01 December 2010
Never Thought I Could
I did change my nephews crappy pants; they helped me to make up my mind when I was a young teen that children were not in my future plans. Kids are messy and stinky, definitely not for me. Instead, I vowed to be the best aunt that I could be, changing their loads only if completely necessary.
That was nearly 40 years ago and now, I find myself changing my mother's shitty diapers. I swore I would never do it because I thought that I couldn't. I didn't want to do it, never, ever. But, I find myself wiping my mother's ass and helping her with toileting.
Yesterday my worse nightmare happened.
I picked her up at the day program; she had a great day. I forgot to ask her if she needed the toilet before we left. We have a 20 minute drive home.
5 minutes into the trip back home my mom says, "Uh, oh. Hurry!" She began to shit her pants. I was grateful that she didn't fight me and wore the diaper that morning when I was helping her to get dressed.
All the way home, she shit, giving me a blow by blow description of her incontinence. "Uh.. don't hit that bump. Ah gee... " On and on she went as I drove down what seemed to be the bumpiest road in town. I prayed it didn't soak into the front seat of my truck.
We got home, she got out of the truck and yes, she had shit on the seat. I was bummed. It could have been much worse if she didn't have the disposable underwear on.
I cleaned up my mom. Fortunately she listened to me. I had asked her on the way home to follow my instructions so that we could get her cleaned up faster without making the mess worse. She agreed and let me help her. The mess wasn't that bad because my mom cooperated. I only gagged a little. I just couldn't allow myself to even think about what I was doing... cleaning shit off my mother's ass.
My mom is declining. She is shitting herself every day now. I heard that fecal incontinence is a symptom of LBD. We are now in this horrible phase of the disease. I don't want to clean up shit anymore.
I am seriously on the hunt to find her a home nearby where there are people who can care for her. I just can't do it. Even with in-home help, it's way too hard; she always shits when it's just me and her, not when the help is here.
The smell that is now permeating my home smells like a nursing home and I don't like it. I spend my time off cleaning carpets, bathrooms and laundry. Lots and lots of laundry with shit stains.
I never thought I could wipe my mother's ass. Never thought I could change her diapers. I never wanted to do it... EVER! However, I am.
Uncle Al, he's going in to hospice. He doesn't have long, the bus will come for him soon. My mom, she is marching along the same path, only about 2 years behind Uncle Al, her older brother. At least I have an idea how long we have with my mom based on how Uncle Al lived through this disease. He is now in the end stages, it's horrible.
I remember 2 years ago when Uncle Al was visiting, he shit his pants. I had to shower him off. I never ever in a million years wanted to see my Uncle's junk, let alone cleaning shit off of him. But... I did it, 3 times too many.
How do people do it? How do people who care for seniors clean up folks who can't control their bowels? I find it disturbing and pray to God that I pass before I need someone to wipe my ass and hose me down.
I can't imagine what it must be like for my mom. I pray for strength.