Spring has sprung here in the central part of California. The apricot tree has bloomed and is putting out leaves. We'll be thinning little apricots soon. Elly continues to be observant and struggles to control people and the situations around her.
One of the areas of control has been Elly's personal care. The only personal care she receives from me is leg care. Elly has kidney failure with about 20% kidney function. The result is swelling of the legs and feet with lesions or rashes on the lower extremities. We spent last year at the wound clinic being treated for a wound and the leg swelling, learning that washing the legs and feet twice a day with Witch Hazel, moisturizer and the compression sock with Juxtalite wraps. Two weeks ago Elly told me she didn't want this routine done to her anymore and since we had a big blowup over the dishwasher, I let it go. This week, Elly decided she wanted the routine again since her swelling had gotten fairly serious even with Lasix (water pills). There is broken skin now so I am working hard to get the silver gel on it at night and mornings. Elly can't evaluate her swelling very accurately since she is in denial of her condition to some degree and really can't see her ankle either! For now, I take one day at a time knowing I can just walk away and not worry about it. She will have a choice as to whether someone comes to wash and wrap during our Spring Break getaway.
For the past two weeks, Elly has asked us about where the key is for door to the shop in the back yard. We tell her there is no key but the padlock is a combination lock and that we can open it any time for her. She finally told us this week that she wanted to make sure she had not lost a table and chairs. You see, Elly is upset that my NurseySister next door has her nice wooden dining table moved outside to her patio for our Sunday lunch sometimes. Elly wants NurseySister to use her folding table and chairs so the dining table doesn't have to be moved. I suggested that Elly call NS and ASK her if she would like the table and chairs rather than just telling me to get them out and take them over. (NurseySister has a portable folding table and chooses to have the nice dining table outside) The last time I did what Elly told me to do, NurseySister got mad at me because she hates controlling behavior. There is a theme here that has been passed down from Elly to our Mom and then to us. I have to say, I have my own issues with control, I am a first born but I am working on being respectful and expecting Elly to comply. Ha! I did walk Elly out to the shop and she saw the flimsy folding table covered and the card table also covered along with the folding chairs just waiting for the next party. She seemed satisfied that I left a message on NurseySister's cell phone to give Elly a call about the gifting of the table and chairs.
I feel sometimes that I need to assert some control to get some things done and to be understood. Many times with family members I get an angry response without consideration of what was actually said! I am usually the patient one, that stops and explains in more detail the entire situation. I am bad about apologizing, it's not something I take lightly so usually I am expected to apologize because of the way it was understood by the listener. Caregiver means that sometimes you just have to do your best, assess the situation and think through how you want to say it and then just go for it! I find that family are much harder on me that my friends or co-workers - maybe because they care more. I think springtime can be a beautiful time but for me, things feel a bit controllish around here!!
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