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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Crazy Train Tuesday

I begin my Tuesdays now by sharing with you my experience on the crazy train I ride nearly every
day with Mom. She has some slight issues with cognitive reasoning as well as some extreme unaided hearing loss. It is not unaided by design but is her idea since she has the latest model in hearing aids.  They are tiny, easy to install and she hates them, so she leaves them in her jewelry drawer where they benefit none of us. In addition to the cognition and hearing malfunctions, she is just pissed off that she has gotten older and can't do what she used to do. And we all know if Mom is pissed off she is going to piss on someone!  I have decided my life is going to include a decent amount of Mom induced frustration but I can either commit murder, suicide, go stark raving mad, or involve you on my journey. Sharing this is the easiest and cheapest option for preserving my sanity. If you want to stop reading now, I understand. If not?  All Aboard!!!!!

Tuesday: This morning I woke at butt early o'clock, showered and dressed, then picked up My Beloved Sister so I could wait a couple of hours while she had her colonoscopy. After I drove her to her house and got her all settled in, I called Mom to let her know MBS was home and fine. What I got in return was hysterics. Mom had tried to call me (She evidently dialed the wrong number because my call log had nothing from her) and MBS (at her office) and getting no response decided something horrible had happened to us both. (Though I had told her on Monday I was taking MBS to the doc on Tuesday, she had forgotten.) She asked (demanded) I stop by her house and when I arrived there (about 10 minutes from the time I called her) she was sobbing uncontrollably. She had just seen a news clip of the tragedy in Manchester, but had not heard where it was so she concluded the only rational thought she could reach.  Son3 (who lives in NYC, not Manchester) was at a concert and was killed or maimed in the explosion.  Of course she had not heard where it was because, oh yeah, her hearing aids are in her jewelry drawer, not her ears.

Wednesday: Mom and I had a little discussion Tuesday about her being upset and feeling totally alone when she couldn't reach me by 10 am the previous day.  (Ok little discussion did not cover it. I got to her house at 11 and left after 1 It was not a pleasant 3 hour conversation but I said a lot of things that needed to be said.) I had the gall to mention she might need to reconsider living alone so she gave me the silent treatment Wednesday and could only call me to see if the other tree bid had come in. My apologies to My Beloved Sister who had to pick up the slack with Mom this week since she was giving me the cold shoulder.

Thursday:  I was still being punished by Mom. She was giving me the silent treatment once again and we only spoke about who we would finally contract with to have her tree taken down.
Mom: I like the young one's price but I am not sure about his security.
Me: Security?
Mom: You know, his papers.
Me: Do you mean his license, bond and insurance? I only talked to people who met all 3 criteria Mom. (Because I deal with everything like this myself instead of waiting for TheHub to take care of it I know to get bonded licensed and most importantly insured workers.)
Mom: Yeah that's it.  When you get in touch with XXXXXX let them know I have plans Friday and Monday, but they can do it Tuesday.
We agreed which company to use and I called them to schedule their services on the earliest available date, then called Mom to tell her the plans. Now remember we had a serious drought last summer and any marginal trees are now dead, plus we have had about 5 weekends of storms and high winds since March. (Not enough tree people for the number of toppled trees. In fact my tree guy is not even giving bids right now unless trees are on a house or across a driveway or road)
Me:  Mom I talked to them about scheduling your tree appointment
Mom: Great, will they be here Tuesday?
Me: No ma'am. They will be here mid JULY.
Mom: (crickets)

Friday: I had called Mom Thursday night to let her know I had to be at the lake place by 9 a.m. Friday to meet the a/c guy. On the way to the lake I got stuck in a virtual parking lot on the interstate. After calling the a/c guy and letting him know I was not moving I called Mom just to check in with her.
Me: Hey Mom, How is your morning going?
Mom: Good, how about yours?
Me: I'm stuck in traffic on 65 so I thought I would give you a call.
Mom: Why are you stuck?
Me: No idea but the traffic is backed up as far as I can see.
Mom: Why are you out driving this early
Me: I am on my way to the lake to meet the a/c guy
Mom: Why are you meeting the a/c guy
Me: The compressor is shot and it has to be replaced.
Mom: Well you could probably wait a little longer to have it fixed. The high this weekend is only going to be in the high 80's to low 90's.
Me: (crickets)

Saturday: I called Mom from the lake just to check in.  After exchanging pleasantries our conversation went like this.
Me: (generic conversation)
Mom: I can't hear you
Me (Louder repeating generic conversation)
Mom: I can't hear you
Me (Even louder repeating generic conversation)
Mom: I still cant hear you
Me: (Silently) You choose not to hear when you leave your hearing aids in your jewelry drawer.
        (Aloud . . .very loud) OK. . .GOTTA GO. . . BYE!

Sunday: Called Mom when we got back from the lake
Me: Hey Mom we are home.
Mom: I thought you were going to Atlanta.
Me: We changed our plans since I had to meet the a/c guy Friday. We had 2 cars at the lake so it was easier for both of us to drive home.  We are leaving at 3 to go to Atlanta. Son3 should be through with his thing by 6:30, you never know about the traffic now that 85 is partially closed  and we had rather be there a little too early than to have him wait for us.
Mom: Well if you leave at 3 you will be there too early.
Me: Yes ma'am, we had rather wait on him than have him wait on us.
Mom: Well you can pick him up on this side of Atlanta.
Me: No ma'am, he is going to be near Ga. Tech.
Mom: Then you need to leave at 3 because you never know what the traffic will be like.
Me: Ok we will leave at 3 then.

Monday: Mom joined us for a Memorial Day BBQ in the early evening. We have learned that we need to eat early if she is coming over because going in her house after dark scares her.  It is a little after nine as I write this and it has not been dark but about 30 minutes, but that is neither here nor there. 5 p.m. suited her perfectly so we ate dinner at an insanely early time to please her. (Keep in mind that one of us picks her up and drives her home, walks completely through her house and we usually even check the basement or at the very least the basement door to make sure the latch is still on), so before we leave the house is checked thoroughly for the nefarious eizerblizer (or as my aunt's young neighbor used to say the "eith-her blith-her").
Son2 had the driving honors this time and he had not even gotten back to our house (appx.
3 minutes away) before she called to tell me she was alarmed. I give up!



32 comments:

  1. oh, poor mom. Doesn't sound like she had a very good week dealing with everything. Maybe if it gets worse, both you and MBS can talk to her together. Hope you guys have a better week

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  2. Sorry I am laughing, but mine just left a soaked and leaking sanitary pad the size of a small boat on the bathroom counter outside my shop. I found it with my nose...

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    1. Looking for the upside of your dilemma, at least your Mom did not leave the pad in her jewelry drawer!

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  3. Have you given any thought to anti-anxiety meds for your mom. If she won't take them you could so you don't kill her. Cheryl

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    1. She is on a mild one (I lied to her and told it was to build her blood volume) I can't imagine what it would be like without it!

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  4. I wonder if a day planner or calendar might help with problems such as not being able to reach you during the colonoscopy. You can write on the calendar what you are doing and where you will be every minute of everyday. Same for Beloved Sister and everyone else who ever comes in contact with "ma'am." Willy Dunne Wooters won't even get hearing aids. I get so tired of him not understanding most of what I say.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. She has one, and we all do cross reference it between the 3 of us. Somedays it works but some days she decides something terrible has happened and absolutely nothing will change that.
      I get so tired of repeating what I said that I could (an occasionally do ) yell.

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    2. When I speak up so that WDW will hear me, he says, You're standing right next to me--as if he can hear me up close, which he can't, most of the time.

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  5. that's a great idea about the calendar. My mom is on anti-anxiety meds and I'm sure it helps her some. I have never understood why people will not wear hearing aids. My dad refused to even get them. My grandma had them but would only wear them if we forced her to. Drove me nuts.

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    1. I don't understand the reluctance to wear hearing aids either, but I live it every single day with Mom.

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  6. Both my parents were deaf at the end. If was fine when they were together as they just had "parallel" conversations. An of course the TV was on a different channel (full blast) with a radio on in every other room. BUT it was hell when we were with them because we tried to have conversations with them and, as you say, it is unbearable. I have heard many people say that the hearing aid magnifies EVERY sound, not just voices, and that the external noise just gets too much. Then again it could just be bloody mindedness couldn't it. Oh dear. Anna

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    1. Mother gripes about the amplified background noise but we have told her to turn the down unless someone is there. No dice!
      I am not sure the volume on Mom's tv can be placed at a higher volume than she keeps it. It is seriously painful to my ears. We always pray she will get up form her chair and leave the room so we can turn the damn thing down.

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    2. My partner's father's hearing was woeful (he slept through a smoke alarm). He flatly refused to wear his hearing aids and the television lived at painful levels. Really, really painful levels. Some conversations with him were seriously surreal. He responded to what he thought he heard...

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    3. I am familiar with both the tv volume and the phantom conversations!

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  7. I wonder whether I am going to turn into my mother? Or yours? I hope not.

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    1. For the sake of world peace, or at least your caregiver's peace I hope you don;t!

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  8. My mother didn't wear hearing aids because she found them very difficult to put in. Drove me crazy too when she didn't wear them.

    As mentioned above, some kind of calendar system might be useful. For my aunt who claimed no one ever visited her, my mother put a calendar up and everyone who came in and out signed it. This was something tangible for my aunt to see when her memory wasn't serving her well.

    We have also found a white board with important events and orienting information quite helpful with my parents. Once again when the hearing and/or memory wasn't working, this was a place for an easy reference.

    Have you already checked out what other places might be good for you mother to live? It's never too early to get on the list as many places have long waiting lists. Soon enough, it won't just be very frustrating to deal with your mother living by herself, it won't be safe. Not to be negative, but I'm all too familiar with this kind of situation.

    Good luck to you and your sister. And your mother.

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    1. Our first step will be some live in help for her. We had them the last 2 weeks of Dad's life and they were wonderful. I keep in touch with the business owner and he has employees who can be here in 2 days time. After that we will begin actively looking at places. Right now we have been exploring them passively because we don't have a designated move date.

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    2. We had help for several years of varying degrees with 24 hour help for the last couple of years for my mother. Being in a very small town, there were no agencies or businesses that handled that kind of thing. Scheduling was a nightmare especially when someone didn't show up. And there were no relatives living nearby. Two of my sisters and I were 6 hours away and my other sister was 14 hours away.

      Sounds like you have a good backup plan with people you already know.

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    3. I know things will change and they might start changing rapidly!

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  9. I know you are living the crazy, but I get nostalgic for my mom when I read these. Had she not gone before my dad, I can't imagine what her life (and ours) would have been like.

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    1. My dad was a sweetheart and so easy about everything up until the day he died. Mom is and has always been a tad more difficult. It does not mean I love her less. It just means living her requires so much effort.

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  10. I have to say I've always loved your mom but I understand completely. Daddy was so easy going like your dad but mother was a different story. She complained about the hearing aid and was forever losing it. She did move to assisted living for a while and once there she liked it. Hopefully your mom will too. And she won't have to worry about burglars or trees!

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    1. Shhhhhh Mom has no idea I write about this so whatever you do don't let it slip to any other family people!

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    2. It's not only burglars and trees but it is every other imaginable condition from a drain that sounds funny to a rogue bug she can't identify. At least I have My Beloved Sister to share this with. You had to navigate solo.

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  11. I won't breathe a word. Much better to have an ally. You and your sis are a good team.

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  12. Holy... I'm just gonna say this. You have the patience of a saint. My dad and I can barely get along and that's spending a matter of hours together every few months.

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    1. I don't have patience at all, but I love Mom and she needs help, so I will help. I just growl and snarl at TheHub and have told him don't try to fix it, just let me vent and get it out of my system.

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  13. We are dealing with this everyday - my MIL is living with us. Alzeheimers was our diagnosis. She moved in the day we found out she wired money for the Publishers Clearinghouse taxes - 11 months and counting. Hubby is an only child and does. Not want to look at other options.

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    Replies
    1. Bless you! I had no idea how difficult this would be.

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    2. My FIL had early onset at 50 so we learned a bit the first time. I am going to start writing the funny ones so that the bad isn't so dark.

      You and sis are doing a great job ❤️❤️

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