Driving Me Crazy

I usually try to write coherently and elegantly but I'm not in the mood, you know what I mean?

My mom is driving me crazy.

She's 92, in her own home, and I moved back home to help.

The communication is crumbling daily. I have gotten so I talk very little otherwise I just start an argument.

When a bill comes in, she opens it immediately and places it in the middle of the kitchen table with the checkbook on top of it and from the moment it arrives I hear, "don't forget to pay the water bill". I don't mean just once, I mean like twice a day, everyday.

I drive her to all her appointments, funerals, church, do all the shopping, every errand, drugstores, post office, bank, everything. Almost everyday, there is something that HAS to be done TODAY OR NOW. I work at home, so it's always an interruption.

Some of the medical appointments are out of town and take all day. It's annoying enough to have to do all this. But then I have to deal with her telling me all the time, "that she could find a ride with the county services because she doesn't want to bother me". What!!!

Which would be fine, except these county services pick her up at 10am for a 2pm appointment and bring her home at 5pm. So we got in an argument about it, and so I said fine, take the ride. So Monday, she's taking the county ride for an appointment one mile away from home that would take me 5 minutes to take her and 5 minutes to pick her up.

I know she doesn't want to do this, but she has it in her head, that somehow this is "helping" so that's that.

There is a local service that offers assisted technology equipment for loan. So I looked it up and told her about it. Already she starts in, with all the scenarios about what it could possibly be about, how we have to be careful, there could be hidden fees, how she knows how these things operate, and on and on and on...

Anything she hears about, she immediately starts making up a story about it. In detail. She hasn't a clue, but on she goes. And the bad thing is, then she believes the story. And this applies to me.

If she gets an idea in her head about me, what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling, what I'm doing, it becomes her reality. And then I have to deal with denying some story she made up about me.

I could go on, but you get the drift. Is this Alzheimer's? Is this just old age? Boredom? All her thinking is all mixed up. Things don't make sense and I end up dealing with these made-up realities.

I'm learning to withhold information. But then it's sad because I can't share anything with her. I can't share anything that goes on in my personal life because she will take charge of the reality of it and run around the world with it until I can't even think.

It's all so hard enough, but to have to deal with these mind-trips is a whole other phase.

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Hell in a nutshell
by: Anonymous

I'm stuck with my Dad. He was a horrible parent. His first priority was running around on my Mom, getting laid by any whore that would have him.

In his old age he settled down. That is after driving off his only son and distancing his daughters. Then Mom died. His dementia, that had been slowly advancing for 20 years, hit over drive.

Back to whoring. I am the only sibling still with him...........why I don't know. Life has been hell. I need to put him in assisted living. He will be losing his driving license soon. I still work and I can't babysit him during the day.

He thinks every woman that talks nicely to him WANTS him. This has caused women to take out restraining orders against him. God, make it all go away.

slavery has not been abolished
by: Anonymous

My 90 year old mother does not have dementia, she is just deliberately obtuse. Along with my father she did nothing for me as a child and young adult beyond the bare minimum required by law.

No encouragement, no support, no aspiration. Dreams were something you had when you were asleep. They never gave me one piece of good advice in my life.

Quite the reverse...they taught me to fear life and embrace underachievement. Never put your hand up, never stand out, never volunteer for anything. Get a menial job and stick with it till you die.

Now, after filling my head as a child with this garbage I'm expected to be a model son and support her in her old age. It's just so unfair.

Mother's Celebrity Magazines
by: Joan

My 87 year old mom has no friends, so she has to buy an Enquirer, Globe, or one of those many ridiculous entertainment magazines every day, then informs me with the up to date news about Tiger Woods and his affairs, Michael Douglas and his cancer, The Jacksons' feuding over Michael's estate, J Lo supporting her boyfriend with an allowance, Paris Jackson and Bobbie Kristina's problem drug issues and attempted suicides.

She is so taken by these stories, you'd think these people were close family or personal friends. I find most of those books incredibly boring, and I keep telling her most stories are lies. Then she continues on with "Have you heard about or read about" so and so?

I insist on something educational to read, but those sections I find thrown in the trash can! Oh well, as long as Mom's happy!

Thanks for the Laugh!!!
by: Anonymous

Reply to "Yes! And All the Above", thanks so much for the laugh this morning. I had to read it twice.

This is so typical of what I go through. All of it.

I can just see you driving and multitasking with all of your abilities to drive this road, with this crazy nut behind you, and your mom off on some bizarre tangent, yelling at you.

That you remained calm, is miraculous.

I have many stories like yours, but I just want to have my day start with a feeling of kindred spirit, so I'm not going to even go there.

I'm just going to enjoy yours. And thank you for sharing. I don't feel so alone today.

Yes, and All the Above!
by: Anonymous

The plan is to see mom at 10:30 and take us both to exercise class. 10 am there is a buzz at my door. It's Mom. She's in a panic, almost hysteria. "Judy, Judy, my phone doesn't work. Call the phone company. I don't feel well. Let me sit down."

I try to calm her down. Give her some juice. I was caught in the middle of brushing my teeth and getting ready for the class. Also got something going on the computer I am working on finishing, due two weeks ago.

"Mom, why are you worried about this right now? We're going to the dance class. Let's see if it's fixed when we come back. Maybe they are working on the cable lines because of the storm."
She still is in a panic. "My new hearing aid doesn't work!"

"We have an appointment today to fix it. Why don't you wear the old one?"
"I threw it out."

Okay, we get to get in the car and drive the half hour or so to the dance class. On the road some guy in a SUV is on my bumper and I can see in the rear view mirror, he is trying to make me go faster and faster. Also, he is on the cellphone.
In the front are curvy country roads.

To my right is Mom talking loudly without her new hearing aid, in fact with no hearing aid. First she holds up her new application for MassHealth. 

"Look, this doesn't look so complicated."
"Well, it is, believe me. See you if can get your new friend or someone at the senior center to help you fill it out."
"I don't need anyone to help me." She looks it over. She holds it expecting me to look at it with her. But I am driving through town.
"I can't look at it now when I am driving."

She gets angry and mumbles some bad things about me, fingers the pages and pages of application and with disgust puts is down.
We keep going. There's the same guy on the phone tail gating me dangerously in the rear view mirror and he's still on his cellphone. I am going the speed limit, he is trying to get me to go 50 on a narrow, twisting road.

"Look," Mom says and holds up another item, this time in front of the dashboard, below my face, "This is what I baked.."
"I can't look at it now, I am driving,' I say calmly. "yes, it looks very good." But she doesn't hear that.

She has a temper tantrum and yells at me for the full 20 minutes on the way to the class, different mean ways of saying that I am never interested in anything about her, delivered with rage at the top of her lungs.

"Look, I didn't say I wasn't interested,"
"Oh stop talking! You always have to be right! You never shut up!" She rants on and on and on. All the way to the senior center.

Soon as we get there, she ditches me and does her typical fakey smiles with everyone there, first the old men, then the ladies.
"Oh, isn't your mother amazing!" they all say to me.

Another typical day with Mom and her dutiful daughter.


I have my 87 year old Mother who has advanced dementia, a broken arm, a unhealed knee replacement and fractured back, Fybromyalgia and muscle weakness, oh and bursitis in the other shoulder, bottom line.

I have to do everything for her from wiping her butt and beyond. I have no help from anyone, any place. She has some sort of appointment every day. I can't send her with STS because of the dementia. I have switched to the night shift because I can't afford private duty. She will sleep all night.

We try to do right by our elderly parents, but they don't seem to understand what a toll it takes on us as caregivers. You need to get away and do you from time to time. My prayers are with you.

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