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Cracked! Taken my first diazapam.... - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Cracked! Taken my first diazapam....

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Have you thought about Abbeyfield's sheltered housing. It's usually an adapted big house housing for about 9 residents. They have them in most towns. It's run by a charity. Mum and Dad were there for a bit. The house manager was fantastic. They had regular outings and socials arranged. They had meals provided. They could have carers in if they were needed. It's rented accomodation but I thought it was very reasonable. Dad didn't like it though but that's another story
Jenny,

I do agree with Crocus that you need to see your GP before making any decisions. When I was trying to decide whether to move closer to my mum, I saw a counsellor who was very helpful as she could challenge some of the assumptions I had made about what would or wouldn't work. And I too am on ADs which help me to function and hopefully think a bit clearer.

I would imagine a house with granny flat would always sell very well - either for relatives or au pairs etc - so you would get your money back. The most important thing is though how would your MIL feel about it? Would she be expecting you to be at her beck and call being next door? Would she even agree to it? Potentially you would build it and then she could refuse to go! And surely if she sold her house, that would more than cover the cost of granny flat in any case.

I do think GP / counsellor is the way to go first though. Many of us (myself included) feel that our life as we knew it and wanted it is on hold / over. I personally love travel but now cannot do it for more than a couple of days at a time. I long to go back-packing around Asia again but alas ..... It is the price we pay for caring. For most of us the price is worth it; for some, it is not.

Incidentally, the middle-aged woman you describe in the supermarket dragging an elderly relative around is probably me but this does not mean I am "docile / defeated / Stepford woman". Quite the contrary. It is just my priority in life now has to be my mum. It is not her fault (nor your MIL); they would probably be horrified if they saw the sacrifices we are making. It is why this Forum is so good - people understand those feelings.
I'm genuinely not sure my MIL would be horrified at the sacrifices I'm making. I'm not sure she sees it as a sacrifice in the first place....

That said, I do establish with her that 'we each need our own space' (and I try and say something like - I know it's tricky for you as a house-guest, as you have to 'do what I want to do' etc, which is my 'polite' way of saying 'and I have you as a houseguest I have to look after all day!'....) and she does say, oh yes, of course, but there's never a word of 'Time I went back home, you've had enough of me now!'.....that's the mental decay, I guess, or just the pure selfishness, I'm not sure (I worry that it isn't just mental decay, which by definition 'isn't her fault' and in fact is actual selfishness, as in 'this suits me and I'm not changing it thank you!') - anyway, she's mostly gone beyond any regard for me.....

Not entirely, though, and I am grateful for shreds of 'appreciation' by her - she'll always say thank you and so on when I bring her anything, and she is very 'polite' (and, to an extent, is also 'long suffering' when it comes to waiting 'patiently' for food)(though not always - I was on the phone for half an hour recently to my SIL about a potential sheltered housing place my SIL was helping me assess, and MIL called me twice, and when I went down stairs finally she had her 'bootface' on that told me she was NOT a happy bunny at being kept waiting for her dinner!) (she's usually lovely to me when I'm fussing over her and cossetting her!!!!).

But I know from others here that at that age, and in that mental state, they do get very self-focussed, and like a small child just simply cannot think about other people any more.
That's why I fear that, actually, even if she did 'twig' that what I'm doing for her is, actually, a huge, huge amount (ie, giving up my life!), it wouldn't really bother her too much, because the alternative, for her, is being 'abandoned' up in Glasgow, and that's so horrendous to her that she'd rather exploit me than suffer....

Anyway, it doesn't really matter whether she does or doesn't twig what I'm doing for her, as what does matter is that it has to be a sort of 50:50 split of 'burden' for us - I give her half my life, she has to endure 'abandonment' for the other half. Just as parents don't 'give in' to their small children all the time, so we, as elder carers, shouldn't 'give in' to our carees all the time.

Of course, the main difference for me, as I've droned on before (no, really?, Jenny, we hand't noticed, ha ha!) is that she is my MIL, not my own mother, so I don't love her which is, really, probably the heart of the problem. Would I have described the 'shuffling round the supermarket' if that had been my own mum I was talking about? No, I think not - and in fact the very thought of calling it that makes me ashamed of myself. (I'm sort of ashamed of myself for having described MIL as that, but that's the 'yo-yo' aspect of my attitude towards her - sometimes it's rage and revulsion, and sometimes its affection and pity....) (Memo to self- with summer coming, I'll finally get her out of her ghastly hat and thick coat, which makes her look 'shuffling' from the off! I took her to a decent hairdresser a week or two ago, and the difference is startling - I've got my old MIl back - smart and stylish - not sad and shuffling....)(it's got hideously dirty and greasy again, and I'll have to wash it back at her flat, where there is a flexible shower attachment, which I'm not looking forward to, but has to be done)(it's like babies again, isn't it - changing the nappy of someone else's baby is not the same as changing your own baby's nappy.....)

Don't you think, though, that part of the 'anguish' of elder caring is that we simply can't (because it's too cruel!) tell them what we really feel about it? I can't (because even I, harsh and condemning as I am, am not that cruel) tell MIl that she's taken over my life and that I resent it so, so bitterly and that I go to the loo and want to scream my head off with rage and frustration and mental exhaustion and despair!. How can one tell someone they are a hideous burden to you???? (And that brings me round again to The Stress of Lying - that the very necessity of kindness of 'Smiley Face!' and cheerful willingness itself contributes to the stress, because we are forced to act a part we do not feel....)
Jenny ,
Have you spoken to SS about things sorry if you have & i missed it , i still think you should reconsider Sheltered again even if its in MILs area , my Dad has onsite carers 4 calls a day + 2 pop in calls through the night its not perfect by any means but im returning to be his daughter with not so much pressure,you could then visit when You wanted & bring her to yours when You wanted, knowing that she is safe & not alone ,hope you feel a bit better , if this sounds rubbish to you just ignore it , but it can work, ADs can help .
What do GPs do? Not trying to be sarky, it's a genuine question! What do they actually do? I get diazapam 'on demand' just about because I'm widowed, so they are used to prescribng it for me 'when things get stressy' eg, when I've flown longdistance which I don't like doing. Is it so the GP can refer me to counselling?

Thing is, my GPs think I'm loopy anyway ((no, really?, Jenny, why should that be?, ha ha!) because I keep insisting on every health check going (having a late husband who was diagnosed terminal does help in that respect....not that the GP missed any symptoms, because there weren't any until hubby was terminal...but it does give me 'clout' when it comes to 'making a fuss about my health'!)(but of course, they only give me the check ups because I'm a poor sad widow woman who's pyschologically scarred, not because they actually think I need them!)

So I fear that if I went to my Gp and said 'MY MIL IS DRIVING ME LOOPY!' they would simply say, have some more diazapam....then add 'Totally gone nuts now' to my file...(!!

(I'm not touching Prozac - my SIL was on iit for two years nursing her own mother with dementia, plus a bottle of wine a night....she's only just recovering now and getting 'clean'....now that her mother is dead. But Prozac scares me stupid - far too easy to get hooked in my opion. Diazapam I like. It's a sort of 'occasional calmer' one takes 'as and when'.... It takes the edge of despair/anxiety/strong emotion away - sort of a glass of sherry in a pill!)
Re sheltered housing - it's not actually needed. I know that sounds odd, but the thing is, she can do everything for herself in her flat, she just can't get out, and doesn't go anywhere, and no one calls. So she doesn't really need sheltered accommodation - she needs a 'substitute me'...and I think that is something outside carers can provide.

I know I sound negative about Sheltered accommodation, but the couple of places I visited really were grim. A sort of 'hotel' for the very nearly dead, is what they seemed to me. Utterly depressing I found them, so I do think I can't do it to MIL! They seemed almost as bad as a care home (a hotel for the even more very nearly dead....)

(REALLY sorry to be negative about places that may be working very very well for others here, so apologies)

The nicest was a little cul de sac of bungalows, which remains a possible possible, because they weren't flats along a corridor. (I think maybe my claustrophobia kicks in when I see flats, because I can't bear not to open doors and step outside into a garden!) The trouble with the bungalow I saw was that it was on the 'wrong' side of the cul de sac, with the little garden backing on to the road, not on the 'right' side where the gardens back on to playing fields, and face west, which is loads nicer! I'm still keeping my eye on the place, and am in a queue for it, so hopefully one might actually turn up on the 'right' side. However, there are location issues about the place, so not perfect either! I think, too, I find it hard to bite the bullet on just HOW expensive these places are - a tiny, tiny bungalow for £100,000 and that is with a shared equity scheme to boot!

(I know, I know - I can faff about for ever waiting for 'the perfect place' to turn up....and in the meantime....)
Just to say, all my moaning since last night, and all your kind, kind replies here, have got me moving finally on the carers front. I'm now actively organising someone to come in either daily or every few days, and give her a decent evening meal up in Glasgow, and even, I hope, to take her shopping. The agency didn't seem fazed by my request, so presumab ly I'm not being too weird about it!

I've mentioned it to her that I'm trying to organise it. She isn't exactly enthusaistic - it was more a 'oh, oh, I see'...(though I'm not sure she does) but then she isn't exactly enthusiastic about going back to Glasgow. She is, though,to do her credit, not saying anything negative about it, and she is, again, to do here absolute credit, for it is indeed due, accepting of my saying 'I need a break, Granny' (she always says 'oh, yes, I can see that'...so that really is a good thing about her). But I know she's not looking forward to being taken back home. But she is also being very 'good' about it, and I do appreciate it of her. (Ironically, despite everything I've vented here, I've actually found this most recent visit of hers the easiest yet - I know that sounds contradictory, but the first two weeks of her here were fine - I even enjoyed things like going out for drives etc, and having 'cosy' evenings by the fire watdching soaps etc - what causes the stress if the extended stay, that's when I start fretting, towards trhe end of week three, and by this last week I'm finally cracking!)(no, really? Jenny -we'd never have noticed, ha ha!)

Maybe if the outside carers stuff works, I can leave her up there for more than two weeks!

****

Anyway, peeps, thank you SO much for all your kind replies to my inane and insane ramblings here - I've gone on and on and on (no, really?, Jenny, we never noticed!, ha ha!) and got VAST amounts off my chest, and feel hugely better and more upbeat.

So - my Plan -

- GP
- outside carers for MIL in Glasgow
- get proper costings for a Granny-Garage

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

(And now I'd really really better go and do something useful!)(no point moaning she's taken over my life, when I then spend what free time I have wittering away on the Internet instead of getting Chores Done!) (Plus, the cat is hungry!) Image
We had to tell my father in law (who is 84 and lives on the East coast of Scotland - we are on the West coast) that my husband could only visit once a month and thats it and if that's not good enough then he simply wouldn't see us at all. I am not saying that he likes it but he has had to accept that our severely disabled ventilator dependent son for whom we care 24/7 has to come first. Maybe you should sit your mother in law down and have a similar conversation with her? It won't be easy I imagine but surely it is better to get all your cards on the table so that everybody knows where they stand?

Eun
(I'm not touching Prozac - my SIL was on iit for two years nursing her own mother with dementia, plus a bottle of wine a night....she's only just recovering now and getting 'clean'....now that her mother is dead. But Prozac scares me stupid - far too easy to get hooked in my opion. Diazapam I like. It's a sort of 'occasional calmer' one takes 'as and when'.... It takes the edge of despair/anxiety/strong emotion away - sort of a glass of sherry in a pill!)
Prozac is fine, in fact its what Im on now (although I know it doesnt suit everyone and there are other ADs ) Diazapam is far more addictive. I would guess the bottle of wine a night was far more of a problem. Image
Go and see your GP before you burn out, he/she is likely to be much more sympathetic than you think.
Jenny,

I was wondering where you'd got to, and now I've read all this I can see why you've not been around for the last few days. I'm really worried about you, because it sounds like you're falling into the very trap that you've been so determined to avoid - turning your home into Jenny's Hotel and having your MIL as a permament fixture! Image You know very well that the cost to you would be huge, and it seems clear that it would exact a huge toll on your health.

From everything you say it's clear that your MIL is fairly capable of looking after herself, but she just prefers to be waited on hand and foot and is seemingly oblivious to the effect that all this has on you. It's a great idea getting the agency carers in to help her in the short term, and if that works out well then I see no reason why you couldn't make her stays in Glasgow longer, and the stays with you shorter, to regain your life back.

It's interesting that you say you've found all the sheltered housing places quite dismal and you can't picture your MIL in them... it sounds like your MIL has, to use an old phrase of yours, "done a number" on you Jenny! Image Obviously when you look round at places that are empty or have somebody else's furniture in them it takes a leap of imagination to picture your MIL living there, but I'm sure these places would be big enough to take her favourite furniture, pictures, etc and you could get the place looking cosy for her.

Also, regarding the business about your MIL being effectively housebound during the 2 weeks in Glasgow - that might be unbearable for you, but is probably far less so for her. My mother (86) has to be virtually dragged out of the house these days, for any outing of any kind, as she is content to sit in front of the telly day and night. If your MIL enjoys watching all the soaps etc and has plenty of food in her fridge, with a carer coming in to rustle up hot meals each day, then I think her life would be perfectly tolerable.

Diaz. is fab! I sometimes get a supply of that from my GP, to help with my sleep, but they won't let me take it permanently (shame!). So, let the tablets help, make sure you're well rested before that long drive, deposit her there and drive away, leaving her AND THE GUILT behind you! You've done a great job, but you've found your limit and that must surely tell you that wherever your MIL lives, it really should not be with you, because your health would clearly suffer.

I think you need to be absolutely straight with your MIL, explain that you need your space and that living with you permanently is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! Try to find MIL a place near to you, and don't be so fussy about the view - from what you say she would barely take any notice of it anyway. Move her near enough that you can visit or take her out occasionally, but please DON'T DO THE GRANNY FLAT THING! Sorry to shout but I think she'd just spend all day in your living room and you'd have had all that expense and upheaval for no benefit to you.

<SheWolf is now taking deep breaths, trying not to be anxious about Jenny caving in to MIL.>