Yep. Caregiver burnout is a real thing and I’m there.
I find myself getting snippy with my terminally ill mother because I’m tired of fucking repeating myself every 2 minutes. No, she does NOT have dementia or any other memory related disease. She has COPD, which affects her heart and lungs.
Problem of the day? Well one of them anyway. Her freaking dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I love Murphy and Wheezy and wish with every fiber of my being that I could take them home with me. But I can’t. Murphy is NOT cat friendly and my 3 felines at home rule to roost. My brother, who is no help at all anyway, also has cats and two elderly dogs. I’ve been traveling between the two homes at least 4x a day to let them out, play with them, and freshen their food and water. I’m spread so fucking thin I’m afraid I might just snap and say fuck it all. I’ve reached out to 2 shelters and I’m waiting to hear back from them. She told me to put them down when she dies. I can’t do that, they’re two perfectly healthy dogs and are just the goodest boys. Breaks my heart. Not to mention, if putting them down were even an option (it’s not!), it would happen before she passes because it’s just not right leaving them alone in that warm apartment and I can’t keep making 4x trips back and forth daily.
Next issue? She asked me if I’m going to start being nice to her any time soon. All because I expressed some frustration to her. I told her I’m tired of the side comments and playing the victim – I put my life 100% on hold to help her and her snide comments about the place being cleaner when Jen stayed or how I’m taking away her medication or I’m blaming her of self-medicating, blah blah blah.
- A – the place may have been cleaner when Jen was around because she doesn’t work. I’m trying to maintain a full-time job while also being on call 24/7 for my mom. She may have had a little extra time on her hands to give.
- B – the medication I “took” away were her Lorazepam pills. She’s taking .1ml of liquid Lorazepam just about every hour – she doesn’t need her 2x daily dose of pills on top of it. I don’t want her ODing on top of all of this other shit too.
- C – Self-medicating. I accused her of self medicating when my brother killed himself. It surely wasn’t a false accusation as I know for a fact that there was a smorgasbord of pills readily available to her, aside from the ones she was prescribed.
My mother doesn’t like being called out on her bullshit. No one really does, but she really, really doesn’t. Over the last 4 years, I’ve had to put up boundaries with my mom, which has lead to a tense relationship at times. I’ve always been more the parent while she’s been the angsty teen. It’s a weird role reversal for sure, but that’s just how it is and has been ever since I can remember. I made sure to follow her nurse out after her visit to assure her I’m not withholding ANY meds from her and she reassured me that she knows my mother is difficult and she has my back. Thank God.
Talking with Jen about this tonight – my mom is extra needy with me. She wasn’t nearly like this with Jen because she knows Jen won’t wait on her hand and foot. She’s a different person around anyone that come visits, depending on if they believe her victim mentality or not. But when I’m around? She’s helpless and needs something every 2 minutes. And she has impeccable timing. Especially during the two times I tried to take a shit and each time, from what I thought was a dead sleep, she suddenly needed something. I’m sure a lot of this is normal for taking care of a dying family member, but then again my mother is no where near normal. And if you’d ever meet her, you’d never know the real her anyway, only what she wants you to see and it’s likely some sob story. She’ll probably also tell you that I’m a bully – just ask her.
Trying to get her to grasp the concept that she’s never moving back to her dirty, dusty, scary, hot apartment has been a task on it’s own. I went along with the “XYZ needs to be done first” schtick for a day or two, but I’m tired of trying to lie to her about it. She doesn’t have to like it, but we’re not leaving Robyn’s place. This will be her final resting place and that’s that. But again, it’s just like my mother to leave this world, kicking and screaming her head off. I told her if she wants things done differently, call my brother to trade places – I’ll gladly let him. She went pretty quiet after that.
When Robyn gets back from having cocktails with her friends, I’m escaping to her apartment to go let the dogs outside and to just get a break because I feel like I’m one pillow away from murder. Not really, that is my mom we’re talking about here, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it… yeah, I’m horrible, but I accept that. When I get back, I plan to lock myself in the bathroom and take one luxurious bubble bath that my mother will no doubt try and interrupt, but I’ll have my music up and won’t be able to hear her, so she’ll have to rely on Robyn for temporary assistance.
Maybe I’ll drown myself in the tub tonight? Sounds tempting. If only to MAKE my brother and his woman come out to take care of mom – man, I’d pay to be able to witness that. No, I wouldn’t actually ever harm myself – I make jokes when I’m sad or uncomfortable. Apparently, I’m not alone in my inappropriate humor, hello Robin Williams!
Anyway, back to babysi.. I mean hanging out with mom while trying to maintain what little sanity I have left. I’ll say it again, thank GOD for Arizona being a legal weed state.
Til next time, XO
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