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Cracked! Taken my first diazapam.... - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum

Cracked! Taken my first diazapam....

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
'I was thinking of your MIL's feelings not yours'

Well, that makes two of us. It's because I think of my MIL's feelings that I've spent five months looking after her just about non-stop, in my house, the way I have, ignoring my own feelings!

That's what sacrifice is - doing something for someone else that gives you nothing,and costs you a lot, but gives them something they want (and which, in my MIL's situation, she cannot get from anyone else). The only question is - how much sacrifice to make? That depends on how much compassion I have for my MIL, and how much for myself.

Right now, I'm calling time on the amount of sacrifice from me that it would take to make her as happy as she would like to be (ie, by living with me permanently.)

To be taken to task for wanting to only give up half my life to her, rather than all of it, is a bit rich!

As for anyone saying I shouldn't be looking after her (because I don't want to make a sacrifice of my entire life to her), well, as I have said several times now, there is NO ONE else to look after her. No one. So what possible benefit is to her if I abandoned her permanently in Glasgow?

Anyway, it's pointless my repeating myself. I have to be up early tomorrow, anyway, as I have a seven hour drive to Scotland ahead of me, and seven hours back again the day after next. Then in about two weeks time I'll be doing that again, to bring her back south again, once my precious fortnight of living my own life, not hers, is over again, and I resume living her life, and keeping her happy.
Jenny, I understand totally where you're coming from. I sometimes feel this way about my mother, because although I feel concern for her welfare and try to do my best for her, I am not close to her and don't enjoy her company, so the burden of her care drags me down sometimes. Also, although my mother is fairly mobile, she does nothing to help herself - between visits from me and the carer, she doesn't bother to make herself a hot drink, let alone a meal, even though she is more than capable. It seems the more people wait on her hand and foot, the less effort she makes to help herself. Sometimes she messes herself, then sits in it for hours, even overnight, rather than dealing with it. I find it repulsive. She seems oblivious to the effect that she has on my husband and myself and sometimes I dread the thought of her living another 10 years.

Today I made the decision that once she has had her second cataract removed and the healing process is finished (which will involve me and the carer putting in eye drops round the clock for weeks) I'm getting agency carers in to support her at the weekends, so I can have my weekends back. I think the restoration of her eyesight is important to reduce the risk of falls, and the restoration of my "Mum free" weekends is important to reduce the risk of me losing the will to live - literally.

I don't believe that your MIL's happiness is more important than yours, just because she's old. Same with my mother. Just because old age robs people of health, happiness and independence, I don't think old people should be allowed to rob their younger relatives of their happiness, by using emotional blackmail, but that is so often what happens. My mother doesn't want strangers coming in from a care agency, but the alternative is me covering the weekends. I don't want to continue doing that, knowing it could be for years. I've indulged her for years but I've reached my limit. Mum has no idea that sometimes I can't stand the sight or smell of her, but if she made a bit more effort, maybe I'd not feel this way.

You have made a lot of effort for your MIL, but you've reached your limit. Some old people can be incredibly selfish and thoughtless and are seemingly oblivious of the effect they have on others. However, I think that deep down, often they do know that they're being unreasonable in their expectations, but they prefer to remain in denial, so long as they get what they want. Sacrificing your happiness for a helpless, disabled child is one thing, but sacrificing it for someone who's had a long full life is quite another, IMO.
Shewolf - of course you must get carers in to help you, I cant believe that you havent already! Of course you have to have some time off.
Messing yourself and then sitting in it is not normal behaviour, neither is not making yourself something to eat and drink. What you are describing is typical of dementia - as you have been watching Teepa Snow you will have seen that she describes this so well. As she says - the thought is there, but they have trouble taking the thought and putting it into reality.
SheWolf - as ever, a very, very heartfelt thank you for your post, and I wish you all the very, very best with your own extremely difficult situation.

I won't stir up (another!) argument, but I would simply say that I hope that if indeed your mother is heading into dementia, that that doesn't mean you have to abandon your hopes of a little more freedom for yourself in your life than you currently have. I don't (at this moment in time, at least) consider dementia confers a 'get out of jail free' card for a caree to enable them to take over their carer's life 100%. But, as you all know, I speak in ignorance of personal experience (though I saw what dementia in my SIL's mother did to my SIL and her sister and their husbands, and it was hellish), so I allow for the fact I may be wrong in my moral assessment of situations involving patients with dementia.

SW -only a thought, and doubtless one that's already occurred to you, but if your father has dementia (as well as his alcoholic problems), and if your mother now heads in the same sad direction, would it make sense for them BOTH to be in your father's current care home (assuming that the problems with it you've mentioned elsewhere are either resolved or tolerable). At the very least it would mean you could 'do' both parents with a single visit....freeing up a little more of your time??

All the best to you possible, and again, thank you very much indeed for your kindly and supportive post. It is very, very much appreciated.

Cheers, Jenny

(Closing down laptop and packing car for Glasgow Image )
you do realise that you are amazing carrying on caring dont you? feel for you and hope time in scotland bearable
I hope you find the answer to this. I can understand some of what you feel as I also feel at times my life has been hijacked. As I have said two weeks after I was medically retired my previously healthy and independant mother had massive brain haemorrhage and I had to step in and take over. 18 months later and I am still the main person who does all the organising but I have taken the advice of this forum and made changes or I would have gone mad. She has carers 3 times a day and I dont go there in the day unless there is an emergency obviously. Outings are now limited to when my husband is around as I can't manage the wheelchair. I too get no thanks or acknowledgement for anything and all she talks about is my sister. She still phones me several times a day to ask about my sisters well being and that drives my husband insane. it's caused big problems between and my husband as it's his MIL obviously and he retired shortly before the brain haem so we could finally have some quality time together ( I have had ill health all my life ). He is very resentful that I am now so tied and he has gone back to work. He now works more hours than he needs to to avoid helping me. ( even tho I don't go to my mothers everyday I still feel tied as we can't just up and go ). My sister does very little but she has very young children who I also look after. I feel sometimes like moving away but I wouldn't as I would feel so terribly guilty and would not want my mother to suffer as without me she would be a complete prisoner in her house. ( anyone thinking 'inheritance' well my mother has changed her will and it's now split 5 ways as opposed to 2 so that is not what drives me lol).
It is a very difficult situation and you have my sympathy as your commitment is long term and she is. Not your mother which makes the world of difference. I hope you have a safe journey to Scotland and I hope you find some answers that will help both you and MIL.
She-wolf - hello - sorry I've only just read your reply to Jenny - think I missed it. I would not be able to cope without the carers coming in and I hope you get this sorted ASAP. It's not he panacea of course as they can cause problems ( late, no show, not very nice) and then my mother phones me in a state and I have to ring the care provider blah blah. I spend a lot of my life on the phone and my mothers ill health involves a lot of outside agencies like physios, OTs, doctors etc and it all has to be arranged. So even with carers I am still busy running her life. She doesn't always help the situation either as she refuses day care centres and the like . Al she wants to do is go shopping to M&S and buy clothes she will never wear but it gives her some pleasure. I too feel sad that my retirement has been stolen plus of course I need major surgery which is another problem. It is for a potentially cancerous problem but it's a big op for a theoretical cancer risk. My mother tells me not to have it as there will be no one to look after my sisters children and if I get cancer they can cure it. Great. My mother and I were never really close either - I married at 19 and moved away. My sister was only 5 so she is and always will be ' the special one'. Lol.
I wish you well she wolf xx
Messing yourself and then sitting in it is not normal behaviour, neither is not making yourself something to eat and drink. What you are describing is typical of dementia...
Well, I think there might be some dementia there, but when they did the mini test about a year or so ago she scored quite high... 28/30 I think. In truth Mum has always been a bit lazy when it comes to doing stuff she's not keen on. I don't mean that nastily as nobody can help the way they were made, but she was always in the habit of putting off doing housework or other tasks for as long as possible, but could always find boundless energy to go shopping for hours. I just think old age has made this tendency worse. Also, even if it's dementia, as there's no real treatment for most forms of dementia, I'm not inclined to push for a diagnosis at this stage, esp. as she has so many eye appts. lined up.

Jenny - thanks for the suggestion but I honestly think Mum would rather sit in her own s*** every day than go into the same home as Dad - just the sight of him sets her on edge. I raised the subject of a home, with plenty of carers around to prompt her to use the toilet (she claims she doesn't receive the signals now) but she flat refused. I discussed sheltered accommodation, with a smaller place where the toilet would be on the same floor and much nearer. She was adamant she wants to stay in her own home. I hold health and finance POA for her but would not push her at this stage.

Worrywart - yes I know what you mean about the issues that come with agency workers. Regarding Mum's cataract op, I won't have a bunch of agency workers coming in as I'm concerned that some of them might be a bit careless with their hygiene and in too much of a rush to wash their hands before doing the drops. I had the thought they could have just been wiping someone's bottom on the previous call... maybe this all sounds a bit OCD but as me and Mum's paid carer got her first eye to heal with no infection, I intend to get her through the second op in the same way. I just won't take a risk with her eyesight.

I tried to get Mum to have a waist down shower today - no chance! Didn't push it but she HAS to have one prior to having the second eye done - hospital insist, to cut infection risks for all patients.
Worrywart - my Mum used to be a total M&S addict, but even M&S can't tempt her these days. Just noticed your mum is trying to stop you having the op, so you can carry on looking after your sister's kids - that's awful of her! Please do what is right for YOUR health, after careful consideration of all the advice from the medical profession. Your sister's childcare problems are for her to sort out, not you. Please stop putting everyone else's needs before yours.
See you GP...if h*ll give you Lorazepam instead I think it will help.