Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    That's me.:faint:

    I love mother in law. I care a great deal about her happiness. But the woman is driving me nuts.

    I can't go a day without her calling and needing/wanting something. And maybe that wouldn't be so darn bad if these needs/wants weren't always immediate. It's like she's suddenly forgotten that I have a family, house, and school to attend to other than her.

    She's become so needy of late that I'm starting to dread when the phone rings. Lord help us if we skip a day of seeing her. She will find a reason for one of us to come over.

    I went thurs to take her more things she requested from the house. That was ok as I'd planned to do that anyway, plus there were bills I needed to help her pay. I figured I could do it then and have the weekend to catch up on cleaning, study for a microbiology test, sketch out my otter on canvas for oil painting.....and do all the easter stuff with the kids.

    Uh, no. She called me this morning (sat morning). God forbid we skipped friday. She called all upset that her ankles and feet were no longer grossly swollen. Said she'd called the nurse in and nurse said it was a good thing. Reluctantly nurse was calling doctor at mother in law insistance. Now mother in law's ankles and feet have been horribly swollen for about the last year. I explained that if the swelling was down that it was indeed a good thing, although it doesn't make sense and is odd. None of her medications have changed. mother in law seemed upset.......started going on about how she gives up.......A sympathy gaining routine.

    Maybe it was mean of me, but I ignored it. I had a million things to do today. I didn't have time to stop by the ALF to hold mother in law's hand or run a dozen errands for her. She's there so they will help her when she needs it, and all her needs are met. Wasn't like I was leaving her high and dry.

    And she has got to get over this expecting us to jump at her slightest whim thing.:mad:

    So.....I went and followed thru with Easter plans with the kids. I seem to be coming down with the stomach bug going around the art classes (oh goody) because I kept feeling worse and worse, then after eating.....all I wanted to do was toss my cookies. When we came home I headed up to bed. The nausea had gotten the better of me.

    When I came back down an hour or so later........husband said he'd gotten a phone call from his Mom. They had chilli for supper again. And she'd had him make a special trip to bring her a milkshake.

    OMG!:mad: So husband (since he feels guilty that she's there) wastes gas to go clear across town just to take his Mom a milkshake.

    Pardon me a minute while I stop to pound my head on the wall.

    This is what I'm talking about.

    And it's soooooooo out of character for mother in law. Used to be we had to force her to let us just do things for her.

    I know much of it is adjusting to the ALF. But honestly, I don't really see why it's affecting her so much. She has just as much independence as she did at home. The woman hadn't been able to leave her house in 2 yrs. She can still make all her own decisions and do as she pleases. Heck, she can do things in the ALF she hasn't been able to do for years! And she has all the help she needs as an added bonus.

    But she's acting like husband when he's pretending to be sick.......I guess attention seeking behavior.....and my patience is not going to last....not after dealing with it with husband all these years. It would be different if I was still a stay at home mom....but dang it to hades I don't have time for this carp!! She's running me and husband ragged.

    Awful. easy child plans to go visit with me and husband for Easter tomorrow. I'm a horrible daughter in law because after this week.....and the previous weeks......I just want to stay home and study/work on my painting. Makes me feel like an ogre but I can't help it.:(

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. I have seen older people do this, and it is kinda sad. They want attention, and this is not a good way to get it. I hope she gets over it soon. I would go see her every other day (if possible) and tell her that. Tell her all you have to do, even if she already knows it. Is she getting a little forgetful?
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    When my father in law came to live in an ALF a couple of blocks away from me, my husband went to see him every day. After a while I noticed that father in law didn't do things for himself that he could do and that he was not mingling and making friends. I had husband stop the daily visits and just go 2x a week. It worked out well all around until father in law had a stroke which put him in the Alshiemer's ward (he did have it before the stroke but it was thought that he would not need the alsheimer's care ward for several years).

    We went back to the everyday thing immediately after the stroke and he got out of rehab. We did this because they sent him back to his cottage at first. We knew he could not function on his own so we helped him out. husband was sleeping there and then I would spend the day. This went on for a month until I realized that father in law would never be able to live alone in his cottage again. I told husband to stop sleeping there and I would only go twice a week. It was scary but we knew that it was the only way the facility would see that he wasn't able to be alone. father in law got into all kinds of situations and an emergency meeting was called by the facility. He was then placed in the Altshiemer's care facility where he was monitered at all times. It was hard for us to do but it was the best thing for him.

    One thing I kept askingmyself was "Why spend all that money for a facility if you are going to do all the work?"
    It is one thing if you are enjoying the time and the running around that it entails but if it is a burden... then why?

    After father in law was placed in the closed facility and we knew that he would no longer be wandering off and getting lost getting into fights with strangers, etc. we moved about 45 minutes away. The facility was so used to me dropping everything and running for whatever that they would still call me for every little thing like when he lost his belt or needed shoelaces until I finally put my foot down and had them keep his clothing in the laundry room only giving him what he needed at the time. I also established an account with a company that would allow them to order things and then I would approve the purchase and pay for it. Now we go to visit when we want to. We go mostly unannounced and at many different times and on different days so we can see how they care for him. We stay only 20 minutes as he gets agitated and hellucinates about horrible things happening to us if we don't leave immediately. Since we do not want him to be uncomfortable we leave.

    Sorry I didn't mean to go on so much but my point was that if you continue to do for her she won't do for herself and she won't "settle in". Also if the facility thinks that they can keep you doing for her they won't assumethe entire responsibility for her care.-RM
  4. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Hmmm. When I still worked for the hospital, I spent a few years in nursing homes, some that had ALFs attached. I think for many elderly people, moving into an ALF doesn't seem all that different than moving into a nursing home. And many, many people believe that you go to a nursing home to die. It may not be soon, but once you are unable to 100% care for yourself at home, it means you're OFFICIALLY on the downhill slope, and you don't have long left.

    And that really, really scares them. It doesn't matter that she can do more now, that she has more freedom and more active ability---giving up total independence is a huge, huge step. And it sounds like she's freaking out. I saw a few new patients do that, for them, it was just fear. Fear that they'll be left alone to die in the ALF/nursing home, and eventually everyone will stop visiting (cause that's the stereotype) or caring.

    Dunno if that's her problem, but I have seen people running their families ragged before. Usually once they got reassurance that the family did, in fact, still care about them, and a regular visiting schedule was set up, they calmed down. *fingers crossed* that you figure out what she needs to settle in, hon!
  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Sort of reminds me of our difficult child kids. The more we do for them and pay attention to them the less they do for themselves and the more needy they become. Sounds like you will have to set up the same sort of boundaries for mother in law as you would for a difficult child kid.
    Good luck, you do not need to be run ragged!!!!
  6. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I've gone thru simalar things with my mom, althought not with the ALF. With every serious illness, her kids have rallied around her doing all kinds of things for her. It gets to where she equates it with love. Slowly she recovers yet she still wants to hold onto the extra care and attention that she needed, but no longer does. It was a process of backing off slowly and being less available. Finally she would start back to doing the things she could and enjoy the feeling of independance it gave her.