At breaking point

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I am in a a very dark place right now. Some info is needed to help understand why so here goes:
I am 39, mum of 2 boys (12 and 8) and live in london. All of my family live in Ireland and my sister in law lives abroad too so it is just me, my husband and boys living here to help. My mum in law (MIL) has had end stage copd for 5 years and has been end of life for a year. I worked as nurse until I had my youngest son. Went back to work in a school at lunchtime 3 years ago but gave that up last year when MIL got worse and confined herself to bed. I had been very involved in caring up until that point but then it became a full time job in march 16. My father in law needed surgery to replace a joint last summer so I sent my kids to my family and moved in to look after her and then him when he got out of hospital. I have not had a single day where I haven't had to go over there in over a year. up until christmas she could be left alone for short periods but from christmas eve this all changed. I was over there at 10:30pm christmas eve changing her bed as she suddenly became incontinent. We were told at new year she had days left but is still with us. I now spend every minute helping look after her and to give my father in law a break. She is very abusive and demanding and literally does nothing for herself now. She is doubly incontinent and high risk of pressure sores. Nurses come 3 times a day to change her but other than that it is all on me and father in law. She has refused hospice stay/respite and refused night carer to sit in. I ended up in hospital 2 weeks ago with inflamed and infected bowel and was very ill. She still refused to go to the hospice when I got home, so i could recover. My mum has come to stay and help me but leaves in 2 days and I have no idea how to face it anymore. I feel very unwell still. my father in law is at his wits end. But we are told there is no way we can make her go anywhere or do anything. Does anyone have any help to advice to guide me through and impossible time x
Ask the GP to make an NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track Application.
The only power she has over all of you is the power you let her have. She CANNOT be allowed to ruin everyone else's life by being so selfish. You need to be at home with your husband and your kids. She needs 24/7 care, either at home, via CHC, in hospital, or a hospice.
I'm dismayed at the number of problems very similar to yours have cropped up in recent months, it's a disgrace in my opinion.
Hi Lisa
I'm not sure but I think I read on here recently of a hospice that provided some sort of support at home. Perhpas you could contact the hospice who offered respite and ask their advice. I'm sure they'd have come across similar probelms in the past
This is in additions to Bowljngbuns suggestion..
It sounds like you need to try everything. Certainly you do not go back to caring until you are fit and well enough.
Xx MrsA
Thanks for the replies. She has been funded for 24 hr continuing care but refuses everything except 3 visits for changing daily. Everyone has tried to tell her it's too much for me and her husband now but she doesn't care. Screamed at me tonight why she didn't have an answer yet when I was ringing the nurses for morphine injection then moaned about having to wait. Nurse came within 30 minutes then 30 seconds after injection she's shouting at nurses how long it's going to take to work. I sat and cried to the nurse and she was lovely but said there is nothing they can do if she won't consent. Her husband is 83 and has health issues too but never moans. If I refuse to continue it is him who will suffer. I feel so isolated as I never see anybody else anymore and my family is in another country. I got out of hospital at 5pm on a Saturday and was called over to help him out at 8pm then again at 8:30am on Sunday. My mum has tried to step in for me but I still get called over all hours. I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel anymore and I don't know where to turn. Never thought anyone would be so utterly selfish even when you're saying you can't cope anymore.On top of all this my 8 yr olds school is refusing to back up me and gp with a referral for autism assessment. They said they know better and hospital won't proceed without school but senco has never spoken to him
I would have your FIL come and stay with you, and 'abandon' his ghastly wife, telling her GP/SS that she will now be completely alone in the house and no one will visit her. She will either have to accept the GP/SS sending in carers (as her 'slaves have escaped!) or else be taken into residential care.

Or she can shift for herself.

You really will have to be tough on this. She sounds an appalling person, and neithr you, nor her poor husband, deserve to have to put up with any more of her.

Ideally, she will be taken into residential care, and then your FIl can move home again and you can help him, but not too much (ie, so you can have your boys back etc etc.)

You've done QUITE ENOUGH for your horrible MIL, who is being selfish and abusive and deserves not the slightest consideration any longer.

Talk to your husband - he owes nothing to his mother either by the sound of it!

All the best but you WILL haveto 'be strong' and see this through, and force the hand of SS/NHS and, most of all, your selfish MIL.
Hi Lisa, What is your husband doing?
If I was in your situation I would send my husband to have a 'man to man' talk with his father and find out what FIL actually would like. Just because he is quiet doesn't mean he isn't suffering. It may come out that he would be thrilled if MIL was in a Home now.
Then I would tell hubby that he is going to have to confront his mother and put his manly foot down. Tell her that he will NOT have your combined lives ruined any further. That he will NOT allow HIS wife to be abused and made very unwell by her stubbornness. That he will NOT have his two boys deprived of a happy and healthy mother at this important stage of their growing. Then give her choices. Either she accepts full time help, goes into a Home OR he will FORBID you to attend to her any longer. (Yes, I know but they are at the fringes of a generation where the husband's word was law and she might believe it).
She will scream and shout but he will have to shout back. Mainly 'NO'.
If she has CHC funding, that will cover the cost of a Home.
You cannot go on like this. Even if she was your own Mum and a sweet, co-operative and appreciative lady, you couldn't keep this level of involvement up.
Start saying 'NO'.
Thanks for the replies. Its a very odd set up as she has ruled the roost and as a result FIL and husband cant seem to make her listen ever. FIl has begged her and told her for weeks he cant cope anymore. He is a very traditional proud man and it has broken my heart to see him cry on front of me daily. We both tried to force her but she just got nasty and it made no difference. She fell when I was in hospital and split her head so ambulance came but couldn't take her as she refused. Have told my husband I feel very trapped and isolated and very depressed but he's not here much as works 7am till 7pm 5 days a week with over hour commute each way. He's tried to tell her also but she wouldnt have it, and he's a bury your head in the sand sort anyway. She simply tells everyone she is going nowhere. Know my boys are suffering but they are very compassionate children know they are loved and this is hopefully temporary. I feel strongly the laws and rules need changing as it makes no sense that all the services can see we are not coping but she still retains total control. Feel very guilty that I have got to this point as I have always had a close relationship with her and was always the only person she didn't want to upset. I'm just so tired and don't know how i can cope when my mum leaves tomorrow.
Lisa, Re-read Jenny's post. it's your only path now it seems to me. I can see FIL collapsing, being taken into hospital (or worse) then what will you do? Move in with MIL? Finally refuse to bow down to her? It might be too late for FIL and it might even be you collapsing. (A real possibility). She won't change. She might die soon of course, but maybe not for a long time. You and your FIL can't stand any more. You are on the edge of a cliff and only you can step back. I do hope your husband will at least support that decision? Dig him out of the sand.
Imagine the worst scenario. You collapse, and are in hospital, your FIL soon follows. What will your hubby do about the children and his mother? Give up work? and MIL? She'll be taken into care anyway and it will all have been a senseless sacrifice.
Are you thinking that if MIL is taken into care she will die very soon? Well, yes, possibly, but only because that is happening anyway. Any reason why she should take her husband with her and leave you unwell and exhausted? Something HAS to change now.
I'm really anxious for you and I do hope you will see your way.
MIL nèeds hospice or hospital and morphine driver. If she is refusing to go why should anyone help her? She has surely losg ths ability to reason? You going over there is surely allowing her to continue this absurd behaviour? Tell the CHC nurses you can't do it any more. You can't control anyone else's behaviour but you can control your own.
Lisa, I'm sorry, but you seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that you need your ghastly MIL to 'agree' to receive outside help!

This isn't so AT ALL.

You say ' but she still retains total control'.......


You think she has control because you think it's necessary for her to cooperate with you! Rubbish.

She's got no power whatsoever.

BUT you have to exercise YOUR power - and so does your husband, and your FIL.

If you don't stand up to her, nothing will change.

I don't really understand why you think she is so 'powerful'! She's an old woman who likes to boss others around.

So, stand up to her! It's great you seem to have been the only one she didn't want to antagonise, but boy has she antagonised you now!

Just do what I said in my earlier post. All of you - FIL included - move out, tell her GP she's on her own and she can shift for herself or accept outside help. NOTHING ELSE!

Of course she'll throw a tantrum! But so what? Who give's a monkey's! No one. She's brought this on herself, and she can take the consequences.

I do think it's up to you, in particular, because she's obviously spent her life bullying her husband and son, brainwashing them into thinking they have to do what she wants! But you, as an outsider to that, can simply tell her to accept outside help, or no help at all, because you are DONE with her, and so is her poor hapless husband.

The ESSENTIAL thing for you to realise is that you have to FORCE her now. She will NEVER agree of her own volition! But who gives a damn? You don't, and shouldn't, certainly!

She can have perfectly good care being looked after by outsiders, instead of sucking the life out of you.

Why on EARTH should YOU suffer, or your FIL, or your husband, or your children?

Stand up to her.