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reached end of tether

(132 Posts)
Mightybanhammer Sun 21-Jan-18 18:43:42


I posted a while ago about Mother being confused and getting up in night thinking morning and that I had to call doc for chest infection.

It has been an unbelievably awful few weeks since then and I just need to vent. I am an only child and live alone, no children, she has literally no other family but me , and I feel like I am sinking. I live about an hour away from her and work an hour and a half in the other direction.

The chest infection was pneumonia and she was also treated for a heart condition. Eventually declared fit to discharge after ten days but I refused without appropriate care as she had deteriorated so much mentally. After a huge amount of faffing and poor communication got carers in three times daily but quickly clear this was insufficient. She needs prompting to do every little task. How much genuine, how much psychological no idea. Started looking at residential rehab to get her back on feet, learning to do simple tasks etc, and arranged an assessment.

In meantime, I have been trying to keep my full time job going in between visits. I share an elderly dog with my former d h. He rings me on day five of all this to say he is being taken into hospital himself with joint infection, can I take the dog. So I have the dog and organise my friend to walk him. She returns from walk shaking and crying. Dog has bumbled to the edge of a massive drop and she only just grabbed his collar in time.

Dog starts to deteriorate physically and mentally - missing my ex dh and shock from the incident. Off to vet. More painkillers prescribed. Dog suddenly become frail over night and barely eating. Knocking furniture over at night etc.

Meanwhile the men arrive to dig up a gas main, need access to the house and my yard. Cue two days of drilling and hammering ( have been working at home) I now have an inelegant array of pipework across the back of my house.

Nurses came to do the assessment for the residential rehab after she had been out hospital. four days,but when tried to get out of her chair she literally screamed in pain. Doc called and suspected fracture. Ambulance men had to give her gas and air. Back to hospital.

At this point I was absolutely spent and didn't go with her. X Ray and ct scan - no fracture after all, but still in severe pain, so has been sent for an mri. I have been googling and have my suspicions but I am not a medic, so will see what this week brings.

I have decided I must go back to the office this week, despite the long commute , for my own sanity if nothing else.

Put wheels in motion to register the EPA. Investigating continuing care and attendance allowance. I thought she received it but I dont think she does. Also getting a form to put her name on the care home list ( where my Dad went)

There is a massive pile of unopened post at her place which I just can't bring myself to tackle.

Feel am losing my mind myself. Have been having to drive around with the poor dog in the car as he isn't fit to be left alone. At one point I glanced in the mirror and was convinced he had died - he was so completely motionless.

At wits' end. Any advice or suggestions very welcome. It's all very very shit.

marmiteloversunite Sun 21-Jan-18 18:57:12

Hi. Didn't want to read and run. I am sorry you are going through all of this alone. Sounds awful. I have elderly patents too but my mum is more able to keep up with the paperwork and medicines for my dad who has dementia and various medical issues.

I know the attendance allowance is quite daunting paperwork and doubt that your mum could do it alone. If you ring age concern they can help you with this.

Is your mum ready to go into nursing care?
My Dad isn't and still knows us but other parts of the dementia are very trying for mum. It's a bit of a nightmare!!

thesandwich Sun 21-Jan-18 19:10:15

Hi mighty. This sounds appalling. I am so sorry. Advice? Pause. Your mum is in hospital, your dog is poorly, you sound exhausted...... stop. If home is noisy, get out somewhere with your dog where you can relax for a bit. Are social services being helpful? Try and get others doing what you can. Post can wait. You need to recharge otherwise you will get seriously ill. Please take a bit of time to regroup. You cannot do any more. flowers gin

Mum4MrA Sun 21-Jan-18 19:21:59

So sorry to hear you are having an awful time mighty 💐🍫
Second what sandwich says, you need to look after yourself. Don't be pressured into accepting an unsafe discharge. Hopefully the MRI will show reason for severe pain. I'm thinking of you. Take care.

Mightybanhammer Sun 21-Jan-18 20:12:20

Thank you all. It helps to get it all out.
Age concern have been very helpful.
I am so tired and have piled on weight so few clothes fit. Feeling very sorry for myself!

Mightybanhammer Sun 21-Jan-18 20:19:33

Re nursing care-not sure. I guess that will depend on the outcome of the current investigations...

thesandwich Sun 21-Jan-18 21:34:52

Awww🌺🌺🌺🌺. Please take some time out for whatever fuels you. A walk, an indulgent coffee, get some healthy m and s type meals in and pamper yourself. And rant away.

marmiteloversunite Sun 21-Jan-18 22:10:40

Feel free to keep chatting. I am happy to listen. Others are right though that you must try to rest when you can as your DM is in hospital. You will need your strength for when she comes out.thanks

NewspaperTaxis Mon 22-Jan-18 13:02:51

Re dog and mother, you are fighting a war on two fronts and this doesn't always end well. You need to streamline everything. File/compartmentalise everything, keep it all in order, or trust me the mess will wear you down just looking at it and it will be harder to keep your life in order. My advice is open post and file it, you don't have to act on it but don't let it fester.

Green tea from dawn to dusk will be healthier than coffee and it helps lose weight. I have the Green and some other flavour combined from Holland&Barret. If you have to scoff chocolate, make it plain choc.
Camomile tea is calming too.
If you are tired, the tendency is to go for addictive stuff. Coffee, choc, alcohol... rolling news channel. It's all rubbish. Long term, it wears you down.
IMO the steam room and sauna at local leisure centre helps if they do a walk-in for a tenner. I think I suggested that on an earlier thread - did it get deleted at your request?

Hospitals tend to discharge the elderly with no support so you will be back to square one if not careful.

marmiteloversunite Mon 22-Jan-18 15:01:31

Talk to the Occupational Therapists on her ward as they can offer ideas and help for care at home. There are also OT's that work in the community and can help with elderly care at home.

Mightybanhammer Tue 23-Jan-18 08:39:42

Hello again
Such sensible advice. Thank you. Latest is church ladies on with visiting rota and she is reportedly in good spirits.
Re discharge I have made it crystal clear she is not to go home but to the residential rehab which will be for six weeks. They agree.
Frustrating thing is they will not discuss medical details on the phone. In case I am not who I say I am! I understand nurseries get round this by giving out passwords. They should do same.
The only way of finding things out is going to hospital. Ludicrous.
Yes I need to tackle the paper mountain and find healthier ways to de stress. I wake at 4 a m every morning with my heart pounding. And so true about the addictive thing including rubbish telly.
Dog situ easing somewhat. Ex going home today so may be ready to take him back.
Work is a struggle as i have a long commute.
I am so tired and just want someone to look after me for a change!

Mightybanhammer Tue 23-Jan-18 08:40:23

Argh apols re lack of paragraphs. On phone.

TickyTakky Tue 23-Jan-18 08:51:36

I'm sorry to hear that you are having to go through all of this. I'm not surprised you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I think anyone would feel that way.

I'm a bit surprised they won't discuss medical details over the phone with you. That's really inconvenient and can't be practical for lots of people.

I'm sorry I haven't any advice. I just wanted to wish you well. I hope it doesn't take to long to sort things out.

thesandwich Tue 23-Jan-18 14:14:44

Mighty, sorry to hear you are feeling so rough. It sounds like things for your dm are more stable- and church ladies sound great. Step back for a moment. And please see your gp with your symptoms- sounds like anxiety/ Adrenalin pumping- you could do with something to help you short term while you recover. You are not superwoman- no one is. And it may be you have to look after yourself. Put you first for a while. Massage/ reflexology or as newspaper suggested sauna/ spa. Essential self maintenance.

Mightybanhammer Tue 23-Jan-18 18:55:00

Thanks again you lovely people.

I love the thought of a sauna/spa. I will gear up to go. Ashamed of my body, but so what. Yes to GP, I have been prescribed beta blockers in the past, and they help.

She has been moved to another ward and now has her own room. Does this mean she is getting worse? Father only moved in one of those to die .

Visitors reporting back she seems very low and complaining about everything. No change there then!

Perhaps this is the time to mention we have never really got on well. I feel resentment that I am doing all this for her now , when at several points of real crisis in my life she failed me completely and utterly. She has never been someone I go to for love and support. The upside of that is I have a few very dear friends, and I rely on them. Just a sympathetic ear is all that is needed.

Still waiting results of her m r I. She is complaining of excruciating hip and groin pain. She also has abnormal blood results which have been monitored annually for some years - ( paraproteins) put the two into dr google and I have my armchair diagnosis but I am no medic. I can't even be certain they know about the previous blood tests. As it all seems so disjointed.

The doctor did ask me again when I was there before about end of life care. It was all a bit vague but I took it to mean ' no heroic measures' rather than palliative only ( which is what she would want if she was seriously ill as we have discussed this in the past when my dad was dying)

thesandwich Tue 23-Jan-18 19:47:30

Mighty, glad to hear you have gp support- and don’t worry about how you look, book a massage/ reflexology/ spa, whatever you fancy. Essential self maintenance. And let your friends support you. Many of us on this board have had difficult relationships with our parents and it does stir it all up when we are providing care and support we never had at huge price to ourselves. You are not responsible for your mother’s happiness. Rant away here- and please put yourself first.

Mightybanhammer Tue 23-Jan-18 20:03:30

sandwich that is so true about the stirring up. It really has brought up a lot of anger and conflicting emotions and past stuff on top of everything else.

Maybe I should join general support thread too.

helpfulperson Tue 23-Jan-18 20:11:33

Remember that it is up to you how much you do. If your mother didn't have you Social Services would take care of her. (although perhaps not to the standards you would like). I've learnt that if you take too much of an interest and do too much then they will assume you will provide heavy amounts of support and avoid putting in the support she needs.

Does your mother have a social worker - if so get in touch with them, if not get in touch with Adult Services in your mothers area. Hard though it is you need to be clear on what you can do - be specific. eg I can visit once a week, I can arrange an online shop for her weekly but only visit once a month etc. It doesn't mean you care any less.

Mightybanhammer Tue 23-Jan-18 20:29:44

Oh I won't be doing any of the care.
Absolutely no bloody way!
Adult Social Care have been appalling.

thesandwich Tue 23-Jan-18 21:51:10

Sorry to hear social services have not been helpful. Good to hear you are clear on your boundaries!! 😉 I found the hospital sw v good.
The stirring up past can floor us competent capable people. Counselling/ medication / etc has helped many of us on here...... and realising what is going on is really important. Look after yourself.

Fortysix Wed 24-Jan-18 20:57:58

Juggling from dawn to dusk is hard, so
Three years ago in a fairly similar position a nurse on the elderly care ward told me to look out for me. She said firmly that she and everyone else on the ward were around for my Dad. He was safe and had people to talk to and his meals made and his care met. She said that I wasn't to knock myself our rushing backwards and forwards covering everything off plus working. Skipping a few days of visits wouldn't do him any harm and to use the time away to think ahead. her words really helped me get the chaos into perspective.

Mightybanhammer Wed 24-Jan-18 22:01:23

Back from hospital.

I have over the phone repeatedly explained how frustrating it is not to be told any medical details over phone.

Today I went in ( has been moved to another ward) speculating how a password system would be useful - only to be told- oh yes we have a password system, just get registered.

If only they had told me!

So today I collared a random doctor, told him I needed to know what was going on with Mother. He found her file, messaged her consultant, who also looked at her file, walked from end of hospital to another, before spending ten minutes explaining stuff with me. We both agreed that this wasan utterly appalling waste of his time.

If the password thing had worked a bloody junior doctor could have updated me!

In this ward on a random rack of leaflets in various languages I noticed a ' communications diary' great idea. Relative records concerns, h c p responds in the booklet.

No, I didn't know about that either.

thesandwich Wed 24-Jan-18 22:07:04

That sounds so frustrating. What was the news? And how are you? Are you looking after yourself? This might be a marathon not a sprint......please get some rest as forty six says. She is being carer for.

Mightybanhammer Thu 25-Jan-18 13:31:15

I am exhausted and on beta blockers.

Burst into tears on train this morning and for first time considered getting signed off. Burst into tears in lift at work when someone was arsey with me - I have claustrophobia and he insisted on pushing his way into an already crowded lift when I asked him politely to wait for the next one.

My elderly dog is v unwell. ( forgive me if I have said this already) Possible stroke - banging into stuff, not recognising his favourite people. Not eating, hardly moving. Weeing indoors. Vet tomorrow or this eve if he deteriorates.

Had a call from the Hospital Occupational Therapist. They would like to discharge mother back home. Hopefully tomorrow. WTAF??? As of yesterday, they had not even diagnosed the cause of her hip pain, let alone begun to treat it.

Apparently she is much brighter today. A pattern is emerging and she is I think masking things in front of the HCPs . With me yesterday, she did not know what day it was, or where she was; was muddling up details of this latest admission with her previous one and so on.

Managed to persuade OT that she is fall risk at home. The only place I am willing to have her discharged to -after she has had treatment! - is the residential rehab place. Thereafter OT is talking about swapping her bed for a lower one and attaching some sort of grab handle so she can get in and out of bed. But that can't happen until she is well enough.

Catch 22. Social workers thinks she does not lack capacity. So if she refuses residential, she will go home. But if they do uncover cognitive issues, she can't go to rehab as they need to be able to follow instructions.

I am flabbergasted that discharge is even being considered, after how she was like yesterday.

I am so sick of this. Sick of hospitals, sick of old people, sick of driving up and down the motorway. Sick of jumping out of skin every time phone rings. Sick of every bloody thing.

Fortysix Thu 25-Jan-18 14:29:38

You sound exhausted and certainly trying to get your GP to sign you off for a short period should be pursued. Keep yourself well hydrated and eat regularly to maintain your strength. Make sure you feed your brain as you have a few decisions stacking up and all this is hugely stressful when you have no other family members to ease the load . flowers

The dog - how sad- hopefully ex DH can help you and you get a few precious hours with him.

Re your mum, you could be at the stage where you genuinely believe a care home / residential setting with warden would be the best place but for now the social work team is not yet on the same page. Their view could however escalate so don't despair.

Obviously keeping her at her own home and independent needs the support of the local services. You live an hour away and your place of work is 2.5 hours away so as they know this - so let them make arrangements accordingly which don't involve you beyond weekend visits. Keep good relations with them.

Have you got Power of attorney yet?

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