It wasn't easy making the call for respite care. The last time I had mentioned to my mom about going to a Day Center for Seniors she got angry, very angry. She accused me of being a terrible daughter and told me that she will never forgive me. Of course I cried, my mom was telling me that I sucked. All that I had done for her and continue to do for her, none of it mattered, in my mom's mind, I was sending her away.
Yes, it was my mom's body and it was her mouth that was moving but it was not her. She was lost. At the time I didn't know she lost her mind, I didn't know what was wrong with her. Moving changed everything, my mom would never be the same and it took me over a year to figure that something was seriously wrong.
It was over a year ago that I mentioned the Senior Day Car to my mom. I've been scared to bring the subject up again let alone make the call. But, I did. I called last Friday and have the ball rolling. Her doctor's need to fill out some forms and then she'll be able to go enjoy special activities for folks with her condition. My mom will meet new people and get to do something other than activities I come up with for her to do, like Wii Fit.
Wednesday, that's in 2 days, my mom is scheduled for a guest visit day at the Adult Day Care Center. I'll drop her off at 9am and pick her up after 3pm. I'll get 6 hours off for free. Yay!
I'm praying that my mom enjoys herself.
The respite care is a good solution where I can get a break and she can do something other than sitting in her room watching TV. A TV that I need to change the channel every 30 to 60 minutes, never leaving me much time to work on any project for any length of time.
My mom has been a bit edgy since I told her about the Senior Center and how she can go a couple of times a week and do activities with folks with similar issues as she has. I explained to her that they are trained professionals who can help her to feel better.
Change always seems to make my mom restless and lash out at me. She doesn't like change at all, she needs things to be consistent, the same. When we change her routine, oh boy... currently, we are in the midst of a changing routine and my mom is picking fights with me.
It's so hard to bite my tongue and not take her fight bait. A word here, a word there... in the past they'd send me into orbit. Buttons that my mom learned to push so many years ago, even in her demented state, she hasn't forgotten how to push those buttons. Amazing, especially since most of the time she has no idea who I am.
Confusion. Unfound words. Displaced anger. All of these are more prevelant since letting my mom know that she was going to a new Senior Center so that I could have some time to myself. She's mad. She tries to make me yell at her so that she can have a reason to be mad. I'm not buying in, not this time and it's making her mad.
I'm learning as a caregiver that sometimes you just have to throw your hands up and say, "I'm not going there." Ignoring the behavior is hard but it's the only way to keep the situation from blowing up. Blow ups are not pretty and it always ends where I'm sucking up all the crap so what's the point of even going there in the first place? None.
Today, I took her to Kohl's to return a sweater that my sister bought for her. A sweater that is obviously too small for her and would need to be returned. Why buy it? Why she bought her a sweater that is obviously 2 sizes too small, just because my mom insisted it was the right size, is crazy. It's always a struggle with my mom when she believes a size small is going to fit her. I've argued with her more than once over items she's wanted to purchase. Sometimes she buys the thing anyway and I end up chasing around trying to return it on another day after she realizes that I was right. Waste of time.
Round and round we go when I shop with her. I hate shopping with her. I always have. My mom will always tell me why I shouldn't buy things, even if it's something that I gave lots of thought about purchasing. It's frustrating. Mothers! As crazy as she is, she still knows how to make me want to run as far away from her as I can when we are shopping.
Now back to our trip to Kohl's.
I asked my Mother in law if she wanted to come along. She did. Every time I bring my MIL along, my mom gets an attitude. She doesn't like anyone coming along our shopping trips. I know this but I also don't want to hurt my MIL's feelings. She is a nice woman who I love very much. Today, my mom got an attitude. I found myself in Kohl's with my mom who has an attitude and my MIL who only wants to shop for 15 minutes. 15 minutes?! It's going to take me longer to return this sweater. We agree to 30 minutes and we'd meet at the front of the store.
My mom and I went to the service desk to return the sweater with no receipt. The guy could give us a store credit for the lowest price of the sweater. $30 was the store credit amount. My mom, she now doesn't want the credit. She wants to return the sweater with the receipt that Donna has!
Long story short, it was a wasted trip. We brought the stupid sweater back home and my mom told me that I wasn't listening to her about the sweater. I still don't know what she is talking about. This morning I needed to give her a bag for the sweater and then we agreed to leave at 1:30 to return the sweater for a store credit. However, once we got to the store, her story changed and she told me that she didn't want to bring it back today.
WHAT THE FUCK?!
Seriously, I wanted to leave my mom at the store. I wanted to walk out the door, get in my truck and leave her there. I was mad. She pushed my buttons and I got mad... I let her do it to me and I was mad.
She didn't want to shop. We ended up standing at the front of the store for 30 minutes while we waited for my MIL. I never got anything that I had on the list that I had written. I needed a few things at a different store. Forget it. Time to pack the old ladies in the truck and head back home.
Now, my mom is all miss disagreeable about everything. I suck. She hates my cooking. Nothing is good in her world. It's how she gets before doctors appointments, especially doctors that she doesn't know or doesn't care for.
I can ride this out. Tomorrow I will take her to my sister's house. She has the day off so that I can go to the doctors and have a few tests. I'll then have the entire day to myself. I'm excited.
Wednesday, if the doctors fill out all the paperwork for Blair House, my mom will be a day visitor. The first time is free. After that, $56 a day will give me some freedom and a chance to regain my life.
I pray that she likes it. Life sort of revolves around my mom right now, it sucks. We need more of a balance. I need to give some of my time to me. It's OK. I'm not selfish, even if my mom accuses me of being such on occassions when life isn't going her way.
Only 2 more nights to get through before she is off to Adult Day Care and Susie (that would be me) gets a bit of Respite from Caregiving. I'm excited. It's been a long time since I've been able to hop in my truck and go wherever I wanted to go.