At My Wits End
My mother has been bed bound for over 12 years. She was obese and needed knee replacement but refused to see a doctor claiming that everyone she knew that had knee replacement had bad results. So she just stopped walking and took to the bed. Many years later she asked us to take her to a bone and joint specialist who, of course, said he couldn't help her because she had been bed bound for too long and he couldn't rehab her after surgery because she hadn't walked in years.
She was 70 when this started and she's now 85. My father who is also 85 has been waiting on her hand and foot for 12 years. I helped him full time for six years until my back and shoulders gave out. I'm now 55, an a single parent of a teen and will likely have to work the rest of my life.
I barely make ends meet and still have back and shoulder problems from caring for her.
Three years ago my dad had triple bypass surgery and a valve replacement. During that hospital stay they discovered he had kidney cancer. Forward three years now and he is in stage IV. He has had a kidney removed, a part of his lung removed and now having immunotherapy hoping to buy him some time.
Yet mom still wants him to care for her. They have a lady who comes in four hours a day Monday through Friday. Other than that my dad takes care of her every need. Bed pan, bathing and she is demanding.
If she needs something she bangs loudly in her bedside tray. We've tried to give her wallow talkies or bells but she prefer banging. Her mind is perfectly sharp so she knows exactly what she's doing.
Sunday she insisted they go to church when it was 30 degrees outside. My dad has pleural effusion from the cancer and already has trouble breathing. I warned her they shouldn't go. But she still insisted.
By the time I
went to their house after my work he was doubled over unable to breathe. I rushed him to the ER where they quickly admitted him saying he was in congestive heart failure. His heart is operating at 15%.
My sister and I have tried to tell her that she needs to move to a skilled nursing facility so he can focus on his own health, but she screamed at us and called a friend from church to tell her how mean we are.
My dad will care for her with his dying breath because that's how he is. And we have tried to explain the situation to his doctors and they will not tell him not to keep caring for her.
He has no business driving and they refuse to take his license. The doctors are no help at all. They say oh well yes you should help take care of your wife. Really? Have you emptied bedpans for 12 years 7 days a week for someone who never lets up on the demands? And if you don't do it exactly right you get yelled at? She's impossible.
If you don't do things in exactly the same routine you get corrected. No! You hand me the toilet paper now! And now you take some!
I'm sorry to go on and on but I'm at my wits end. There's only two kids and I'm the one here. My sister is clear across the country.
I served six years waiting on my mom and I can't do any more. I want to be there for my dad but I'm angry that he is shortening his life by caring for her. I'm so sad I'm going to lose him and my mom cries but only about who is going to take care of her.
I'm a nervous wreck. If he needs medical help she won't even know. They shouldn't stay in that house alone but we've done all we know to do and they insist they aren't leaving. It just breaks my heart for my dad.