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Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Today I wish I had a teddy bear. 

My brother, three of my sisters and I are meeting with my Mom and her "case worker" to discuss the best housing arrangement for her now that it looks like she will at least survive her recent hospital stay.  She's a overweight diabetic who has been unreachable and unwanting to rejoin the human race since my Dad died in 1985.  She developed pneumonia and a very bad strep infection in her right leg and hand that threatened her life and limbs.  She just didn't take care of herself, in spite of our pleadings and encouragement.

Thankfully, right down the road in Horsheads, NY, there's a great assisted living facility.  It's close to where her doctor practices, and is pretty central to where four of five of her children live.  They MAKE the residents COME to dinner and get some exercise, and medicine is ADMINISTERED.

I was running low on things to stress over anyway, so this is really all a good thing ... not!  I know I can be a little sarcastic, jaded, cynical when stressed, and sometimes, it's just so much easier (and better) to spill your guts through your fingers than to someone face to face (who might slap you).

I'm not boohooing or having a drowning in self-pity .... just hoping one of has been there, done that, and can honestly say it's all gonna be okay, or at least 85 - 90% okay.

Deb

rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Yeah Deb, I can relate, hang in there, its not easy. 

My poor hubby went through this last year, with his father, he has Dementia, and we had to sell his home and put him in a nursing hostel.  It was hard for the first 6 to 9 months, before he settled in and got into a routine, still to this day, 18 months later, he wants to go back and live in his own home, and he says that there is nothing wrong with him.

I know what you are going through, at least you have sisters, to bounce ideas off, and  help you decide what to do.   And it does get easier, be patient though, my thoughts are with you.   Big hugs to you. bear_happy

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

I used to work in a care home. It does take time but dementia can put a different slant on things. I would see residents get stressed when their relatives were there but later would be in their routine and be OK. Its very hard on the relatives there is a lot of emotions and old wounds opened up.
You have to tell yourself what is the best for your mother and thats to be in a safe, caring enviroment. If you or family are in the least bit feeling guilty you must stop it right there. I have seen families fall apart over the care of eldery members. Your own family and their wellbeing is first now, your mother will be OK.  Remember you are only really stressed because you do care enough.
I'm not saying its going to be easy but you can only do your best, hang in there.

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Deb, seeing a loved one let themself fall apart is understandibley frustrating a stressfull.  It sounds like you are at wits end with trying to encourage your mom.  I live with diabetes and it is not easy..infact it scares me knowing what is down the road if I don't stay on top of it constantly.  I am sure you are aware of the complications and so is your mom.

Have you made your mom a special bear?  You have the amazing ability to share your love through your art and if you have not doen so maybe you should make you mom a bear.  It just may spark something inside her to want to live.

And for you...when you feel at the end of your rope, tie a BIG knot at the end and just hang on!...and always feel free to vent on us here.

Blessings and bear hugs

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

I went through this after the sudden death of my Mom. Both my parents had lived with us for the past 20 years - in good health. Suddently my Dad took sick for the first time in his life at age 82 and had to be hospitalized. Then my Mom was struck down by leukemia. My Dad stayed in the hospital for 3-1/2 months and I was told that he'd never get any better than he was and would have to go to a nursing home. (he was incontenent and could hardly get out of  bed unassisted) Luckily there was an excellent home in our area and as a vet he was financially assisted as well. We were fortunate because after less than 3 mths in the nursing home he finally consented to come home for a visit - he hadn't been home for over 6 mths! The day visit became an overnight visit and the next weekend we brought him home for a longer trial....he never went back. Now at 85 he's still cutting the grass and doing chores around the farm. Nursing homes are a good thing - they made him get up and come to meals and kept him from sinking into depression with all the activities. We've gone thru a similar time with my husband's Mom. She's now in a vet hospital nursing home and I'm sure this has extended her life.
I did find h/e that the more you visit the better the care. The home realizes that this resident has a lot of support and seems to try harder themselves.
Good Luck,
Marion

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115
JJ48 wrote:

Today I wish I had a teddy bear. 

I'm not boohooing or having a drowning in self-pity .... just hoping one of has been there, done that, and can honestly say it's all gonna be okay, or at least 85 - 90% okay.

Deb

Oh Deb.... I've been there done that with my maternal grandparents.... It IS hard, it WILL get better, even if she never thanks you out loud, or even in her own mind, you will rest assured that you've done what you think is in her best interests.  I bet that when you were a wee one she agonized about the decisions she was making on your behalf, for your future... Now it's your turn to do the same thing for her.  Certainly there are no guarantees in life, but making an informed decision that comes from your heart as well is the best that any of us can do.  Sounds like the assisted living arrangement will be wonderful once everyone adjusts to it.  Might just be the boost she needs!  Big Hugs.

Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Deb,

     the home health nurse in me recognizes your dilemma, and my much beloved mom-in-law is doing the same thing.  We just can't force diabetics to follow their diet.  It's hard enough when they are motivated, but when they aren't?  And it is so hard to watch someone you love die slowly.  And sometimes it is a decision that they make-no matter how much we love them they get to the point where they don't care and will do what they want. :(

I love that the laws are different in New York.  In California, where my mom-in-law is, the assisted living can not make her do anything.  So she gets meals brought to her 3x a day and gets fatter and fatter.  Her sugars are worse and worse.  And the family seems to think I should be able to fix it.  Even the $4000.00 a month it costs for her to live there doesn't sink in.  If she went down for meals it would save nearly a thousand a month!

I think the greatest thing you have going is that you and your siblings are all going together on this and you will be united on the decisions.  Sometimes decisions like this have to be made and even though you are questioning in your heart if this is right, please know that it is.  Your mom's blood sugars are no doubt way out of whack, (the infections) and when our blood sugars are out of whack we aren't able to think clearly and not able to make decisions for ourselves.

While no one can tell you it's going to be OK, I will tell you that from the history you are giving it is certainly the safe and sane move for your family to take.  She will be safer and with luck and a good dietician her blood sugars should get back to where they should be.

And all of us here will be sending you our hugs and prayers and hoping things go smoothly.

Jaded cynicism is understood and welcomed....We've all been there.  Venting Welcomed!

Gollyhugs to you

Dilu

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Deb, I don't have any personal stories to share, as I've not experienced this type of thing in my life to this point, but I did want to say that YES, you are -- as you said -- "sarcastic, jaded, cynical"... and I wouldn't have you any other way, as you are precisely my kind of girl! 

You know, my mom, a lifelong smoker, after first lying to us all about her lung scan turning out "fine, dandy, and okay," is going in for a lung biopsy on the 14th (which can't be a good thing) and I foresee hard times for her, and for all who love her, in the future.  I'm scared.

So I'm glad to have people like you, and my other "friends" here, as well as "in the flesh" support system that surrounds me, to get me through it when/if the time comes.  And I feel honored that you'd bring your life concerns to the people here, in search of reassurance and comfort and support.

So yeah... I don't have experienced reassurances for you but I do have loads of friendship and empathy and understanding, as it's clear so many others do as well. 

My husband, who is a therapist, once told me that, "It all works out."  My first response was, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard; what useless pablum.  How the hell does that help anything?!?"  But then I gave it some more thought.  I thought that yeah, maybe things don't work out how you once dreamed, or hoped, or planned... but when you land one month down the road from hardship and look back, and see where you are, and see where you came from, you realize that -- no matter what your original vision might have been -- things really HAVE worked out, and you're still breathing, and the sun still shines, and day falls into night and night turns into day, and you're just kinda... there.  And it's all... okay.  Because it worked out.

Hang in there,

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your siblings...it's not an easy choice to take over the "parenting" role of a parent.  I know I have that in my very near future with my own stubborn as a mule mother.  I also have the burden (for lack of a better word) to myself as I have no siblings. 

Love to you...

Shantell

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Shelli

I do believe your last paragraph was your most eloquent and poetic ever!

I also believe it can help all of us

thank you

And three cheers for the men in our lives who put up with our jaded cynicism, and yes, sarcasm too.  Gotta love those guys!

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,094

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Everybody's responses have been right on . . . even if you haven't had this experience before.  Deb, you and your siblings ARE MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION and you DON'T need to feel guilty about it!!  Of course, that's much easier said than done, but as Shelli's hubby says - things will work out - as I have come to find out in my own personal experience.  My Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1996 and was having enough problems that my sister and I decided to move her to an assisted living facility.  My mom resisted ferociously, but we went ahead anyway and got her into the facility.  I won't go into all the problems, tears, anguish, and that went with the situation, but it was for her own good.  And as time went by (a year), she became more unmanageable, so I had to move her close to me in an Alzheimer's care facility.  My only sibling, a sister, lives in Arizona, so couldn't be around constantly to help.  Mother's condition deteriorated steadily, and those of you who have dealt with this know how excruciatingly difficult it is to deal with.  However, she has gotten to the place where she is "calm" because she can't communicate, help herself in any way, and is totally "out of it".  It IS NOT EASY, but there will come a day when you can, hopefully, come to terms with and accept the way things are for you and your family.  I wish and hope for you that it won't take long to get to that point.  Your mom may not live as long as mine has because of her physical problems, but just know that there are those on this board who have gone through those stressful times and who can relate very well to what you're feeling.  My mom is still hanging on, with the best caregivers in the world taking care of her every need.  I couldn't have ever hoped for better care, so I am grateful every day for that.  I will be thinking of you a lot in the coming days and will send my very best vibes for you and your family's peace and comfort.  Big hugs,  Sue Ann

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Thank you (all).  It's good to have this tiny little door (escape hatch) into another part of the world.  It's good to not have my thick skin (or shell) on for just a few minutes.  It's good to be able to just say "I'm very weary really; please just think of me today." 

I truly do know that everything will be okay, but honestly ... I'm one of THOSE who likes everything settled and decided ... and I struggle when it's not.

I agree Dilu about the best thing I have going for me in this situation.  I have wonderful siblings and it's SO good we're all on the same page, singing from the same hymnal, etc.  I'm the oldest of five, so of course impose ridiculous expectations/requirements on myself like any self-respecting first-born would do.  I'm also a "peace-keeper".  So I am extremlely grateful that we're all in agreement, or I really would be ripping my hair out.  They're (painfully) aware of my possible areas for downfall (as I am of theirs), and we're able to encourage each other and that's a very good thing.

Sarcasm and cynicism come and go, and that's okay.  I'd rather be a lot sarcastic and cynical, then just a little discouraged.  That'll kill ya.  So thanks again gals.

Onward! :)

Deb

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Oh Deb! 

I do like that sentiment-

cynicism and sarcasm are stronger personality traits-and traits of fighters who complain and can make pithy observations while they make their way through life, kicking and screaming the whole way.

It's a little scarry-like looking in the mirror early in the morning and having forgotten that you've aged 30 years.

YIKES :o

Something I never recommend- at least have coffee first.....


Good luck Deb.....remember Shelli's last paragraph-

Dilu

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

"I'm the oldest of five, so of course impose ridiculous expectations/requirements on myself like any self-respecting first-born would do."


I'm the oldest of eleven and feel the same. As well, my siblings are extremely supportive. (it probably helps that I terrorized them when young and they are still afraid of me bear_original    My Dad likes to drink and we have to watch how much and actually lock it up so he doesn't overdo it. Makes me feel strange but he knows why we're doing it and he knows that he can't control it himself. My Mom was such a strong woman it's hard to try to fill her shoes. As it is, my youngest brother and sister's kids think of me more as a grandmother than an aunt since I'm 20 years older than their parents. Isn't it great to be at the top of the food chain.

Hugs and best wishes,
Marion

JanetandBears Janet Ann Anderson and Bears
Breckenridge, CO
Posts: 264
Website

Dear Deb and All.....
       I have just been reading all your posts with tears and being thankful for all your caring and supportive comments.  Deb, Iam in exactly the same situation right now with my mother and I know the agony of it.  I won't go into details but just know we all are in same  boat at times and I am glad you brought your feeling and thoughts forward to share.  I am more introverted but let things out in other ways than writing and talking.  I am oldest of 4 and my siblings are very close and supportive too.  It did cause me some pain Dilu, when you mentioned having men in your lives.   But,  I am very happy for you and do treasure it as I  know you do.    Janet

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

I'm so touched by all of your notes, really.

Dilu ~ I appreciate your concern, and share the same advice myself, with others. 

I know I can be a little sarcastic, jaded, cynical when stressed, and sometimes, it's just so much easier (and better) to spill your guts through your fingers than to someone face to face (who might slap you).

... is what I originally typed.  And it's true.  But perhaps I should have emphasiszed "little" and "when stressed".  In any event, they aren't words that I would use to describe my typical self ... um, tho admittedly, my sense of humor runs on the sarcastic side ... which unfortunately, doesn't always come out that way in written communication.  I'll have to work on a solution I guess.  FORTUNATELY, for the most part, I see through the threads that everyone accepts everyone the way they are here, and ignores what may, at a glance, appear offensive, probably because they know there's a 99.999% chance it isn't intended that way. 

Gosh I love this board!

*****************
Marion and Janet ~
You hang in there!  Gosh ... another opportunity for a club (The First-Borns).  Yay!  Janet, I am HORRIBLY introverted.  But facing this pc and keyboard isn't the same as facing 12 or more (or even less) people!  Take care of yourself!

Hugs,

Deb

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Deb,

Well of course its only when we're stressed-aren't we angels the rest of the time? :lol:

Janet- I am sorry what I wrote hurt you.  I know that you know I never meant to.  I would never intentialy hurt a fellow Oboe player-you have enough stress just making reeds! :o
But, still,....I am sorry.  My oboes is named Siegfreid, by the way.  I look forward to meeting you if you can make it to Lincoln City

hugs

Ms Footinmouth

Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735

Deb.jpgOh Deb,
I don't have any story or word to encourage you now but
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom.
Gentle Hugs/Marie

Carolyn Green Draffin Bears
Auckland New Zealand
Posts: 5,354
Website

Hi Deb,

Just wishing you all the very best for you and your Mum and the rest of your Family.
It is just so hard when a loved one is not how they once were.
Also Janet and Marion I send my best wishes that you and your families can find the peace and
comfort that you are all needing at this time.

Hugs
Carolyn

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