SAINT OR SINNER?
Caring for an incapacitated mother can be very good for building up those quality character traits that you didn't know you were lacking in. I always assumed I was a relatively patient human being - not a Saint, but not a screaming loony when dealing with the quirks of others. That was until my mother moved in for a few weeks!
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Being chief entertainment co-ordinator can wear a little thin after a while. She talks, and talks, and talks, and sings (I guess that's where I got that habit from!) and reads me stuff from the paper, and tells me the same thing several times. Remembering that mum is in pain and doing her best helps smooth some of the bumps, but there is still a fair amount of self control being exercised at any given time. I think strangling your mother is still against the law in Australia. (And if truth be told, she'd probably like to strangle me at times too!)
Along with the talking comes the need to remind me that she doesn't like the exercises she has to do because they hurt like hell. I totally get that, but listening to someone groan, and swear, and whinge, and groan, and did I mention........groan - several times a day, is even driving my poor husband a little batty. I offered her a leather strap to bite on but she didn't get the humour (probably because it was at her expense!)
I did feel a lot better about being the "Exercise Nazi" (her description - not mine) when she told me that she appreciated me making her stick to the exercise regime - despite her complaining. She knows that her knee won't improve if she doesn't suck it up and do what needs to be done - but we all love a good whinge when we're in pain so I guess she's allowed to groan when she's doing the right thing.
I've traveled with mum (and her dodgy knee) a couple of times and that was good groundwork for living together 24/7 - there isn't really anywhere to run and hide - you just keep smiling and hope that nothing escalates. My halo is tilting regularly and I have to keep hauling it back into position - I thought mum would nap more, or read more, or zone out more, so that I could recover some head space. So far that hasn't been the case - she is soldiering on and I'm running along behind (one hand supporting that halo and the other checking that mum doesn't fall over!)