hy do we try to live so long?
My mom is almost 91 I'm almost 62. I've spent the past 8 years trying to help my mom grow old without killing herself. Since that time she has been hospitalized for pneumonia, with a long rehab of over 30 days, her right hip fractured and had to be replaced that was a 65 days ordeal, she has been to the ER on countless trips for breathing problems, heart problems, and then the left hip fractured and we went through yet another hip replacement with a long rehab time... its Dr's almost monthly and dealing with pain daily! She finally lost her ability to walk unaided 4 years ago....she is on oxygen and she takes a ton of medicine for different ailments.
Teaching her how to grow old is not an easy lesson to learn since now her mind is starting to let her down...the change has come suddenly or did we just deny the early signs? She started putting milk (almond milk) in her potato salad recipe...and she cooked the onions and green peppers. That was a sign... as her recipe is for non cooked veggies and certainly no milk.
She insists on still writing 2 checks per month...I pay all the other bills online....and yesterday the electric company called to say she didn't sign the check...if I hadn't witnessed that call she probably would have forgotten all about it....
I've been telling her to let me write the checks... her writing is so bad you can't read it and she normally rips up 3 or 4 checks to get one ready to be sent I did check that one, but before she signed it, I could read it; I handed it back for the signature and I guess she didn't; I realize I really can't take anything for granted at this point.
I have made out a new one and its ready to mail this morning.
I constantly nag her about being safe..."always have a phone in your walker so you can call if you need help." I have my cell phone number on a piece of paper in the walker she can't remember how to use the directory buttons on the phone... but she knows how to dial. If I'm not home she is supposed to call 911...normally I'm within ear shot MOST of the time but not all the time, how can I be?
2 days ago she thought it would be a good idea if she took a walk into the old pasture; she has a sturdy gizmo called a YuGo for walking outside it has large wheels, brakes, 2 handlebars, and a seat for when you need to sit. Even with this contraption she caught her toe on an exposed root and came down like a ton of brick face down on the dirt path.
I was in the front yard trying to clip the hedges that had overgrown the front steps and I heard her faint call...I thought she was in the house---so I said "what?" Then she basically screamed H E L P..I realized the sound was outside the house and looked to see her flat on the ground just at the gate area...
She is bruised all over has one large skin tear on the right arm I think she tried to catch the gate on the way down and it ripped a hole in her skin about 2 inches by 2 inches. Skin tears are almost a daily thing with her. The hard part was getting her back up on her feet. Thank goodness I have EMS training and part of that training was moving and lifting people.
My back and my abs are so sore from my effort and with the help of unseen forces I lifted her 136 lbs off the ground with my 2 yr post fractured wrists and now they are aching with pain. I rolled her over onto her back and then helped her get into a sitting position after we had checked and saw no obviously fracture or injury other than the skin tear...after I got her in sitting position I ran to the house for a bandage to put on the arm...I had her to try and calm down while sitting then I told her exactly what I needed her to do so she could get up....I had her spread her legs in hindsight I should have put one foot between her legs and on off to the side, but I had her spread her legs I stood in between them. I had her lock her arms around my neck as I leaned down, I wrapped both my arms around her waist and I grasped the waist band of her pants in the back with my hands and lifted using my forearms under her arms and I yelled "STAND UP" to encourage her help in any way. The problem came when she clamped her knees to my legs and nearly caused me to fall on top of her, I was not expecting that!! That's why I say next time one leg outside her legs.
Hell I don't ever want a next time...This is the 4th time I've had to get my mom up...only once did I have help and that was when I had my right hand in a cast!
I have decided my job as the parent is MUCH harder than her job was as a parent, she raised a child I'm raising an adult..in 8 more yrs I will have given her the same amount of time as being a parent to her as she gave me...as I left home at 16, and honestly my older sister took care of me and I took care of my younger sister so Mom did very little child rearing.
I have told my 2 sisters I need help so if they don't help me I have no idea whats going to happen, I can't go on not having a life of my own and trying to lift her when she falls or when she cant get up steps...etc. I am also aging rapidly-her mind is no longer the sturdy trap it was she asks me if I fed the dogs over and over and she obsesses over the dogs in a strange way she has to know what every scratch is for she has to know what room they are in at all times, she has to know they are fine.
I can NOT stop her from falling I can only be there to pick her up and dust her off and let her keep going. She DID NOT have a phone in her walker when she fell so If I had been away in town doing our shopping she would have had to lay on the ground till I returned!! (normally tho when I go out I say YOU are NOT to leave the house, but she has done that before!!) NO ONE else would or does come by we live in a very rural place and no family lives close my sister is over 2 hr drive away and the other is 2,000 miles away! She was obscured by heavy woods from the sight of the road in front of the house...IF I had been gone on a half day excursion, as I sometimes do, what would have happened to my mom laying there in the dirt on the ground she couldn't even roll over onto her back without my help. Ants, or no telling what could have gotten on her!
She is constantly "breaking the rules" I've laid out to try and keep her as safe as possible.. she has been up 2 hrs this morning she has yet to put the phone in her walker...IF I don't do it she never thinks of it, yet she says she can live here alone, I want to move back into my own house its 300 ft away from this one...I bought out my X in the divorce, have been working on it for those 3 yrs and now its almost ready to live in only the bathroom remains gutted. My son was going to rent the house and move in next door I was thrilled cause it meant more hands to help deal with mom...but his job changed and now his workplace is even farther away so no good moving here.
*sigh*... the difference between raising a child and raising a parent is a child learns, the parent does not...I go over the "rules" all the time its like taking to a wall...I can ask her within 5 mins what did I say about her not using the walker, and she won't remember...the memory loss and the A.D.D. is getting worse by the minute.
She is supposed to go to my sisters house for a month leaving tomorrow...I can only hope she will be safe as they are not as aware that they have to remind her of everything over and over not just once and she gets it she never gets it...and they will take for granted that she has her facilities...when she does NOT she was there 2 weeks ago and fell in their office room due to her sitting in a chair that rolls!! SHE knows she can NOT sit in a chair that moves in any way...but she did--and when she tried to get up it rolled away and she fell Lucky my sister was home for lunch from work, as her husband had gone to run errands normally he is home he works from home...
I will of course remind my sister of this and hope she reminds the BIL and hopefully mom will be safe...I need the break and can't let it worry me as my anxiety is through the roof as it is.
This is not a rant or a bag of complaints its my way of debriefing the situation.