and down her left arm. I took off. Got to the facility at the same time as the ambulance. Mom didn't want to go anywhere, didn't feel it was necessary. Vitals were fine, neuro test was fine, she was talking fine. Nurse said she should be checked. Paramedics said she should be checked. Mom said no. They looked at me. You're the POA? Yeah. It's your call. I didn't say what I was thinking.

We went. It was actually the nice looking paramedic who sweet talked her into it. Dad and I followed the ambulance to the hospital. ER doc examined her and said she was in great shape. Suggested it might be the new dentures causing problems. Got back to the facility by 8 p.m. Made them dinner. Talked to the woman who had alerted the nurse. She had come to give them their meds and had found Mom holding her face, looking like she was in pain, and got worried and got the head nurse who asked questions and had Mom walk a little. Mom was listing to one side - normal for her when she first gets up, had no one noticed before?  I went home, had chocolate chip cookies for dinner, and crashed.

Yesterday, I was in bed all day. When I overdo it with my Parkinson's, I get exhausted to where my heart rate gets a little screwy, I'm shaky, my dystonia kicks in and makes my face and neck stiff and is very painful, and I get a horrific headache. I also get nauseous. I didn't get up till this morning. I'm better now, just very shaky. I talked with my brother over the phone and felt badly I had said what I did in the email. His response to me was perfect. He asked how I was doing.

I am not doing a great job. I don't get them out to go shopping often or do other nice social fun things. I do the absolute minimum I can get away with. I don't have the energy or desire to do more. I resent the waste--food bought and never used, money wasted on internet services Mom insists on but can't access without me right there, money spent on a storage unit to store the stuff they'll never need. I resent that she glares at me and Dad when Dad pays me back for something he asked me to buy for them, and she makes sure it's not one penny more than I am owed.

Right now, I'm finding it hard to do anything else besides what I absolutely have to do. It's a full time job that I didn't apply for and can't resign from. Six years so far and no end in sight. I was horrified when the doc said Mom was in such good shape. Then felt guilty, of course. Her mom lived into her 90's. She's 86 now.

I'll find my sense of humor again.

Some of these things will have to go out to the compost bin with the rest of the manure, and age for awhile before something positive can grow from it. Right now, it just burns.

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You are great at writing. Thanks for sharing. Not sure how you do it all, while dealing with your own illness as well. You've got strength! Hugs


Six years? Holy cow, that's impressive, and understandably overwhelming. I agree with Hussy - I love that you are sharing your honest feelings here. You need to let it out, and this is certainly the right place to let it run - everyone here can relate! As I was reading your post and your criticism of yourself, I realized it sounded just like something I would write about myself. It's so easy to be hard on ourselves. And then we top our criticism off with a nice big dollop of guilt. I have no idea why we do this to ourselves but hopefully we can keep talking each other down off the ledge! Thanks for sharing and thanks for being are a blessing to your parents AND to us!


<a href='' rel=\"nofollow\">@terri</a>, I'm glad you felt comfortable sharing your totally understandable feelings with us. For what it's worth (plug nickel?), you're doing a pretty swell job from my vantage point. You do SO much for others throughout the week -- no wonder you are tired. And I don't think you give yourself enough credit for the \"absolute minimum\" you do for your parents. After six years on this caregiving hamster wheel, I'd have had the same horrified reaction when the doctor said your mother is in good shape. You think \"How much longer can this go on? How much longer can I go on?\" It's good that you can see that your sense of humor will return and something good will eventually come from such raw feelings. Kudos to you for letting your brother know what you need and kudos to him for remembering that when you spoke on the phone. Hope you're feeling better today.