Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My day sucked. (warning--not for squeamish)

Actually it wasn't too bad up until about 7pm.

First, a little background:
I met yesterday with the Nurse Practitioner who prescribes medications at the nursing home where my mom is.  Everyone seems to agree that my mom has been sleeping a lot more than she was when she first arrived there, and nobody is sure whether it is a "natural progression" or a medication thing.  The NP and I agreed that my mom's Seroquel dose would be reduced--the NP felt that the dose was high enough to be dangerous anyhow--and they were going to add a new laxative, too, since my mom seems to have lost the ability to recognize when she has to have a bm, and how to push (sorry if that's TMI).  I thought this sounded reasonable.

Also yesterday, DD called me and said she "had a question".  I suspected that she wanted something unreasonable and didn't return her call (bad mom).

Cut to today: DD called again, "with a question".  She wanted to know if she could apply for an all day pass so that she could spend the day with her bio mom!(?)  I told her that it had nothing to do with her, but I was going to be pressed for time that day and there really wouldn't be time for that.  Then I asked her if she had asked the therapist/staff where she is staying if an all day pass to be with bio mom would be allowed (I suspected it wouldn't, because the therapist won't even allow unsupervised phone contact with bio mom right now).  Sure enough....it hadn't been discussed.  So I, assuming that she was "getting better", said "I don't think that they would go for that right now.  Even if there was time to do that, I'm thinking that they would probably say that's not a good idea."

DD: But Mom.....she said she was going to take me to get my hair done!!!!

Me (to myself): I wonder how that's going to happen, since DD is an hour away from her, and bio mom doesn't have a car or a license...???  It certainly hadn't been discussed with us....

Me (to DD): You know, DD, your mom has very little control over things like that right now.  She has even less control now than she did when you were at our house, and that wasn't much.  I'm not sure it's realistic to think that she can just decide to do that, and it's probably not a good idea to get your hopes up for stuff like that.....


Me: DD, I don't want to argue with you.  I will talk with you about this some other time.  I love you.  Goodbye. 

And I hung up.  I just didn't have the patience for the crap.  But that decision (to hang up on her) left me feeling like a "bad mom".

Then I went to visit my mom.  Unfortunately, she'd had a lot of extra confusion today.  She was wandering in the hallways (not normal), and thinking that I was going to take her back to her apartment to stay....she said something was wrong, but she didn't know what.  She was already wearing a nightgown when I arrived at 6:45pm--that's only a little unusual--some aides like to get them dressed for bed early--I happened to look down under her wheelchair, and saw a little brown on the floor.  Sure enough, diarrhea--a lot of it--and my mom hadn't realized at all.  Apparently it had overflowed her Depends and, well....you know....

So I called an aide and she started to get my mom cleaned up.  I am very willing to acknowledge that that is the part of the job (nursing assistant/aide) that I could not do.  I walked down the hall while the aide did her thing(s).  When I went back into the room, the smell was so bad--it smelled like a combination of vomit and diarrhea, and was so awful I thought I was going to be sick.  My mom seemed a little more comfortable, but still confused.  I had to leave for work and hated to do that, but at a group home, it's next to impossible to call in at the last minute--and if I just up and say "I'm not coming in tonite", then the person who worked before me has to stay until SOMEONE shows up to relieve them.  So I went in.

So it's looking like both of the med changes were probably bad ideas.  I wanted to call the NP up right then and there and say "Ok, lets go back to how things were..." but of course she wasn't working at that time of night....and I know that 12 hours isn't really enough time to honestly evaluate a med change anyhow....I should've just requested that things stay the same med-wise.  At least then, when my mom was awake, she was more tuned in.....

I felt like a total failure.  As a mom and as a daughter.  Intellectually I know that's not the case, but emotionally I'm a basket case tonite.  I've been on the brink of tears all night.  Five years ago, when I felt like this, I would've called my mom to talk.  Nobody to call now.  My heart is breaking.


GB's Mom said...

The last eight months of my Mom's life, I was her caretaker at her house. Cleaning her up wasn't fun, but what was hardest was "seeing" my mother all the time and having to acknowledge the mother I had was gone. We were pleased with some days when she was herself, I will always treasure that I was there for them. I hope you get some days, too.

stigma no more said...

I know how you feel, My mother was in a nursing home the last 17 months of her life. I had to watch her slowly suffer until she took her last breath. I also had day's of losing my patience with all the usual family issues. My daughter can be hard to deal with sometimes, she has anxiety disorder like me. One thing I learned is I had to forgive myself, not easy. We are only human and caring for a sick mother alone is so painful, so forgive yourself and allow yourself to feel what you need to feel at any given moment. It's how we survive. Take Care,
Janet :)

In the Pink said...

I used to work at a hospital and can understand the discomfort involved with 'cleaning up' after an accident. Do not feel bad that you didn't clean it up or stay, instead of going to work. You need to take care of yourself. And you are NOT a bad mom for hanging up on DD. You did the right thing, you don't deserved to be screamed at.
More power to you, you're doing good.

Kathie said...

Carol, I am sending you a message at The Tree. Grannyof3

perphila said...

You are not a bad mom. You are trying to help DD and tried to be reasonable but her mind was set so there there was nothing you could do. You didn't deserve to be yelled at for following the rules and for not letting yourself get tricked. Sometimes being a mom, a parent, is a thankless job.

I did that kind of cleaning up quite often and you don't even really think about it. When I do it I feel bad for the person I am helping more than for what some people might think of as a nasty task. I don't expect the family to help because they have enough on their plate to deal with and if doing something as small as this helps then I am glad for it. Don't feel guilty about that. Maybe it was the meds change and maybe it wasn't. You were trying to help and that is what's important. If it is the meds then you will try something else. At least you are trying. I wish you were able to talk with your brother about this stuff or DH.