Wednesday, 25 November 2015

sometimes you need the patience of a saint!

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

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!

I have learned some very valuable lessons about patience and even tempered-ness as I have ministered to a person with limited mobility and the need to be involved in the world around her. My mother is the queen bee of socializing and I think our quiet home is a little stultifying for her - and the need to entertain her falls squarely on my shoulders.

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.

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!)

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

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!)

23 comments:

  1. Sending virtual hugs across the world. I have a family member who handles stress with nonstop talking - very difficult for me because I do the opposite. I hope you can get regular breaks so you can stay strong.

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    1. thanks Katy - I'll survive it because it's short term (light at the end of the tunnel!)

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    1. my pleasure, thanks for stopping by Liz.

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  3. I don't know how you do it. I have to have my space, especially in my home and even though I have kids to tend with, they understand when mom needs a time-out to just leave me alone for about 20 minutes then I'm good. I also have time while they are at school to go hiking and do things I like to do for myself to keep my sanity, so I give you 5 really big gold stars for taking care of your mother and having the patience of a saint :-) Visiting from #waywow

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    1. thank you for the stars Michelle - they make me feel a lot better! You're right about having space - that's the thing I miss most (and she probably does too!)

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  4. Good for you! My halo has slipped so far that it is now a choker . . .

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    1. we'll be wearing the same fashion accessory by the sound of things Diane :)

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  5. I love your sense of humor! Keep smiling! I'll pray for that halo to stay put:-)
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. thanks Lori - that halo needs all the help it can get :)

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  6. I love that you've written this with a good dose of humor and honesty. No-one can get under our skin quite like family can!! I hope your mother is back on her feet again soon. Visiting via Life Loving Linkie :)

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    1. thanks Robyn - she's actually doing quite well - but it does grate a little day after day!

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  7. Oh Leanne, I can totally relate. My mom has been recovering from her broken arm/rebroken arm/ arm surgery/ arm surgery again, and living at my house since July. I love her dearly, but my patience is very tested on most days. A sense of humor is the best way to get through, I think!

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    1. Having a husband to hug now and then helps too Lana - at least mine is only for a few weeks - you're doing well to have coped for several months!

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  8. After almost two years of talking and complaining (that would be my mum and not me:) I get what mean, Leanne. I learned not to take it personally and just keep on doing my stuff. But OMG it can be hard at times, and today is one of those days where I just hit the ground:( Keep up the spirit, Leanne xx Abby

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    1. You too Abby - I am SO aware that my martydom is only for a few weeks while the rest of you do it for months, or years and I have absolute respect for you. While you're down on the floor have a little nap - and eat some chocolate (it's a bit hard to sip champagne when you're horizontal - but you could probably do it with a straw!) Hang in there xxx

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  9. Hi Leanne, it sounds as if you have your hands full and are stepping up admirably. It can't be easy for your Mum either, but you are the one having to do all the groundwork. I was only thinking/dreading the other day about my Mum having to slow down one day. At the moment she is full on busy, she refuses to slow down for anything or anyone, which I think is brilliant, but I dread the day she has to slow down, she will not be a happy lady!

    And there is something quirky about a wonky halo.

    xx

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    1. I think that's a big part of it Debbie - she feels the inconvenience of being hampered by her knee and is itching to be back in her old life. It's frustrating for her as much as it is for me.

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  10. You have my admiration! My mother was a handful and not always nice, qualities that got worse with advanced dementia. There was no way I could care for her--I would have stepped off the cliff years ago--so she lived in a dementia facility. Fortunately, she'd been wise with what little money she had, and it carried her through those years. My only suggestion to you is to find help, if you can. Wonky or not, your halo's still there.

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    1. My brother offered to have her visit for the day on Wednesday and I snapped that offer right up Brenda! The trouble with dementia is that it often brings out our worst characteristics and I know if my mother goes down that path I'll be putting her into care. I know that I don't have the skills or the "character" to deal with her long term!

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  11. Oh dear Leanne. That doesn't sound like a lot of fun. But try and remember all the lovely things she did for you. She probably put up with her fair share when you were a child. It's hard once you've flown the nest, at any age, to be back living with a parent, either at yours or hers. Maybe try talking it through, she just may not realise.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. It's actually not too bad Sally - we both realize that we are out of our comfort zones so we are making allowances for it :)

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  12. Haha I'm so glad you're keeping your sense of humor! Thinking of you... living with people (even those we love so much) is frequently such a balancing act...!

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