I have started a handful or so blog posts, only to give up or not like the rambling-venting bent they (my brain) veered off to.
My dad and I have been caring for my mother, in various and increasing ways, for decades. As I've shared here, the last few years up until last fall, have been a roller coaster. Our ability to do things changed, our worries mounted, and our downtime between issues lessened. And all that pales in comparison now to the amount of care and supervision she needs now.
At every point she seems to be improving, she crashes and seemingly slides deeper into a pit we can't pull her out of. At the moment, she sleeps most of the day, refuses to eat, and is basically kept alive via her feeding tube - an ordeal to keep access to is several chapters of it's own in a novel that now even my siblings are saying I will have to write. I can't help but wonder if she's willing herself to fade away - and succeeding.
I've never been a sparkling conversationalist, but if you liked to discuss a bizarrely broad spectrum of science, philosophy, historical anecdotes, and other random topics, I could and have talked til the sun comes up. Now, I assure you, I am the queen of making conversations short, uncomfortable, and disgusting. Would you like to know how my day is? Before you ask, look deep into your heart of hearts and ask yourself how much you can handle hearing about the contents of a person's stomach spilling out through a hole in the abdomen you can tolerate. So I get why no one is really looking to me to fill in conversational lulls. Also, most people cannot tolerate any kind of insight into death, mortality, the failing human body, or even the thought of their own parents potentially needing care and planning at some point in a distant future. If we can't have honest discussions about racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and things like an increasingly dystopian-level of governmental insanity, how in the name of Big Bird are we going to address what it's like for an increasing, but isolated, group of people who are struggling to care for their loved ones?
Understand that my bullshit tolerance level for the kind of crap, self-indulgent, narcissistic idiocy no longer exists. If you interrupt me to tell me you know what it's like (but mostly to takeover the conversation) because of a loved one being cared for by somebody else that you never see has gout in their big toe and it's excruciating for you...to hear about it in your bi-weekly phone calls, then you need to fuck right off. A short pier. Into chum filled waters. And I hope your private parts are fill with paper cuts for that extra special few minutes of salty, salty water.
Because I'm exhausted. I don't have the ability to try to make you feel better about my situation. I used to be that person, that people-pleaser. Oh, I hope I haven't made you feel.. an emotion you find uncomfortable... because I'm dealing with something you find distasteful. Let me just bottle it up, swallow it down, and plaster a smile on my face so you can be all comfy cozy with your organic tea and fair trade coffee and complain about how the real problems in the world are people in a different social class than you who think and shop differently than you do. All while you snap photos of your pesticide-free, gluten free, good fat-having avocado for 2 of your 6 social media accounts. While you make fun of people for doing the same thing.
I don't have the patience for, in no particular order: hipsters (in any variation, at all), spoiled brats, people who hate living in Florida (you didn't go to sleep in a townhouse in Boston or a ranch in Wyoming and wake up in a trailer park 15 minutes from a Publix grocery store through no fault of your own & if wherever you came from is so wonderful, why aren't you still there and why don't you go back?), 80% of millenials, 75% of Gen X (conservatively), 90% of Baby Boomers, 99% teenagers & middle school children, 85% of whatever generation I'm supposed to be a party to, 100% of people who complain all.the.fucking.time, screaming and tantrums as a means of political debate.....and I'm sure the list goes on, but the last of my functioning brain cells for the day are all kinds of worn out.
As I whine about the toll caregiving takes, understand that no matter how well something turns out, from constipation to wandering out the door, ultimately the end of this is death. My mom isn't going to grow out of this, grow up well, go to college, etc. That's all behind her. I'm not putting in the time, I'm not putting in the heartbreak and the strain (& the disinfectants) with a hope of a brighter future for her. Every day is ultimately another day of decline, whether it comes after a few months or a few years, it goes the same way. I'm witnessing decay, with a hope that she hits some kind of peaceful crossroads instead of pain and agony. Because that's all I've got. That and vacation/relocation home shows at 1 in the morning as I wait to take her to the bathroom again.
|Courtesy: Caregiver Connection|