Friday, December 18, 2009
The Not Perfect Daughter, and Why She is Tired and Confused
No twitter post today either. I have mostly been in lurker mode. If I tweeted or retweeted anything entertaining at all, I can't remember. It has been a tiring week. Besides the furnace problem I shared with you yesterday, I have a more serious issue than that I have been dealing with (which is also my explanation for my sparseness of posts lately).
If you read my profile, you know that I am a stay at home daughter. I take care of my mother. Taking care of mom has been a joy in many ways. I wish I had taken more care to describe those joys. Right now though, I am exhausted. I have been leaving incoherent comments all over the blogusphere this morning. I'm not even sure I am making sense right now.
My mom has a huge bump and black and blue mark on her hip because of too much blood thinner. I am not living in denial when I say it is not my fault. I don't want to say whom I blame right now. I am tired, and leaning toward being cruel and unfair.
Anyways, this bump is starting to open up. Yes, blood and whatever is seeping out, and I try to keep dry dressing on it constantly. No tape. I wasn't told not to use tape. She has been sensitive to tape in the past, and I am trying to make her feel better, not worse. (I know. That was an obvious point. See what I mean about being incoherent). Mom is in a lot of pain, and calls for me all day and all night. Sometimes all I can do is remove a dressing and fluff the pillow that keeps her from laying on her side. No, it doesn't help her, but she will call for me anyway, and I come.
I have tried to be the perfect daughter, and I fail in my own eyes every day. But I have seldom failed as miserably as I did last night.
Last night, after mom woke me up for the third time in two hours (it was one in the morning), she asks me what time it is. I tell her it is 1 am. She asks me why her phone says 2 am. I look and tell her it doesn't. She insists that it is actually 3 am and time for more pain medication. I tell her it is 1 am, not 3 am. She tells me to wake up Bob so he can verify that it is 3 am. I refused. He gets up to go to work at 5am. He will be getting up even earlier this morning because snow is predicted to fall overnight, and he will shovel out the driveway and the wheelchair ramp (in case of emergency..) before he leaves. I cannot bring myself to wake him up to back me up that it is the time I say it is. I'm exhausted and can't think straight anymore.
Suddenly mom is insisting that even if it is 1 am, she can have more pain meds. I tell her no. She asks me how much longer. I tell her I don't know, I can't think straight. I am confused because I just woke up and had an argument about what time it is. I can't give her any meds. if I myself am confused. She insists that since I'm confused, we need to wake Bob. Bob had no idea what time I gave her pain medication, or how often the doctor has said she can take it. He knew on Tuesday, but the dosage has changed three times since then. I wrote it down, but I need a moment to pull myself together before I can even remember where I left it. (Refrigerator. All meds. are listed on the fridge so that if she has to go to the hospital, I can grab and go). Suddenly I just start weeping. I just couldn't help it. Then I had a coughing fit and had to leave the room... I kept crying and coughing in the bathroom. When I finally pulled myself together, I remembered the fridge, but forgot how to do the Math. (Did I mention it was one in the morning, and I've been getting up hourly to bihourly (is that a word?) to fluff pillows for almost a week?) I told her about an hour, hoping that by then I'd remember how to subtract (or add? I'm still a little fuzzy headed..). She asked me to sit with her in the meantime, and I just couldn't do it. I feel so ashamed, but I just couldn't keep myself together. I needed to lay down and cry. My husband had woken up by then, but he knew he couldn't actually help and it would be two of us confused, so he waited for me and held me. I calmed down, was able to go back to fridge. I found that it was too early to give her pain meds. An hour from then would still be a little early, but not dangerously so, so I kept my word and gave her the pain killers.
After giving her the pain killers, she again asked that I sit with her all night. I feel like the world's worst daughter, but I didn't. I told her that I had to be alert enough to take care of her, and that wouldn't happen if I was sitting on a chair in her room all night. She didn't get any sleep. I didn't get much. More because she kept calling me during the night than from guilt. Not that I don't feel guilt, but I am too tired to let that even matter to me, you know?
I have spent the morning on the phone with the doctor, with the visiting nurse agency demanding a new nurse (ask Wendy why, she can tell you. I think.. Wendy, tell anyone who asks, okay? Me tired...). I have poured out my worries to God. I'm not really sure what He is doing with them right now, but I am too tired to question Him. I am too tired to hate myself for not doing a better job. I am just so tired...
I am sorry for the whining. I mentioned to some cyber friends that I might write this post, and they encouraged me to do so. If you by any chance landed on this blog because you are taking care of an elderly parent, or considering it, please don't let this one post discourage you. Taking care of my mom has been a rewarding experience for me. I wouldn't undo the decision my husband and I made three years ago when we decided I'd stay home and take care of her in our home. I wasn't blessed with children, but I imagine that you get some exhausting nights (for weeks, even months on end...) , yet you wouldn't undo your choices. It's tough, but worth it. Right now I am feeling the tough.
Oh, and please pray that my mom's butt heals quickly. I mean hip. Oh whatever, He knows what we mean, right?