These past few days have been very hard. I feel my attitude slipping, my body is arguing, and mother nature is being mean to me. Today feels like its a mountain, yesterday was a mountain and so was the day before.
Being a caregiver is trying. It can wear you down. I am watching my mother's world get smaller. Her thinking now is mostly just her needs, they worry her, she wakes up each morning thinking about what she needs. It is sad. Our conversations are mostly reminders of what I need to do for her. Her memory is fading and her thoughts are limited. Sometimes I wonder if her staying in her home is what is best for her. Her only contact is my brother and I. Mom was never a family person, her interests were always in her hobbies and clubs. We are surrounded by family in our small town but they are strangers when it comes to mom. I don't blame anyone for this, it was just mom being mom but it makes me sad that as she got older she had no desire to get close to anyone but my brother and I. Now our conversations are just taking care of her needs then she is ready for us to leave. She seems happy being alone with her things.
She let her helper go, told her she no longer needed her. Her helper was such a big relief to me. She gave her a good bath once a week, checked her body for sores, bruises, etc. rubbed her with lotion and cleaned her house. She was trained to take care of elderly bodies, minds and habits. Now I have lost that trained eye. When I go up to check on Mom, she meets me at the door to her kitchen, immediately speaks of the tasks or errands I need to run for her, and then she is ready for me to leave. There is no asking me to come in and sit down, or stay to visit but there really never has been. She did slip yesterday and admitted that she has been leaving a burner on her stove on so now she cooks her food one at a time. I know in her mind she is adapting to her body's limits. I take her food but she eats what she wants when she wants. When do we intervene? Do we? Or do we continue to let her live out her life as she chooses?
I had to intervene once and it was not good. We had been going back and forth over her medicine. I would put her pills in her daily keeper for her. She would then take what she thought she wanted and add more when she wanted. Finally our doctor told her enough was enough. We were then able to switch her to the prepackaged daily (morning, noon and evening for her) pill packs from our pharmacy. She was mad at me for over a month over that. Then her helper found mom had a bottle of thyroid medicine hidden in her bedroom that she was still taking when she wanted to.
Then there is my body. It has a mind of its own and lately it has been angry. Fibromyalgia is making my skin burn and feel like a terrible sunburn, especially where skin meets skin, my hands, feet and underarms are extremely painful today. I wear soft loose fitting clothes, mostly soft cottons, to ease the sensitivity. This works much better than any pill. My joints are tight, and I find them drawing up when I am still. My finger tips have no feeling except lots of pins and needles poking them. So I drop things. I am clumsy and slow.
I had a nuclear stress test last week for my tachycardia after my ekg showed abnormalities. I feel it is stress, just as it was 3 years ago. I am still waiting on the results, but I am not too concerned about it today. It just slows me down sometimes.
This week our local farmers will start cutting their corn. With the ragweed, dust and mold readings already so high the cutting of these dusty corn stalks with only make it worse. But it only lasts about a week and then they will be done, We are using lots of Puffs with lotion, tylenol cold and sinus, flonase and my nedi pot. I just got off a round of antibiotics for a sinus infection, but the headache is still here. I am ready for the cooler weather.
Our son in law will have his cancer surgery in a couple of weeks. I will be staying with him during the day at the hospital and then at home through his 6-8 week recovery. I pray that his surgery is a success and that his body adapts to not having a real stomach or esophagus. I also pray that they do not find any more cancer. The chemo and radiation have made him weak, but he is in good hands with his medical team. He is having a hard time, both of his parents died in their 40's from cancer and he has no siblings. He knows first hand what cancer can do.
I am tired. I remember my father telling me to just get up and pull my boots up by the strap and go on. I also remember telling him that my boot straps were worn out and broken. That is how I feel today. I have done my morning stretches, which were painful. I have read my devotions and lit my prayer candle. I have journalled my blessings and gratitude. I have blessed others with thinking of you cards to mail, and some food to share. I have hugged my husband and played with kitty.
But I still feel this way. Today I just don't feel very grateful. Today I don't feel like me.